Tag Archive | belief in Jesus

Hebrews 2:14-15 ” Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy 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.”

Jesus Christ took on flesh and walked among us…fully man, yet fully God.  For death is the destiny of every man. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)  Yet Jesus came to earth to give us freedom and victory over death.  “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14)  So we no longer need to fear death…for Jesus came to set us free.

Luke 5:16 ” But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

During His ministry here on earth, Jesus often sought out quiet places to pray.  But why?  It tells us in Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”  The answer to “why He did this” is in what happened the night before.  The town of Capernaum had witnessed Jesus healing someone in the Synagogue…and so later that night the entire town converged at the house where Jesus was staying…bringing in tow every sick and demon-possessed person they could find.  And it says Jesus healed them.  When we give much, our emotional gas tanks gets low.  And the only way to fill them is to find a place of quiet reflection so that God can renew us .  Jesus was practicing the discipline of silence in order to replenish, restore, refresh, and revive His soul…and it’s something we could do well to imitate.

Hebrews 7:25 ” Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

What does the Gospel mean to you?  I’ve been thinking about this all week in preparation for a meeting this Sunday.  To me, it boils down to Religion vs Relationship.  It’s the difference between ceremony and connection, liturgy and linkage, ritual and relationship.  For Religion is mostly man-made, piling on the things we can’t do…while a Relationship with Jesus Christ is about freedom.  It’s about freedom from sin and death and freedom from the Law we can never keep.  But the biggest difference between Religion and Relationship is this…Religion can’t save you.  Only Jesus Christ who lived a perfectly sinless life has the ability to bring you into His glorious Kingdom and eternal life…it’s only through Jesus that you can make your way back to God.

I Corinthians 9:24-25 ” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

No one walks casually into the Olympic Games and announces they’ve decided for the fun of it to compete in a race.  Olympic athletes train for years…fully committed in all aspects of their lives with concentration and drive.  And in the end for a few, their heroic struggle pays off with a gold medal.  Our Christian life is one of training daily and fighting for victory over temptation.  James 1:12 tells us, ” Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”  We are in training for a crown of life, a crown of glory that will never fade away, and eternal victory.

Mark 16:11 ” When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen Him, they did not believe it.”

It could have been me doubting the unbelievable story the women were recounting about the empty tomb, the angels, and their words –  “He is Risen!”  Now we usually just give the apostle Thomas the bad rap of doubting the resurrection…but in Luke 24: 9-11 it tells us that when the women came back from the empty tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others…but no one believed them, for their words seemed like nonsense.   How many times had Jesus told the apostles about what was to happen?  How He must suffer, die, and then be raised from the dead three days later.  Still they did not believe it when it really happened.  Yes, I could have easily been among those doubters when the words, “He is risen!” echoed across that room.

Luke 23: 39 ” One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: ‘Aren’t You the Christ? Save Yourself and us!’ “

It could have been me speaking with such irreverence towards Jesus.  The Greek word for “hurled insults” in this verse is Blasphemeo, where we get the word blaspheme from.  The robber who reviled Jesus, mocked Him by saying, “If You call Yourself the Messiah, then show us by rescuing Yourself from Your own impending death!”  So any time I operate in disbelief and mistrust of the Lord…I’m basically hurling insults His direction also.  Yes, it could have been me.

John 19: 15-16 ” But they shouted, ‘Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!’ ‘Shall I crucify your King? asked Pilate. ‘We have no King but Caesar,’ answered the chief priests. Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified. “

It could have me with that agitated crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!”  Or worse yet, it could have me standing within that frenzied crowd too scared to open my mouth and object to the injustice I was witnessing.  Would I have just stood there silently condoning the atrocity as it played out before me, more afraid of man than God?  Yes, that could have been me.