Who Do You Say Christ Is?

Who Do You Say Christ Is?

footprintsinsandThere is a conversation between Jesus and His disciples that I have been meditating on for quite some time.

Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do the people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

Then He asked them, “Who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16 NIV

Who do I say Christ is? To me, He is a Father, a Husband and Best Friend.

A Father

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1John 3:1

As a Father He is the one I came from. It is through Him that my identity is found. A Father who doesn’t see my faults; or holds my mistakes against me, He never points out my shortcomings. In Him is Forgiveness and mercy that never fails to set me free. Whenever He looks at me He sees greatness and all of His hopes and plans for me. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get me there. When I fall off my bike, He picks me up and brushes me off. He tends to the scrapes and bruises and encourages me to get back on that bike and ride fearlessly. I don’t ride alone, He runs alongside me, ready to catch me if I fall.

He never ceases to cheer me on, He reminds me of who I am and what I’m capable of, He gives me the strength to pedal on. Once He sees you’ve found your way, He stands back with a smile, filled with pride and joy. When you’re hurt, He hurts all the more. He’ll fight for you, protect and provide for you and above all LOVE you with an unchanging love. His Love never fails. He is a Father who lives to inspire me and desires only the best for me and is willing to sacrifice it all, even His own life, to see me live life victoriously.

A Husband

“For Your Maker is your Husband- the LORD Almighty is His name.” Isaiah 54:5

As a Husband I am the love of His life, He wants to be intimately involved in every area of my life. He wants to know what’s on my heart and mind. He desires to share in my triumphs and be the one to hold me through my grief. As my Husband, He’s seen me at my best and worst, nothing is hidden from Him. He’s seen me flaws and all and HE loves me anyway. I am perfect in His eyes, a picture of Grace. Through good times and bad, He’s by my side and together we can get through it all.

He always finds a way to make me smile with a kind word, a gentle touch. He has a way of making the bad work out for my good. He’s my biggest fan, He encourages me to be the best Me that I can be. If He can give me the world, He would, but He chose to give me Himself instead. All He wants is to see me live life happy and free and reach every goal and dream inside of me. His love for me is real, pure and true. Death can’t separate this love. He pledges to love me forever and always, in this life and the next.

A Friend

“I have called you Friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

As a Friend, He’s always there whenever I call on Him. “Call on me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you.” Psalm 50:15. He never gets tired of hearing from me. I can be myself with Him. He’s patient, compassionate and always ready to listen. You can bear your all to Him. My Friend is trustworthy and faithful. I can confide in Him and He confides in me. He never judges or condemns. He’s my shoulder to cry on, my Best Friend. There’s no envy or jealousy in Him, He wants the best for me and is willing to give me just that. He strives to get me to a better place, no matter how long it takes. After every conversation I’m left feeling strengthened, comforted and able to do all things because of Him. The peace He leaves me with, surpasses all understanding. It doesn’t make sense at times but it encourages me to take another step forward.

Who do you say Christ is? To me Christ is everything I could possibly want and need…and so much more.

The Father’s Will

The Father’s Will

The Gethsemane Prayer Matt 26-36-44 Mk 14:32-42 Lk 22: 40-46

“Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 “…He began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”39 “Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus prayed this prayer three times.

42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 44 “…Being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”-Luke 22

There are some scriptures in the bible that you don’t have to force yourself to memorize. They are burned into your mind; etched on your heart. There’s no forgetting them. For me, the Gethsemane Prayer is “that one” I will carry with me always. Here we have Jesus, our Sovereign Savior, having a very human moment. It’s no wonder why the book of Hebrews records that we have a High Priest, who is Jesus that can be touched. In this prayer we witness Humanity versus Divinity. A moment where sinless, spotless humanity submits to God’s sovereignty. Jesus sets aside His will and desires to do the desire and will of God.

God has chosen to reveal what feels like a very private and intimate moment between He and His Son, therefore, it is of great importance to know and study the will our Savior submitted to, the will of our Father.

Here are just a few key verses to aid you in your study of the Father’s Willchild smiling

He Has A Plan For You

  • 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

He Desires To Be Intimately Involved In Your Life

  • “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Hebrews 8:10

He Wants To Bless You

  • “I will make you exceedingly fruitful.” Genesis 17:6
  • “I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2

Above All He Wants  To Save You And See You Live

  • “I have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly”John 10:10
  • “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:10
  • “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9
  • “I take no pleasure in the death of anyone,” declares the Sovereign Lord. “Repent and live!” Ezekiel 18:32

God’s Motive – Love!

“For God so loved the world (You) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Hallelujah! 🙂

Jesus’ Testimony

testimonyHe was beaten and ridiculed…

“Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put a purple robe on Him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped Him across the face.” John 19:1-3 NLT

Mocked By the Ones He Came to Save…

“The guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating Him.  They blindfolded Him and said, “Prophesy to us! Who hit You that time?” Luke 22: 63-64

“The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let Him save Himself if He is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” Luke 23:35

This is His Testimony

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance,
nothing to attract us to Him.
 He was despised and rejected—
a Man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

 Yet it was our weaknesses He carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.
And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for His own sins!
 But He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on Him
the sins of us all
.

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet He never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
 Unjustly condemned,
He was led away.

Isaiah 53

The scripture goes on to say that it pleased the LORD to bruise Him and it was all because of Love for God so loved the world [you] that He [willingly] gave His only Son, so that everyone who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life [true peace and joy with Him]. John 3:16

“All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son. And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:10-11

It is by Jesus’ Testimony

That we overcome all things in life and are destined  to do extraordinary things through Christ who inspires, strengthens, and takes us to new heights and depths in Him.

It is through Jesus that God the Father demonstrates His eternal, unconditional and unfailing love for You. Because of Christ you can enjoy the abundant love of the FATHER and truly live life free! God really, really loves you!

Jesus on: Temptation

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness He revealed to us the deceptive tools used to draw us into temptation.

Deception # 1 When you are at your weakest, get you to question who you are in Christ.

And when He (Jesus) had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.  Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Matthew 4:2-3 NKJV

In Matthew Chapter 3 God declared this about His Son:

 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and aligning upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

Note: how the tempter left out beloved and that God was well pleased with Him. This same trick was used in the Garden of Eden when the provisions of God were questioned. God told Man that he could freely eat from any tree in the garden except for the one tree that would bring forth death.  When questioned by the tempter Eve was asked, “Did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” –genesis 3:1

Same trick but the results are the same to get you to question the provisions of God  and the abundance you have in Him by pointing you to your lack and insufficiency’s.

Deception #2 Use your own desires to tempt you.

A desire is not limited to the lust of your flesh it can include your desires and plans from God. Have you ever had a vision from God and in your desire to see it fulfilled moved ahead of God to make it happen yourself.

“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”Matthew 4:8-10

This was Jesus’ mission, to take back and save the world, this was His desire and it was used to tempt Him. But look at Jesus’ response to each temptation…the Word of God. Now for us the Word has become flesh and that flesh overcame temptation, death and every obstacle that we face in life and in Him we are more than conquerors. We’re not in this fight alone, we have Christ!

Here’s the thing God is not looking at you, your past and flaws, He’s looking at His perfect, spotless Son. God isn’t looking at your resume, He’s looking at His. His grace, His strength, His abilities and unfailing love. So when temptation comes  whatever the temptation may be,  remember who you  are in God’s eyes and who’s doing the good work through you. JESUS.

This is Who You Are

Children of God 1John 3:1

Righteousness of God in Christ 1 Cor. 1:30

Co-Heirs with Christ Rom. 8:16-17

This is His plan for You

To prosper you, give you hope and a great future. Jeremiah 29:11

To Represent Him Isaiah 61:3

To be His ministers/priests of the New Covenant. Isaiah 61:6

His Resume, Not Yours

Christ started it, He’ll finish it. Philippians 1:6

You’re not in this Alone

Nothing this world can throw at you will prosper.  Isaiah 54:17

Don’t be afraid, God’s got you! Joshua 1:5 & Isaiah 41:10

 

It’s Not You, It’s Him

Promise

I’ve been studying the book of Exodus for quite some time now and in Chapter 19 I read and listened with my heart how God so lovingly professed His love for Israel as He spoke the covenant of Abraham over them.

It read to me like this, “I saved you because I love you. Please listen to my voice; that nudging in your heart and I will lead you into all truths. I will bless you because I love you, I have chosen you because I love you, I will separate you from the rest and I will exalt you above your enemies because…I Love You.” This is God’s promise to you too!

You can read the actual verse here: Exodus 19: 3-6. Everything God said in His covenant to Abraham was based on His will, His efforts, His Love and in His words to Israel He was revealing the fullness of His promise and expressing His great love for them.

Then came the response from Israel; a response that was different from the response of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Israel said in one voice, all that the Lord says WE will do and they said this three times!

As I’m reading this I’m thinking, God didn’t ask you to do anything. He is professing His love and His plan for you, what do you mean, “We will do!”

“WE” didn’t pull you of Egypt, GOD did. “WE” didn’t part the Red Sea and drown the enemy, GOD did! “WE” didn’t send manna from Heaven, sent quail to the desert, or bring forth water from a rock, GOD did! After Israel’s declaration of Independence God gave them the Law, Ten Commandments based on what “they” should do.

If you have a moment, go back and read the responses of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when God revealed His covenant promise to them. Some built altars (a sign of worship) while others simply followed Him to the next destination, and even when questioned by Abraham who wondered how God would be able to do all that He promised since he and his wife Sarah was way pass childbearing age God did not chastise him He made Him a promise and gave Him a vision of hope to count the stars, this will be the number of your descendants. (Hallelujah, God give your people a vision of your will today in Jesus name.)

I think the thing that separates us from God is ourselves. The book of Romans states it well in Romans 10:3, “Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

There is hope people of God and His name is Jesus Christ.  Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, –Ephesians 2:4-6.

I thank God that in Christ I am no longer under the Law that depends on my efforts but under the covenant of Grace and the finished work of Christ who fulfilled the Law for me that I may be made the righteousness of God in Christ based not on my efforts but by God’s mercy, grace and willingness to save me.

Believers I urge you through the word of God, Galatians 2:21 do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

Do not place a burden on others that you yourself can’t bear (The Law) Know this, it’s not YOU (your efforts, your work, your self-righteousness, its HIM (God’s love, His mercy, His Son, His great work).

To God be the glory.

Love By Its True Name

JesusYeshua_svgWhat is love? Is it the skip of your heartbeat when “the one” walks in the room? Is it the gentle touch of your newborn as little fingers embrace yours? I’ve recently discovered that love is not a “what” but a“who”.

The bible reveals to us that God is love (1John 4:8) and that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.” –john 3:16.  In other words God, who is love, expressed His love for us through The Word that became flesh. God gave love a new name and His name is Jesus Christ.

The Spirit painted for me a beautiful portrait of love by its true name the other day in this very revealing scripture -1 Corinthians 13:4-8 . Walk with me as we sub love with its true name…Jesus.

Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. Jesus does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

There was a time when I thought that this scripture was an instruction on how-to-love and after the first verse all I could see was my faults and failures.  It wasn’t until God removed the veil from my eyes and heart that I saw that this was not a picture of what I should or should not do but  a revelation of Christ who loves us and His unconditional love  toward us.

This is my prayer for you: That this revelation of love takes root and multiplies in your heart today and that, “You, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”-Ephesians 3:17-19 In Jesus’ loving name, Amen.

New International Version used.

Give Thanks

Give Thanks

The Lord said, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”  

“Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”

 “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew: 25:35-40) NKJV

There are about 7 billion people in the world today, 1 in 7 people are hungry that’s roughly 925 million hungry people in the world today. In my research I found that malnutrition plays a huge role in the deaths of almost five million children each year.  According to worldhunger.org, “The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day.”

There are so many ways you can help: Donate food to your local Food Bank, raise money, start an outreach program through your church or your work place, contact your legislator and find out how the government plans to combat world hunger or at the very least give a hot meal to the homeless person you drive pass every day. This Thanksgiving Holiday give thanks to the Lord by giving to the least of these. God bless and may you be a blessing to someone else this thanksgiving. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information on world hunger visit www.worldhunger.org

A God Who Can

In the book of Matthew chapter 14 Jesus, who had retreated to a deserted place upon hearing about the death of John the Baptist, was teaching and healing the multitude of people who had followed Him. It was getting late in the day so the disciples told Jesus to send the multitude away so that they can travel to the villages to buy themselves some food. Jesus told the disciples that they didn’t need to go away just give the people something to eat. The disciples replied that they only had five loaves of bread and two fish and in their company were five-thousand men and this didn’t include the women and children that were amongst them.

Jesus said to the disciple, “Bring them here to Me.”  The scripture goes on to say, “He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, and looking up to Heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.” (Matthew 14: 13-21 NKJV)

There may be a vision or dream deep down inside of you or perhaps there is a goal, a great task or a great responsibility before you and you may think that you don’t have what you need to accomplish it. Some of us put our hopes, dreams and plans aside because we feel that what we have is not enough to make things happen.

Great  Man and Woman of God don’t lose hope because our Heavenly Father has proven to us time and time again that He can take the little that we have and multiply it. Jesus said that if you have faith as big as a mustard see you can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). God can take the few resources you have, the few dollars you saved, the bit of time and space you have, the knowledge and
education that you do have, your hope, trust and mustard seed of faith and belief and He can bless and multiply it and take you to new levels in your life that you couldn’t possibly imagine.  Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God All things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) So don’t focus on what you don’t have and what you can’t do instead put your plans before the Great I AM, A God Who Can

Written by Afiya Duncanson

At The Cross

“Knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:28-30)

Jesus said that He came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) When Christ died, He took our sins and burdens with Him. His death gave us life, His suffering gave us freedom, and His sacrifice gave us the victory.

Let go of the past that haunts you, you have a faithful and loving God who says you can leave it at the cross.

Your burdens, your worry, it’s not yours to bear, leave it at the cross. Your pain and your hurt, your Heavenly Father is a God who cares for you so much that He collects every tear, He can repair your broken heart just trust Him and leave it at the cross.

Your fear and your doubt, that’s not the life He wants for you free yourself and leave it at the cross.

God loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that you may be free from all that binds you and free to live the abundant and victorious life that He desires for you. Let it all go and leave it at the cross.

Written by Afiya Duncanson

Faith with no boundaries

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) 

In the book of John we are given an amazing lesson in faith with the story of Lazarus. Lazarus along with his sisters Martha and Mary were personal friends of Jesus. When Jesus received word that Lazarus was sick Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) When Jesus came to Lazarus’ tomb, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. When the stone was removed from Lazarus’ tomb Jesus spoke in a loud voice and said, “Lazarus come forth! And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.” (John 11:43-44)

Martha was a woman of faith she believed that Jesus was Christ, the Son of God. When Jesus told Martha that her brother would rise again, she thought that her brother would simply rise in the last day of resurrection but Jesus was challenging Martha, challenging all of us to increase and expand our faith. Jesus wanted us to recognize that His power is limitless; it has no boundaries so our faith should have no boundaries. If God can do what the world says is impossible, if He could raise a man from the dead, surely He can raise you up from all of the problems you are dealing with. Jesus said, “if you would believe you would see the glory of God.” (John 11:40) If we could achieve that level of faith, that faith with no boundaries, just imagine what we can accomplish.

I pray in the mighty name of Jesus that you transform your faith right now to a faith with no boundaries. We serve a mighty God and no task is too big for our God. Those dreams, that vision stirring within you is not dead but asleep, allow our Father, Creator of all things, to wake it up and raise you up to the next level in faith. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Written by Afiya Duncanson