Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Continue and Be Watchful.

 31.12.11

©Katie Lloyd Photography


A new year is at hand and the reminder that our lives happen in cycles, in seasons is at the door. I take a time to consider how I have lived this past year, a year purposely "lived in the Sacred." A year of laughs and many tears; a year of sharing so much with my family, a year of big changes, of great gains but also with many hard providences. Living in the Sacred, open before the face of God, knowing that He is Holy and Sovereign, has deeply changed me.

But I am not where I should be... I am fragile; so many times this past year I woke up feeling fragile, so vulnerable to my own sin. So blind.

I have quietly prayed, and have considered this verse over and over:

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Col.4:2

Holding fast to what I have attained, continuing in the progresses that I have made, persevering to the end; Oh to finsh the race by God's grace is something that I want to do. And I pray I will with God's help. This coming year, 2012, will be a year, God willing, of continuity and watchfulness. Prayer and thanksgiving will be my bread.

James Smith said it well,

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

How important is a spirit of prayer! It is . . .
the proof of regeneration,
the manifestation of grace in our hearts, and
the evidence our title to mansions in the skies!

Prayer is . . .
the breath of the renewed soul,
the beating of the sanctified heart,
the effect of the life of God within us.

O that I had prayed more!

Prayer should become a habit with usthen everything would furnish us with matter for prayer. Prayer should mingle with our pleasures and our pains, with our labor and our rest. O for more prayer!

We should never do — what we cannot pray God to bless.

We should never go — where we cannot ask God to go with us.

If we would hold fast our profession,
if we would adorn the gospel,
if we would honor Jesus,
if we would enjoy our mercies,
if we would get good by our trials,
if we would see all things working together for good,
if we would conquer Satan,
if we would overcome the world,
if we would crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts
— we must pray!

Prayer, if it is believing prayer . . .
opens Heaven to us,
unveils the glorious face of God, and
brings down foretastes of the joys of paradise,
makes us a match for all our foes,
enables us patiently to carry every cross, and with perseverance to climb and pass over the loftiest hills we meet with on our heaven-bound pilgrimage!

Those who pray, will, by deriving strength from Heaven, by drawing down wisdom from above — withstand every storm, and shout God's praises at last.
If I want to be watchful, I must continue to live in prayer, like the Children of Light are called to live; there is simply no other way to do this.

"But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober." I Thessalonians 5:4-6

Puritan Thomas Brooks said:

The best way to be safe and secure from all Satan's assaults is, with Nehemiah and the Jews, to watch and pray, and pray and watch. By this means they became too hard for their enemies, and the work of the Lord did prosper sweetly in their hands...

Our whole life is beset with temptations. Satan watches all opportunities to break our peace, to wound our consciences, to lessen our comforts, to impair our graces, to slur our evidences, and to dampen our assurances. Oh! what need then have we to be always upon our watch-tower, lest we be surprised by this subtle serpent. Watchfulness includes a waking, a rousing up of the soul. It is a continual, careful observing of our hearts and ways, in all the turnings of our lives—that we still keep close to God and his Word.

Watchfulness is the heart busied and employed with diligent observation of what comes from within us, and of what comes from without us and into us.

May God give us grace to keep pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

May our soul's strength be renewed as we continue to watch and pray.

Under His sun and by His grace,



post signature

Read more...

A Family Technology Policy -by Wendy Sensing-

 30.12.11

I am pretty sure that in more than one family of those who read this blog, setting a family technology policy is a priority for this coming 2012. My friend Wendy and her husband Carson wrote a policy for their own family, and I am very grateful for their willingness to share it with us today.

Source


Sensing Family Technology Policy


Purpose
The Purpose of this policy is that we honor Christ with our time and technology.

Preamble of sorts:

Wisely navigating the world of technology for our selves and particularly for our children is not an easy thing to do. At times, my temptation as a mother is to just say, “no thank you” to the whole kit and caboodle and then my life would be simpler. It really would be…. right now, but I think that it would be a real disservice to my children to not help them figure out now how to use technology in a godly fashion, and our neglect to train them up in this area would potentially be a real source of grief for both them and us down the line.

Another thought is that it would be so nice if the Bible just provided some sort of black and white list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to cell phones, ipods, computers….et al. but of course that isn’t an option either. One, because it doesn’t exist and two, because it doesn’t exist because God knew it wouldn’t be the best thing for a lazy, legalistic sinner like me. So instead, He gave me the gift of faith that I might lean on Him to help us figure out what method would be best for our family to use to honor Him with the gift of technology. I say that because I don’t think that every family will, or even should, land in exactly the same place with regard to how their family addresses these issues. I always love how Doug and Nancy Wilson encourage families to follow the principles in the scripture and recognize that there are different methods for following those principles. Feed the baby. That’s the principle. Whether you do it using a schedule or not is up to you.

So with regard to technology, Ephesians 5 and particularly verses 15 and 16 seem to be one of primary principles that would directly apply and are what has guided us as we thought through how our family should use technology.

Some of our methods may not make sense to you since you don’t know the temptations to sin that are common in our family as well as I do and that’s ok because even if you think we’re way too strict or way too lenient, I trust that God will help us tweak this “policy” wisely as we go along; and if while we’re on the way, some body else finds some thing that at least spurs them to think about what might work well for them, then so much the better. Anyway here goes our way of “feeding the baby.”

Some helpful scripture texts and articles:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for every purpose under heaven.

We don’t believe that the various means of technology that we have available to us are inherently evil and so we think there is a place for there use. We must find how we can do that in a way that honors the Lord in the midst of the doing.

Ephesians 5
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for fragrant offering, a sacrifice and us to God.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

One of the things about this Scripture passage is that the admonition to walk carefully and wisely and to make the best use of our time is right there in the context of the exhortation regarding how we speak. It tells us how not to speak: coarsely and crudely, and it tells us how to speak: with thanksgiving! And with psalms and hymns! So much of the trouble we seem to find ourselves in with regard to social media seems to involve what we say and so we find this passage very helpful indeed with regard to training our children in regard to the being aware of how you spend your time as well as with regard to the content of their communications with others. So often we find ourselves checking through Facebook and so many of the comments there are express hearts that are not thankful. “More homeowork! Ugh!” “Piles and piles of laundry…..” “Kids are sick AGAIN” Anyway, it would be very wise to even use social media such as this to express a thankful heart and in so doing any attraction we find ourselves having toward coarse or crude entertainment or conversations will be sanctified along the way. I don’t think this means that the only status updates that are allowable (is that a word?) are scripture passages and praise songs but we do think that words matter and that even in something that seems so trivial as this, we should watch what we say.

The following is a tremendous sermon on Ephesians 5. Even if you don’t have time for the whole sermon there is a synopsis of it at the link that is well worth reading.

Here is another link we found that had lots of Scriptural wisdom about the tongue:

In a Multitude of Texts,  by Douglas Wilson

In Proverbs 10:19, we learn this: “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” In other words, as a general rule, lots of words create many opportunities for sin. This admonition from Scripture covers all uses of words, and not just the spoken word. It includes books, articles, speeches, sermons, conversations, talk on the phone, and most recently, it includes . . . texting.

Just as teenagers talked on the phone way too much in the fifties, with their parents worrying about it, so now young people are texting like crazy, and the parents are worried, and their kids are wondering where all the concern is coming from. The concern arises from a biblical view of the world—where words are many, watch out. Watch your step. And if you resent being urged to watch your step, this is good evidence that you of all people don’t need to watch your step . . . because you already fell down.
You know you are too much of a texting ninja if you can successfully get a message off one-handed, with the phone in your pocket. But there are other indicators, more old-fashioned.

When words are many, sin is not absent. What kind of sin are we talking about? Here is a small sampling.

First, simple verbal silliness. The great Puritan Thomas Watson called careless speech “verbal scribbling.” Don’t be a scribbler.

Second, flirtation is always pleasant, and always lands you in bigger difficulties than you thought it would. You can pretend that it is not flirtation because it is “just texting,” and besides, he doesn’t have anything in mind at all. Of this you are quite assured. But you think this because you are a teenaged girl, and it is a well-established scientific fact that when it comes to the thought processes and intentions of teenaged boys, young girls are idiots. If you keep this everlasting truth in mind at all times, it will come in handy in surprising ways.

But the most obvious sin connected with all this is the simple matter of honoring your parents. If they are concerned about it, honor would share their concern instead of kicking against it. If they believe there are problems, honor would assume that they can see things that you cannot see. If they believe that you are texting too much, or too carelessly, honor would most likely respond differently than you are currently responding.

So with that all said and considered, here are the Do’s and Don’ts for the Sensings:

*No movies/TV/Wii during the school week except on Friday afternoon on the Wii after your room is clean and your clothes are ready for school on Monday.

*When the rest of the newest Psyche season comes on (in March?) we will consider whether to watch it real time or recorded for the weekend depending on how your studies are going and if your teachers are saying nice things about you. ☺

*Social Media: Sensing children may check email/Facebook or other social media (Tumbler, Instagram, Twitter….) twice a day for 15 minutes. Mom and Dad will check Facebook once a day for a 30 min. max. and email twice a day as well unless we are expecting some particular communication.

*Thomas ( our 14 yr old who is new to Facebook/email) still needs to do Facebook with Dad or Mom for a while longer.

*Monday- Thursday: All Sensings will be done with computers/ phones/ipods at supper time and put them on downstairs docking station til morning unless they have a particular school assignment that requires their computer after supper in which case they will still put them away on the kitchen counter until after supper and family worship and let Mom or Dad know.

* All other computer related recreational activities (photography, music software, skyping with a friend etc…) that take place during the weekend can be at your own discretion.

* All other computer related recreational activities (photography, music software, skyping with a friend etc…) that take place during the week need to be by permission, at least for a time, until we feel like we are using our time a little more wisely. Mom and Dad will reevaluate this in a couple of months.

*Friday and Saturday: No texting after 10 pm unless you are out somewhere and it is for communication purposes “I will meet you at the pizza restaurant on main street in five minutes” and not just “Hey! Hahahahhah” ☺

* Regardless of the day of the week or the activity that has been permitted, phones, computers, and ipods need to remain downstairs at bedtime.

******************


Carson and Wendy have been married for 20 years and God has blessed them with seven children 17 to 3. Wendy is a dear friend of mine and being around her is always a joy. Thanks for sharing with us today, dear friend!

Now is your turn, any ideas of your own family? How are you setting limits in your home regarding all things related to technology? How do you set limits for yourself?



Grace upon grace,


Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -Praise the Lord with Me-

 25.12.11



Today we come to end of this series, and I am confident to say that the joy we have experienced as we have celebrated the Incarnation of our Lord, as we have meditated on His character revealed in some of His glorious names, has been a blessing to many us -me first of all- . How blessed we have been by every article that our friends wrote for this series (I am so grateful for each one of you, my friends!), blessed as well  by every comment you left, by the words we read from those men who have gone before us. I am now more eager to praise His Name at all times, to trust in Him, to see Him full of splendor. Oh, how I love my Lord, how I love to celebrate the excellencies of His Name, and proclaim His wonderful Name among the nations, among the saints!

To end this series I want to first announce the winner of the book, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ:

Melissa @ Breath of Life

And now our great and grand finale: God speaking directly to us through His infallible Word,

Though he (Jesus) was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Phil 2:6-8

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.                 John 1: 14-18

You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O LORD,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the LORD,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 12 ESV

I pray you, my dear friends, may have a most wonderful Christmas, one full of Him.


Under His sun and by His Grace,





post signature

 
 
They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18: 10




Browse through the series here.


You are most welcomed to read a complementary series on The Names of God.
Part one, The Name of God is found here
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.
Part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.

Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -The Gift of Gifts, a Prayer from the Valley of Vision-

 24.12.11



O SOURCE OF ALL GOOD,
    What shall I render to thee for he gifts of gifts,
    thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
    my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
    his self-emptying incomprehensible,
    his infinite of love beyond the heart's grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders:
    He came below to raise me above,
    was born like me that I might become like Him.

Herein is love;
    when I cannot rise to Him he draws near on wings of grace,
          to raise me to himself.

Herein is power;
    When Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
    he united them in indissoluble unity,  the uncreated and the created.

Herein is wisdom;
    when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
    and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost
          as man to die my death,
          to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
          to work out a perfect righteousness for me.

O GOD, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and
    enlarge my mind;
     let me hear good tiding of great joy,
     and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, ador,
     my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
     my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with the ox, ass, camel, goat,
    to look with them upon my Redeemer's face,
    and in him account myself delivered from sin;
 let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart.
     embrace him with undying faith,
     exulting that he is mine and I am His.

In Him thou hast given me so much that Heaven can give me no more.


*****************










They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18: 10



Browse through the series here.



You are most welcome to read a complementary series on The Names of God. 
Part one, The Name of God is found here;
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.
And part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.

Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -I Am, by Elizabeth Hankins-

 23.12.11

©Katie Lloyd Photography

J.I. Packer writes that "...so many make faith harder than it need be, by finding difficulties in the wrong places...the real difficulty...lies, not in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of incarnation. The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man…Once we grant that Jesus was divine, it becomes unreasonable to find difficulty in any of this [atonement, resurrection, etc.]...The incarnation is in itself an unfathomable mystery, but it makes sense of everything else that the New Testament contains (45-47, emphasis added).

John wrote his Gospel "so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31, emphasis added). One of the primary messages that John wished to convey was Christ's personal deity. Perhaps this is why he recorded so many quotes of Christ simply saying, “I AM.” You see, Jesus had a simple way of communicating this profound truth that He was God made man. He said to the Jews, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58, emphasis added).

The Jews were offended by Christ. He had pointed out that they were sinners (Jn. 8:7) who did not know God, His Father (Jn. 8: 19). He had stated that they were of this world (Jn. 8:23) and of their father the devil and did the devil’s will (Jn. 8:44). Subsequently, the Jews dishonored Christ and asked him "Who do you make yourself out to be" (Jn. 8:53)? It is to this question that Christ provides the very succinct answer: "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn. 8:58, emphasis added) to which the Jews responded by picking up "stones to throw at him" (Jn. 8:59).

"The Jewish leaders recognized at once that he [Jesus] was not speaking in riddles or uttering nonsense: when he said, "I am," he was repeating the very words God used when he identified himself to Moses as "I AM WHO I AM" (Ex. 3:14). Jesus was claiming for himself the title "I AM," by which God designates himself as the eternal existing One, the God who is the source of his own existence and who always has been and always will be. When the Jews heard this unusual, emphatic, solemn statement, they knew that he was claiming to be God. "So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple" (John 8:59) (Grudem, pg. 545-546).

Why was this seemingly simple phrase, “I am”, so infuriating to the Jews? It was because Christ was making a claim to deity. J.I. Packer explains: "The Gospel [of John] is punctuated with 'I am' statements that have special significance because I am (Greek: ego eimi) was used to render God's name in the Greek translation of Exodus 3:14; whenever John reports Jesus as saying ego eimi, a claim to deity is implicit" (pg. 106).

James White notes that John uses this phrase (ego eimi) to refer to Christ twenty-three times. In seven of these references, ego eimi is absolute. Many of our Bibles have added the pronoun he with the words I AM, however, the original Greek merely says, I AM. (If this information interests you, you may find the rest of Mr. White’s article insightful.)

"The baby in the manger at Bethlehem was none other than the eternal Word of God" (pg. 49), the great I AM. "The Christmas message rests on the staggering fact that the child in the manger was -- God (pg. 50).

So we return to our opening discussion of faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (emphasis added). Wendy Alsup wisely notes that, "He exists' alludes to a special name of God used to reveal himself, 'I AM.’ ‘The Hebrew word translated ‘LORD’ in the Old Testament is ‘YHWH,’ meaning ‘the existing one. It is based on the same word, Hayah, that is translated ‘I AM’ in Exodus 3:14" (pg. 32).

"God's existence alone makes the rest of life's inconveniences and struggles fade in comparison...Many Christians in today's churches seem much more convinced of the reality of their problems than the reality of their God" (Alsup, pg. 32-33).

"Whether we are single or married, stay-at-home moms or working women, we tend to get so tied up in the minutiae of life that we miss the biggest truth, the ultimate reality. God must be big in our minds. God needs to be at the forefront of our thought processes. He needs to be the first consideration in all of our daily circumstances, not the last resort that we consider after exhausting all other options. Believing in his existence--focusing with trust on this reality--is fundamental to a faith that pleases God" (Alsup, pg. 33).

My friends, know this God become man. Study passages such as Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1 that show us exactly what and who He is. "These passages present Jesus as God who came to live among us to show us his glory firsthand...If you want to know God, you must know Jesus Christ" (Alsup, pg. 34). Christ said to the Jews, “…unless you believe that I AM he you will die in your sins” (John 8: 24). Matthew Henry writes: “Note, There are many who claim-kindred to God yet have no acquaintance with him. It is only the name of God which they have learned to talk of, and to hector with; but for the nature of God, his attributes and perfections, and relations to his creatures, they know nothing of the matter, we speak this to their shame, 1 Co. 15:34. Multitudes satisfy themselves, but deceive themselves, with a titular relation to an unknown God” (1575). Henry goes on to say:“How he [Christ] proves his knowledge of his Father; I know him and keep his sayings, or his word…Note, The best proof of our acquaintance with God is our obedience to him. Those only know God aright that keep his word…Hereby we know that we know him (and do not only fancy it), if we keep his commandments” (pg. 1576).

God knew that we would not perfectly obey, thus, God became man in Christ, the Great I AM. This is what we celebrate this Christmas: "The baby in the manger at Bethlehem was none other than the eternal Word of God" (pg. 49), the great I AM. "The Christmas message rests on the staggering fact that the child in the manger was -- God (Packer, pg. 50)." “The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join himself to a human nature forever, so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe" (Grudem, pg. 563).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-4, 14).


Works Cited:


Alsup, Wendy Horger. Practical Theology for Women. Illinois: Crossway Books, 2008.


Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. England: Inter-Varsity Press with Michigan: Zondervan, 1994.


Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary On the Whole Bible. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008.


Packer, J. I. Knowing God. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1973.


White, James. “Purpose and Meaning of "Ego Eimi" in the Gospel of John
In Reference to the Deity of Christ.” Alpha and Omega Ministries. 12 Dec. 2011. http://vintage.aomin.org/EGO.html.


About the author: Elizabeth is a sinner saved by the grace of God. By His grace, she serves as a helpmate to her godly husband, and they seek to reflect Christ's relationship to His bride, the Church, through their marriage. By His grace, they attempt to mirror the Father as they train five precious blessings to fear the Lord and walk in His ways. They chose to home educate so that they will have more time for this training. Elizabeth loves to grow in the knowledge of my Savior and seeks to read books that will help her to that end. Her goal is to apply the things that she is learning by the strength that God supplies. You can find her blogging at The Hankins Family.


They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10

Browse through the series here






You are most welcomed to read a complementary series on The Names of God. Part one here
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.
Part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.

Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -Jesus, The Word by Rebecca Stark-

 22.12.11

The Word

At the beginning of his gospel, in some of Scripture’s more mysterious words, John writes, referring to Jesus, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). I remember, as a child, puzzling over how it was that Jesus could be called the Word. The Bible as God’s Word I understood, because the Bible is God talking to us, telling us what he wants us to know. But Jesus is a person, not a book, I thought. How can he be God’s word? Yes, it was childish thinking, but even now, I’m not sure I know all of what John meant when he used that name for the eternal Son. Why does John call him the Word?

The Greek word that’s translated Word means “message,” so at the very least, John is telling us that Jesus is God’s message. Jesus is God’s message because he spoke the truth of God, and he also (or even primarily) revealed the truth of God in what he did and who he was.

Later on in the same chapter, John tells us, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:18). That’s Jesus he’s writing about—Jesus, the Word. As he walked and talked and loved and died, Jesus was showing us the truth of who God is. Do you want to know of God’s grace and love? Look at Jesus. Do you want to understand his holiness? Jesus reveals that perfectly, too.

What’s more, John uses the title Word for the Son in a chapter bursting with Old Testament allusions (Check John 1 with a cross-reference Bible to see what I mean.), so it would be a mistake not investigate what the word of God represented there, because John undoubtedly has that in mind, too. In the Psalms we read that it was “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Psalm 33:6), so God’s creative power was called his word. God’s word sustained the world, too (Psalm 147:15-18), and delivered his people (Psalm 107:20). God’s word was the power by which he accomplished his purposes (Isaiah 55:10-11). In the scriptures John had, the term word is used to refer to God’s power and will and mind and presence in creation, providence and salvation. You see where this is going, right? Jesus is the one through whom God accomplishes his before-the-foundation-of-the-world purpose and is his ultimate power of salvation. What God’s word is and what it does in Old Testament revelation was embodied in Jesus Christ.

When we put it all together, we get a picture of Jesus as the embodiment everything that God is: all his communicable attributes—the characteristics of God that we can hope to copy; and all his incommunicable attributes—the characteristics of God that belong to God alone, the ones that were veiled when God’s Son lived among us. In a kind of twist that belongs only in the best and truest story, it’s by the veiling of these attributes of “godness” that the God no one can see becomes visible to us. Jesus is the self-expression of God—God’s own message of himself to us—because everything God is, Jesus is, and we can see and know him. The eternal Word became a human being and lived with us, revealing the unseen God to us, because “the Word was God.”

And as the incarnate Word, Jesus brought us a message about ourselves, too. When he kept God’s law perfectly, he taught us what we ought to be. “His life and teaching,” writes J. I. Packer, “set holiness before us in a way that both instructs and condemns us.” The gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and death reveal the whole truth of our sin by showing, first, how far we fall short of the perfect standard kept by the human Jesus; and on top of that, showing what it cost to make right what our sin made wrong.

The writer of Hebrews says that in Old Testament times, God spoke to his people by means of his prophets, “but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1). Prophets spoke and wrote God’s words, communicating God’s message in the Old Testament scriptures; but the full and final revelation of God is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is God’s ultimate message; Jesus is the Word.

********************

About the author: A Canadian woman, a widow with four grown children and passionate about studying God's Word. Her favorite Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”. She likes knowing that the same power that brought the whole of creation out of nothing by command is the power that shone in her heart bringing new creation there. And she likes pondering the beautiful and mysterious phrase “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Find her blogging at Rebecca Writes.



They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18: 10






You are most welcomed to read a complementary series on The Names of God.
Part one, The Name of God is found here
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.
Part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.

Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -Son of Man, by Melissa Jackson-

 21.12.11

Wrapped in flesh that disguised His majesty, He looked like an ordinary son of an ordinary man. And yet He was the Son of God, stepped down from His throne to become the Son of Man


…taking His place in a cattle stall. How could swaddling cloths contain His glory?

…healing the sick and forgiving the sinners. How could they look into His eyes and not be changed?

…teaching even the most-learned men about His Father’s Kingdom. How could they not marvel at the very sound of His voice?

…raised up, not in adoration but on an ugly cross. How could we esteem Him not?

The Son of God became the Son of Man so that we might become children of God.

***************



From John Piper:


[Jesus] calls himself Son of Man very often. [Note: more than 80 times; it is His favorite self-designation.]

I think the reason he did so is because, on the face of it, Son of Man is an ordinary phrase for "human being." He was born of a man. And there's no offense there: who isn't a son of man? But those with ears to hear could hear Daniel 7, in which he was claiming a very exalted role in the history of redemption. And he meant to do it.

Jesus was very subtle in that he was always opening his identity to those with eyes to see, but he wasn't opening it so blatantly that everybody would come and make him king. He had to steer a very narrow course in disclosing his identity, not just openly saying, "I'm the Messiah, I'm the King of the World. Come and acknowledge me as King." He didn't talk like that.

He was quiet. He was subtle. And he would make claims that were explicit in certain settings and implicit in others. And only when the time was right—mainly when he was on trial for his life, and they said, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the living God?"—did he say, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man coming with great power and glory." So he confessed his open deity right at the point where he knew he would be crucified for it.

"Son of Man" has the double meaning of human being and, according to Daniel 7, exalted heavenly one. And Jesus means to communicate both of those.


*******************


Daniel saw Him:

"I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

(Daniel 7:13-14, ESV)

So did John:

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:12 – 18, ESV)

And, praise God, so shall we:

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30 – 31, ESV)

******************

About the author: Melissa is a blasphemer forgiven and a woman loved. She lives in Virginia with her husband and teenage daughter. She enjoys cooking, reading, and ministering to young ladies. She blogs at Breath of Life.



They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18: 10



Browse through the series here.



You are most welcome to read a complementary series on The Names of God. 

Part one, The Name of God is found here;
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.

And part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.

Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -Mighty God by Octavius Winslow- and a giveaway-

 20.12.11

©Annie Pliego Photography

"His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6


From Octavius Winslow's, "Christ, the Mighty God"

Because Jesus is the Almighty God, His
people have an Almighty Burden Bearer.

We are a burdened people.

Every believer carries a burden peculiar to himself.

What is your burden, O believer?
Is it indwelling sin?
Is it some natural infirmity of the flesh?
Is it a constitutional weakness?
Is it some domestic trial?
Is it a personal or relative trial?
Is it the loss of property?
Is it the decay of health?
Is it soul anxiety?
Is it mental despondency?

Come, oppressed and burdened believer,
ready to give up all and sink! Behold Jesus,
the Almighty God, omnipotent to transfer
your burden to Himself, and give you rest!

It is well that you are sensible of the pressure,
that you feel your weakness and insufficiency,
and that you are brought to the end of all your
own power.

Now turn to your Almighty Friend, who is
the Creator of the ends of the earth, even
the everlasting God, who does not faint,
neither is weary.

How precious is the promise addressed to you!
"He gives power to those who are tired and worn
out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths
will become exhausted, and young men will give up.
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.
They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run
and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."

Oh, what strength there is in Jesus for the
weak, and faint, and drooping of His flock!

You are ready to succumb to your foes,
and you think the battle of faith is lost.

Cheer up! Jesus, your Savior, friend, and brother,
is "the Almighty God," and will perfect His strength
in your weakness. The battle is not yours but His!

Jesus sustains our infirmities, bears our
burdens, supplies our needs, and encircles
us with the shield of His Almightiness!

What a Divine spring of consolation and strength
to the tired and afflicted saint is the Almightiness
of Jesus. Your sorrow is too deep, your affliction
too heavy, your difficulty too great for any human
to resolve. It distances in its intensity and magnitude
the sympathy and the power of man.

Come, you tossed with tempest and not comforted;
come, you whose spirit is wounded, whose heart is
broken, whose mind is bowed down to the dust, and
hide for a little while within Christ's sheltering
Almightiness!

Jesus is equal to your condition.

His strength is almighty!
His love is almighty!
His grace is almighty!
His sympathy is almighty!
His arm is almighty!
His resources are infinite, fathomless, measureless!

And all this Almightiness is on your side, and will
bring you through the fire and through the water.

Almighty to rescue, He is also your Brother and Friend
to sympathize. And while His Divine arm encircles,
upholds, and keeps you; His human soul, touched
with the feeling of your infirmities, yearns over
you with all the deep intensity of its compassionate
tenderness.

The secret of our great strength is not in the orthodoxy of articles,
nor in denominational organization,
nor in prelatical interference,
nor in ecclesiastical courts, nor in human legislation,
nor in the learning,
or gifts, or piety of Christ's ministers-
these are alone but ropes of sand
with which to bind the great leviathan of the day.
The secret of our strength is- the power of Christ, 
the Almighty God. 
Oh, let us take hold of this power in prayer and faith,
and we may gaze upon the ark tossed amid the broken waves
without a solitary fear.

We want stronger faith in,
and more incessant dealing with,
the almighty power of Jesus.

All your real power is in Christ.
In His strength you can do great things for God,
and suffer great things for Jesus.
Bring your strong corruptions to His grace,
and your little strength to His omnipotence,
and your very weakness shall turn to your account
by drawing you into a closer alliance with the Lord
in whom you have righteousness and strength.
Thus you will be taught to understand the apostle's sacred paradox-
"When I am weak, then am I strong."


Come, you of fearful heart, of sorrowful spirit, 
burdened and wounded, 
and hide beneath the outspread wing of this Almighty Savior
His Omnipotence is engaged to uphold you through the wilderness, 
to guide you with its counsel, 
and afterwards to receive you to glory. 
Consecrate your noblest powers to Him 
who spreads the shield of His omnipotent power around you. 

Battle with sin, mortify the flesh, resist Satan, 
overcome the world, fight the good fight of faith, 
and before long you will wear the victor's crown, 
wave his palm, and chant his song forever! 
"And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, 
and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy. 
All glory to him, who alone is God our Savior, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Yes, glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to him, 
in the beginning, now, and forevermore. Amen." 

"Though here the storms of sorrow roar,
And raise in cares a troubled sea;
Yet when I land on yonder shore,
There shall he calm enough for me.
Why then for tempests need I care,
Since they but drive me sooner there."

*****************

This is the time of the year when we set a time apart to ponder on the greatest miracle, the Incarnation of the Lord; The Mighty God in a manger. Let us dare to go beyond the carols, the lights, the candles, let us go to the Word of God and see Him fully. Let us study the Word of God, my dear friends, if we want to find Him we shall only find Him there. If we want to really know the Mighty God, let us go to the Scriptures, He is there.

Today I am happy to share with you the last giveaway of the year in this place. I want to give you a book that will help you study about the Deity of Jesus; a book that will take you through the Scriptures so that you may see Him as Mighty God. I have read this book twice and I really recommend it to you. The book is: Putting Jesus in His Place; The Case for Deity of Christ by Robert M. Bowman Jr. & J. Ed Komoszewski. If you are interested in entering this giveaway, just leave a comment here. The providential winner will be announced on December 24th. (I would love it if you help me share the goodness among your friends).



Monergism Books



Under His sun and by His grace,


post signature

They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18: 10






You are most welcomed to read a complementary series on The Names of God.
Part one, The Name of God is found here
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.
Part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.


********************

Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -Jesus, Our High Priest by Persis Lorenti-

 19.12.11



Jesus, our Great High Priest

(This was a difficult post to write. How do you summarize Jesus' office as high priest when scripture speaks so clearly on the subject? How do you encapsulate something which encompasses so many aspects of His ministry? It was tempting to write “Read Hebrews. The end.” However, I hope you will be encouraged by these few words and that our hearts will be drawn to worship our Great High Priest.)

Like the priestly system instituted by the law, Jesus was the chosen representative of His people before God. To represent man, He took on the likeness of sinful flesh.

Earthly priests were required to make sacrifice for their own sins for they were fallen men. But unlike His predecessors, Jesus need not make atonement for His own sins for He had none.

Animals were slain day after day, year after year, but the sacrifice Jesus offered was not the blood of a blemish-free animal. He offered up Himself.

Only on one day of the year could the high priest enter the holy of holies. He would then withdraw from God's presence, and the veil would fall, continuing to separate man from God. Our Great High Priest entered once for all, presented the Sacrifice that would end all sacrifices forever, and the veil was torn in two from top to bottom.

All the priests of old would eventually die. Jesus lives forever making intercession for us.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-24

“How deeply thankful should every Christian be for such a priest. The eternal Word became flesh. The Lord of glory stooped to become man. As the God-man, He mediates between the ineffably holy God and sinful creatures. The Saviour is none other than Immanuel (Matt. 1: 21, 23). In His humanity, He suffered, bled and died. But in His Divine-human person, He Himself quickened that humanity (John 2:19, 10:18). We profess not to understand the mystery, but by grace, we believe what the Scriptures record concerning Him. The “Life” that was given to Christ as the Mediator (unlike that of His humanity) was an indestructible one. Therefore, He is “a Priest forever”, and therefore, “He ever liveth to make intercession” (Heb. 7:25). Hallelujah!”



About the author: Persis is a sinner saved by the grace of God. She's also a homeschooling mom and bit of a reformed nerd who lives in Virginia with her daughter, books, and bunnies. You can find her at Tried by Fire where she writes about theology, books, and life with snippets of humor added to the mix.


Romans 8:3
Hebrews 7:26-28
Hebrews 9:11-14
Hebrews 10:11-14, Luke 23:44-49
Hebrews 7:23-25
An Exposition of Hebrews, A.W. Pink, Baker Book House, pg. 389.




They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18: 10



Browse through the series here.



You are most welcome to read a complementary series on The Names of God. 
Part one, The Name of God is found here;
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.

And part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.



Read more...

Jesus, Your Name -A Hymn to Celebrate the Excellencies of His Name.

 18.12.11

©Annie Pliego Photography

"Jesus, Your Name"
Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Ian Hannah
Copyright © 2004 Thankyou Music

Jesus, Your name, Prince of Peace;
Quiets my soul, treasures the least.
In perfect rest You will keep
All whose hope is in You.
Jesus, Your name can silence the storms;
The strivings that trouble our world.
Jesus, Your name reveals you as Lord: Oh powerful name!

Jesus, Your name, Counselor;
Wonderful Way, Life's Comforter.
Spirit of Truth defending me,
Though in me was the blame.
Jesus, Your name has stood in my place
And freed me from hopeless shame;
Jesus, Your name now fathers me; With joy I bear His name.

Jesus, Your name, Mighty God;
All Pow'rful One, ruling in love.
There is a King upon the throne
Earth cannot overthrow.
Jesus, Your name, great banner of hope;
Steadies the knees of the weak.
Jesus, the name all nations will praise; Oh glorious name!

Keith & Kristyn Getty & Ian Hannah
Copyright © Thankyou Music 2004


Getty Music

















They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18: 10



Browse through the series here.



You are most welcome to read a complementary series on The Names of God. 
Part one, The Name of God is found here;
Part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.

And part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ is here.






 
 **************


Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -Savior by C.H. Spurgeon-

 17.12.11

Source Art for Christ



The following is from Spurgeon's, Christ's Incarnation, the Foundation of Christianity.

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." Galatians 1:3-5

That is a wonderful text in Galatians 1:4,
did you ever meditate upon it?
"Who gave Himself for our SINS..."

Jesus never gave Himself for our RIGHTEOUSNESS,
but He did give Himself for our SINS!

Sin is a horrible evil, a deadly poison, yet
it is this which gives Jesus His title of Savior
when He overcomes it. What a wonder this is!

The first link between my soul and Christ is-
not my goodness, but my badness;
not my merit, but my misery;
not my standing, but my falling;
not my riches, but my need.
He comes to visit His people, yet not to admire
their beauties, but to remove their deformities;
not to reward their virtues, but to forgive their sins.

Fully, Entirely and Perfectly!
The following is from Spurgeon's book, "Christ's
Incarnation, the Foundation of Christianity"

"You Shall Call His Name Jesus: For He WILL SAVE
His People From Their Sins." Matthew 1:21

JESUS is nothing at all if He is not a SAVIOR.
He is anointed to this very end. His very Name is a
sham if He does not SAVE His people from their sins.

This Jesus of Nazareth, the King of kings, and Lord of
Lords, is the one and only Savior. 
 He, and none but He, shall save His people. 
He, and not another, shall save
them by His own act and deed. 
Singly and unaided, 
He shall save His people. 
Personally, and not by another,
in His own Name, 
and on His own behalf, 
He shall, by Himself, 
purge away His people's sins.

He shall do ALL the work, and leave none of it undone;
He shall begin it, carry it on, and complete it; and
therefore is His Name called Jesus, Savior, because He
Shall Fully, Entirely, and Perfectly, Save His People
from Their Sins!

Jesus Christ has come to seek and to save those who were
lost. If He does not save, He was born in vain, for the object
of His birth was the salvation of sinners. If He shall not
be a Savior, then His mission in coming to this earth has
missed its end, for its design was that lost sinners might
be saved.

Lost one, lost one, if there were news that 'an angel' had
come to save you, there might be some good cheer in it;
but there are better tidings still. God Himself has come!
The Infinite, the Almighty, has stooped from the highest
heaven that He may pick you up, a poor undone and
worthless worm!

************


They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
   the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -The Light of the World part II by Teresa Cassle-

 16.12.11



“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life!” John 8:12

I spent the greater part of the past week researching, reading and studying to write this. I had snippets of brilliant insights from the great minds of Christendom past, glorious words from commentaries and the few lines I penned myself all ready to go. I sat down today after a long frustrating day at work and realized I was going to delete all of that and just start over. I never seem to honor God in my own vain efforts, but I always find some sort of inspiration when it seems like I have nothing much to say.

I came across the words to one of my favorite Christmas songs and I think it sums up so simply what my heart wanted to say. No lengthy brilliance about why Jesus spoke about himself as “the Light of the World” in the Court of the women not long after the feast of Tabernacles, no deep digging into the Greek. Just simple words beautifully written by Phillips Brooks, the rector of Boston’s famous Trinity Church. A writer of books and poetry. His prose says so much to me.

O little town of Bethlehem,

How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light–
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

Bethlehem. A quiet little town, nothing much going on there before now. A dreamless sleep, dark streets. Much like the streets of my town right now. People frustrated and hopeless in more ways then they realize. Sinners even. The stars are silent in this sad town. What a place for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to be born! But He was…for average, everyday people like you and me friend. In that little dark stable, the hope of the world, the “Light of the World” came to illuminate those dark streets and give eternal hope to those dark lives. That hope still lives on.

For Christ is born of Mary–
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond’ring love.

Almost everybody was asleep we suppose, except the shepherds. They were the ones who were awake in the fields watching their flocks. And so it was to them that the angels came. But while the rest of mortals were sleeping, the angels kept their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God our King,
And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv’n
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming,
But, in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in.

“Meek Souls” Not weak ones, humble ones. I know this is not deep theology, but the message that Jesus came without pomp or fanfare, to quiet streets and lowly shepherds is such a comfort to my soul…it humbles me and gives me peace. I want to share that peace and comfort of everlasting life, the light that shines on sins and breaks hearts but gives hope everlasting.

James Smith speaks with such clarity of that simple message of “Good news” and the light of truth found only in Jesus Christ.

“Do you enjoy the light — then point others to it. Tell poor dark miserable sinners of it; invite them to look to it, urge them to come to Jesus for it; and be sure to let the light you receive from Jesus, so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Lost sinner, Jesus is the light of the world, if therefore you want knowledge, comfort, holiness, or salvation — come to him, look to him, ask of him, expect from him, and believe his word, “If any man,” no matter who he is, or what he is — “if any man follows me, he shall not walk in darkness — but shall have the light of life.”

This Christmas I want to communicate the simple truth of eternal hope, peace and redemption found only my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that in someway this post humbly points the way to the light found only in Jesus and brings honor and glory to Him.


About the author: Teresa Cassle lives in West Virginia and enjoys hiking, nature photography, traveling and serving the Lord at her local Church. Teresa blogs at "Music from Broken Chords", and just as a side note,  today is her birthday! I love you, dear friend!


They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10



Browse through the series here






You are most welcomed to read a complementary series on The Names of God. Part one here, and part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here. Part three, The Fullness of the Name of Jesus Christ here.


Read more...

Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name -The Light of the World by Christina Lum-

 15.12.11


“The Light of the World”

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us
abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace
we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:4-7

Of all the celebrations, the most wonderful beyond words is to celebrate the incarnation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - “The Light of the World.” This vivid name is one of many beautiful names regarding Christ. We all know that this metaphor is referring to Jesus, but what was He really saying when He called Himself that? There are multiple different reasons behind this name. “The Light of the World” signifies a symbol, Christ’s Deity and the promised Savior. (John 8:12)

The Light of the World first emphasizes a symbol of light. The Word of God tells us that this “light” is one of the things God is said to be. I John 1:5 states, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (ESV). This phrase relates to His character. Light is the emblem of His holiness and righteousness!¹ Whereas darkness refers to error or falsehood and most of all sin, which is not able to overcome or overpower light. There is no evil or darkness in our blessed hope, Christ. We, as Christians, can be comforted in knowing that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7, ESV). Wow, that is certainly something to celebrate! What grace and mercy it is for us to have been shown the Light! For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11). Not only is Christ the Light, but if we are in Him, we participate with Him in His life and message of the Gospel (John 14:20; 12:36).

"In Him was life, and the Life was the light of men." John 1:4
"As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." John 9:5


     ****


Also, when Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world” he was expressing His Deity. The “I am” directs us to just that - His deity. “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ ” (Exodus 3:14) He is the self-existent One. No one created Him; He always was, always is and always will Be. Therefore, Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. Only someone who is God can be the Light of the World. Christ is also the light of the next world too (Rev. 21:23). And, what a glorious appearing that will be!

Because man had fallen into a sinful state in the garden and became spiritually blind, God promised to send a redeemer as the perfect sacrifice, one without spot or blemish. God, in His mercy and love, provided Himself in the flesh as that perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is God manifested in the flesh, who is our One and only source for forgiveness of sins and spiritual security.

"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

    ****

Here in the flesh is the incarnate God of Divine and human natures, who was the long awaited fulfillment of the promised Messiah of the Old Testament – Jesus (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6). How thrilling it is for us to be on this side of the Cross where we are can look back at the promised Savior and to Him now as the resurrected Savior.

"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,
God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin…" Romans 8:3
"The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ).
“When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”John 4:25

All in all, the Light of the World signifies three things, a symbol, Christ’s deity and Savior. In our season of celebrating the greatest gift to man let us rejoice that The Light of the World stooped down from Heaven and sacrificed Himself for us. We once lived in darkness, but because Christ has shown us the light of Himself – the Truth, forgiveness of sins and the way of eternal life in Him - we no longer have to stumble around in the dark. We have been set free to honor, worship and glorify Him. We can take joy in His beautiful name as we celebrate this wonderful Advent season. To God be the glory forever and ever!

Love this prayer!

THE GREAT DISCOVERY
The Valley of Vision

GLORIOUS GOD,
I bless thee that I know thee. I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its Creator,
was partaker of they providences, but knew not the Provider,
was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me,
understood many things, but had no knowledge of thy ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only.
O happy day, when in thy love’s sovereignty thou didst look on me, and call me by grace.
Then did the dead heart begin to beat, the darkened eye glimmer with light, the dull ear catch thy echo,
and I turned to thee and found thee, a God ready to hear, willing to save.
Then did I find my heart at enmity to thee, vexing thy Spirit;
Then did I fall at thy feet and hear thee thunder, ‘The soul that sinneth, it must die’,
But when grace made me to know thee, and admire a God who hated sin,
thy terrible justice held my will submissive.
My thoughts were then as knives cutting my head.
Then didst thou come to me in silken robes of love, and I saw thy Son dying that I might live,
and in that death I found my all.
My soul doth sing at the remembrance of that peace;
The gospel cornet brought a sound unknown to me before that reached my heart – and I lived –
never to lose my hold on Christ or his hold on me.
Grant that I may always weep to the praise of mercy found, and tell to others as long as I live,
That thou art a sin-pardoning God, taking up the blasphemer and the ungodly,
and washing them from their deepest stain.

References
¹ Pink, AW. Exposition of the Gospel of John. Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, 1975. Print.
The New Geneva Study Bible. Sproul, R.C.: Nashville, 1995

*************

About the author: The Lord has blessed Christina Lum with a wonderful husband of 23 years and they have one son by God’s tender mercy. The family is of the Reformed faith and they reside in Las Vegas, NV. Christina enjoys studying the Word of God and Reformed Theology. She also continues to make use of her trade as a graphic artist at home.



They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.
Psalm 9: 10



Browse through the series here




You are most welcomed to read a complementary series on The Names of God. Part one here, and part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.










Read more...
Do you want to browse and ponder over older entries?

Click here to visit my former WordPress blog, On My Way to Heaven, there are 255 entries to read!

One day, hopefully, I will import it here!

You can subscribe to receive the almost-daily entries in your favorite reader, or you can become a sojourner; join me on this journey at the right bottom of the page, where it says "sojourners". I would love to "see" your face there.



Thank you for visiting!


I am a contributor here...

Who is Becky?

My Photo
Becky
If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
View my complete profile

Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



May I kindly ask, if you wish to use any image or text from this space to email me to get written permission? These are our family pics. Our journal in pixels and few words.
Thank you.

-All photos and words on this website are protected by copyright. Do not download for use in anyway without consent. -

My email is

dailyonmywaytoheaven {at} yahoo {dot} com

Recent Posts

Copyright

All rights reserved©Becky Pliego 2009- 2010. All images and texts are property of the author unless otherwise mentioned.

Back to TOP