Praise Jesus, He is who He is!

Who do you think Christ is? Paul wanted the Colossian Christians to know without a doubt that Christ is God. Current philosophies of Paul’s day claimed that he was not all God. Paul says and that in Him nothing was lacking, He is the all in all. Colossians 2:9-10 “For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. 10 And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power].” I like the Amplified text as it adds and explains to us what Paul was talking about specifically. Some were saying Jesus was not all of God and was not divine. Paul wanted to confront their heretical ideas and explain the truth about Christ- who He is.

We have philosophies today that want to discredit and deny the deity of Christ. What can we say to refute them? Paul’s claim is that Jesus, when here on earth, had the fullness of God within him. Hebrews 1:3 gives us a perfect description who Jesus is and what He accomplished, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Jesus often talked of who He was and the power He possessed to grant eternal life. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” He possessed the glory of God within himself, John 13:31-32 “Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.” Being God himself, Jesus was able to make those who believe in Him complete. They would have complete forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:38, ” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” They would have the Spirit of God dwelling within them, 2 Timothy 1:13-14 “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” They would be one with Christ, Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” and John 15:4-5 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Lastly, Paul wanted the believers to know that Jesus was and is ruler over all, He is sovereign God. I love the Philippians passage where Paul explains who Jesus is and was for all time, Philippians 2:6-11 “

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

May you catch a glimpse of Who Jesus is and was and what He has done for you. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am one with Him, totally forgiven and have His Holy Spirit dwelling with me. Praise God, Jesus is who He is!

Linda

Complete Joy can be Yours!

Joy is a byproduct of the indwelling Holy Spirit’s work within me. Scripturally I’ve see that this joy molds and shapes my soul bringing soulful joy. It is also eternal as it began its effects upon me when I accepted Jesus as Lord of my life and will continue to work within me for all eternity giving me a source of joy that is eternal. Today I want to focus on joy that comes from the Lord, knowing Jesus, walking with him daily and belonging to Him. This type of joy emanates from Christ alone. The effects of this joy is complete. It fills me and last when earthly joys fade.

Jesus spoke of knowing God the Father, abiding in His love and keeping His commandments. He promised that walking in His love and practicing His ways would provide me with this type of joy. John 15:9-11. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” The prescription for having complete joy is to be faithful and obedient to Jesus’ Word and to stay in His love.

The Apostle Paul experienced this type of joy when he and Barnabas were preaching the good news of Jesus to the crowd in Pisidan Antioch. They spoke the truth about God and His love for all of them in sending Jesus. The Jewish leaders were jealous of Paul and Barnabas’ popularity and heaped abuses upon them. They got others to join them in persecuting Paul and Barnabas and got them expelled from that region. Paul and Barnabas never stopped speaking boldly about Christ depending upon His love and truth to sustain them. Acts 13:49-52 “They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Even though things got very difficult and scary, the disciples sought to abide in Christ, trust in Him and left filled with His joy and completeness in doing God’s work.

How can you and I abide in His love and experience this fulfilling joy? Jesus’ prescription for this joy is to stay focused upon Him, engage in things that will bring glory to God, get to know Him better by studying scripture- staying in the Word, commune with Him in prayer, fellowship with other believers and worship Him in spirit and truth. Living and abiding in Him each day will bring complete joy. No matter what is happening in the world around you or even in your own life you can still experience this joy. Christ’s joy is compete and will fulfill you completely. Praise God for His provision of complete joy. Thank you Jesus!

Linda

I AM the God who is There

glory of GodDo you ever think about where God is?  In the Old Testament God came to dwell in the wilderness Tabernacle filling it with His Shekinah glory.   As they traveled in the wilderness God went with them guiding their way with a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.  When they had their camp set up, God dwelt in the tabernacle in their midst.  Exodus 40:34-35 “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lordfilled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”  It is a beautiful picture of God’s abiding presence and guidance.   Ezekiel had prophetic visions of the future and closes his book with the rebuilt temple and city of God in the future.  Ezekiel 48:35 “The circumference of the city shall be 7-jehovah-shammah18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There.,”  Jehovah-Shammah.     John’s prophetic vision of the City of God in Revelation 21:3 also speaks of God’s abiding presence there.  “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”

It is God’s intention to live with us.  He is Personal and desires a relationship with each and every believer.  In the past God dwelt in the tabernacle and temple, in the future, God will dwell with us as described in Ezekiel and Revelation,  but what about now?  Jesus speaks of the benefits of abiding in Him, living with Him.  We will be living free in His Word, John 8:31.  We will be bearing much fruit for God, John 15:4.  We will have the power to live for Him, John 15:5.  We will be connected to God and see answers to our prayers, John 15:7.  We will be surrounded by His love, John 15:9.  We will be able to honor God by keeping His commandments, John 15:10.   Jesus promised to send the comforter, counselor to guide us and abide with us after His death.  Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”   Acts  2 records the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and how God’s Spirit indwelt the believers giving them power to live for Him.  Peter preached to the crowd that day,  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Act 2:38.    Later in Acts Paul and Silas were in prison and the Lord shook the prison and opened the cells.  The jailer rushed in thinking they were gone and found them in their cell. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Acts 16:30-31  Just like the Philippian jailer we can experience that indwelling power of God’s Holy Spirit and have God abiding, living within us.  We can follow his example and believe in Jesus. When we abide in usdo,  God promises He will send His Holy Spirit to abide or live with us.  He will be with us to guide and comfort, strengthen and love us from the inside out.  God is There with us.

Abide in Him,

Linda

 

I am a branch on Christ’s vine.

john 15 5Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am a branch on Christ’s vine.   In John 15:1 Jesus referred to himself as the true vine and His Father as the gardener.  Then in John 15:5 He includes our place on the growing ‘tree’ of faith.  “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”   Jesus made these statements to His closest disciples and used analogies they were familiar with to be sure that they got the point.  In the Old Testament the nation Israel was often referred to as the vine so Jesus wanted them to know He was the true vine of Israel, the Messiah.  He also wanted them to know that if they disconnect from Him they would be powerless and their lives would be fruitless.  Connected to Him they would live very productive lives that would accomplish great things for God.

abidingThe same analogy is true for us today.  We need to stay connected to Jesus and many translations use the word abide.  1 John 4:13-16 speaks of major benefits of abiding in Jesus. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”   Being connected to Jesus, is a privileged position.  His Spirit lives within us testifying to us that He is with us.  God dwells within us and shows us His love so we can love others in His name.  That is why being connected to Him we will be able to bear good fruit in our lives and accomplish much for His Kingdom.  Jesus is the source of our power and by faith we are connected to Him.  

john 15 5 stayConnected to Jesus today,

Linda