peaceColossians 1

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—

such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Here is why I can’t separate my faith and somehow try to keep it hidden in some private closet in my life. That would be such a foolish way to live. If everything is designed and created through Christ, why would I ever want to somehow keep my faith from influencing my decisions and behavior in my public life? If I am not using Jesus as the filter for everything, then I am, on purpose, trying to be less wise and more wrong.

No, my faith will be the filter to make all my life decisions- personal, vocational, financial, physical, political, and relational. The greatest danger for me would be to ignore the model and teachings of Jesus and the Bible which he gives us. There are plenty of seen and unseen forces active in my world trying to get me to stay in the dark and not actively follow my Lord.

We live in an age where we worship human desire. We can’t say, “No,” to anything. I will always default to the model and teachings of Jesus and his Word. I realize that, while Jesus and his Word are infallible, my interpretation of these things is not without error.  But, because Jesus is never wrong, when I stray from what he would want, if I stick close to him and am open to him, Jesus will bring the correction I need.

I look at it this way. There is just enough depravity in me that I must cooperate with God. Without Jesus I am lost. This is the one time I can say always back the winner.

ME

“All people are good,” is not the same as “Look for the good in all people.”

Thursday March 17- Jesus on the Throne

Gratitude

Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.

Word

Mark 14:62

Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus says, “I AM.” This is the sacred name for God himself. He is quoting Psalm 110. Then he quotes Daniel 7:13, which is reserved for the one who will share the throne of Israel with God. The Son of Man.

Now, Jesus gives Caiaphas what he needs. He commits blasphemy, unless he really is everything he says, of course.

Here is what Jesus is really saying,

Yes, I am a true prophet; yes, what I said about the Temple will come true; yes, I am the Messiah; you will see me vindicated; and my vindication will mean that I share the very throne of Israel’s God.(from Wright, N. T.,  Mark for Everyone, p. 205)

In other words,

‘Sorry boys, your services are no longer required. There is a new sheriff in town!’ 

Me

What is one truth of Jesus you want to live out today. Do it…

Wednesday March 16- Messiah? More Than You Can Imagine…

Gratitude

Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.

Word

Mark 14:60-61

Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Here it is. If Jesus testifies against himself, they don’t need the eyewitnesses. How does Jesus react?

But Jesus was silent and made no reply.

Jesus takes the fifth. The high priest is not going to outthink the most brilliant person who ever lived.

Now it’s time to change tactics.

Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Now, it is not against the law to claim you are the Messiah. It might be delusional but it is allowed. There were self-proclaimed Messiahs before this, but, none panned out. If Jesus says, “Yes,” it’s not enough to convict him.

Judas of Galilee

When Jesus is a little boy

Sephoris- rebellion where 2000 are crucified

But , it is enough for the Romans. To say you are the Messiah means you are claiming to at least be the King of the Jews.   If Caiaphas can get Jesus to say he is the Messiah, the king of the Jews, then he can hand Jesus over to the Romans and charge him with rebellion.  There is no king but Caesar…

But, he doesn’t say, “Yes.” He blows the top off of everything he did before.

Me

For one day, don’t try to get your way? How did it go?