Friday, March 30, 2012


Our look at the Lord today is a well-known title: Jesus is Life.  It (life) is a passion for God; He is the giver of Life.  God loves Life and longs for every soul to know the abundance of true Life.  Jesus came that we could know the fullness of eternal life.  But Satan loves death and constantly seeks to blind all to true Life.  He directs our attention to illusions of life that are only death in masquerade:  fame, fortune and adventure.  True Life is Jesus.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, scripture guides us to Life.  All scripture points us to the fullness of Life—to Jesus.  The writings of the disciple John repeatedly remind that Jesus is Life.   John quotes Christ’s own words that ‘He is the way, the truth and the life.’  Jesus is the only way to God; He is the source of truth; and Jesus is Life itself.  The gospel of John opens by beautifully laying out Christ’s eternality as the Word, the Life and the Light of the world.  John’s gospel ties perfectly with the Psalmist who praised the light given by the Word.  It knits with Paul’s explanation that the presence of Jesus reveals eternal life.  The Word, Jesus, is light and life to all who receive it.  The Greek dictionary defines the light that the life of Christ brings as a light unable to be kindled or quenched by another!  Satan can deceive for a time, but he cannot produce a light that endures.  The Word who is Life and Light will never pass away.

Fixing our eyes on the source of life is the only way to navigate this treacherous world safely—and to help others do likewise.  No path on earth can resist the light produced by Christ’s life.  As we allow His life to fill the darkest parts of our lives, the pathway we should take becomes clear.  The shadows that fill the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ flee in the presence of eternal Life!  The despairs that threaten our souls—loneliness, addictions, fear—dissipate when the truth of His life penetrate.  Lives filled with His life illumine the paths of others as well.

In addition to the Light that accompanies the Life, scripture reminds us of other ways Christ is life to this world.  Jesus is the ‘living bread’ and the ‘living water.’  His Life is sustenance and refreshment in this dry, weary land.   As pilgrims, we are not to rely on any other source for life than Jesus Himself.  When the Life of Christ fills us, that which is ‘dead’ becomes alive.  In fact, Christ calls us to be ‘living stones’ in this world of death.  Our lives are to evidence what Christ told Martha:  “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live…” (John 11:25).  Our lives are to overflow with the Life of Jesus so that He spills onto those who walk nearby us.

Friday, March 23, 2012


“… for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”  2 Timothy 1:12b

God is a “Keeper!”  He keeps His promises.  He keeps our inheritance secure.  He keeps His people.  He keeps all that we entrust to His care.  This is a view of God that surely helps transform us into Christ-likeness.  Humanity stands in stark contrast.  We often fail to keep our promises.  We tend to squander eternal riches to ‘keep’ fleeting earthly treasures.  We keep records of wrongs to even the score.  God keeps a record book but it is the Book of Life.  Our Keeper specializes in what is good, lovely and of eternal worth.  Becoming more like our ‘Keeper’ produces an abundant life with eternal fruit!

So how does the Father fulfill His role as Keeper?  Scripture tells us God keeps watch over us day and night.  He does not sleep or go on breaks.  His watchful eyes keep us in sight at all times.  We must keep our eyes fixed upon Him as well.  Sin began with a look in the Garden of Eden:  Eve looked at the fruit.  Sin still begins with a look.  Let us be determined to keep our eyes from temptations and fixed upon the Lord.

Our Keeper also steadies our feet on the paths we tread.  He keeps our feet from stumbling on the rock-strewn pathways and keeps us from falling off the treacherous precipices.  There is no path He does not see, no barrier too large for His perfect purposes.  Placing our steps in the pattern of the Savior requires the Keeping power of the Father.  We would grow weary, falter and fall without the Keeper.  The Word guides us in the ways we should go; the Keeper assures our safe arrival.

While the watch-care and protection of the Keeper comforts most, the idea of the Lord keeping match over our mouths is a bit more intimidating.  We can convince ourselves quite easily, though often wrongly, that our eyes are on the Lord and our feet on His paths.  The unruliness of the mouth is another matter!  Even scripture attests to the wild nature of the tongue and the difficulty of taming it.  Yet God also tells us we are accountable for every word that we speak.  If we will entrust the meditations of our hearts--and the words of our mouth--to His keeping, He will set a watch over our lips.  God spoke the world into being; words matter.  We all need Him to be the Keeper of our conversations.

Finally, the Lord keeps our light burning.  He is the Light of the World, and He lives within those who entrust their lives to Him.  His light is eternal and He allows us to shine forth His light to others in our world.  He keeps the light on that He might become the Keeper for others.  As we rejoice in the Lord as our Keeper, our words and actions will align our lives for abundant, eternal fruitfulness.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Depending upon your own choice, today’s title of the Lord offers joy or despair.  God appointed Jesus Christ as Judge of all the earth.  As scripture says, one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Personal accountability, judgment, is a theme woven throughout scripture.  Each will give account for their time on earth.

Praise God, the Judge, who is Truth and Light, is also eternal love.  Before Creation, He prepared for the Day of Judgment in love.  Love does not demand that another bow to it.  Yet love shows interest and appreciation for others; it even accepts responsibility for another.  Jesus, the Judge, did just that.  He cared about the plight of man.  He appreciated the unique treasure of every soul.  Knowing the self-will of man would bring sin and destruction—and require a judgment of death—He offered His own life as payment.  The Judge chose to step down from the bench that He might give rewards instead of condemnation.  Such a Judge is a joy to contemplate; oh, how He deserves our worship!

While the final judgment is inevitable, free will determines whether we face Him with joy or despair.  Facing the Judge with joy requires us to relinquish our sin and our ‘right’ to determine what is good and best.  Sin—walking in the light of our own minds instead of the light of Christ—is natural to man. Sacrificing our right to self-determination opens the door to living in the righteous life of Christ.  In essence, the Judge offers us the most unfair exchange in eternity: our sin for His righteousness. Giving Him our sin allows us to enter eternal life.  Living in His love allows us to receive the rewards of living for Him.  Having entered into His light while we live prepares us to face the Judge with joy.

Tragically, many prefer to hold onto their sin and walk in the light of their own determination.  Such a choice brings one before the Judge clothed only in the best efforts of self.  The filthy rags of self-righteousness cannot withstand the blazing, glory of the Righteous One.  Absolutely no one can stand upright in the presence of His glory for the inherited nature of man is sin—self-centered, self-directed and self-righteous.  A life lived only in the light of self brings nothing for the Judge to reward.  The Light and Truth of the Judge exposes the eternal, dark doom of sin. If we enter the presence of the Judge before we enter His love, despair is as inevitable as the judgment.

God appointed Jesus as Judge in love.  Jesus prepared for the role of Judge with love; we prepare to face the Judge by living in that love.  Living in the light of the coming judgment, prepares us to face the Judge and points others toward His light.  Let us be determined to live in love, that we might help others accept Him joyfully as their Judge.   

Friday, March 9, 2012


As we continue on our ‘Alphabet of Attributes’ journey, we come to the letter “I.”  There are some wonderful, awe-inspiring revelations of Jesus that begin with “I.”  He is the I am, the Image of the invisible God, immortal, immutable, and Immanuel, God with us!  The One who is all of those things is also our Intercessor.  Scriptures tells us He lives that He can make intercession for us!  Now that is an incredible view of our Savior!

Intercessory prayer weaves its way throughout scripture.  In the Old Testament, we see God’s people, His prophets and His priests offering prayers on behalf of others.  Isaiah prophesied that the coming Deliverer would pray for sinners. 

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12

That prophesy’s truth shines forth in the New Testament as we observe Jesus praying for His disciples, His enemies and ourselves!  Jesus intercession entwined with identifying with sinners (us!) and bearing the weight of our sin upon the cross. 

Intercession is a costly endeavor that God expects from each of us.  Yet God never asks us to do anything alone.  Intercession is a joint endeavor…it fulfills the prayer of Jesus in John 17 which asks the Father to bring us to unity.  Intercession unites our hearts with others, with the Spirit, with Christ and with the Father.  The fact that Jesus is our Intercessor reveals the incredible privilege we have to intercede. 

Our human passions and concerns often cloud our minds.   We do not always know what to ask of the Father; we would miss countless blessings without our Intercessor!  The Spirit searches our hearts for the needs we cannot express—and sometimes do not know.  The Spirit’s unity with Christ—and His with the Father—brings the very will of God into the center of our being. 

Our Intercessor’s prayers are pure and perfect, aligned with God’s purposes for our lives.  Jesus asks for exactly what we would ask—if only we understood as He does.    Our minds can only glimpse the fringes of the great mystery of unity with God through Christ.  Our intercessory prayers for others allow us to join in the very work of our Savior.  May we rejoice in His work and our privilege as intercessors!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hope of Glory

Today’s descriptive name of the indwelling Christ fulfills a longing each soul feels:  to live a life that has substance and lasting worth.  The risen savior is our only hope for lives that will have eternal significance; He alone is our Hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27).

All else that man can pursue on earth—wealth, power, fame, love—produces only limited returns.  For God, the source of glory, never yields that glory to another.  However, He did allow the fullness of His glory to dwell in Christ, who in turn allows us to be His dwelling place.  It is an incomprehensible truth really—the most unfair exchange of history:  we give up our sins that we may receive His Righteousness:  His Glory!   Creatures made of dust given the magnificent privilege of receiving the Glory of God.  The song of Miriam in Exodus 15:11 helps us glimpse the magnitude of this honor. 

“…Who is like you (O LORD), majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”

This majestic, awesome, wonder-working God desires to dwell in you and me that our lives will have weight and glory for all eternity.  It is a truth that fills our hearts and minds with wonder!

Moses asked to see the glory of God…and had to be shielded from its power to protect his very life.  When he spent time with the Lord, his own face so shone with God’s glory, he veiled his face from the Israelites upon his return.  United with Christ, we gaze upon His glory and our lives become reflections of it!  The glory of God has life-transforming goodness—His mercy and compassion are contained within.  Scriptures tells us His glory fills all the earth.  The heavens testify to it and we are to declare it with radiant lives.

Seeking God through Jesus Christ, the Hope of Glory, brings eternal rewards to others and us.  As we look into God’s Word, into the meaning of His names, the light of His glory and grace will reflect off our lives onto the world around us.  The Hope of Glory will draw others to Himself if we allow Him to shine in our lives—and His glory will shine evermore into new lives working new wonders!