Monday, July 23, 2012

The Return

JESUS.  His name alone is power, grace, freedom, redemption, hope, truth, life, wisdom, strength, peace, righteous, and holy. I need to meditate on Jesus and the basic truths of His majesty and might and His Name which the Bible says is above every name. I need to return the focus of my heart to the Lord Jesus.
Here are some verses that I found in my Study Bible's concordance about the Lord's name.
Proverbs 18:10--"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe."
Isaiah 42:8--"I am the LORD, that is my name;..."
Joel 2:32--"And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved." 
Malachi 1:11--"For from the rising of the sun to it's setting my name will be great among the nations..." 
John 20:31--"but these are written 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."
Acts 4:12--"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 
Philippians 2:9--"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name," 
JESUS. The person---our God in the flesh. The Bible says He is our Prince of Peace, our High Priest, our Emmanuel--God With Us.
This weekend, I need to return the focus of my mind to the knowledge and understanding of who my Lord Jesus IS as much as meditate on the power even just in His name.  I want to remember and profess to my heart today, that my LORD Jesus isn't weak in any way and will never be defeated or overcome because He holds the whole world in His hands. He is the Righteous One, our Redeemer and even my friend. He is so much more, but I will continue with my thoughts as best as I can.

The disciples of Jesus, the guys that walked with him, ate with him, found shelter with him, listened to him speak to masses of people throughout the lands of Israel, saw him transfigured into His glorious heavenly self on a mountain and saw him heal folks and raise people up from the dead....among these men, one--the apostle John wrote this:

1 John 1:1-10 ESV
 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—  the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—  that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

God's Word gives us what we need so that we know Christ and thus know the Heavenly Father.  We Christians, many times, think that being "saved" is all we need to be. But it is a life transformation when we are saved. And our new life causes each of us to want to know the One who gave us a new life.  We want to show gratitude by having a life of grateful hearts for His deliverance and devotion to knowing His Word. If we are truly rescued from darkness (as spoke about in the book of Colossians) and brought into marvelous light, we will be changed forever.  Christ in us forever. We must live showing we are changed.  To bring us to the center of this, we can start with JESUS....even His name is powerful enough to bring us back to center.  Thinking upon His name, saying His name in reverence and humility brings us back to center.....a life and mind focused on our Maker and His divine good news.

This evening...this weekend, I just wanted to see Jesus and know Him more deeply than the day before. I confess, I haven't sat still and done this in several days. It is much needed each day and I haven't done that recently. However, God is still here waiting for me to meet with Him.  He never walks away and gives up on me....or anyone for that matter.  I began reading in the Gospel of John. I encourage you to do something of the same in your own pursuit of Christ.

I am going to share with you the parts of the book of John (of just the first 3 chapters) that I read yesterday and today to reconnect me with my Savior and Lord.  I will copy the verses and parts of verses I journaled about this weekend; first using the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible and then, for another view of it, I will copy the same series of verses using The Message which is a paraphrase of the Holy Bible.  Be blessed as you read along with me the Good News.
Speaking of my Lord Jesus Christ...
John 1:10-14

"10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 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." -ESV

John 1:9-14 The Message
" 9-13The Life-Light was the real thing: 
      Every person entering Life
      he brings into Light.
   He was in the world,
      the world was there through him,
      and yet the world didn't even notice.
   He came to his own people,
      but they didn't want him.
   But whoever did want him,
      who believed he was who he claimed
      and would do what he said,
   He made to be their true selves,
      their child-of-God selves.
   These are the God-begotten,
      not blood-begotten,
      not flesh-begotten,
      not sex-begotten.
 14The Word became flesh and blood,
      and moved into the neighborhood.
   We saw the glory with our own eyes,
      the one-of-a-kind glory,
      like Father, like Son,
   Generous inside and out,
      true from start to finish."

John 1:29-31 ESV (speaking about John the Baptist's encounter with Christ)
"29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

John 1:29-31 The Message
"29-31The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, "Here he is, God's Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I've been talking about, 'the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.' I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God."

John 3:1-8 ESV
"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:1-8 The Message
"1-2 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it."
 3Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom."
4"How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"
 5-6Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the 'wind-hovering-over-the-water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it's not possible to enter God's kingdom. When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.
 7-8"So don't be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be 'born from above'—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."
My thoughts journaled this weekend:

Jesus came to us clothed in skin, His Majesty veiled for a short time, to teach us His Father's will---that we all come to know Him our Savior, our Messiah, our Life---our Bread of Life...our "necessity of life", our only Hope of redemption from the wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23).  Jesus came to show us He IS the way--the only way to redemption, to only way to eternal LIFE which is in the presence of our Creator and mighty God, the Heavenly Father.  He knew we needed Him to come in our human shell to show us the Way----to show us Himself.

I am forever grateful from the deepest part of my soul for His life here on earth some two thousand years ago. I am grateful for His light in our darkness to lead us to the Father as we are just sheep in great need of a shepherd and are completely lost without His guidance, protection and provision.
And I proclaim again:
Jesus is life.  Jesus is peace.  Jesus came, died in our place/paid for our sin-debt, rose from the grave, defeating the grip of death and sits victorious at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.
God's Word tells us Jesus is what we need. Jesus' name is what we should speak into our hearts, into our minds each day. He is our necessity.  His time here on earth was to show us the way to our necessity (my pastor spoke last week about this....Christ being our necessity of life).  And now, as a believer in Christ Jesus, His Spirit, His blessed Presence stays with me...and you who believe...even as He sits as King of kings on His throne in Heaven.  I am so grateful my Jesus not only made a way for me to have redemption and salvation from my sin, but He made a way for me and all believers to have His presence forever with us so that we do not walk through this life matter how many friends we have or do not have.  Jesus-the Victor is the best of friends, the best of companions, the best of champions, the best of leaders and the God of all gods.  I am His and He is mine. And Jesus is coming back to earth for His people. Are you ready?