Day 38 ~ Luke 24:36-49

Lentcover

It could only be described as a whirlwind! What a crazy, surreal roller coaster of emotions the disciples were riding since their last night with Jesus in the garden! How could they even begin to wrap their minds around the events of the last few days, much less process and understand what it meant?

Jesus’ disciples were catapulted from the depths of despair at the death of their Lord, whom they abandoned in His darkest hour, to the heights of joy as they saw the Messiah standing before them alive and well! “How could it be? This is too good to be true,” they must have thought over and over again. But what they saw with their eyes and heard with their ears and touched with their hands was more real than anything they’d ever known: Jesus, Risen Savior!

And at once, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. What had once been so mysterious and confusing suddenly made perfect sense as Jesus showed them for the first time how it all fit together. Yahweh’s plan from the beginning of creation to rescue and redeem a people for Himself had been executed right in front of their very eyes. And these precious, imperfect, beloved souls had been carefully chosen to bear witness to these events. The message was finally made clear and the power to spread it was on it’s way like a freight train. An unstoppable and life-altering force: the Holy Spirit of God.

Two thousand years later, we have also been called to bear witness. Not to the earthly life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but to the power of His gospel to change lives. To preach to the world repentance and the forgiveness of sins in His name. For those who have also been brought from the depths of despair while lost in their sin to the heights of joy in His merciful arms, it is a privilege and joy that cannot be expressed. God has made known to us the riches of His Word and His kingdom and gifted us with divine wisdom the world cannot fathom. And, like the disciples, we receive the ability to carry out His mission through His Spirit which has come to live in us.

How, then, could we ever keep silent? Why would we ever hesitate to share this life-changing truth? This is the message and the mission for which we were made: Jesus, Risen Savior!

Day 38

“Do you want arguments for soul winning? Look up to Heaven, and ask yourself how sinners can ever reach those harps of gold and learn their everlasting song, unless they have someone to tell them of Jesus, who is mighty to save. But the best argument of all is to be found in the wounds of Jesus. You want to honor Him, you desire to put many crowns upon His head, and this you can best do by winning souls for Him. These are the spoils that He covets, these are the trophies for which He fights, these are the jewels that shall be His best adornment.” Charles Spurgeon

May our words speak of His salvation and our actions demonstrate His love for the winning of souls to Jesus.
Held by Him,
Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 30 ~ John 17:1-20

Lentcover

This is eternal life: that we may know Him. And by knowing Him, we have eternal life. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus make knowing our Creator possible. So what exactly does it mean to know God?

The greek word here for know is ginosko, which means “to know especially through personal experience, by first hand acquaintance.” The knowledge of God which leads to eternal life comes through a personal relationship with Him in Jesus Christ. Walking with God and experiencing Him not just with our minds, but our hearts as well. Paul speaks of knowing the love of God in a way that even surpasses a kind of head knowledge when he says,

“May we have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:18-19

The deepest understanding of who God is and how He loves is only gained through intimacy with Him; walking and talking with Him, listening and learning from Him, and just living life in daily relationship with Him. There should be no greater priority or deeper joy than pursuing intimacy with our Savior. Listen to the words Paul penned so very late in life. Nearing the end of his time on earth, Paul wrote,

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
Philippians 3:8-10

Day 30

So here is this mature believer in Christ who had committed His entire life to understanding God and serving Him by bringing the gospel to those who were lost. If anyone knew and loved Jesus, it had to be Paul. Yet despite his obvious maturity in Christ, all he had seen and experienced, Paul was compelled by one thing: “that I may know Him.” Didn’t he already know Jesus more closely than perhaps one ever could? Of course he did! But the more he knew Jesus, the more he wanted to know Him. Earthly riches and treasures pale in comparison to the worth of knowing Christ, so much so that Paul calls all things “rubbish” in comparison.

A soul satisfied in Christ longs for more of Christ. Our love and affection for Him stimulate a desire for more! We can’t get enough. May the highest goal and greatest joy of our lives be to know Him. And by knowing Him, have eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 24 ~ John 10:11-18

Lentcover

1,000 years before the earthly appearance of the Good Shepherd, David described His goodness in song. The relationship between David and his God was as intimate and caring as a sheep and his shepherd. This role of a shepherd was familiar to God’s people. They knew the long term commitment a shepherd made to feed, tend and protect his flock. They understood each little lamb’s desperate dependence on the shepherd for its very survival. Sheep were competely reliant on their gentle leader to provide for every need and guard against the many dangers that threatened to destroy them.

We were once sheep without a shepherd, lost and turned to our own way. So He set out in search of us, stopping at nothing to bring us home. And He rejoiced when we were found! Fix your eyes on Jesus today as you reflect on Psalm 23. Your Good Shepherd is here.

“The Lord is my shepherd;”
Do you feel insignificant, unworthy, misunderstood? He knows your name. You belong to Him.

“I shall not want.”
Are you hungry, empty, longing? The Good Shepherd feeds His sheep. He may not give you what you want, but He will always provide what you need.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”
Do you feel tired, weary, and weak? Come to Him and He will give you REST. He will renew your strength. He will make you new.

“He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Are you struggling, confused, unsure what to do next? Your Shepherd doesn’t tell you about the way, He IS the Way. Take hold of His hand, He will lead you every step.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Are you paralyzed by anxiety and fear? Are you heart broken? Grief stricken? Crushed? He will draw you near, calm your fears, and heal your wounds. He gathers His lambs and holds them close to His heart.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
Do you feel trapped by your circumstances? Oppressed by your adversaries? Helpless to overcome the battle before you? Though your enemies surround you, Your Shepherd keeps an ever watchful eye. He whispers, “Be at peace in every circumstance. I have overcome.”

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Are you fearful of the future? Do you wonder what’s to come? Put aside all your anxious thoughts. Your future is secure! You will know the goodness of God in the land of the living. And because your Good Shepherd literally laid down His life for His sheep, you belong to the house of the Lord forever, a kingdom without end.

Day 24

Draw near to your Good Shepherd, little lamb. You are safe in His fold.

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 19 ~ John 4:1-14

Lentcover

While strict religious Jews traveled the long route around Samaria, Jesus had to pass through. In what is one of the longest recorded interactions of Jesus with anyone in scripture, John shares about a divine appointment between Jesus and a woman at a well. This woman mattered to Jesus. So much so, that He crossed significant religious, cultural and gender barriers just to get to her. Jesus went out of His way to reach the Samaritan woman, who was gathering water in the heat of the day, alone, with her scandalous past and shameful present. What began as a daily chore to meet her physical need of thirst, became a life-altering exchange which met the deepest need of her soul. Jesus, God in the flesh, offered healing, forgiveness, and fulfillment that changed her life forever.

Like the sinful Samaritan woman, we too are dying of thirst without God. Apart from a divine appointment with our Creator, we are searching the world over to quench this soul thirst. Always searching and never finding, until one day God shows up and reveals just how much we need His living water.

Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38

Jesus offers a gift that can never be taken from us. Not only can it not be taken, but it comes from within, His very Spirit living inside of us. And the benefits and blessings are endless.

forgiveness of sins

peace with God

access to the Father

strength in weakness

freedom from anxiety

peace in our hearts

increasing victory over sin

comfort in pain

fellowship with the saints

hope in trials

joy in all circumstances

resurrection from the dead

life everlasting

Day 19

All that we need in this life and for all eternity is found in Jesus. Yet, even as children of God, we continue to go to worldly wells to quench our thirst. They taste good, but never satisfy for long. We run to the wells of more “things,” relationships, approval, accomplishments, entertainment, pleasure, and addictions rather than the abundant life found only in Him. Tim Keller explains,

So I ask you, what will make you happy? What will really give you a satisfying life? Almost always you will answer by thinking of something outside of you. But whatever it is that makes you say, “If I have that, if I get there, then I’ll know I’m important, then I’ll know I have significance, then I know I’ll have security”- it’s likely something outside of you. Yet Jesus says there’s nothing outside of you that can truly satisfy the thirst that is deep down inside you…

And Jesus is saying, “I can give it. I can put it into you. I can give you absolute, unfathomable satisfaction in the core of your being regardless of what happens outside, regardless of circumstances.”

Thank you Jesus for coming for us while, like the Samaritan woman, we were dead in our sins. Thank you for giving us living water which quenches our deepest thirst and never runs dry. You offer peace and joy and hope while the world delivers shame and disappointment and death. May our hearts overflow with Your grace and love to those around us, as a testimony of Your goodness. Amen.

 

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 17 ~ John 3:10-18

Lentcover

What incredible news! What radical, life-changing, magnificent news for those who believe! We have been brought from death to life! We are not condemned! Because of His great love, our Rescuer came, not to punish us, but to take our punishment. We are freed from the bondage of sin and by His wounds we are healed. Jesus, God’s own Son, gave up His life to give us life everlasting.

Why, then, do these conflicting and shameful thoughts scroll across our minds so often, crushing our confidence and hope?

“I am unlovable.”

“I am unforgiveable.”

“I am worthless.”

Why do our hearts condemn us when Christ has rescued us?

Why do we listen to the voice of our enemy when Jesus says we’re forgiven?  

There’s an all-out war taking place in the battlefield of our minds. From the beginning of time, Satan has attempted to convince God’s children that His Word cannot be trusted. That God is not who He says He is and will not do what He says He’ll do. Our enemy is a LIAR. Revelation 12:10 calls him “the accuser.”

There is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a LIAR and the father of it. John 8:44

The enemy’s ruthless tactics to wound, disarm and leave us powerless often catch us by surprise. He starts with a grain of truth and ends with lies intended to destroy. When we struggle, when we doubt, when we’re broken… he kicks us when we’re down. He begins by reminding us that we’re desperate sinners. And he’s right. But that’s only half of the story. Tim Keller says,

“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

When condemnation floods our minds and hearts, we must root out the LIES and replace them with the TRUTH. The only way to combat the lies of condemnation is to preach the gospel to ourselves every single day.

Day 17

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

In order to speak words of life in the face of condemnation, we need a reservoir of truth stored up for immediate access in our moments of temptation and struggle. And this is done by constantly, daily, filling our minds with the truth. The last place the enemy wants to find us is in the Word of God. Because he knows,  

If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.  John 8:31–32

God, teach us to live in the the truth of who we are in Christ Jesus. Loved, forgiven and free. Amen.

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 12 ~ Mark 8:34-38

Lentcover

There is a treasure hidden in plain view, a mystery written in black and white, a message shared throughout the ages. It is the secret to the kingdom of God. As He walked the earth, Jesus revealed this secret to men. The way to eternal life is through the valley of death.

While His disciples were anticipating an earthly king to rule with power and might, Jesus rebukes Peter for not seeing that the way to glory was not at all a throne, but a cross. Peter, let go of what is seen for that which is unseen.” Here Jesus teaches His disciples that His kingdom is not of this world. And if they want to follow Him, they must set their sights and hearts on greater things. 

Jesus goes on to speak the hardest truth. Just as He would lay down His life through death on a cross, His followers must die a thousand deaths in the valley of the shadow. Death to flesh, sin, and worldly pleasures.  Death to desires for earthly riches, worldly respect, and a comfortable, easy life. Attachment to the world with its many temptations and false promises must be broken. Because we cannot have the world and Jesus, we’ve got to choose one or the other. 

But in the same breath, Jesus also speaks the most amazing, beautiful truth. By losing this life for His sake, we will actually find it. He promises that if we deny ourselves and follow Him, we will find what we’ve been searching for all along.

Forgiveness of Sins

Peace with God

Life Everlasting

Joy Unimaginable

Love Unending

And while unfathomable treasures await us in the next life, life to the full is possible in this one. Abundant life in this world belongs to those who treasure Jesus above all things – to those who give up that which they cannot keep to gain that which they cannot lose (Jim Elliot).

Day 12

 

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Matthew 13:44

The secret to the kingdom of God is believing that what Jesus offers, in Himself and through His kingdom, is better than anything else in all the world. To those who have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord, He is worth it all. Jesus invites us to trust Him no matter the cost, treasure Him above all things, and pour out our lives for His glory and fame. And in doing so, gain all the riches of His eternal kingdom.

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 2 ~ Matthew 5:7-10

Lentcover

In the first 4 beatitudes, Jesus reveals that the kingdom of God belongs to those who owe everything to divine mercy. He shatters the pious notion that self-determination and self-righteousness are enough to earn our way to God. Rather, the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit – to those who, recognizing their brokenness, posture themselves in a position of humility and dependence on the Savior. The last 4 beatitudes illustrate the fruit of that dependence.

Perhaps one of the most powerful and accurate metaphors for the life of a Christ-follower is that of OVERFLOW. The realization and reality that we cannot give what we do not have.  Our good works and righteous deeds are the overflow of the Spirit’s life within us, not the way to salvation, but the result of salvation. We give mercy because we have received mercy. We forgive because we have been forgiven. We love because He has first loved us.

From the wretched sinners who are shown mercy when expecting punishment, grace when deserving wrath, mercy flows like a fountain. How can those pardoned by a holy God withhold forgiveness from anyone?

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)

In hearts made new by the blood of the lamb grows a passionate desire to put sin to death and walk in purity with God. The more we taste the goodness of the Lord, the less we tolerate that which displeases Him.  

I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

To the ones reconciled to God through Christ belongs the ministry of reconciliation. Those who enjoy the blessings of peace with God become, themselves, peacemakers.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. (Romans 14:19)

Finally, saints surrendered as living sacrifices gladly endure suffering for His name’s sake. The world does not know us because it did not know Him. It does not understand us because it did not understand Him. And as Christ was honored for His obedience to the Father, so are we blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness.

Day 2

If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God. (1 Peter 4:14-16)

The kingdom of God belongs to us who realize we’ve already been given more than we deserve and everything we need. We live and minister and serve from a place of abundance. Mercy, peace and love overflow from a heart connected to the source of mercy, peace and love. And we receive blessing upon blessing as the children of the King! 

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 1 ~ Matthew 5:1-6

Lentcover

Jesus enters the scene and His earthly ministry with a radical message in His Sermon on the Mount. While the eager crowds gathered, Jesus instructed His disciples concerning the nature of life in the kingdom of God. These were words of celebration for His followers and words of invitation for the curious, the skeptics, the lost. He speaks of the happiness and blessedness (beatitudes) that result from a life transformed and governed by the supernatural power of God. He tells of a kingdom which is both now, and not yet. Blessings today and infinitely more blessings to come.  I wonder if these promises of Jesus stirred an uncontainable hope and joy in the disciples’ hearts, as they do in mine? These promises of…

comfort

earthly ownership

righteousness

mercy

a vision of God

adoption as sons

The times and culture in which we live are not so different than that of the disciples with respect to the value placed on self-sufficiency. The religious leaders of the day lived and taught a works-based salvation. But Jesus flipped their entire theology on its head when He proclaimed the condition one must meet in order to have any dealings with God: spiritual bankruptcy.

Who belongs to the kingdom of heaven and receives the blessings therein? Not the self-reliant, but the poor in spirit, the ones who are keenly aware of their utter spiritual poverty.  Not the self-righteous, but those in deep mourning over their sin. Not the self-confident, but the meek, the humble and submissive. Not the self-sufficient, but those with insatiable hunger and thirst that nothing on earth can satisfy.  

The solution to our spiritual condition is bringing nothing to the table but empty hands, guilty hearts and starving souls.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)

Day 1

In the beatitudes, Jesus gives us a clear description of a holy, godly life which brings blessings, but is an utterly impossible standard apart from complete dependence on Him. Thus, the daily struggle and painful offense to my pride: the admission that my problems are beyond me, my life is unmanageable, and I have nothing and can do nothing without Him. Blessed am I when I fall hard on the grace of God. I find the power of His Spirit within me and gain the kingdom of heaven.

Held by Him,

Leslie

  • In order to access the workbook, you will need to be subcribed to our blog posts. The workbook will be attached to the bottom.
facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Teach Me To Listen

listen

*Reposted from 2015

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”— Winston Churchill

For the fifth year in a row, on January 1, I’ve chosen a word on which to focus for the upcoming year. A word to study and ask God to work into my life. I usually spend a few days at the end of December reflecting on the past year, examining where God has been at work, and processing where He seems to be leading. But this time was a little different. Just seconds after the prayer came out of my mouth, “Lord, what word would you have me choose this year?” There it was…

“LISTEN”

Of course it is. No need for consideration or follow-up questions or second guesses. Because, I’ll be honest, being a good listener has never come naturally to me. I am a communicator, a verbal processor, and I come from a long line of “talkers”. When my extrovert husband, then boyfriend, first started hanging out with my family, they commented on how quiet he was. When I mentioned it, he replied emphatically, “That’s because I can’t get a word in! Y’all don’t even take a breath between sentences.” It’s true. And once when my group of girlfriends decided to walk/run (90% walk) a half-marathon which takes well over 3 hours, someone asked, “Are you bringing Ipods?” One of my friends replied, “Nah, we’re bringing Leslie. We just throw out topics and she talks about them.”

I’d like to think I’ve become a little better at listening more and talking less over the years. My husband says I have; thank goodness for sanctification! But evidently, and obviously, there’s still room for growth. I’ve come to realize that there is much more to listening than simply hearing all the words. I am convinced that an inability or unwillingness to really listen in relationships is a primary cause of conflict, misunderstanding, and pain. It can be a major obstacle to mature, deep relationships. In marriage, friendships, families, the workplace and the body of Christ. I believe we miss even more in our relationship with God when we do all the talking, thinking, figuring and decision-making without stopping to listen for His voice.

So for 2015, in all my relationships, it is my hopeful prayer that God teach me how to LISTEN.

Listen for UNDERSTANDING
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”–Stephen R. Covey

God, I long to develop healthy, meaningful relationships that honor You. Help me listen for understanding as I seek reconciliation with others. Teach me to pause and seek to hear, not just to be heard. To remember that “to answer before listening is folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13). Help me recognize when words or phrases trigger old wounds. Instead of making assumptions in the heat of the moment, remind me to ask questions and listen carefully so that I can respond and not react, speaking the truth in love. By the power of Your Spirit, help me be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

Listen for CONNECTION
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”–Peter Drucker

Father, we all carry deep hurt and woundedness from living in a sinful world. Yet so many of us are unable to wrap words around our pain. Give me ears to hear the hurt lying underneath the words. I ask for a heart that chooses to enter into the hard stuff with those in desperate need of connection. Help me set aside my own agenda to be present with those in pain. Give me “sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (Peter 3:8).

Listen for WISDOM
“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.”–Doug Larson

God, forgive me for thinking I know what is best. For doing most of the talking and very little listening. You alone are the author and keeper of wisdom. Your wisdom is not of this world and Your ways are higher than mine. Teach me to ask for wisdom every day in every situation, claiming the promise that You will give generously to all who ask. Lead me as a wife, a parent, a friend and a neighbor. Help me make wise decisions, for “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).

Listen for DIRECTION
“Don’t bother to give God instructions. Just report for duty.” –Corrie Ten Boom

Jesus, I confess my tendency to make my own plans, to go my own way, to follow my own dreams. You alone know the way I should take, the path of my life that will bring You the most glory. You are my good Shepherd. Give me discernment to hear Your voice above all others, especially my own. Help me not to automatically assume that what I want is in Your will, but to hold my dreams and desires with open hands. Not my will, not my way. You lead and I will follow. “For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.” (Psalms 31:3).

Listen for TRUTH
“Truth is not a principle. Truth is a person: Jesus Christ.” –Rick Warren

Finally, I ask you Father to help me discern Your voice of truth from the father of lies. Drown out the voice that condemns and destroys and leads astray. Teach me to listen to Your voice that heals and loves and leads to eternal life. You have promised that “whoever is of God hears the words of God” (John 8:47). I want to devour your true and perfect Word. To hear it with my ears, meditate on it in my mind, treasure it in my heart and apply it to my life. Thank you for the gift of your Spirit, that guides me “into all the truth” (John 16:13).

In the name of Jesus, who is faithful to complete the work He began, teaching even me to LISTEN. Amen.

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Teacher

teacher

*Reflections:

Surprisingly, the title most often used when Jesus is directly addressed in the gospels is not Savior or even Lord, it’s Teacher, Rabbi.

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you,” and he said, “Rabbi, speak” Luke 7:40

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, “Rabbi, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25 

And one of the company said unto him, “Rabbi, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me” Luke 12:13

And behold, a man came up to him and said, “Rabbi, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Matthew 19:16

And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Rabbi, rebuke your disciples” Luke 19:39

And they asked him, saying, “Rabbi, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but teach the way of God truly…” Luke 20:21

Then there came to him some of the Sadducees…and they asked him, saying, “Rabbi…” Luke 20:27

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher)” John 20:16

Jesus was recognized by a broad cross section of the people of His day as Rabbi. He was a well respected teacher, one learned in the Scriptures and the religious literature of His day, which was considerable. He was an itinerant preacher, traveling from place to place communicating to the masses his teachings and interpretations. And yet from the beginning, Jesus was no ordinary teacher.

When Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, he said, “We know that you are a teacher who has come from God” John 3:2

When Jesus had finished giving the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew tells us the crowds were so amazed at his teaching because “he taught as one having authority, not as the teachers of the law” Matthew 7:29

His words were life-giving and convicting, healing and mysterious, hopeful and provocative. When Jesus taught, He shook the foundation of the religious system and cut through the letter of the law straight to the heart of God, His Father. This rabbi was more than just teacher, He was prophet and healer – signs of the power of God at work in him by the Holy Spirit.

Consider for a moment the miracle and the mystery-

 this same scandalous Galilean Rabbi, who rocked 1st century Jewish society, appeared in risen form to Mary at the tomb, and altered the course of human history, appears to us today as we enter His presence! 

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3

He came to teach the heart of the Father to His children. Sit at His feet today, friends, with ears to hear and hearts to hold the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Our teacher is speaking, are we listening?

*Response: 

Why is it important to you to spend time learning from Jesus each day?

What practical ways can you carve out more time to meet with God?

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail