Tag Archives: Jesus

How Do We Experience God’s Promises?

Floored. That’s how I feel.

I shouldn’t, because, you know:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV)

Do you ever feel like you’ve heard all of the Bible quotes? Or you’ve heard every sermon/translation/interpretation? Do you ever feel like your walk with God is stale?

READ THE BIBLE.

I swear I’m no scholar or power reader, but he knocks me on my socks when I open His word!!! (Thank you Lord!)

Yesterday, I read this, and it blew me away:

For the son of God, Jesus Christ, … was not Yes and No, but in him it was always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. (selections from 2 Corinthians 1:19-20, ESV)

I have read through the entire Bible once before, but I don’t remember reading this! I’ve been a Jesus follower for a long time, and I’ve been going to Bible-focused church for over 13 years.

If you don’t know how to daily experience God’s promises, you only need to look to Jesus. He is the fulfillment of them all. Every part of the Bible, even the Old Testament points to Him – they’re not distinct!

I’m sorry for all of the exclamation points, I just feel like yelling! Haha.

What passage has hit you like a ton of bricks lately? Is there a promise from God you don’t feel like you’ve experienced?

Is Good Friday Really Good?

It’s hard for me to think of this as “Good Friday.” Really? I’m supposed to think of the day that my Lord, the one and only 100% man/100% God, was tortured and killed as “good”?

Yes – because Good Friday (also called Holy Friday and Great Friday) is not just about Friday. It’s good because of the passion of Christ on Friday, followed by the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.

Soak in this today:

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. (Hebrews 1:3, NIV)

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—  and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:14-18, NIV)

“The radiance of God’s glory.” “The exact representation of his being.” Make no mistake about it, friends. Jesus is fully God.

“Fully human in every way.” Make no mistake about this, too. Jesus is fully man.

You see, when I picture it in my mind, Good Friday is about death. The death of Jesus. The passion of Jesus. But that’s a very limited and earthly view of Good Friday. As we see above, Good Friday is about “purification for sins”, “break[ing] the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil”, “free[ing] those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death”, and making “atonement for the sins of the people.”

We are, in our very essence, broken. Sinful. RebelliousSeparate from God.

And our deeds,  no matter how great, could never ever make up for our ruined hearts. That’s why Good Friday happened. Because the perfect lamb, the blameless God-Man was the only sacrifice worthy of acceptance by God.

Good Friday is because of me. And for me. And for you.

But it’s incomplete at Jesus’ death. After all, how powerful is a god who is dead? The resurrection shows us that our God conquers even death! That He reigns today!

We can only see Good Friday if we see Easter, the day we celebrate the resurrection of the God-Man, Jesus, who “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

The suffering, the passion, the death – the resurrection – all for me? It’s hard to concieve of love that deep! For it is only the kind of love that we can see from God Himself.

Praise you Lord – the RISEN KING!

By the way, if you struggle with believeing in the resurrection of Christ, The Resurgence posted a fantastic article on the validity of Christianity’s claim of a risen Jesus.

Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are having a joyous day celebrating what God did 2,000ish years ago by bringing His Son to earth for you. For you, sister. For you, brother. For me. Sinners all. His perfect Son is the perfect Redeemer yesterday, today, and forever.

Do you need to accept His grace today for the first time? Let me celebrate with you.

So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. For it is indeed fitting for us to have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need to do every day what those priests do, to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people, since he did this in offering himself once for all. For the law appoints as high priests men subject to weakness, but the word of solemn affirmation that came after the law appoints a son made perfect forever. (NETBible, Hebrews 7:25-28)

What If?

Brad and I call our little family “Team Pete”.

And Team Pete has dreams. Big. Fat. Hairy. Dreams. They’re wild. Beyond our imaginations. Beyond our money. Beyond our cultural boundaries. Beyond our faith. Beyond our temptations. Beyond our work ethics.

Beyond our power.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (NETBible, 1 Corinthians 1:18, emphasis mine)

What if I believed this?

Let me explain. I’m smart. Yeah, I said it. I’m no genius, but I have quick wits and hard work in me – and that can translate into a lot. Not only am I smart, I am decent at arguing (the debate kind, not the kind you were thinking of – but I’m good at that, too, rest assured).

Add this to a passion for the lost. What do you get? Someone who thinks, “If I just explain it right, they’ll get it!” Or, “I wonder if this evangelism tool is THE ONE.” You know, the one that will bring 50% of the people I use it on to Christ. [I have given up on evangelism “tools” because they work just as good as what I already do. Which isn’t saying much.]

As an immature believer, this dangerous combination yielded ugly results. I had the privilege of going to a ‘Women in Mathematics’ conference while I was in college. At dinner one night, somehow we started talking about God or Jesus (my big fat mouth probably brought it up). One of the women said something to the effect of, “But I don’t believe in Jesus.”

To which I put on my best I-am-obviously-smarter-than-you countenance and replied, “Believe WHAT about Jesus?” My words were snarly; my eyes were attacking; my heart was ugly.

Because obviously, if we would just define all of the parameters and look at the logic, we would get to Jesus, right?

I wish. Actually, no I don’t. I’d really muck it up. Obviously.

The above passage is bookended by verses that remind me that my smarts will do nothing to save souls.

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless. (verse 17)

For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” (verse 19)

And do you see that this is intentional? If intellect alone won souls to Christ, what in the world did Jesus have to be crucified for? What would the purpose of the Holy Spirit be? Why would we need God when we have ourselves?

It’s all. About. HIM. The Man. The GOD-Man. Jesus.

And Team Pete dreams that everyone we know and come in contact with will trust in the GOD-Man for their everything. For EVERYTHING. He is everything. Everything is for Him, from Him, to Him.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.

He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.

He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15–20, NETBible)

And we can’t do it. Only God can. Only His power.

All we can do is get on our faces before the Almighty and offer our lives to His purposes. To His glory.

Almighty, You are worth it all. You are worth more than I can imagine. Give me faith beyond myself. Help me believe in Your power. Let me offer myself as a living sacrifice and trust Your work. Increase my tiny faith.