Who is this Jesus?

2 Timothy 2:8 describes Jesus Christ a man, born into King David’s family; and God, as shown by the fact that He rose againimage from the dead.

The Trinity is wholly unique within Christianity. No other religion, not Islam, not Hinduism, not the Jehovah Witnesses, not Mormonism nor Buddhism make that claim that God Himself became and is both God and Man.

Why is this one truth so important to Christianity and so despised by Muslims, Witnesses and Mormons particularly?

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What is Your Purpose?

2 Timothy 1:3 declares my only purpose in life is to please Him.image

Why was one man so productive in the work of God? He had one aim.

This shouldn’t be surprising to any of us. Many people are successful in this world for the same reason. The Olympic athlete and the billionaire business man are probably the best examples of having a singular focus combined with dogged determination to produce the desired end.

Most of us just aren’t that committed.

We are content to be weekend warriors and living comfortably. In the things of God too many are content to attend Church weekly and try to be good during the week, whatever that means.

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Feeling Forsaken

Matthew 27:46 About three o’clock, Jesus shouted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”image

Have you ever felt forsaken by God? Most of us have. If so, we are in good company.

The Son of God, Himself God, somehow in the mystery of the Trinity, was also forsaken by the Father, Who is God. We accept Jesus being forsaken for we understand it was the process by which He took upon Himself all of our sins, all of the sins of humanity from and for all time, so that we could be forgiven for all time for all the evil we have ever done.

God, the perfect One, was forsaken so that the imperfect could be reconciled to the Father. If God was forsaken should we not also at least feel the same way on occasion?

TV Christianity promotes a God loves you and wants to bless you no matter what image of God but that is not the reality the Bible portrays. All of the great saints in the Bible suffered at various times.

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Christian Jihad

1 Timothy 1:18 commands fight well in the Lord’s battles. Is this justification for Christian Jihad?image

There has never been a Christian version of the Muslim Jihad. What about the Crusades? The Crusades were a response, albeit not always godly, against Muslim expansion into Europe and not a mandate to force all infidels into the faith or perish by the sword.

The Christian version of holy war is the battle against principalities and powers in high places that seek to keep people ignorant of the saving work of God through Jesus the Christ.

In plain English, Christian holy war is a verbal defense against all world views that deny the existence of God and His coming in Jesus Who commands all people everywhere to repent and receive Him freely as their Lord and Savior.

The means for waging this war is humble service, a willingness to be maligned by men and persecuted physically for proclaiming the Truth that there is one God and one means for pleasing Him, a reconciled relationship with Jesus. As God surrendered His life to become the Savior, His people are to surrender their lives in the proclamation of Him as Savior.

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The Importance of Believing the Truth

2 Thessalonians 2:10 proclaims they are on their way to hell because they have said no to the Truth; they have refused to imagebelieve it and love it and let it save them.

Jesus, the personal revelation of God in the flesh, promised that by knowing the truth we would be set free. We know this is true for we know of many who have brought great harm to themselves because of the lies they believed about themselves.

When we make a bad purchase, when all the information that was true wasn’t quite revealed, we realize again the truth that knowing the truth will set us free from personal and financial headaches.

There is an ultimate truth, a truth that determines the eternal destiny of everyone. Jesus said He is the Truth and His Truth is that He is God in person, made visible so that we could know God and trust God for the salvation of our souls when we pass from this life into the next.

The modern definition of truth is that each person decides what is true for themselves but the foolishness of such a belief is obvious in math, science, and relationships. We would all be miserable if engineers built bridges and structures based upon whatever truth they believed. So too with doctors.

And just because we believe something to be true doesn’t mean our significant other does and they let us know sometimes how untrue our truth really is! So too if there is a God doesn’t it make sense He would want us to know Who He really is so that we could please Him the way He wants?

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God’s Desire for Children

2 Thessalonians 1:11 desires that our God will make you the kind of children He wants to have.images

God is on mission to conform us into the image of His First Born Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God seeks to develop a family identity that exhibits a commonality in character and a singleness of focus while allowing individuality in function.

God is not interested in us becoming all that we can be despite what the guy on TV says. God has recorded in His book that He desires us to become all that He created us for, all that He wants for doing His will and glorifying His Name on the earth.

God had in mind a host of works, a particular function for which each of us was uniquely designed to accomplish as part of the greater orchestra of His Church in order to manifest more clearly across the world the wonder and glory of our Father Who is the Creator and Sustainer of all life from all time everywhere.

Our goal should not be to become what we want to be but to become what He wants us to be.

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Gaining Wisdom

Proverbs 1:7 instructs how a man becomes wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord!image

Everyone wants wisdom. At least everyone wants to make the right decisions! There is a difference.

We make hundreds of decisions daily but the big ones cause us anxiety because failure to get it right can lead to serious financial loss and personal unhappiness. The root desire for wanting wisdom in this instance is selfish; we want to be happy, we want to be successful and we don’t want pain or suffering.

This is not why God gives wisdom.

The first step toward gaining wisdom is to trust and reverence the Lord.

Wisdom is given so we might know God and how to please Him in everything we do.

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The Importance of Coaching

1 Thessalonians 1:6 observes you became our followers and the Lord’s.image

People need examples, coaches, models, mentors for understanding practically how to live certain principles or objectives. When the Apostle Paul would invest in someone he would invite them to follow him as he followed Jesus. The Lord Jesus, God in the flesh, invited men to follow Him as He taught and modeled how He wanted people to live if they were going to please God.

Inviting others to join us through imitation places a great deal of responsibility upon us for doing the right thing. Perhaps this is why we have diminished this methodology for developing people in recent years.

A couple of premises have to be established for this relationship to work.

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Being a Good Person

Psalm 146:8 proclaims the Lord loves good men.image

If you’ve ever watched the movie Saving Private Ryan you are no doubt moved by his powerful question to his wife, ‘was their sacrifice worth it.’

Nearly every man wants to know that he is good, that he has done good with his life. It is only after repeated bad decisions as a husband or father or business man does our conscience become seared, we lose hope, and surrender to the despair of failure.

The Good News from God is that He loves good men and every day is a new opportunity to be redeemed and begin anew. God forgives the past of the repentant and invites us into an eternal future of hope and glory.

But here’s the deal. God is the definer of good.

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Getting Paid for our Work

Colossians 3:24 reminds us that it is the Lord Christ Who is going to pay you, giving you your full portion of all He owns. He isimages the one you are really working for.

Work is inherent to our existence. If a man will not work neither should he eat, at least not for free from the church doles – we have the government to take care of that!

In all seriousness, it is work that determines a man’s wealth in a free society. And wealth determines a person’s comfort and opportunities.

Work in itself is good and not evil though many have been taught otherwise. God made man then set him to work in His pristine environment that guaranteed success. It was through the rebellion that work suffered a curse and therefore became inherently more difficult by yielding thistles and thorns in addition to good crops instead of just good fruit as God designed.

The real problem with work is the propensity to define ourselves by the results of our work and to use the fruit of our work for our own pleasures and wants.

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