Author: rogernelmes

Hitting The Right Target – Day 25

I started a growth track group last night called Chazown: Discover God’s Dream for Your Life. It’s based off of the book by Craig Groeschel. One of the key Scriptures for the night was from Acts 20:24.  “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” After reading that verse the question for me to consider is what task has the Lord given me? How would I complete that sentence as Paul did?

My life is worth nothing to me… if only I may ___________________

To really bring this point to life, here is one of my favorite stories from the Chazown book.

“Did you watch the 2004 Summer Olympics? If you did, you might have seen an American athlete named Matthew Emmons. He was solidly on track for the gold in the fifty-meter three-position rifle final.

Emmons was up for his final shot. He was so far ahead of the other competitors that all he had to do was send a bullet anywhere through the inner ring of the target. That would seal his gold medal. 

He prepared himself mentally. He paused his breathing. He took his aim. Then he fired.

The bullet passed right through the bull’s-eye.

But he was puzzled when the tone indicating a hit didn’t sound. Emmons then realized that the bull’s-eye he had hit was on the wrong target. He dropped from first place, and a virtually guaranteed gold medal, to eighth. 

The right shot hit the wrong target.

One day you will stand before a greater Judge than any who ever officiated at the Olympics. What will you say if He tells you that, in your life, you hit the wrong target?” (Chazown, Craig Groeschel, pg 37)

Application
1. Have you ever hit the wrong target in life? What was the result?
2. Where are you going in life? Are you going there on purpose?
3. What are some steps that you can take this week in order to start aiming at the right target?

Position of Christ – Day 17

Yesterdays blog, Day 16, we got to know a little about who Jesus is, the eternal Son of God, fully God and fully man. This helps us to understand the how and why of his sacrifice and what it means for humanity. Knowing who Jesus is gives us a greater understanding of not only his love toward humanity, but his right to grant forgiveness and eternal life.

Today I want to look briefly at his position. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus, the eternal Son of God,  is our way to get to God the Father. As our mediator between heaven and earth, we see Jesus having three basic positions (or offices); prophet, priest, and king. Because of WHO Jesus is we have access to forgiveness and eternal life.  Now we will discover today that because of His position we have freedom from sin.

Prophet
In Luke 4:18-19, we see Jesus visiting his hometown of Nazareth where he goes in the synagogue and reads from Isaiah 61:1-3. He then twice makes the implication that he is prophet (verse 21 & 24). The term prophet in the Greek (prophetes) means “one who speaks forth” and it became the technical term for one who speaks for God. Jesus not only fulfilled prophecy in who is was, he was also a prophet speaking the message of hope from a loving God (John 14:24).

Priest
The author of Hebrews describes his position as our great high priest (Hebrews 4:14-5:10) who is exceptionally qualified because of his sinless humanity and his eternal divinity. According to these verses and others found in the Old Testament, a priest is anointed by God to represent God to his people, and his people to God. By function a priest is to offer sacrifices for sin (Hebrews 5:1) and deal gently with those who are ignorant and have gone astray (Hebrews 5:2). The sacrifice he offered was that of his own life – the ultimate once for all sacrifice. “Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).

King
When Jesus was crucified, the soldiers put a sign above his head that called him the King of the Jews. Little did they know that he was so much more. In writing Revelation, John describes Jesus often as sitting on a throne, having majesty, and even addresses him as “King of Kings” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). As prophet he declared the message of God’s love for his creation. As priest he offered up the ultimate sacrifice to give us access to our creator. Now as King, he gives us victory over our enemies and He will lead us into eternity to rule and reign with him (Revelation 3:21).

Application
1.  What does Hebrews 1:1-2 indicate about Jesus office of prophet?
2. What do you discover in Hebrews 9:11-14 about Jesus as our high priest?
3. What does both Revelation 1:5 and Romans 6:7-14 tell us about Jesus as King?

 

Getting to Know Him – Day 16

One of my favorite things about being on a church staff is getting to know new people. I love meeting strangers, watching them become friends, and then getting plugged into the Community of Faith family. This is so rewarding for our team, to see an individual move from visitor to attender, from attender to connected, connected to community, community to discipleship, and then discipleship to ministry. In order to do that, you have to know who they are and they have to know you.

Over the next week of these first 100 days, I want us to get to know Jesus. I want to look at who Jesus is; the person, position, provision, passion, and purpose or Christ. The gospels are the primary source for the life and teachings of Jesus, but I think John gives us the most details of His divine side. Paul also gives great detail of what we call Christology, the theology of Christ. This will be some basic information but I will give you some scripture for further reading as well.

Jesus is the eternal Son of God
John 1:2-3 tells us that Jesus was with God the Father at creation and that everything was made through him. Paul furthers that claim by expanding on his participation in creation and his eternal existence. “For by him all things were created…all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things…” (Colossians 1:16-17).  The author of Hebrews also continues this truth that both he is the Son of God and that he created the universe. He also expands on the point that He is indeed the Son of God (Hebrews 1:1-14).

Jesus is God
Colossians 2:9 gives us a unique look into his divinity. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”  This was Paul’s way of saying that Jesus was fully God although he was fully man. The word “deity” in the Greek (theotes, from the root word theos, God) means the nature or state of being God and this is the only place in the New Testament where it is used. Jesus also makes the claim to be God and it is ultimately the reason the Jewish leaders sought to kill him (John 5:18; 19:7).

Jesus was human
As we previously stated, Jesus was fully God and fully man. Paul elaborates on this point further in Philippians 2:6-8 where he explains that although Jesus existed in the very nature of God, he divested himself of his power and prestige to take on the nature of a man, made in human likeness. The Greek word Paul uses here to describe Jesus’ divinity and humanity is morphe, meaning the nature, form or character of something. We of course know that Jesus has physical, mental and emotional qualities. He was born like a human, grew up, got hungry, had compassion, wept, bled, and died. (You will discover more of this in your further reading.)

Knowing who Jesus is as the eternal Son of God, fully God and fully man, is of great importance for us to then understand the how and why of his sacrifice and what it means for humanity. Knowing who Jesus is gives us a greater understanding of not only his love toward humanity, but his right to grant forgiveness and eternal life.

Further Reading
Read the following verses and jot down what you learn about the person of Christ
1. Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31, 35
2. Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22
3. Acts 2:22; 10:38
4. 1 Corinthians 15:3, 2 Corinthians 5:21
5. Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:4
6. Acts 1:9, 11; 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3

Application
1. What have you learned about who Jesus is?
2. What have you gained from your understanding?