Galactic Starveyors – The Image of the Invisible God

Colossians 1:15-16

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities —
all things have been created through Him and for Him.

He is the image of the invisible God.

God revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man. Even His name implies both.

Jesus was a common Jewish name during the time He walked on earth. He was born to a human and walked among us as a human so he had to have a human name.
Christ means Messiah or Anointed. Those who use this name for Jesus in scripture wanted their readers to know that Jesus wasn’t just a great man, a wise teacher, a healer, a compassionate friend…He was the one that the Jewish nation had been waiting for — the Messiah.

God spoke through Isaiah to let His people know that he was going to come to earth through Immanuel – “God with us.”

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

And Matthew translated that for us as he showed us in his gospel how the prophecy and the fulfillment came together.

Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear A Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

John tells us that no one has seen God at any time. But we know from his writings and others that many saw “the image of the invisible God;” following him, loving him, disputing him, pursuing his destruction.

John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Aren’t you thankful that God planned, before the foundation of the world, while we were yet sinners, to send Jesus Christ as his image so that we could know Him and be right with Him?

Father, thank you for sending Jesus Christ, the image of you – the invisible but all-powerful , all-knowing God. How we praise you, Father, for this opportunity to study Christ because knowing Him better helps us to know you better. Help our teaching come out of a passion for knowing you.

Losing the Baby Jesus

Time seems more limited this year than any Christmas season I can remember.  But it was still important to me to at least get the nativity scene put in my office at work.  I have a tree and lots of decor, but that’s just not important when time is precious.  The nativity, however, provides a great opportunity to share my faith.

I unwrapped each piece out of the box of ornaments.  Many of them were easy to identify by their size and weight, even though cloaked in protective tissue paper.

I had every piece – a shepherd, two sheep, Mary, Joseph, and five wise men.

One of the reasons I love this particular nativity is that it has five wise men.  Now I know that the wise men probably didn’t show up for another year and a half or so.  I put them out away from the Mary and Joseph and the baby to represent the distance in time.  But I am excited that there aren’t three of them.  We have no idea how many there were, so anything besides three is a good reminder that it might have been any number.

I had every piece – except the baby Jesus in the manger.  I picked up every piece of tissue wrapped around ornaments and partially unwrapped whatever to see if Jesus was there.  I told one of my friends at work as she walked by that I had lost Baby Jesus.

cropped-nativityAnd almost as soon as I said it I was struck by the blessing that we do not have to find Jesus.  He seeks us. He finds us.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Luke 15:3-7  So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the [b]open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

So if you don’t know Jesus, it isn’t because He isn’t seeking you, it is because you have not let yourself be “found.”

And once you have proclaimed Jesus as your Lord, then He cannot lose you and you cannot lose Him.

John 10:28  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Praise you, Lord, that you are seeking and finding and that we cannot lose you!  Amen.

 

No Complaining!

Philippians 2:14 NLT  Do everything without complaining and arguing,

We really shouldn’t stop just with this verse because there is a comma which means the thought goes on.  WHY should we do everything with complaining and arguing?

But for today the Lord stopped me on this verse alone.  I can be contentious.  And in a way, I don’t mean to be.  I don’t do it for argument’s sake, which some people love.  Why do I do it then?  Because I am prideful and I want to be right.  And I want someone else to recognize my right-ness.  P-R-I-D-E.  It’s so painful to be taught this.

In the NASB “complaining” (Greek = goggusmos) is “murmuring.”  I find it so easy to find the negatives.  Over the years I have recognized this and made myself reminders to find the good things.  But it’s not natural for me.

Am I as negative as the Hebrews who, rescued from slavery and being led to the promised land, grumbled and complained?  Am I a grumbler, like Korah (Numbers 16), who stirred up the people Hebrew people against Moses?  Or just a grumbler who is drain on those around who listen to the murmuring?

According to the MacArthur Study Bible Notes, “Arguing” is translated from the Greek word for “questioning.”  He says this means “‘criticisms’ directed negatively toward God.”

When I encountered the verse this morning, I wasn’t thinking specifically about arguing with God.  But when I am arguing with my husband, my boss, my friend does it come out of an argument I’m having with God?  Am I ultimately questioning His sovereignty and His plan for me?

What a witness I would have (see verses 15 and 16) and what an blessing I could be if I would stop complaining and arguing.

A New Word – Part 2

This post might make a little more sense if you read last week’s edition.  We’re talking about

revelationship

coming into relationship with God because of His revealing Himself to us.

Reveal comes from two words in Latin:

  • Re – (take away)
  • Velum – (veil)

A large “veil” or curtain was prescribed by God (see Exodus 26) to separate the holy place and the Holy of Holies.  The Holy of Holies is where the mercy seat was placed on the Ark of the Covenant which represented the presence of God. No one but the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies and he was only allowed to enter one day a year – The Day of Atonement.  Even when the Tabernacle was replaced by a permanent temple, there was a veil or woven curtain between the common man and God.
Continue reading

A New Term – Maybe You’ve Heard of It

It was a big disappointment to discover that a word I thought up recently was actually coined long enough ago to be the name of a book and the name of a ministry, have a Facebook page, and have an entry in the Urban Dictionary,

When I initially thought of the word it was as I was praying for some lost friends and thanking the Lord that he was revealing Himself to them.  As I moved through that prayer I realized that God reveals Himself for relationship.

The Urban Dictionary definition would have to be tweaked to apply to our revelationship to God.

A relationship in which each involved party acquires increasing knowledge through every interaction with one another.

The difference for believers is that God is the only one who needs to reveal Himself because He already knows everything about us.

God reveals himself to us in many ways.   He is reaching out to build relationship with us through Christ.
Continue reading

Staying Connected and Synch’d

How do you stay connected?  Do you stick to WiFi or strictly cellular service?  Are you out in boonies where you’re blessed to have LTE or do you have 4G?

What about your apps between devices?  Do you have any apps that won’t synch data back and forth?  I have one and that’s about all I can take.  But it is a really good one (other than that), so I keep it.

For,  “Who can known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.  1 Corinthians 2:16 

To have the mind of Christ, we must have the best connection.  Based on what I could find in my Googling, the fastest Internet speed is somewhere past 43 terabytes per second. Continue reading

Love Our Kids – Love Your Neighbor

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command:”Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Aha! One command. I can remember that. I should be able to obey one command – right? It sounds easy…

I found myself irritated last night by a young man (I work with 1-5 grades) during the brief supper time before Wednesday night activities. He was making statements and then “supporting” them with information that seemed totally unrelated. Some of it was way out there.

I’m not sure why he’s coming. He doesn’t enjoy other children. He often sits by himself putting off any efforts to include him and has many excuses for not participating. But after I got home, I realized He needs love, too. He needs Jesus, too, whether he knows it or not. I used to be irritated because his behavior was completely disruptive. When will I stop being irritated?

I will stop being irritated when I realize that he’s my neighbor and the love of Christ should compel me to love him and want to understand and meet his needs as best I can. I should be praying for me in this more than him.

You may not have this type of situation in your classroom. Hopefully, there aren’t any parents who even irritate you just a little bit – or a co-worker. But if there are, let’s pray that we will obey this ONE commandment.

Keep Looking Up

What powerful pictures and an even more powerful reminder of our faithful God!

I Sing Because I'm Free

Glorious Sunday morning in Keswick, VA

Sky of a thousand

shades of blue

How I long

to gaze at you

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Sea of azure

in the sky

Your wonder clouds

go swimming by

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Sky light, sky bright

always keeping 

Him in sight

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His glory shines

on everything

Oh, how Your beauty

makes me sing!

IMG_2487 Friday Night’s Sunset

Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.  1 Chronicles 29:11

The day always goes much more smoothly when I look up.  The moment I allow my thoughts to go astray, nothing good comes from it. My mini van didn’t want to start this morning. Immediately, I began to panic. I detest car (or in my case, mini van) troubles.  I don’t know a thing about cars.  But isn’t it crazy that we can trust our cars to take us here…

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Faulty (human) reasoning

I thought this was a great summary of the way sin starts with just thought.

Mustard Seed Budget

faulty reasoningNicodemus can’t understand being “born again.” How can a man enter his mother’s womb and be “born again?” he asks.

Judas Iscariot reasoned that it was time to cash out on Jesus. He reasoned Jesus wasn’t going anywhere after all, and that he should make the most of three years of following the loser named Jesus.

Job’s friends reasoned against their friend. Instead of consoling him, they blamed him. You must have sinned because look at the proof: God’s not with you anymore.

The very same logical fallacies atheists accuse us of using, they too use! (When a pseudo-intellectual brandishes an exotic Latin fallacy, it tends to quiet the non-Latin speaker.)

As Christians, we too can “reason” ourselves out of the will of God. We can “reason” our way of out going to church, tithing, outreaching, our marriage, etc.

To avoid this pratfall, bathe your decisions in prayer. Make sure…

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Love Our Kids – The Wisdom From Above

James 3:17 NLT—But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

The best wisdom doesn’t look anything like the world’s wisdom, does it? Everything around us shouts, “Me, me, what about me?” The wisdom from above asks,
“How can I serve you?”
“What is best for the whole, not just me?”
“What is right in God’s eyes, not mine?”
“How can I make a tough decision, but be gentle at the same time?”
“What do I need to give up (the small stuff) to show I am peace-loving?”
“What if I share more of my struggle to help you with yours?”

Tough stuff, but we also have the promise found earlier in the same book,

James 1:5 HCSB—Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.

We have all that we need to live and work wisely today.