Posts Tagged ‘God’

Aslan and Shasta and Your Story

August 22, 2012

Are you listening to your own unique story? Let God speak to you about your own adventure with Him today.

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Sunlight, for my day.

August 2, 2012

Did you awaken with a song in your heart today? That’s how I felt this morning. It’s restful and quiet where I live, and it’s easy to just want to enjoy sleeping in on summer mornings, as I did when I was a child. Memories of early summer mornings, with a gentle breeze whispering in from the window and sunlight filtering in through the trees capture my heart. There is hope and joy and promise of adventure that comes with each morning sunrise, as God has told us. Take time to really experience this quiet miracle each day.

What was Jesus’ mission and purpose here on this earth?

August 24, 2010

Yesterday my daughter tagged me in a note she wrote on Facebook about a book she’s reading titled “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. Here she presents her thoughtful questions regarding Jesus’ claim to be God. The following is her post and my response.

Elizabeth said

Okay, so I read something pretty interesting and insightful last week.

You know how Jesus Christ always refers to God as “the Father” or “His Father” and so on? Well, how does that work with Jesus claiming to be God? Because I don’t know about you, but from how he relates Himself to God looks an awful lot like He is separate and different from God – almost like His ambassador or servant for His Plan.

But sometimes Jesus says straight out: “I and the Father are one”. So… how do we know that He’s not just referring to being in the same mindset or goals or something? I mean, those are pretty logical and legitamite questions if I don’t say so myself.

Well, I’m reading snippets of a book called “The Case for Christ: A Journalist Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus” (by Lee Strobel).

In one part of the book, the author poses a question to an interviewee about the proclaimed deity of Jesus Christ and how He supposedly denies it of Himself a few times in the Bible.
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If Jesus was God, what kind of God was he? Was he equal to the Father, or some sort of junior God, possessing the attributes of deity and yet somehow failing to match the total sketch that the Old Testament provides of the divine?

That question comes out of another passage that I pointed out to Carson. “Jesus said in John 14:28, ‘The Father is greater than I.’ Some people look at this and conclude that Jesus must have been a lesser God. Are they right?” I asked.

Carson sighed. “My Father was a preacher,” he replied, “and a dictum in out home when I was growing up was, ‘A text without a context becomes a pretext for a proof-text.’ It’s very important to see this passage in its context.

“The disciples are moaning because Jesus has said he’s going away. Jesus says, “If you loved me, you’d be glad for my sake when I say I’m going away, because the Gather is greater than I.’ That is to say, Jesus is returning to the glory that is properly his, so if they really know who he is and really love him properly, they’ll be glad that he’s going back to the realm where he really is greater. Jesus says in John 17:5, ‘Glorify me with the glory that I had with the Father before the world began’ – that is, ‘the Father is greater than I.’

“When you use a category like ‘greater,’ it doesn’t have to mean ontologically greater. If I say, for example, that the president of the United States is greater than I, I’m not saying he’s an ontologically superior being. He’s greater in military capability, political prowess, and public acclaim, but he’s not more of a man that I am. He’s a human being and I’m a human being.

“So when Jesus says, ‘The Father is greater than I,’ one must look at the context and ask if Jesus is saying, ‘The Father is greater than I because he’s God and I’m not.’ Frankly, that would be a pretty ridiculous thing to say. Suppose I got up on some podium to preach and said, ‘I solemnly declare to you that God is greater than I am.’ That would be a rather useless observation.

“The comparison is only meaningful if they’re already on the same plane and there’s some delimitation going on. Jesus is in the limitations of the Incarnation – he’s going to the cross; he’s going to die – but he’s about to return to the Father and to the glory he had with the Father before the world began.

“He’s saying, ‘You guys are moaning for my sake; you ought to be glad because I’m going home.’ It’s in that sence that ‘the Father is greater than I.'”

“So,” I said, “this isn’t an implicit denial of his deity.”

“No,” he concluded, “it’s really not. The context makes that clear.”
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The book also addresses many other logical questions, such as:

* How could a compansionate, merciful, and loving God send people to Hell? (which, in all totality is the absence of God).
* Why would Jesus claim to be God if He was a human being?
* Since Jesus claims to be God, does He match up to the attributes of God?
* What was Jesus’ mission and purpose here on this earth?

It’s a really good book. It addresses very important questions in a completely logical and contextual light. I highly suggest it if you’re digging into who Christ really was/is (as I am).

My response
Elizabeth, this brings up several important questions about the Trinity, and people’s belief that there is some kind of eternal subordination between the Father and the Son and Spirit (God). Many teachers, though misinformed, teach this to… be the case. In Philippians 2, many read that passage and say, “Well, Jesus was claiming to be subordinate to the Father, so He presents an eternal subordination in the Trinity…”

This is a teaching (doctrine) that is reflected in Arius’ (AD 250-336) teaching that was declared heretical twice. It’s reflected in the jehovah’s witness’ teaching, in that it makes Jesus a “lesser God”.

To clarify the Philippians 2 passage ( read online here ), this “humility” of Jesus is appropriate for when He was in His human flesh on this earth, over 2000 years ago. He was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross”. He had to be subordinate and obedient to the will of the Father. He claimed in John and the other gospels that “He and the Father were one”. He was perfect in obedience to fulfill every “jot and tittle”, an ancient phrase meaning not one tiny written mark in the breathed-out word of God, including the Law of the Old Testament (showing us how utterly sinful and incapable we were in fulfilling it) would pass away, until it would be fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled the Law of God demanding complete holiness. God knew we couldn’t and so, sent His Son in the flesh to do the holy task for us. Because we all deserve separation from God for our sinful thoughts. But God is compassionate and loving and wants us to know Him. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him may be saved” (John 3:17).

Understanding the fullness of God in Christ Jesus, and not diminishing Him because He came as a man to serve us, should not allow our thinking to be that He is somehow lesser in the trinity.

This is key, because in many of the teachings in the world that subordinate other humans (African-American slavery, Antebellum South, men in authority over women, the teachings of JW’s, Mormonism, even Islam — that teaches Jesus was only a prophet), claim that Jesus was only a “lesser” god; a glorified human; a man who fulfilled his godhood potential.

Jesus claimed otherwise! He claimed to BE God. So, he either should have been put to death according to the laws of the land (for usurping the King’s authority) or ignored for being a crackpot.

History shows us that Jesus indeed came back from the grave and taught amongst the people, too many to count. Then, He went back to Heaven (according to the Gospel account; think of it as written testimony in a court of Law). Apparently, people were so changed by meeting Jesus and the people He changed that they were willing to die for their faith. Who would follow a delusional liar crackpot? Jesus proved His life among them and committed no sin, for His mission was to be the sacrifice for humanity’s sins that we could never repay God. His life was one of healing people and raising people from the grave and teaching about a new way to heaven through Him by faith. His law is love and faith in Him.

The question posed today for each of us is this:

Do we believe Jesus is God and paid the penalty for our sins? Do we know we’ll go to Heaven to be in His presence when we die?

Held by God after losing a loved one

August 14, 2010

This song, Held, by Natalie Grant, has been on my heart for the last few days. My thoughts turn to the days when I held my baby daughter, Jennifer, in my arms in her last days before she went to be with Jesus in Heaven. The tears still fall, especially with the prompting of songs like this.

I remember those who are suffering in grief now, especially the Harris family — Gregg, Joel and Kimi, everyone, for their loss of Sono and Faith. My husband and I pray for Gregg and all the Harris’ every day.

Will Smith in “I Am Legend”

December 15, 2007

Last night my husband and I saw the movie I Am Legend. The premise of the story is that Dr. Robert Neville is the lone survivor of a virus in New York City and is also a scientist who has been attempting to eradicate the virus. He has one faithful companion left to keep him company, his dog Sam, and together they brave the streets of New York to survive.

I was impressed with Will Smith’s performance as well as the sheer magnitude of what it took to film such a production. There were strong references to faith in God, as well as a testing of that faith on the part of Will Smith’s character, Robert Neville. In the beginning of the crisis, strong faith in God is emphasized (even a prayer), during the crisis it’s challenged, and at the end the audience is artfully reminded of the value of traditional faith in God. I would have liked to have seen a Bible reference brought into the hope for the situation, but that’s just how my mind and heart work.

Because this is a sci-fi movie, the “creepy” factor comes into play in the film, but the real character of the film is Dr. Neville and his ability to survive in such lonely circumstances. It was reported that Will Smith spent time interviewing former POW’s and jail inmates who were familiar with solitary confinement to get some insight into his role for this film. I recommend this film.

When we got home, I watched a quick interview with another actress, Jennifer Morrison of House fame, on the TV Guide channel. She was in attendence of the premier of I Am Legend and was asked what she would do or read if she found herself alone in such a crisis as Dr. Neville in the film. Her answer was refreshing. She said she’d bring/read “the Bible. Because you could just read it over and over again. You don’t get tired of reading the Bible, right?” I’ve been looking for that quote online but can’t find it just yet, but she did say it or at least my quote of it is very close. A whisper of hope in Hollywood.

The King Came Down for Us

December 8, 2007

Follow His Star 

How Many Kings” by the band Downhere, is a wonderful new contemporary Christian song that has quickly become one of my favorite new Christmas songs.  Listen to the song here (click on the title of the song in the music player) and read the lyrics here:

Follow the star to a place unexpected

Would you believe after all we’ve projected

A child in a manger

Lowly and small, the weakest of all

Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mothers shawl

Just a child Is this who we’ve waited for?

Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

How many Gods have poured out their hearts

To romance a world that has torn all apart?

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn savior

All that we have whether costly or meek

Because we believe

Gold for his honor and frankincense for his pleasure

And myrrh for the cross he’ll suffer

Do you believe, is this who we’ve waited for?

(It’s who we’ve waited for)

How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

How many Gods have poured out their hearts

To romance a world that has torn all apart?

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Only one did that for me All for me All for you All for me All for you

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Be sure to take a moment to listen to some of their other songs, too, like “The Real Jesus”.

HT: The Warrior Bride blog


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