Where’s Jesus?

2 Samuel 9:7 So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” [NKJV]

2 Samuel is the work of [probably] more than one prophet speaking for God to a culture dominated by the struggle for power, senseless violence, emotional rebellion and constant conflict.  That environment and the gruesome deaths of Saul and Jonathan are events that usher in this interchange between David and Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth.  I have struggled in earlier chapters of this book to see past the harsh realities it records to the connections that make 2 Samuel 9 a meaningful path to the New Testament and Christ.  I understand Mephibosheth‘s caution.  He knows only the fear he’s endured and it wasn’t good.  Sometimes reading the Old Testament feels like endurance is the only connection because applications for finding faith in daily life are hard to come by.

This week as I gave my husband my synopsis of 2 Samuel 9 he asked me an important question: where’s Jesus?  I couldn’t give an answer but I wanted one.  David’s words, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father” probably seemed too good to be true to Mephibosheth but they sound very much like the words Jesus would speak. I found this commentary by Pastor David Guzik. [click to read].   Mephibosheth knew his security and safety were dependent on his need for the grace only the king could extend to him.  Guzik finished his commentary with this.. “We are Mephibosheth…”  

We are like Mephibosheth.  We are dependent on recognizing our need for the grace of Jesus speaking those same words to us that David spoke “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father.”   Recognizing need is  where I found Jesus in 2 Samuel 9 this week.  

Wednesday in Colossae

The last couple of weeks I’ve been juggling studying Colossians with one group and 2 Samuel with another.  It finally occurred to me I could combine each of these studies for my weekly blog posts.  The blog is the priority of my heart and the contrast of those two studies is an either/or struggle for my brain.  I hope dedicating more study time to each of them will allow me to discover connections between them that can change the perspective of my heart and brain into the reality of unity.  So here goes…this Wednesday in Colossae.

Colossians is the work of a man who’s intent on not letting physical separation keep him from revealing the reality of Jesus Christ as God’s provision for the people of a culture he’s not really a part of that he’s never met in a city he’s never visited from a prison cell 1200+ miles away.

THAT is a run-on sentence Paul would admire.  It also emphasizes his passion for Christ is all about perspective that doesn’t stop despite the piled-on nature of his own circumstances.  He wrote Colossians to remind us that “perspective” can be our application.  “You received Christ Jesus, the master; now live him.”  The circumstances of life do not have to be a barrier to living the life we’ve received from Him.

Colossians 2:6 & 7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. [MSG]

Tree of Life

Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.  5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. [NLT]

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[Jesus] called you by His freedom of relationship act to show the world the reality of your “gratitude to God for your salvation with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love.

Humility is the
carryover word from Ephesians 4:2 and
my last post that led me to this quote.  “Christians
did not invent humility as a virtue ― it is there
in the Hebrew scriptures already ― but Christian
scripture and subsequent Christian thought put humility at
the centre of the moral life in an unprecedented
way.  Jesus apparently thought of humility as the best
measure of a person’s kingdom-readiness.” 
Virtue that can 
unite us ”in the Spirit” and bind
”together with peace” only comes through
One body
One Spirit
One glorious hope
One Lord
One faith
One Baptism
One God and Father
– OF ALL – OVER ALL – IN ALL – LIVING THROUGH ALL –

Freedom of Relationship Act

Ephesians 4:1 So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], 2 with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love [not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person,] love. [AMP]

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What is your calling?  It’s an important question we need to answer.  I think we’ve gotten caught up in the representation of our faith, our calling, being the right activity or service.  The good things we do in the name of Jesus aren’t our calling, they’re the result of it.  The right answer to “what is your calling” is simply the right relationship with the right person.  Jesus is that right person.  The intimacy of your relationship with Him is what makes it possible “to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation”…and you can thank God for that!  

Jesus has been the learning curve of my life for 47 years now so I’ve had time to consider this idea.   Jesus Himself is “the calling to which you have been called.”  There is nothing of Himself He has withheld from you, and nothing,  N-O-T-H-I-N-G Jesus doesn’t know about you.  Still, you are the one He’s called.  He’s called you by His freedom of relationship act to show the world the reality of your “gratitude to God for your salvation with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love”…and you can thank God for that too!  ❤️

Sunday Soul Sing Along – Psalm 86:5

Psalm 86:5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. [NIV]

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Let this songa be a part of every heart in worship today.
I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice!

Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear

aLyrics to I Love You, Lord by Petra from Petra Praise 2

If you’re unfamiliar with this song.  There are many places on the internet you can listen to it and sing along.

The Whole Point

15:27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. ESV

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You, who “have been with me from the beginning” will also bear witness.   You’re probably familiar with the triangle illustration of the Godhead where each point represents one of the three persons, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, that make up the whole.  The lines between those points are what I’m calling life lines.  Together they represent a continuous cycle of life for those who by accepting and acting in accordance with Jesus have placed their lives securely within that perfect triangle.

Look what happens to that perfect triangle when you factor in your own experience as an image bearer living as a triangle within a triangle.  It was fascinating to play around with fitting the odd shaped, imperfect triangles that represent our lives into that perfect triangle.  The life lines are all different but each of them are all anchored by the same three points, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  They’re the anchor points that connect our uphill climbs, precipitous slopes and blessed straight paths that shape our life in Christ.

I hope my illustration represents those three points are the constants and the variables are those life lines.  Those variables change the witness of our life and are the reality that “will also bear witness” to those anchors.  That’s what  completes our witness and makes us fit perfectly within that perfect triangle.  That’s the whole point!

Bedrock

John 15:26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. ESV

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The titles the Bible uses for the Holy Spirit range from Advocate to Intercessor and Companion to Friend.  All titles have the same implied message;  Jesus has provided 24/7 personal support for those who abide with Him. Your commitment is involved and your mind is involved but the bedrock of your personal faith is formed by what the Holy Spirit reveals to God about you, and to you about God.

The Advocate recognizes, and targets, our needs through the transformative stories we read and hear as part of our personal devotion.  Those stories become the seeds of His purpose – to direct our personal growth.  The Advocate is the Intercessor between all involved parties – God, Himself, Jesus and you.  He is the one Companion you have that can speak absolute truth to God on your behalf, fully aware of your needs.  Only a Friend with the absolute knowledge of God’s truth is able to testify this encouragement back to you: “Christ’s anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught.”a 

The bedrock of personal faith, devotion and growth is the testimony of the Holy Spirit that teaches you to “live deeply” in what you are still being  taught.

a I John 2:27 [MSG]