bible study, Christian, Christian Church, christian encouragement, Faith, Jesus Follower, Uncategorized

A Promised Foundation

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;

    he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.

He will be the sure foundation for your times,

    a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;

    the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Isaiah 33:5-6

I don’t know about you but I sure can use some stability this year.  As a child my life, viewed from the outside, looked very stable.  My parents were married, we had a nice home, two kids, dogs, cats, a little garden in the backyard.  I was a Girl Scout and did well in school.  And I felt so alone.  

I blamed all my family problems on moving from the Los Angeles area down to San Diego when I was in 4thgrade.  Everything seemed to change.  My mom was extremely unhappy and angry so often and my father rarely spoke.  My brother was fast approaching a time when the hidden timebomb of a manic-depressive disorder would take over his life.  My parents weren’t what you might call a “team.”  Having the benefit of hindsight, I realize now it had nothing to do with the move and everything to do with a lack of a solid rock within our family unit.

Not being raised in a Christian (or any faith) environment I found myself searching for stability through my parents and then friends and boyfriends.  As my mother’s own mental health issues began coinciding with my brother’s, the atmosphere around my house became so volatile so I searched for peace and love through insecure friendships and lopsided romantic relationships.  This led to competitive relationships and risky sexual behavior.   All the while I longed for a firm foundation to set my hopes, my fears, and my need to find joy.

Thankfully, through God and a wonderful husband, I have found that “sure foundation,” as written by the prophet Isaiah.  The promise God makes in this passage is that He is our solid rock, He is the stability for which we all yearn.  He is the same today as he was yesterday.  And He will be the same tomorrow.  There’s no rug pulled out from under us.  There’s no switching of loyalties.  There’s no character flaw that suddenly comes to light and bites us.  He is perfect.  He is solid.  He is the “rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge.”

Lest we miss the agreement part of this promise let me remind you of the last sentence of Isaiah 33:5-6: “The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”  There’s that other half of the covenant.  Our part in this relationship requires us to exalt God and respect His place in the universe.  He is God and we are not.  And when we try to place others above Him, they will surely crumble, at some point. 

I was reading today about an astronaut’s “lifeline.”  NASA (the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration) considers there to be two lifeline systems for astronauts:

“From lift off through landing, the astronauts aboard the Shuttle along with the thousands of people supporting the flight on Earth depend on NASA’s team of experts to manage this complex communication system. Maintaining good communications is critical.  The lifeline is comprised of two systems – a ground-based network composed of communication stations, and a space network operating orbiting satellites. As the Shuttle orbits the Earth, the NASA team monitors and continually adjusts the communication pathways to ensure that command, tracking, telemetry, video, and voice communications are clear and secure. “

I like that visual – a large team of incredibly talented people making sure our astronauts in space are able to accomplish their mission goals and come home safely.  As Christians we have our own talented team that makes up our solid rock – God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. 
You believe in God; believe also in me.
John 14:1

When we live in constant communication with our Holy team, they can continually monitor our progress, provide a firm foundation, and keep us on the right track – completing the mission and bringing us safely home. 

bible study, Christian, Christian Church, christian encouragement, Jesus Follower, Uncategorized

His Amazing Identity

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.  After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Luke 2:41-50


Who have you believed Jesus to be? 

The world has so many depictions of what Jesus “looks like.” White Jesus, Black Jesus, Buddha Jesus, Italian Jesus — it seems as though everyone has taken their idea of Jesus and made it reflect their own image. This practice is a dishonoring habit by churches everywhere who spend so much time painting Jesus to reflect their faces, instead of painting themselves to look more like Jesus.

No matter where you are at in your walk with Christ, I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had different perspectives of who Jesus is. For me, I’ve always thought of him as a Mediterranean- looking trim man with brown flowy locks. I can thank several movies and documentaries for that image. I’ve also thought of him as God’s Son who sits on a seat lower than God, answers to His requests and working as the hands and feet of God’s Kingdom — another misconception that again, devalues the full power and glory of Christ. Why? Because Jesus isn’t less than God or inferior. Jesus is God as a part of the Trinity. Three-in-One, Father, Spirit, Son. Jesus sits at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19) and was present at creation (Genesis 1:26). 

See, here in Luke 2, Jesus’ parents knew he was a seed planted in Mary by God, but they still couldn’t wrap their heads around what that really meant. When they lost Jesus in the crowds in Jerusalem, they searched tirelessly for Him everywhere but one place – the temple. If they truly understood who Jesus was, that would’ve been the first place they looked. But to them, all they could see was their young son who was just a little boy. Where could he possibly have gone? Once found, they were amazed at what they were seeing. That same little boy was teaching/preaching in the temple courts, communing with His Father. 

Duh, where else would He be? 

I challenge you to ask yourself this: What lies/misconceptions/myths are you believing about Jesus? And how are those misconceptions hindering you from being truly amazed by his power and presence in your life? Where are you looking for Jesus and missing Him, when in reality, you simply need to go to the Father to find Him? 

The best way to find out who Jesus REALLY is, is to read through His words and interactions with others in the gospels. Study His character and you will discover God’s character. Study His love and you will understand God’s love. Study His kindness, grace and compassion and you will see what an amazingly kind and compassionate God we serve. 

Knowing Jesus means knowing the Father – I encourage you to get to know Him today.