Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

Love Song

High and holy
Sovereign, Savior
Creator, Sustainer
Comforter, Friend
You gave me life twice
You chose me forever
I’ll live for you.

My life is yours
You’re all I need
Please keep me true, trusting you
Rejoicing, thanking, growing, serving, glowing
Sharing your love with the world.

All you ever wanted

People Want                                                  Jesus says, “I AM…”

Satisfaction of our physical & soul hunger     The Bread of Life

Freedom from sin’s grip, light for our way     The Gate for the sheep

Unending life with an ageless body               The Resurrection and the Life

Access to God, true knowledge                    The Way to God, the Truth & the Life

Vitality & productiveness                             The True Vine

Salvation, a full & satisfying life                    The Good Shepherd—at the cost of his own                                                                                                             life!

What more could we want?  He has shown Himself to be beautiful, sufficient, loving, wise, and powerful—and that’s just the beginning.  Why not follow Him?

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all

Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I’d be a fool
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless Your name
You are my all in all

When I fall down You pick me up
When I am dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all

Here are two beautiful Youtube renditions of this song:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsoIFxpY2VQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLilYpRAuU4

Songwriter:  Dennis Jernigan

What Would Jesus Really Do?

A friend of mine has a game where players try to predict who would be most likely to do or say a certain thing.  It works best, she said, with people who already know one another very well.  Strangers wouldn’t have any basis for such decisions.

So what about all the people who go around saying that “Jesus would (or wouldn’t) do” this or that? 

Here are a few of the things I found on the Internet that people claim Jesus would do or be:

He would have been a biker.
He would have been a proud feminist.
He would be a socialist.
He would hate Christians.
He would go around making computers work.

And some people were quite sure Jesus wouldn’t do these things:

Unfollow people.
Yell.
Have a mortgage.
Wear sunglasses on the back of his head.
Teach an eternal hell.
Call the Bible God’s word.
Do something violent, like chase moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip.

But how can people claim to know what Jesus would or wouldn’t do unless they actually know Him well?

And if they don’t know care enough about Him to cultivate His acquaintance, why are they concerned about what He would do? 

Could it be that they are fashioning their own “Jesus” to mirror their own worldview and then using that false image to claim Jesus’ endorsement of their cause, regardless of whether it would be consistent with His character and consistent with Scripture?

This seems to have been the strategy of the Jesus Seminar, a controversial group of two hundred scholars who decided among themselves that Jesus actually said only 18 percent of what the gospels attribute to him! 

If we really want to know what Jesus would do, we should go to the nearest source.  Read & study the gospels, learn who Jesus is, where he came from, what motivated him.  We will find that his motivations were
     to show us God’s holiness and love,
          to teach the truth,
               to save sinful humankind,
                    to please the Father. 
These were His motivation for the shocking, unheard-of things that he did—leaving audiences aghast, angry, astonished, awestruck, appalled, delighted…and many of them eternally changed. 

Who else would or could…

…declare that lust is equivalent to adultery, and hate is equivalent to murder?

…pronounce a paralytic forgiven and then proceed to heal him with just a word?

…forgive a sinful woman and then warn her not to sin again?

…choose a notorious  swindler for his dinner companion with the result that this guy decides to return four times as much as he extorted?

…exorcise demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and then tell people not to tell anyone?

…spend long hours alone praying while crowds were clamoring to see him?

…dismiss manmade religious regulations as worthless?

…and yes, yell and upset the moneychangers’ tables, release their animals and drive them out of the Temple?

…allow Himself to be arrested, flogged, and executed in the most painful and humiliating way, taking the punishment that you and I deserve for our sin so that we might be acceptable to God!

I invite you to read the authorized biography (actually, you have your choice of four—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and see what kinds of things he really does and does not do.  Let him speak for himself!

Which Is the Real World?

In a theater, you’re in another world.  Especially this time.  We had gone to see the movie, “Son of God.”  I love Jesus, I love the Bible, and I loved this movie!  It drew me in, stoking the fires of delight, truth, and passion as Jesus astounded his own followers and throngs of onlookers with his authoritative teaching, his powerful miracles, his surrender to the suffering that would bring them forgiveness and new life, and then the compelling end in two scenes:

After Jesus had given his disciples their assignment of taking this Good News to the world and then ascended to heaven, Peter gets up and urges the others, “We’ve got work to do!” 

Then we see the apostle John 60 years later, living a lonely existence on a prison island–when his best Friend appears to him in gleaming white, holding his nail-scarred hand out to him and identifying himself as “the First and the Last” and speaking of the final act in heaven when there will be no more tears, crying or pain.  (John wrote this down for us to read in the book of Revelation.  See especially chapters 1, 21 & 22). 

The movie over, we walked out of the theater in a daze, overwhelmed by the impact of the love, suffering, beauty and truth we’d just seen.  Suddenly I staggered under the blast of the mob scene—or rather, the mall scene:  loud music, people shopping, playing video games, eating, chatting, moving around in an artificial world, consumed with trivia.  Normally when one exits a theater, he is leaving a world of make-believe to re-enter the real world.  However, on this occasion I think it was reversed.

Which is the real world?  I don’t want to waste my time and energies on what is temporary and trivial!  I want to be motivated by those two scenes at the end of the movie. 

–“We have work to do!”  This is the task of Christ’s followers for today and as long as this world lasts.  It will cost us; He promised that, but it’s the life of ultimate fulfillment and joy.  And it will be worthwhile because…

–When it is finished, we who follow Him will enjoy that wonderful new life with Him, where all tears and pain will be only memories, where our dearest dreams come true.  And it will be much more real than this world we live in today.  That is the ultimate reality.

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus

Listen to Fernando Ortega sing this at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rZ8k9m2hwo

How Would You Vote?

For three years people had had opportunity to to be exposed to Jesus’ life, teaching and miracles.  Now the end was near (though they didn’t know that).  The battle lines were being drawn, becoming more distinct—or did some become more fuzzy?  Here’s how some of them lined up, including a few surprises. 

                                               For       Against     Undecided 

Religious leaders                                     √                            

Mary of Bethany                     

Judas                                                      

Nicodemus                              

Joseph of Arimathea                

Jewish crowds                                                     For Him on Sunday
                                                                               but against Him on Thursday

11 disciples                                                  Like deer in the headlights!

What about you?  In which column would your name appear, really? 
Especially when identifying with Jesus is unpopular and even dangerous? 

“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.…”–Jesus  (Matthew 10:32-33)

A Tale of Three Kings

Who is King of the Jews?  That is the big question at both the beginning and the end of Jesus’ life.

Magi came seeking the newborn King of the Jews.  But Herod was already occupying that title, and he would tolerate no rivals.  Jesus’ parents barely got him out of town before Herod’s forces swept in and massacred  the baby boys in an attempt to be sure no other “King of the Jews” could threaten his throne.

Thirty-three years later, the same question arose.  The religious elite, jealous of Jesus’ popularity, insisted that he be executed on the grounds that “he claims to be Christ, a king.” (Luke 23:2)  After grilling Jesus, Governor Pilate is still hesitant to condemn a man who seems to be innocent.  Then Jesus’ enemies play their trump card:  “”If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar.  Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”  Finally he asks the religious leaders, “Shall I crucify your king?”  Their response:  “We have no king but Caesar.”  (John 19:12-16)

But Pilate (or I prefer to think it was God, acting through Pilate) had the last say when he prepared the accusation to be posted above Jesus’ head on the cross:  “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

So who was king of the Jews—Herod, Caesar, or Jesus who was rejected by both the political and the religious establishment?  Jesus is the only one of those who was a Jew.  And He is the only one who is alive today. One day Jesus’ own people will finally acknowledge Him as their true King.  What a day that will be!  God’s people from the Jews and Gentiles united together under Jesus as not only King of the Jews but King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

When Jesus Shows Up

Magi from the east were looking for a King.
    Jesus showed up as the Son of David in Bethlehem.

Simeon was watching for the Messiah God had promised he’d see before he died.
    That Messiah showed up in the Temple in his mother’s arms.

Disciples on a stormy lake were looking for a lifesaver!
     The Savior showed up walking on the water and calmed the storm.

Mary Magdalene was distraught over the loss of her beloved Rabbi and Friend.
     Jesus whispered her name and turned her tears into incredulous joy.

Two men expressed frustrated hopes on the road to Emmaus.
    A Stranger walked with them, explained it all and then revealed His identity.

Seven disciples were returning from a futile fishing trip.
     A Man on shore gave them advice and their nets were filled!

“It’s Jesus!”  When Jesus shows up, all is well.  He is all we need!

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