Devotions

Category Archives: Fulfilled

Christ, Not a Last Name

Christ #2 – Christ, Not a Last Name
Phil Piasecki | Worship Leader

In our society, names and titles hold a lot of importance. If you see someone with the title Dr. in their name, you know that they have gone through years and years of grueling training to earn that title. I am sure that you are more likely to trust someone with your medical care knowing that they hold the label Doctor compared to if they did not. If you meet a woman that has the title Mrs. or Miss. you know if she is married or not. When a couple gets married, traditionally the woman will take the man’s last name. That change in the last name shows that a new life has officially begun together. If we have an issue with a company we will ask to speak to a manager; we know that the title of “manager” (hopefully) gives that person the power to fix our problem. In our work lives, someone may hold the title of “boss” over us that seriously affects the way we interact with that person. All of these examples show how significant titles are in our society. Titles were as important back in Bible times. Throughout Scripture, we see Jesus hold many different titles. One of the most common titles we see given to Jesus is “Christ.”

Matthew 1:16 says, “And Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.”

Matthew 16:15-16 continues, “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’  Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”

John 4:25-26 adds, “The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he.’”

Christ is not Jesus’ last name, but it is a title that describes who He is. Christ is a title that means anointed or messiah. When He is referred to as Jesus Christ, it is the same as calling him Jesus the Messiah or Jesus the Anointed One. With the title of Christ, the Jews knew that He was claiming to be the promised Messiah that had been prophesied about in the Old Testament. Jesus is the Christ, He is the King, and He should be the King in our lives as well.

When we give our lives to Him, He needs to be Lord over every inch of our lives. We cannot hold anything back. It is so easy to go through life and try to keep parts of your life for yourself. I have found myself doing this, and yet I still wonder why life is so hard sometimes! It is because I am not making Him Lord over everything. As we remember, what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross, my challenge is that you start letting Him be Lord over everything in your life. I promise if you do this each and every day, your life will never be the same.

Enquiring Minds

Christ #1 – Enquiring Minds
Chris Cain | Women’s Ministry Director

I frequently get stares while waiting in the checkout line. Why, you ask? I am usually laughing aloud as I am reading headlines of the most recent alien cover-up at Area 51, or reports of another Elvis sighting, or JFK’s lone gunmen story.   Our world is filled with unproven conspiracy theories and cover-ups. Everything from assassinations, new world order, wars, extraterrestrial, apocalyptic prophesies, government, and much more.  Some I find comical, and many are downright intriguing and cause myself and others to think, “Hmm, I wonder. . .”

The topic of the Resurrection of Christ makes that checkout line list every Easter, because you know, enquiring minds want to know.  Let us check out Matthew 28:11-15 and see why the “empty tomb” gets some press and makes the cover.

While they were going, behold, some of the guards went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.  And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, ‘Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’  And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.”

Cover-Up: a planned effort to hide a dishonest, immoral, or illegal act, situation, or a way of behaving that is meant to prevent people from knowing about something.

Conspiracy Theory: a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups (Merriam-Webster).

Yup! I smell a rat. There was a definite cover-up of Truth.  Sadly, that cover-up continues today.  The Resurrection, Easter, is being covered up with candy, colored eggs, trips to warm climates, and bunnies, which are not bad things, but I think we need to ask ourselves, “Am I covering up what Easter IS really all about?” If you are covering up the Resurrection, you might just as well be rejecting it, and doing so, would be committing eternal suicide.

I was moved at Sunday’s gathering when we all sang loudly in unison, “Our God’s Not Dead He’s Surely Alive.”  Are we living this way?  The Resurrection.  Do you believe the magnitude of this event?  Do you believe that the Resurrection proved that it revealed Christ’s power over death, that it proved Christ’s power to forgive sin, that it defeated God’s enemy, and that it is the most pivotal significant event in history? Do you believe it is personal? It is for each and every one of us!  Since He is alive, we can know Him today! Since He is alive, then He was who He said He was! Since God raised Him from the dead, then we have the hope of a resurrection!

Enquiring minds need to know, JESUS IS THE CHRIST.

More Than a Man

Son of God #6 – More Than a Man
Roger Allen | Facilities Director

“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘some say that John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’” Matthew 16: 13-14

To this day confusion remains on who Jesus is. Muslims, Buddhists, and others believe He is no more than a prophet. They only credit Him as a wise man that obtained a state of balance in His life. His deity is taken away, and Jesus becomes just another person in history. He would be a man that gave His life in vain. For if He were only a man, then His death would mean nothing to us. Our faith would be in vain!

“And if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is in vain and your faith is vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:14

The proof of His deity abounds in the Bible, from the fiery furnace in Daniel to the resurrection in the Gospels. The New Testament is filled with many miracles and wonders performed by Jesus. The new wine at the wedding feast, the feeding of the five thousand, the multiple healings, and the raising of Lazarus come by the Son of God.

Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all I have said to you.” John 14:26

How many times do we allow the rigors of life to bring doubt and anxiety? Do we quench the Holy Spirit so that we forget the “promise?” On our bad days do we embrace the “Truth?” When things are going well, do we remember that Jesus is who He says He is? Do we remind ourselves that He is more than a wise man or a historical figure? Through the Word and the Holy Spirit, we have the proof that we need that Jesus is who He says He is. He took our sin, was nailed to the cross, and was resurrected on the third day.  So when asked to give an answer we can boldly say as Peter did:

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16

Transferred

Son of God #5 – Transferred
Jen Combs | Wife of Pastor Josh

Colossians 1:13-20 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and through him reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

We learn SO much about Jesus through just these seven mind-blowing verses. Let’s work our way through some of them.

In verses 13-14, we learn that Jesus is the Son of God. If we repent and believe that Jesus is our Savior, He offers us so many things. One is the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus offers to wipe our slate clean; anything sinful we have done or will do in the future is forgiven. Jesus wants to present us holy before God. How crazy is that? Secondly, if we have a relationship with God’s Son, it says He delivers us from darkness (Hell) and transfers us to the Kingdom of His Son. We can have a place in Heaven with Jesus! Do you know what the definition of transfer is? It says to change possession. We go from being in possession of Satan and sentenced to Hell for eternity to being TRANSFERRED to the Kingdom of Jesus. How amazing is that! God sent His Son to die on the cross for a sinful, wicked people so that we would not have to spend eternity in possession of Satan. It humbles my heart every time I think about it. We could stop here, and that could be enough, but let us keep reading about Him.

In verses 15-16, Jesus is shown as the Head of all creation; He creates all things. “For by him all things were created.” Good, bad, or ugly Jesus created it and uses it for His glory. “All things were created through him and for him.” This surely does not always make sense to us, and sometimes we just do not like it. In verse 17, it says, “And in him all things hold together.”  He is holding it all together for us. Even when it seems like things are falling apart, remember:

1. You have been transferred!
2. Jesus created it all.
3. He is holding it together.

Whenever you are struggling, read God’s Word and find comfort in who Jesus is. Some of us have ideas of what Jesus should be, or we have expectations that we think He will fall short of. He will only exceed our expectations if you truly learn who Jesus is. He is the Son of God.

Trust

Son of God #4 – Trust
Dani Reynolds | Graphic Designer

“Come on, get into the car, we are going somewhere special.” Something I would often say to my kids when I wanted them to go somewhere without an argument. They would get excited and load up in the van only to find out that the somewhere special was the gas station or the grocery store. They would get so upset with me. “Mom,” they’d whine, “I thought we were going somewhere special.” I would reply, “We did! We went to the gas station without a fight. Yeah, kids wasn’t that fun?” As you could have guessed, they were not happy at all. I did not do this to be malicious; I did not even realize that I was doing something wrong.  I did it because I just did not want to fight over something so small, and we just needed to get gas. What I did not realize was little by little I was teaching my kids to mistrust me even in the littlest situations.

As I have grown deeper in the Word, I have realized how damaging that really was. Our children look to us for guidance and trust, just as we look to the Son of God for guidance and trust.  Children and adults need to know that they can trust what we say and mean what we say. A verse that caught my attention was Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

I now handle things differently because I have changed. I now try to demonstrate that my children can trust me that I will be honest with them even if I believe an argument could happen. A few minutes of chaos are better than a lifetime of mistrust. Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Why doesn’t Jesus ever change? You cannot improve on perfect!

I know I need to change and am changing. A man (woman) is only as good as his word, 1 John 3:18 says, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  I am so thankful that I have learned that the Son of God is someone I can always trust and I now can teach my children to trust the right way.



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