Posts tagged ‘Faith and Religion’

This Is Who Jesus Christ Is to Me – An Easter Reflection for All Year

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What is it like to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? 

I’m not talking about merely knowing a lot facts about Jesus.

The point of this article is WHO Jesus is to Me, not merely what.

The HOW of Jesus is the Gospel story, but the WHO is the untold reward.

Greater than the gift is the love that gave the gift, but the Giver is greater still.

You can know Jesus, and He abides IN the hearts of all who put their trust in Him.

I will fail to tell all that Jesus is.

But I will make an attempt to share ,as best I can, just who Jesus is to me.

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Jesus Christ is my best thought, my most cherished possession, He is God and man, Savior and Creator, and to know Him more is my greatest ambition.

Oh the height, depth, and breadth of all that Jesus is!

He is the only way , the only truth, the meaning and purpose of life, and the only hope for eternity.

He is the author of the language of the information of life we call DNA, and the undesigned-Designer, eternal and ever-existing, who orchestrated the fine-tuned Big Bang so that our universe could sustain life.

He is the wonder in nature and science, each reflecting His infinite beauty, order, and intelligibility.

His courage to face a grievous death and torture was driven by a boundless love for everyone.
He endured rejection so we could be accepted.

He has borne our shame and by His stripes we are healed.

He died so we could live.

He defeated death for us and rose from the grave victorious.

He hears our most distant thoughts and our most earnest prayers.

He longs for us to know and love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength and all that is in us.

Christ’s love is stronger than sin and death, and mightier than any bonds known to ensnare the hearts and minds of mankind.

Only Christ’s Spirit and love can evoke love so strong in the hearts of sinners that it burns away all other passions.

Jesus is hope when all else is hopeless.  He is love when all around us is hate.  He is the reason to live when faith in all else is gone.

Nothing can drive Him away from any who truly trust Him.
He will never leave us or forsake us.

No desire, temptation, or affection can compare to knowing Christ; and anyone who truly knows Him would never choose to leave His presence – for nothing else compares to knowing Jesus Christ who is God and who is Love.

Though I walk through the Valley Of The Shadow Of Death I will fear no evil, for He is with me.

He so loved us that He came down from His glorious throne and became one of us.
He left majesty to live in humility.

 He humbly worked as one of us with the same hands that formed the universe,

all to save us, even before we knew Him.

He is all powerful, yet for the joy before Him, He endured death on a cross for those who loved Him and those who hated Him.

After three days He opened the tomb they laid Him in and rose from death.
Even now He opens His arms to beckon to all who labor and are heavy laden to give us life and rest.

My heart is bound and accountable to Christ’s heart who gave His blood to cleanse my soul of sin.

Duty as motivation is not worthy of comparison to the intimate resolve to love Christ.
Christ’s love, when realized, goes beyond motivation, discipline, and dedication.

Christ’s love is limitless and the one who knows such love is confident in trials and courageous in tribulation.

The human mind may seek in vain to grasp the full scope of God’s love, but we should continually endeavor to do so.

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and everything in between.

His promises are sure and are anchored in His great love, which He publicly demonstrated on the cross for you and me.

And, believe me, when I say this; words can’t even begin to express to others this inexpressible love Christ is in the hearts of those who know Him.

Jesus is the Most Sacred Flame, the Light of the World, inextinguishable and inexhaustible, burning in the hearts of all who trust Him as Savior.

The totality of who Jesus is to all who know Him cannot be fully expressed because He transcends measure, time, and space.

He alone is worthy of our eternal praise.

 

Jesus Christ – His Divine Union of Contrasts – King of Kings – Yet He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Look no further than the Gospels of Jesus Christ in the Bible for proof of His existence. Mankind could not have conceived the embodiment of such extremes in the leader of a man made religion.
Only Christianity has a founder who embodies the full spectrum of what it means to be human and does so in Holy perfection.

James Stewart said it well.

“He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God.

 

He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms.

 

His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

 

No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin.

 

A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell.

 

He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten.

 

He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.

 

He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.”

 

– James Stewart, Scottish theologian

 

They Gave Christ a Cross, Not Guessing that He Would Make it a Throne

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

“He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

~James Stewart~

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“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’ 

The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub-serve his end, not theirs.

They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet.

They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne.

They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in.

They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.

They thought they had defeated God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down.

He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

James Stewart (1896–1990) was a minister of the Church of Scotland

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” And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,

He has made alive together with Him,

having forgiven you all trespasses,

having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us,

which was contrary to us.

And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 Having disarmed principalities and powers,

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

(Colossians 2:13-15)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)

Life, Creation and Wisdom – We See So Little of All That Really Is

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Men look up into the sky at night and marvel in wonder at the sheer number of stars and the vastness of the universe.

Yet with our most sophisticated telescopes today we can see that far more is actually there  than the unaided eye can see.

The voids of blackness begin to fill in with the light of discoveries previously unknown.

You may then realize that in a similar way that you can never know it all.

But rest assured you CAN know the one who does know it all, and He calls each of the heavenly host by name.

He is God, and has also promised;

as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

(I Corinthians 2:9)

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;

blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

(John 20:29)

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions

jesusandalostlamb

We are saved by Grace. We know this as God’s unconditional  and unmerited love.

Some very wise people question, “How can God’s love be unconditional if I will be sent to Hell for all eternity if I reject Christ as my Savior.”

The answer is found in the realization of understanding the difference between God’s unconditional love to us,

(God so loved the World)

Christ’s having satisfied those conditions for us,

(That He gave His only  Son)

and our having met the only condition for the restoration of a relationship with God.

(that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God personally settled the condition for us to be restored to a relationship to Him.

He took responsibility for our debt on Himself.

All He asks is that we freely receive His offer.

He will also allow us to reject Him, 

But we must then accept responsibility for that decision

ourselves.

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The following link is to a half hour audio by Ravi Zacharias on this subject.

I gave it my own title because Ravi actually covers a lot of theological ground on most occasions, and covered this subject well here.

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions.

“WHAT ANSWER FOR THE WICKED HUMAN HEART, PART 1 OF 2”

In this audio,Ravi Zacharias reveals how he is often invited to speak with some of the world’s richest and most influential people.

On one occasion, Ravi was invited to go on a private yacht owned by a very wealthy man who had recently come to Christ through attending a Ravi Zacharias event.

 Before the speaking event,this man told Ravi that he only came to fulfill a promise to his own wife that he would be there.

Ravi then told the man that having fulfilled his promise to be there, he could leave at any time while he is speaking if he chooses, and that would be okay.

Instead, the man accepted Christ as his Savior at the event.

This man then invited many of his own friends, and Ravi, to a private yacht cruise along the coast of Sicily.(perhaps in hope they would find new life in Christ as well).

This audio tells of a man on that cruise who also became a Christian when he finally understood true love and relationships all have conditions for them to exist.

Yacht

Yacht (Photo credit: WaterpoloSam)

The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Belief in the Bible – The Biggest Threat to Any People

A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a bible-reading people. The principles of the bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” 
― Horace Greeley

“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”

(The Apostle Paul – Galatians 4:16)

The vast majority of modern Americans believe everything is relative and there are no absolutes.

Deconstructionism of truth, and the growing sceptisism regarding the authority ,accuracy and relevance of the Bible as the source of all truth, is creating a generation of people who feel lost and alone.

In this environment, anyone who has absolute faith and belief in a given truth, and states it as such, will likely be considered rude, pushy ,over bearing ,and judgemental.

The inevitable degradation of society will follow any people who abandon truth.

Without truth as a basis for what can be known, we cannot hope to solve the problems we face because we cannot build upon what is known since we deny that anything can be known!

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

(John 17:17)

The source of truth is the Bible. The living , breathing Word of God is Jesus Christ.

“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 nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

(John 1:1-5)

 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.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 1:14,15)

May the light of truth of Jesus Christ the Savior, shine in our hearts and minds.

Related articles

The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Unity – The Reason Society Can No Longer Reason

 

Brumidi, Constantino - Apotheosis of Washingto...

Brumidi, Constantino – Apotheosis of Washington, detail E Pluribus Unum – 1865 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them:

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

(Matthew 12:25)

 

E pluribus unum

E Pluribus Unum, (Out of  Many ,One), is part of the history that made us a great nation and that made the world a better place for many.

We need an anthem of basic truths that inspires us to live in unity again.

These basic truths once formed a general basis for consensus,unity, and resolve for improving our society.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong, truth and error, everything will be a blend of gray without clear meaning.

~Reasoning is based on what is known, such as truth and facts~

To solve problems, reach solutions, make a diagnosis,theory, hypothesis, create, and improve anything, we need known truths to build upon.

(Educated guesses if you will, things we can say we are confident we know).

And the more sure we are, the bolder we will be in our attempts to make solutions to problems.

And the more of us who agree on basic truths, the more frequent and soon we will come to consensus on issues that demand our solution.

But without basic fundamental truths to unite us, we will remain divided, and will fall.

Without a basic assumption that anything can be known, we cannot hope to begin to reason solutions to our problems

by building educated guesses upon known fact and truth

because we deny that truth even exists!

 (such as presuppositions, ideological underpinnings, hierarchical values, and frames of reference)

Truth activates belief, and belief attempts things that doubt ignores.

This is the heart of realizing new realities and achievement.

Related terms are postmodernism, existentialism, and deconstructionism, but what all of these terms have in common is the abandonment of surety in truth.

Without the ability to say with can be confident of anything, we will likely lack the confidence to do or achieve anything.

This is also true in our attempts to create art or theater, be it novel or feature-length movie.

Is it any wonder that good theater seems more miss than hit?

Is it any wonder that the great art, theater and literature is in the past, or is based upon older literature or re-made movies ?

Is it any wonder that the overall approval ratings of government and officials is at an all time low?

Is it any wonder that the greater portion of change our politicians bring is for the worse?

Is it any wonder that political parties almost always make decisions down party lines ?

Is it any wonder that scientific and political debate quickly degrades into personal attacks?

Is it any wonder that thoughtless and absurd political dealings threaten the fabric and integrity of our American government ?

(These men and women are supposed to represent our finest leaders and patriots).

Is it any wonder that ,”we the people”, are often called,” we the sheeple”?

(If we deny the ability to absolutely believe anything we will likely fall for anything).

Is it any wonder that the best days of American ingenuity seem to be behind us?

Yet,we can rediscover truth as a nation and a people.

We can build the basic absolute truths that serve as a basis for consensus.

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)

Jesus is the truth.

If we reject Jesus, we reject the truth, we lose the way, and we forfeit life as a people, and a nation.

If we know Him we know truth.

Jesus is the way. If we know Him we know the way.

Jesus is life. If we know Him we know life.

This is where you can start.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Yes. It is that simple. Jesus did all the heavy lifting on the cross).

Just believe and receive Him and His love gift of life that He bought with His blood for you.

Pray ,and He will hear you.

Write me, and I will rejoice with you.

And I pray  that we all can one day soon, rejoice in unity as a nation.

Out of many, one.

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