Thursday, December 31, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
In my previous post I shared how Jesus was "Greater Than" Moses, the Temple, the Law, the Prophets, the Sabbath, and everything else.
But the New Testament also tells us that Jesus is "Less Than" the Father, or at least that the Father is greater than Jesus.
"You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." - Jesus [John 14:28]
We also know that Jesus was "made a little lower than the angels" [see Hebrews 2:9] and that He "made Himself nothing, taking on the nature of a servant" [see Philippians 2:6-7] which emphasizes that, while here in human form, Jesus lowered Himself.
This astounding act of humility and weakness emphasizes what Paul the Apostle refers to as "The Power of Weakness", where God's "power is made perfect in weakness" when we lay aside our own ability and abandon confidence in ourselves - trusting instead in the "power of Christ" which is released when we - like Christ - humble ourselves, empty ourselves, and rely completely on the Father for everything. [See 2 Cor. 12:9-10]
Just like Jesus, did, by the way.
Jesus affirms that he never did anything under his own power, and that he never taught anything other than what the Father told him to say:
“These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:24);
“For I do not speak of myself, but from the Father who sent me and commanded me what I should say and what I should speak...Therefore, whatever I speak is just as the Father tells me to speak." (John 12:49-50)
“Then Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you; the Son can do nothing of himself, but only does what he sees the Father do. For whatever things he [the Father] does, these are also likewise done by the Son.” (John 5:19)
“Of my own self, I can do nothing. I judge only as I hear; and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me.” (John 5:30)
“But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I only do exactly as the Father has instructed me to do.” (John 14:31)
Sunday, December 27, 2015
When Jesus is transfigured on the mountain, he appears with Moses - who represents the Law of the Old Covenant - and with Elijah - who represents the Prophets. Peter mistakenly wants to honor all three of them equally, and then the Father removes Moses and Elijah [the Law and the Prophets] and says:
"Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses" [Heb. 3:3]
He is greater than the Old Covenant Law. Jesus is greater than the Prophets. Jesus is greater than David, and Solomon, and the Temple, and Jonah, and everyone else.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
by Steven Kline, Jr.
Steve Kline is a follower of Jesus. His passion is to seek Christ in all of the scriptures and share that revelation with others. Steve is married to Samatha (since September 2012) and the father of Trey (he's 15). When his first wife, Dawn, went to be with the Lord in March 2012 after a six-year battle with cancer, Steve had a direct encounter with the Lord. Also, he is one of the fourth-generation owners of his family's publishing company where he is an economist.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Part 2: "Who Are We?"
Part 3: "Why Do People Think I'm A Liberal?"
Part 4: "Still Embracing Constantine?"
Part 5: How American Evangelicalism Has Been Exploited, by Ross Rohde
Part 6: The Entanglement Agenda
Part 7: "What Would Jesus Say About The American Revolution?" by Chuck McKnight
Part 8: "Ambassadors of Contrast"
Part 9: “AWOL Christian Soldiers”
Part 10: "The Elephant In The Church"
Part 11: "Christian American Horror Story"
Part 12: "Our True Source of Liberty" by Ross Rohde
Part 13: "Welcome To Post Christian America"
Part 14: "What Would Wilberforce Do?"
THE CHRISTIAN BILL OF RIGHTS
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The birth of Jesus is God's most radical act of peacemaking. The Jews were looking for a Warrior King to overthrow the Roman Empire that was occupying their land. They wanted a Messiah who would carry a sword and lead them on to victory. They were desperate for a regime change in Palestine.
What they got instead was a baby laying in a manger. They got a host of angels who arrived, not to wage war, but to sing "Peace on Earth, good will towards all men!"
They got a Messiah who didn't carry a sword, and in fact told them to lay down their weapons. "If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight," he said.
The got a Savior who came to bring a regime change - in their own hearts - to enthrone Jesus as their personal Lord [King], not a political kingdom built on war, but an internal kingdom built on a transformation of the human heart.
They got - and we got - a King who taught us to love those who hate us, and to return kindness towards those who persecute us. Not so we can become doormats, but so that his brand of unmerited love could be fully displayed - like stars that shine in the darkest night - and his brilliant love could blaze outward in the face of even the most violent attack.
"Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus told them. "for they will be called 'the sons of God'."
It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah that the Messiah would do no violence, and that His Kingdom would usher in an endless reign where men would make war no more, and beat their swords into ploughshares, and pledge their allegiance to the "Prince of Peace".
Jesus rode a donkey - not a war horse - into Jerusalem and wept because his people did not know "the things that make for peace."
Even after Jesus was brutally murdered on the Roman cross, having done no violence, and even having forgiven those who nailed them there, he rose from the dead and said, "Peace be with you".
Sadly, there are some who take the name of Christ, but do not accept that Jesus came to bring an everlasting peace that began 2,000 years ago and that continues to grow and expand - like a small bit of yeast that eventually permeates the entire lump of dough. This is partly why it's taking a bit longer than necessary to fully realize the peace of Christ in our world.
Some still want a Messiah who carries a sword and who comes to vanquish their enemies with violent retribution. They want a Messiah who only loves them and not "those other people".
They want Jesus, but they don't want his message of love for enemies, or love for Muslims, or love for Homosexuals, or love for anyone who isn't just like they are.
We still need to hear the words of Jesus afresh, today. As we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, the King of Love, let's not forget that our Messiah came to us with the pronouncement of peace on Earth.
Let's put his words into practice and realize this promised kingdom of peace that is wide open to all who would have the audacity to believe it could be true.