Your Word Is A Lamp

Good morning blog readers. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on here, which unfortunately happens pretty often. But this morning I wanted to put a little something out so that you guys know what’s up. My wife and I have been crazy busy the past couple of weeks. We’ve been getting ready to move and with so much other stuff going on I just haven’t had the time to blog as I’d like. Sorry about that, although I know that there are a ton of great bloggers out there that can write much better than me 🙂

I will say this: I hope that you are all growing in the Lord and seeing Christ as the true center in all of life. Yesterday I was meditating on Psalm 119:105 where David writes “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” After a while of thinking about how important the Word is for us to go on, I was brought to considering how important Christ Himself is in order for us to go on. This of course brought me to the beginning of John where it’s stated that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” The Word that John is referring to, of course, is Jesus Christ.

After tweeting this verse, I received this reply from a brother in Christ whom I always find encouraging online:

This confirms, yet again, Christ’s centrality and supremacy. He not only leads us, but He also dwells inside of us and allows us to live from His very life. He lights our path and directs our ways. The Holy Spirit nudges us when we seem to have lost our way or have become blind in some area. Christ not only reveals truth, He is the Truth. He shows us the way by showing us Himself. Jesus Christ Himself is the way.

This was really encouraging to me yesterday in the midst of some of the positive chaos going on with our move and I hope that it can do the same for you. Jesus Christ and His riches are truly vast and extensive.

Talk is Cheap

Is it all about Jesus for us? I have a very loud voice and opinion when it comes to Christ being central in all aspects of life. I truly desire to see Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, become the focus of the Church, rather than programs and hierarchies. I say and believe all of this, but what does my life and the lives of the other believers that I’m close to look like?

We are not saved by works but the Bible is very clear about the fact that the true followers of Christ, those who are actually abiding in and living through Him, will be known by their fruit. Jesus Himself says that “you will recognize them by their fruit” in Matthew 7:20.

Who will we recognize?

We will recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing. We will recognize those who profess Christ with their mouths but walk away and continue to live in darkness. We will also recognize those who have truly been changed. We will recognize a man or woman who has been regenerated and no longer lives by their own power but by the indwelling life of Christ. If we are in Christ and Christ is in us then we will walk in the way that Jesus walked. Our thoughts will become His thoughts and our actions will be His. John, in his first epistle, tells us how we will know those who are truly in Him:

By this we may be sure that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him [Christ] ought to walk in the same way in which He walked – 1 John 2:5-6

So does this mean that because we are Christians we should memorize the commandments and learn what Jesus did and then try to copy it? No. Although this is a great way to examine ourselves, it’s not how we walk in the same way that He walked. In John 8:28, Jesus says that He does nothing on His own authority, but speaks as the Father teaches Him. Jesus was living by an indwelling life, the life of the Father. How are to live as Jesus lived? We too have to live by an indwelling life, the life of Christ. The way our lives are lived is important. What we do may not save us, but it does prove to whom we belong. We can do nothing apart from Christ, even please God. All of our toil and effort to please God becomes worthless if it is done in our natural power and apart from the life of Christ.

Talk is cheap. Let’s stop saying that it’s all about Christ and start living by His indwelling life, I am speaking to myself here more than anyone else. May the Holy Spirit reveal Jesus to us more and more each day, so that we can know Him and live by His life. Let’s seek Christ in way that causes everything else to fall away, including ourselves.

A Glimpse of Christ

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome it.

-John 1:1 – 5 (HCSB)

I was reading the first chapter of John yesterday and was brought to a stop upon reading these first few verses. Almost as if to see Christ in a new light, in a way had never recognized before. It makes sense that one would see Christ in a new light while reading John considering this Gospel account was written to Christians who lost sight of the true Christ, Lord of all.

This is Christ in eternity past and essentially His nature while on this earth and until forever. He was with the Father at the creation of the world, in fact the creation of the world and all things therein was done through Him. Through Christ, God the Father decided to extend their triune community that would express what the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit shared together before time.

This is nothing more than a glimpse. As I’ve said in a recent post, Christ’s riches are too vast and far too deep to ever fully comprehend while on this earth. Yet this glimpse that John gives us at the beginning of his Gospel speaks volumes concerning the Eternal purpose of God.

Stuck in Colossians

For the past couple of weeks I have been stuck in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Every time I open up the Bible I seem to go directly to that letter. Even when I attempt to read something else I lose focus and am quickly pulled back. Clearly there’s something in Colossians that I need a better understanding of, a revelation of Christ that’s waiting there for me. I’m just not quite sure what that is just yet.

Considering the above makes me think of something else I’ve been reading lately. I recently started reading The Temple Within by Milt Rodriguez again. The main theme in this book is fellowship with an indwelling Lord. Essentially understanding our place in Christ both individually and corporately as well as His place in the Father and in us. Something Milt mentions early in the book is our tendency to know so much about Jesus, to have a large amount of biblical knowledge, yet not truly know Christ himself.

Perhaps this is why I keep coming back to Colossians. Maybe I simply know it by memory and understand the truths in theory but I’m still missing a revelation of Jesus Christ. Head knowledge is overrated and doesn’t result in much more than being able to give quick answers to questions and debate with individuals who have a differing view and belief system than us. A revelation of Jesus Christ himself however is a whole different story. Understanding that Jesus himself is our peace, hope, joy, rock, love, salvation, patience, strength and all the other things that Christ is is something much greater.

I want to approach Colossians, and all other reading for that matter, with a search for nothing more than Christ. I don’t want to read the Bible like some blueprint, I want to read in order to allow Christ to reveal himself to me in greater and deeper ways. I want to find Him in the scriptures, not material for this blog and information that becomes useless apart from Him.

 

an experiene of Christ’s life

I’m still so amazed when I experience Christ’s life replacing my flesh in a given situation.

It amazes me how alive and well the Christ is in us. Christ relates to us, reveals things about Himself to us, speaks to us, communes with us, all by His spirit. Yet so many of us don’t know Christ in that way. So often (and for some their entire lives) we think that we have to be listening to a certain type of music or reading the Bible, or in a religious service to experience Christ…well none of that is true. Those ideas are false because they contradict the fact that Jesus Christ is alive and has taken up His residence in us both corporately (the Church) and individually.

Our Lord is not some distant object that we can only touch in certain atmospheres. He all-encompassing, He is all and in all. We walk in both death and life. We walk in the truth that when Christ died, we died with Him. We walk in the truth that when Christ was raised from the dead, we too were raised to that same life through baptism. The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.

God’s antidote for His Church

whenever there is a departure from Divine thoughts, whenever there is a loss of the original revelation of God, whenever the heavenliness, the spirituality, the Divine power of that which is of God ceases to operate in the midst of His people, and whenever the glory departs, the Lord’s reaction to such a state of things is to bring His Son anew into view”
-T. Austin Sparks

Recently I’ve been reading a book called “The School of Christ” by T. Austin Sparks. In it he mentions that John’s gospel was one of the last pieces of New Testament scripture written. What struck me as more interesting was that it was written at a time where the Church had gone astray and lost it’s vision, or purpose, and needed Christ freshly revealed to them again…

After all else had been written, after all the wisdom God showed through His work in Paul, Peter and the other apostles, after all the miraculous works that took place and the communities that were planted, John states…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..”

This is where it all begins, and this is what John had to say to these people who had been believers for years.

I’ve seen first hand the dangers of losing sight of Christ, I’ve experienced focusing more on music, on organization, on institutions made by man, on various gifts of the Spirit, all sorts of things that may be good or bad, and losing sight of Christ. “But I’m doing this FOR God” some might say, and they, as I was, are truly sincere in their hearts, but that’s not what God asks for. Jesus said OUR righteousness is as filthy rags, how can we expect to give something to God of our own? We can do nothing apart from Christ, meaning anything that we do (even things for God) apart from Christ (which is all too possible and common) is worth nothing, because what pleases God is His Son. We can try all we want to implement new ideas and new programs, but they ultimately fail, what we need to implement is Christ and His eternal purpose.

In recent months God has shown and revealed His son to me in new and fresh ways, in simple ways. The Church as a whole, though often sincere, is deceived into not focusing on Christ, recognizing His Lordship but not recognizing His Headship. I believe the Body of Christ needs a simple, fresh presentation of Christ and His eternal purpose. We don’t need new direction or other revelation, we need Christ, at all moments, in all situations, for in Him all the fullness of God dwells.