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The Jesus Project: He Brings Good News…

TJP You-are-created-You-are

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news…” –Isaiah 61:1a, ESV

He brings good news.

Jesus doesn’t come empty handed. He arrives with the anointing of the Spirit, His purpose from God, and carrying with Him the best of all things: the good news. But what is it, exactly?

You are created

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…The God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them…then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” –Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 2:7, ESV

But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'” –Isaiah 43:1, ESV

You are loved

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?…Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  -Romans 8:31, 33-35, 37-39, ESV

You can be forgiven

Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” –Luke 24:46-47, ESV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16, ESV

 

You can be saved

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believe in Him is not condemned…” –John 3:17-18a, ESV

You can be made new

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” –2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV

“‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” –Revelation 21:5, ESV

You can have peace

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace” –Ephesians 2:13-15, ESV

You can have life

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” –1 John 4:9, ESV

and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” –Ephesians 3:19-21, ESV

You can have purpose

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.” –1 Timothy 1:15-16, ESV

What do you feel you lack? If it is forgiveness, He’s already done the work–you need only to ask for release. If it is salvation, He conquered death that you may have life. And if you salvation question is already sealed, that you know you’re His, do you need a reminder that you were created with purpose? Maybe your praise pants are in a bunch and you need a little peace. The good news brings all you need for life and liberty in Christ.

…all because He came bringing the good news.

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” –Proverbs 25:25, ESV

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.” –Revelation 21:6, ESV

Drink deeply. Quench the thirst. And keep coming back for more.

On Spidey-Senses and Faith…

Bumps, bruises, and oops-es are a normal part of my existence. Stubbed toes and bumped elbows mark many days. But one thing I notice: at night, when extinguished lights leave pure darkness at home, two ways will get me to bed. One way results in more painful toes and bumps. The other approach slivers more consistently pain-free paths.

When I close my eyes in the dark, I get to bed without a scratch. It seems paradoxical. Shouldn’t open eyes allow for the slightest light in to shed, well, light in the darkness? Wouldn’t open eyes catch hints of a corner’s edge over closed eyes? Apparently not. Wandering with closed eyes brings more positive results. Consistently speaking, if I leave eyes open, I end up wincing.

“for we walk by faith, not by sight.” –2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV

Walking by faith mirrors walking in the dark much the same way. In faith, when we try to see the hints and corners, we miss the wall and toys on the floor. We stub and stumble and pain our way through a life adding more hurt to life than necessary. The life of faith requires us to hold on to the truths of scripture and stop trying to outsmart the spiritual laws of truth. In that trust, we can fully see by choosing to be blind.

Chronological Bible: December 7, Five steps to a restored life…

Read:

  • 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15
  • 2 Corinthians 10:1-13:14
  • Acts 20:2-3a

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” –2 Corinthians 13:11, ESV

At a loss for what you should do next? Here’s a good list to start. Want to be more involved in your church community? Here’s a great list to try and make that happen. Trying to justify how you’re not going to agree with that one person whose name is floating about in your brain? Figure it out. You don’t have to agree on everything, but do you really need to make the very few areas of disagreement to center of your relationship with them? Do you both believe in Jesus? Your agreement is met. Done. Period. Let’s try these five things. Try it for a week and see how the Spirit can transform you.

Chronological Bible: December 6, The face of Christ…

Read:

  • 1 Corinthians 16:1-24
  • Acts 19:23-20:1
  • 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11
  • 2 Corinthians 2:12-7:16

“For God, Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” –2 Corinthians 4:6, ESV

Struggling with feeling like the light is shying? God declared there would be light. We are called the light of the world. So where can we go when it seems the bulb has dimmed? This verse in 2 Corinthians tells us: the source of the light is the face of Jesus Christ. Not the hem of His robe, though that can heal. Not the fish and loaves from Him basket, though that can nourish. Look to the very face of Christ; the face of compassion and care, of understanding and trust. His eyes show the depths of His soul. His Spirit, alive in you, reflected in the touch of His gaze. Looking in Jesus’ face, rather than everything else about Him, brings intimacy and peace that His works are not designed to do. For these reasons, His face is the source of light. Go there whenever you feel a bit dim.

life happens: God the Almighty…

God the Almighty When He Doesn’t Make Sense

Funny, isn’t it, our human propensity to describe everything in terms of us.  I laugh when I review the title of this chapter.  What if, in the whole of life, it isn’t about God making sense to us?  What if it is about us finally acknowledging that God is Who He says He is?  He says He is almighty.  Why don’t we believe Him?

Read each of the following passages.  Write what God did in each passage.

  • Genesis, chapter 1.
  • Exodus 14:1-29
  • Leviticus 9:22-25
  • Numbers 22:22-35
  • Deuteronomy 2:31-36
  • Joshua 10:7-14
  • Judges 7:15-22
  • Ruth 4:13-17
  • 1 Samuel 1:1-20
  • 2 Samuel 6:16-23
  • 1 Kings 3:5-15
  • 2 Kings 2:6-14
  • Chronicles 10:11-14
  • 2 Chronicles 2:12
  • Ezra 6:21-22
  • Nehemiah 4:10-14
  • Esther 8:1-8
  • Job 1:6-12
  • Psalm 149:1-9
  • Proverbs 2:6-9
  • Ecclesiastes 2:26
  • Song of Solomon—What kind of love does God ordain, as shown in Song of Solomon?
  • Isaiah 4:1-6
  • Jeremiah 6:16-21
  • Lamentations 3:1-66
  • Ezekiel 3:3-14
  • Daniel 3:8-28
  • Hosea 6:1-3
  • Joel 2:28-32
  • Amos 5:4-15
  • Obadiah 1:17-21
  • Jonah 4:1-11
  • Micah 2:12-13
  • Nahum 1:1-9
  • Habakkuk 3:17-19
  • Zephaniah 3:8-13
  • Haggai 2:20-23
  • Zechariah 14:16-21
  • Malachi 3:1
  • Matthew 3:1-17
  • Mark 1:29-31
  • Luke 1:5-21
  • John 16:1-4
  • Acts 4:5-13
  • Romans 4:13-25
  • 1 Corinthians 12:1-6
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
  • Galatians 4:3-5
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • Philippians 4:19-20
  • Colossians 1:15-18
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:3
  • 1 Timothy 2:5-7
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-11
  • Titus 3:4-7
  • Philemon 1:3
  • Hebrews 10:12-13
  • James 2:5
  • 1 Peter 3:12
  • 2 Peter 1:2-4
  • 1 John 5:6-9
  • 2 John 1:1-3
  • 3 John 1:11
  • Jude 1:24-25
  • Revelation 3:7

The Lord God is Almighty in all things.  Praise His holy name.