Monday, February 19, 2018

Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent--Deliverer

artwork by Krista Hamrick

Colossians 1:13...

NASB: For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

Amplified: [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

Lightfoot: Yes, by a strong arm he rescued us from the lawless tyranny of darkness, removed us from the land of our bondage, and settled us as free citizens in our new and glorious home, where his Son, the offspring and the representative of his love, is King;

NLT: For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.

Phillips: For we must never forget that he rescued us from the power of darkness, and re-established us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in the kingdom of light.
Weymouth:  It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of His dearly-loved Son,
Wuest:  who delivered us out of the tyrannical rule of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we are having our liberation, procured by the payment of ransom.
Young's Literal: who did rescue us out of the authority of the darkness, and did translate us into the reign of the Son of His love,

Delivered is the Greek word, rhuomai which means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably refers to a snatching from danger, evil or an enemy. This basic idea is that of bringing someone out of severe and acute danger, and so to save, rescue, deliver, preserve. Rhuomai emphasizes greatness of peril from which deliverance is given by a mighty act of power. In the NewTestament rhuomai is always associated with God as the Deliverer and with a person as the object of His deliverance.


Rhuomai  means to rescue, deliver, as when we first became believers and the Lord...delivered (rhuomai) us from the domain of darkness and transferred (removed us from. one place to another, causing a change in someone's official position) us to the kingdom (denoting sovereignty, royal power, dominion) of His beloved Son. Since rhuomai means to draw to oneself, here we see the great picture that God drew us out of Satan’s kingdom to Himself. That event was the new birth. We are not gradually, progressively delivered from Satan’s power. When we placed our faith in Christ, we were instantly delivered.


A great example is wading in a rushing river and suddenly being caught in the current utterly helpless. As you cry out someone hears you and holds out their hand as you go rushing by. As you lie there beside the river, safe in the presence of the one who pulled you out, you still are in the presence of the dangerous rushing current...you can hear it...you can see it...but you've been delivered from danger you are now safe. How foolish to walk right back into that current and let it sweep you away!


Jesus, when asked by his disciples how they should pray, gave as part of his answer that they should ask...”And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver (rhuomai - in the form of a command) us from evil.”


Rhuomai is in the present tense indicating that is our Savior continually delivers us. The  middle voice is reflexive ("He Himself rescues us") and emphasize His personal involvement in the rescue. He initiates and participates in the carrying out of the rescue.


Rhuomai is in the aorist tense (past completed act) and the middle voice which conveys the great truth that God initiated the "rescue operation" and participated in the carrying out of the operation!  One could paraphrase this verse as "God Himself rescued us" or the Amplified Version's "[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself.” This deliverance points to the moment of salvation for every believer—He "rescued" us from sin and death when He died in our place, and that "credit" was placed on our account the moment we first believed this Good News. The truth to depraved men and women is that we did not (and could not) rescue ourselves from the jaws of eternal destruction. God did only what He could do…truly all is grace.


Wing-walker Lee Oman slipped from his perch underneath a Waco biplane and dangled from a safety line 1500 feet over the Hillsboro, Oregon, airport during an air show. At first, everyone in the crowd of 40,000 thought the fall was part of Oman’s daring midair act. But after the plane had circled the airport for 20 minutes, it was obvious something had gone wrong. Oman had fallen and didn’t have the strength to pull himself back up. When they saw what was happening, several men jumped into a pickup truck and sped onto the runway. The pilot of the biplane saw the truck and realized what the would-be rescuers had in mind. He gently lowered his dangling human cargo over the vehicle until Oman was within reach. While one man grabbed Oman and pulled him into the truck bed, another cut the wing-walker’s nylon safety harness. Oman was free of the plane’s deadly grasp.


Captain Scott O’Grady knows better than most what rescue means. In June 1995 his plane was shot down over Bosnia. The Air Force pilot survived on insects, plants, and rain water and was only able to use his radio transmitter late at night. On the sixth night of his ordeal, his faint radio signal was picked up by another U.S. pilot. A daring rescue mission eventually brought the helpless pilot to safety. As amazing as this rescue was, every believer has experienced one even more miraculous.


We humans just naturally tend to be self-absorbed, so it is easy to get things all turned around and think that the Christian life is all about me—all about my disciplines and my effort, all about my problems and what I can do to solve them. But this scripture is one that pulls us back to the center, back to the truth: it’s all about what God has done--Christ's finished work on the cross--our Deliverer!

Heavenly Father, my Deliverer, I don’t know what is going to happen in the next twenty-four hours, but I know that You will give me the strength I need to handle it and to deal with whatever challenges I may face. I bless You, Lord! Give me Your peace as I look to You for everything I need. I rejoice in my relationship with You, Father—all because of what Jesus Christ has done for me. Having an intimate relationship with Jesus, the friend of sinners, allows me to have an eternal perspective about everything else that happens to me today. I praise You for the joy such a friendship brings. In Jesus’ mighty Name Above All Names—Deliverer we pray, amen.


Look Up—meditate on Colossians 1:13

Look In
—as you meditate on Colossians 1:13 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on Colossians 1:13 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

* If you liked this post, you'll love this page -- Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ 

How this book came to be...

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista!  


My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.
Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.



Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:



Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”


Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)
Weekly LinkUps…
 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent--Creator

artwork by Krista Hamrick

Colossians 1:16

NASB 
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.


Amplified: For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.

Lightfoot: For in and through him the whole world was created, things in heaven and things on earth, things visible to the outward eye and things cognizable by the inward perception. His supremacy is absolute and universal. All powers in heaven and earth are subject to him. This subjection extends even to the most exalted and most potent of angelic beings, whether they are called thrones or dominations or princedoms or powers, or whatever title of dignity men may confer on them. Yes: he is the first and he is the last. Through him, as the mediatorial Word, the universe has been created; and unto him, as the final goal, it is tending. In him is no before or after. He is preexistent and self-existent before all the worlds.

Phillips: He existed before creation began, for it was through him that every thing was made, whether spiritual or material, seen or unseen. Through him, and for him, also, were created power and dominion, ownership and authority. In fact, every single thing was created through, and for him.

Wuest: because in Him were created all things in the heavens and upon the earth, the visible things and the invisible ones, whether they are thrones or lordships or principalities or authorities. All things through Him as intermediate agent and with a view to Him stand created.

Young's Literal: because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created.


By Him all things were created. All things means just that—all things. Even the hill called Golgotha. Even the thorns that pierced His blessed brow. Even the Cross that brought His agonizing death. How great is His love for His creation that He would die for it to redeem it!

By Him (en) is literally "in Him", the preposition "in" (Greek = en) denoting that Christ is the sphere within which the work of creation takes place. All the laws and purposes which guide the creation and government of the universe reside in Him. "“By Him” is en autōi, here, not instrumental but locative; “in Him” were all things created." (Wuest)

Theologian William E. Vine 
writes:  "In Him” describes Him as the Designer, the One Who, in fellowship with the Father, determined the condition of all things and the laws which govern and control them." 

Theologian John Eadie writes: "by (in) Him"—We rather hold “that the act of creation rests in Christ originally, and its completion is grounded in Him.” He is not simply instrumental cause, but He is also primary cause. The impulse to create came upon Him from no co-ordinate power of which He was either the conscious or the passive organ. All things were created in Him—the source of motive, desire, and energy was in Him. He was not, as a builder, working out the plans of an architect—but the design is His own conception, and the execution is His own unaided enterprise. He did not need to go beyond Himself, either to find space on which to lay the foundation of the fabric, or to receive assistance in its erection.”
Theologian Charles F. Moule explains: "In other words, the mighty fact that all things were created was bound up with Him, as its Secret. The creation of things was in Him, as the effect is in its cause." 
 
Pastor Marvin Vincent says: “In is not instrumental but local; not denying the instrumentality, but putting the fact of creation with reference to its sphere and center. In Him, within the sphere of His personality, resides the Creative will and the creative energy, and in that sphere the creative act takes place. Thus creation is dependent on Him. The (definite) article (ta panta = "thethings") gives the collective sense—the all, the whole universe of things. Without the article it would be all things severally.” Note the emphatic repetition of "all things" which would include the seen and the unseen world!  The universe of things, not all things severally, but “all things collectively.”  The phrase literally reads "the all things.”  Seven times in six verses Paul mentions “all creation,” “all things” and “everything,” thus stressing that Christ is supreme over all.”

Were created (ktizo) in the New Testament is always used of an act of God creating something out of nothing. Paul affirms that creation was a real event in time! Were created is the aorist tense, which points to the definite historical act of creation. 

Theologian Charles F. Moule writes: “The Greek verb ktizo denotes the making, constituting, of a new state of things. As a Divine operation, such “creation” is the ordering by sovereign will of the material (of whatever kind) which by that will exists.”

Theologian John Eadie writes: “The aorist tense characterizes creation as a past and perfect work. Creation is here in the fullest and most unqualified sense ascribed to Christ, and the doctrine is in perfect harmony with the theology of the beloved disciple. The work of the six days displayed vast creative energy, but it was to a great extent the in bringing of furniture and population to a planet already made and in diurnal revolution, for it comprehended the formation of a balanced atmosphere, the enclosure of the ocean within proper limits, the clothing of the soil with verdure, shrubs, trees, and cereal grasses—the exhibition of sun, moon, and stars, as lights in the firmament—the introduction of bird, beast, reptile, and fish, into their appropriate haunts and elements—and the organization and endowment of man, with Eden for his heritage, and the world for his home. But this demiurgical process implied the previous exercise of Divine omnipotence, for “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It is not, therefore, the wise and tasteful arrangement of pre-existent materials or the reduction of chaos to order, beauty, and life, which is here ascribed to Jesus, but the summoning of universal nature into original existence. What had no being before was brought into being by Him. The universe was not till He commanded it to be. “He spake and it was done.” Every form of matter and life owes its origin to the Son of God, no matter in what sphere it may be found, or with what qualities it may be invested. In heaven or on earth—Christ’s creative work was no local or limited operation; it was not bounded by this little orb; its sweep surrounds the universe which is named in Jewish diction and according to a natural division—“heaven and earth.” Every form and kind of matter, simple or complex—the atom and the star, the sun and the clod—every grade of life from the worm to the angel—every order of intellect and being around and above us, the splendors of heaven and the nearer phenomena of earth, are the product of the First-born.”
Theologian H. Wayne House writes: “Christ’s creative work was all encompassing, for it includes all created things “in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.” These inclusive qualifiers are significant in light of the problems facing the Colossian church. The entire physical creation, which was distasteful to the incipient Gnostics and ascetics, nevertheless had its origin in Christ. The Incarnation, in which God was manifest in the flesh, was abhorrent enough. But the concept of Christ’s having been so closely involved with the physical world as its very Creator was especially repulsive to the heretics. On the other hand Paul affirmed in Colossians that the creation is good, not evil. In contrast to the practice of giving homage to mediatorial heavenly beings, which prevailed in Hellenistic cults and Jewish mysticism, Paul boldly affirmed that everything “invisible”—including angels—is part of the creation that is in Christ, that is, is contained in Him and by Him. This clearly removes them from any position worthy of worship. The first “created” in this verse is aorist tense and in this section the verb is perfect tense, indicating that all things were created at a point in time in the past and that they "stand created" or  "remain created." The perfect tense then speaks of the permanence of the universe, the cause of which rests on Christ far more than on gravity! All creation is a Christo-centric universe! "Entropy" in a spiritual sense is devolution from our Creator Christ Jesus. How tragic is this truth! How great the deception that we are evolving toward higher beings. How powerful is the Lie. Believers will all be changed, but that is not evolution but glorification and it transpires in a moment!”



Theologian John Eadie writes: The aorist tense carries us back to the act of creation, which had all its elements in Him, and the perfect tense exhibits the universe as still remaining the monument and proof of His creative might. The first clause depicts creation in its origin, and the second refers to it as an existing effect. In the former, it is an act embodying plan and power, which are alike “in Him”—in the latter, it is a phenomenon caused and still continued “by Him.”


By Him is more literally "through Him,” the preposition through (dia ~ by means of) with the genitive indicating that Christ is the immediate instrument of creation.  "For Him" is literally "unto Him" where the preposition "for" (eis) indicates that Christ is the goal of creation.

Pastor Marvin Vincent writes: “All things came to pass within the sphere of His personality and as dependent upon it. All things, as they had their beginning in Him, tend to Him as their consummation, to depend on and serve Him.”


Pastor Warren W. Wiersbe writes: "Everything exists in Him, for Him, and through Him. Jesus Christ is the Sphere in which they exist, the Agent through which they came into being, and the One for whom they were made. Paul’s use of three different prepositions is one way of refuting the philosophy of the false teachers. For centuries, the Greek philosophers had taught that everything needed a primary cause, an instrumental cause, and a final cause. The primary cause is the plan, the instrumental cause the power, and the final cause the purpose. When it comes to Creation, Jesus Christ is the primary cause (He planned it), the instrumental cause (He produced it), and the final cause (He did it for His own pleasure)." Paul repeats that Jesus was the agent of creation and adds that He is the purpose of it as well! The whole of the cosmos was made for Christ! Not only were we created for Him, through His redemption discussed earlier we have in a sense been "re-created" for Him.”

Spend time contemplating the awesome majesty and splendor of our Creator and sustainer of the universe, Who has spared nothing to reveal His Father’s heart. Recommit yourself to Him and to living according to His ways. Ask for the empowering of his Spirit to delight in doing what God commands. In prayer, lift your voice in extravagant worship of our Lord Jesus Christ, singing praises to His name. Worship Him because He is the perfect, holy, almighty Creator and king of the universe and yet calls you into intimate relationship with Him. Jesus has opened the way for us to experience communion and harmony with our Creator. This is what we were made for! The majesty and brilliance of our God fills the earth. The glory of God is higher than the heavens. Even children and infants give him praise. He set the sky, the moon and the stars, and all the galaxies in place. He is truly an awesome God! From the time we were conceived and born into this world to the very end of our lives, our Creator, who knitted us together in our mother’s womb, the same eternal, unchanging One who created the heavens and the earth, is the One who has been caring for us all along, through the hands of parents and others who have loved, nurtured, and taught us. And it is He who will sustain us—throughout our childhood and youth, in our active years of working or parenting, and into the elder years when our hair is white with age and we can no longer care for ourselves but are dependent on the care of others. Our Creator, our Heavenly Father is our God of everlasting care.

Lord Jesus, help me to realize that You are everlastingly my Father, intimately acquainted with me and with every moment of my entire lifetime. Help me to rely on You through every season of my life and to rest in the knowledge that even when I am old, You will still be caring for me. Grant me the grace to enter into true praise and to experience Your delight in me. I want to be lost in wonder, love, and praise. I want to sing songs that lift Your name high. Give me fresh revelation today, Lord, of who you are. Inspire me so that I will sing of your greatness and glory forever! You are the king over all the earth. I love you, Lord. We praise You for who You are. Your glory is higher than the heavens. Your majesty fills the earth. We worship and adore You. Help us to walk as Your children, giving honor and glory to you and never losing sight of Your power or Your love. In Jesus’ mighty Name Above All Names—Creator, we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Colossians 1:16

Look In
—as you meditate on Colossians 1:16 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on 
Colossians 1:16
pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.
* If you liked this post, you'll love this page -- Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ 

How this book came to be...

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista! 

My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.

Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.


Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:



Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”


Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.



With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)

Weekly LinkUps…
 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent--Bread of Life

artwork by Krista Hamrick

John 6:48:


NASB: I am the bread of life.Amplified: I am the Bread of Life [the Living Bread which gives and sustains life].

Expanded Bible: I am the ·bread that gives life [bread of life].

Living Bible: Yes, I am the Bread of Life!

The Voice: I am the bread that gives life.

Bread was the primary food of people in Bible times. It was made from a variety of grains, often mixed with lentils or beans. The “loaves” were baked flat, about a half inch thick. In the Bible, bread is symbolic as the sustainer of physical life.

Theologian Haddon W. Robinson writes: “Years ago my wife and I took our children to an amusement park in Texas. By day’s end, Vicki and Torrey were tired and hungry. As we were leaving, we passed a concession stand and Vicki asked for some cotton candy. I told her we would get some real food in a few minutes, but she wouldn’t hear of it. So I decided to invest $1.50 to teach her a lesson. Vicki got the cotton candy she begged for. But as she bit into it, she discovered there was nothing to it. Finally she handed it back to me and said, “Daddy, it’s not real!” She knew she was hungry, and she learned that cotton candy promises something it can’t deliver. There is a deep hunger within all of us. Sigmund Freud believed people are hungry for love. Karl Jung insisted that we crave security. Alfred Adler maintained that significance is what we are after. But Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life” John 6:48. Jesus was saying that if we want the deepest hunger of our life satisfied, we need to go to Him to be filled. He knew that our hunger and thirst are really for Him. Don’t settle for spiritual cotton candy when Christ can fill the emptiness in your life. Only the Bread of Life can satisfy our spiritual hunger.”



Pastor John MacArthur states: “I want to draw your attention to John 6:32-59 where our Lord gives this great sermon on, I Am the Bread of Life. He repeats that several times. “I am the Bread of Life.” It is interesting to note also that the word “Bethlehem” in Hebrew means “house of bread.” This sermon is a shocking day toward the end of the Galilean ministry of Jesus as He taught the Jewish people in the synagogue at Capernaum. The most compelling statement around which all of this is built is the repeated statement, “I am the Bread of life.”  That’s His claim, verse 32, verse 33, verse 48. This is the first of seven “I AMs” in the Gospel of John, in which our Lord takes the verb “to be” in Hebrew, the name of God who is the “I AM that I AM,” and applies it to Himself and adds a metaphor. “I am the Bread of life. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the Vine. I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Life. I am the Resurrection and the Life.”  All of those I AMs are efforts on the part of our Lord to make clear that He is one in the same as God. This is the first of those seven I AMs, in which He takes the name of God, and in this case applies as He does on several of those occasions, a metaphor to explain something about His nature and His work.  Now, you have to understand how monumental this sermon was given in the Capernaum synagogue.  He’s talking to Jewish people, and He presents this powerful claim that He has come down from heaven.  Jesus is saying, “I AM the means by which eternal life can become yours.” To say that He is bread is to use really a metonym for food, nourishing food that gives life and sustenance. Bread, then, was simply a word that encompassed all nutritious food.  Jesus is saying that, “I am your food. I am your true soul food.” Eating is necessary. Eating is in response to hunger. Eating is personal and eating is transformational. If you don’t eat physically, you will die. If you eat, the food you take in transforms you, and that’s what Christ does. We are praying for those who have come, looked, or are looking, but haven’t believed, received, eaten, accepting Christ, not only as the bread that nourishes the soul, but the blood that cleanses the soul.”

Theologian Richard L. Pratt, Jr. writes, “In chapter 6, John employs a chiastic structure (a writing style that uses a unique repetition pattern for clarification and emphasis) focusing upon unbelief…”
         
A. I am the bread of life (6:35)
B. whoever believes (6:35)

C. seen (6:36)

D. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out (6:37)

E. sent me…raise it up on the last day…I will raise him up on the last day (6:38-40)

F. grumbled (6:41)

G. Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, I have come down from heaven (6:42)

F. grumble (6:43)

E. sent me…I will raise him up on the last day (6:44)

D. And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me (6:45)

C. seen…seen (6:46)

B. whoever believes (6:47)

A. I am the bread of life (6:48)


Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, our Counselor, our Good Shepherd. Prayerfully studying and meditating on the character traits and names of God is one of the most faith-building, encouraging things you can do for your spiritual life. It will dispel your anxiety and boost your faith. It will enable you to trust God more. Knowing the true character of God will renew and transform your mind with the truth, dissolve doubt, and breathe life into your soul. Saying aloud the attributes of the Lord and thinking about how you’ve experienced different aspects of His character can be a powerful act of worship. Ask God to reveal Himself to you in greater clarity than you’ve ever experienced before.

Lord Jesus, my Bread of Life, thank You that You have put within each of us a spiritual hunger that only You can fill. Cause me to hunger and thirst for You and Your life today. I want to join You in what You are doing to rescue those who are perishing, to feed those who are hungry and thirsty with your Bread of Life and Living Water. Help me to hear and obey when You call on me. Empower me to be Your hands and Your feet in the place where I live. In Jesus’ mighty Name Above All Names—Bread of Life, we pray, amen.


Look Up—meditate on John 6:48

Look In
—as you meditate on John 6:48 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on John 6:48 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

* If you liked this post, you'll love this page -- Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

How this book came to be...

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista! 

My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.
Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.

Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:


Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”


Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)Weekly LinkUps…


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent--Alpha and Omega

artwork by Krista Hamrick

 
Revelation 1:8

NASB: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Amplified: “I am the Alpha and the Omega [the Beginning and the End],” says the Lord God, “Who is [existing forever] and Who was [continually existing in the past] and Who is to come, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all].”

Expanded Bible: The Lord God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega [the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet;
21:6; 22:13]. I am the One who is and [the One who] was and [the One who] is coming [see 1:4]. I am the ·Almighty [All-powerful].”

NLT:  “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”

The Message: The Master declares, “I’m A to Z. I’m The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive. I’m the Sovereign-Strong.”

Young’s Literal: `I am the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and end, saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is coming -- the Almighty.'


Pastor Henry Allen "Harry" Ironside has said: “In Revelation 1:8 we read the words of the Son who declared Himself to be Jehovah also, One eternally with the Father. He is the Alpha and Omega—the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet—the beginning and the ending. He created all things; He will wind up all things and bring in the new heavens and the new earth. He is, and was, and is the coming One. He is El Shaddai—the Almighty—who of old appeared to Abraham. May our hearts be occupied with Him and His return be our “blessed Hope!”

Pastor J. Hampton Keathley III writes: “I Am the Alpha and Omega.” These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. It is equivalent to our A and Z. This does not relate so much to time but to truth. It expressed the extent of God’s knowledge and wisdom (
Col. 2:3). It stresses Christ’s or the Godhead’s omniscience or infinite knowledge and wisdom. This stands then as a strong authentication of the book of Revelation because it comes from the Alpha and Omega. In life, we understand these concepts. Things begin…things end. Jobs start…jobs stop. Decades come…decades go. Birth…death. But there is something special and unique about the words Alpha and Omega as they appear in Revelation 1:8. Jesus Christ used those terms to describe Himself—terms that refer to His deity. When used in Scripture, the words have an almost unfathomable meaning. Jesus, the Alpha, had no beginning. He existed before time, before the creation of the universe. Jesus cannot be limited by the word Alpha. As the Omega, He is not the "end" as we know it. He will continue to exist into the everlasting, never-ending future. It's mind-boggling and awe-inspiring—this view of our Lord. He's the one "who is and who was and who is to come.”

Pastor John MacArthur states: In
Revelation 1:8, “The Lord God says, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” God is saying, if you think this may not happen, I just want to affirm who is in charge of this event and who He is. So, “the Lord God says.” The speaker is Jehovah. This, by the way, is His signature on the certainty of the second coming. This is absolutely magnificent. God puts His signature on this prophecy by emphasizing three of His attributes: (1) His omniscience: “I am the Alpha and the Omega.”  What are “alpha” and “omega”? The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Why is God saying, “I am Alpha and Omega?”  He is saying, “I am the supreme, sovereign alphabet in which is contained all knowledge.” That’s what He’s saying. “I am alpha to omega, I am A to Z. I contain all knowledge. There is no information, there is no knowledge, there is no truth, there is no understanding, there is no wisdom outside of what I know. When I say Christ is coming, I’m telling you there won’t be any surprises because there’s nothing outside My knowledge. I am Alpha to Omega. I know everything.  And since I have all knowledge, there is nothing I don’t know about. There is nothing that exists or could happen to ever foil this plan because there’s nothing I don’t know about.  There are no unknown factors that could sabotage the second coming.” (2) His omnipresence: He identifies Himself as the One “who is and who was and who is to come.”  This is really an astounding statement. He doesn’t say, “I am the One who was there, who is here, and who will be over there.” He just says, “I was, I am and I will be.” And it is open ended. Here God is affirming His eternal presence. He is everywhere at all times. He always has been. He always will be. And He is. His presence is not bounded. His presence is not limited by time or by space. God is saying, “I am everywhere all the time at all times, and so there’s nothing outside of where I am. There’s nothing that can happen before I’m around and there’s nothing that can happen after I leave because there’s never a before I’m there and there’s never a time when I’m gone. And when I say Jesus is coming, it is settled because all matters, all issues, all persons, all events, all places, and all realities for all eternity are visible to Me.” (3) His omnipotence: At the end of Revelation 1:8, He says I’m “the Almighty.” He is the supreme power. Yes, He has all knowledge. Yes, He is ever and everywhere present.  And yes, He is in absolute, sovereign, complete, control of every single thing.  When John says He’s coming, He’s coming. And God is going to guarantee it.  And He’s going to come in a glory cloud and the whole world is going to see Him. God guarantees it by His person in Revelation 1:8.”


As we look at the state of the world around us, at what has happened in the past and what we may face in the future, there is much to fear: Will a sniper terrorize our community as has happened in other areas? Will the bottom fall out of the economy? Will my job be jeopardized? Will there be violence at my child’s school? Fear about possibilities like these can consume us, producing increased stress and even illness. But Revelation 1:8 tells us that there is only one thing to fear—God Himself. This fear is not an unhealthy fear that leads to cringing and hiding as Adam and Eve did after they had disobeyed God. Rather, it is a humble and honest recognition of God’s beauty, sovereignty, and preeminence so that worshiping and serving him take first place in our lives. It is a healthy reverence that leads to intimacy and an understanding that the power of God residing in us by his Spirit is greater than the power of our fears or of our enemy Satan. A deep sense of awe about who God is leads to the true knowledge and wisdom we desperately need for our lives today and in the future. No matter how out of control things may appear, God’s plan remains in place. He is running the show and knows the end from the beginning. No one is higher or mightier than the Lord! He governs our world, His kingdom will come, and His sovereign will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven! God’s intentions can never be shaken, and His plans stand firm forever. His amazing power is at work in the world, and He will carry out His eternal purpose to the last detail.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, Who is, Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty. Develop in me a deep reverence of You that leads to life, wisdom, and greater intimacy with You. Open my heart to be teachable and to receive correction and discipline willingly. Grant that I would fear You, and not my circumstances in the present or the what-ifs of the future. May I be so filled with Your love that faith would replace my fear. Let it be forever settled in my heart that You are returning. Help me to share Your life with others who yearn to know more about You. Open my eyes to the signs that are all around me so that I might prepare for and anticipate Your return. Because You have all authority on earth and in heaven, I can rest in You. You are God, without beginning or end. I am thankful that wherever I go, I don’t have to feel insecure or anxious because You are there! Thank You for Your faithfulness and loving-kindness that follows me all the days of my life. Help me to trust You, knowing that You are in control and that You are using everything that happens in my life to show me that in You I am complete and lack nothing. In Jesus’ mighty Name Above All Names--Alpha and Omega, we pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on
Revelation 1:8

Look In
—as you meditate on Revelation 1:8 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on
Revelation 1:8 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

* If you liked this post, you'll love this page -- Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent

* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

How this book came to be...

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista! 

My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link. Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.

Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:


Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”


Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)

Weekly LinkUps…


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