Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;”…
John 1:1-3 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Colossians 1:16 – For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Jesus Christ is the one who thought up all of creation. Before creation, there was only God. And then God decided to create, and man is part of that creation. All creation originated from the mind and heart of God through Jesus Christ.
Holy child of God, you were created in His image and likeness, and like an inventor patents his creation, all rights to you are forever retained by Jesus Christ. For a season He has orchestrated that we created-ones would come under the harsh rule of one who is not our father, but even this is a master stroke from the brush of the Artist, because the suffering of it activates faith from within the creation to reach out into unseen realms crying-out to be tuned into harmony with the Conductor of heaven’s symphony.
Gifts and talents abound within you, and from your belly flows rivers of living water. Image bearer of Jesus Christ, release the creativity from within you so as to display the beauty, wonder, truth, and awesomeness of your Creator. Teach, write, sing, dance, paint, draw, sculpt, landscape, build, speak; whatever it is that’s in you that’s good, lovely, noble, and pure; RELEASE IT, RELEASE IT, RELEASE IT.
Luke 2:25 – And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Consolation of Israel – The comfort of Israel in the midst of their distress. Their long awaited Messiah and deliverer.
Israel had suffered greatly under the oppressive regimes of Egypt, Babylon, and Rome. When the captivity was like iron bars, when their rulers were cruel, when taxation drove them to poverty, when the oppression was relentless; they took deep comfort and encouraged each other continually in the truth of God’s promised Messiah; even swearing by the truth of His promised redemption saying things like “by the Consolation of Israel, I will do thus and so”. Messiah would come and save them one day, and this was a comfort sewn into the very fabric of the nation. And Jesus IS the manifestation of Israel’s long awaited consolation.
Many today have a special place in their heart for the Jews and the nation of Israel. Just as Jesus is your hope and redeemer, He is theirs. You need not be intimidated by their claim to be “God’s chosen people”, like there’s something special yet to happen for Israel. Jesus IS their Messiah, and He IS who they’ve waited thousands of years for. In Luke 2:25, Simeon, by the power of the Holy Spirit, bears witness that Jesus IS the long awaited Consolation of Israel. And He is the same for all nations, tribes, and tongues!
Ambassador of God, you may be confident that Jesus is the Jew’s Messiah. You may boldly declare this to be true without excuse or cowering under the intimidation of being called an anti-Semite or some other anti-Jew term. By telling the truth of who Jesus is to Israel and to all nations, you will be declaring the truth that Jesus is the Consolation to everyone who is captive, impoverished, enslaved, or oppressed in any way. Be bold about it…be bold about HIM!
Matthew 1:16 – And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
Christ – Jesus official title, Anointed [One], Messiah
Anointed – consecrated, rubbed or painted with oil [Holy Spirit], moral excellence [in character or demeanor]
Jesus is not only anointed, but He is THE Anointed One. Prophets and priests of old all knew-of and looked-forward-to THE ONE who would come…to save, heal, deliver, lead; and do and be more than they could even imagine. Many in the OT were anointed, like David, Samuel, Isaiah, and Daniel; but Jesus is much more than just anointed…He IS the Anointed One.
Child of God, have you been waiting for someone or something to come that can help you? Are you stuck, sick, in bondage, ignorant, trapped, depressed, confused, brokenhearted, or not at peace or wholeness in any way? Well, the good news is that your wait is over. The One who is consecrated with the moral excellence and Holy-Spirit-power to gather you in, heal you, calm you, and set you free has arrived. Be like the woman with the issue of blood, and press into Him by faith until you touch Him; and His virtue (anointing) will flow to you, and you will be delivered into His peace and wholeness.
Have you already encountered the Anointed One, and KNOW who He is? Then go and preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. You are anointed, but you must remember that you are not THE Anointed One. As He works through you, you should rapidly become less and He becomes more in the hearts and eyes of those to whom you are ministering. They should be left holding onto Him as you fade into the background.
Peter 5:1-4 – The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Chief – Head, leader, prince, ruler.
Shepherd – One who takes care of the sheep. Leads, guides, protects, provides, tends, nurtures, corrects, mends, finds, trains, oversees.
Jesus is over all good shepherds. He works through them to lead His sheep, care for their needs, and protect them from predators.
For a season, He delegated some of those duties to your father, mother, older sibling, teacher, coach, pastor, uncle, aunt, grandparent, or others. Now you should see through these people and know that the good leadership that they provided was Jesus working through them, and give Him honor, praise, and thanks for His diligent oversight. And you should give forgiveness where these under-shepherds fell short of the Chief’s best care for you because they were still in the learning process themselves, even as they were endeavoring to lead you.
There are many sheep who need to experience the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and Jesus is still seeking people who will love and lead His people in the paths of life and righteousness. Do you have a family? Begin with your spouse and children, and if you are skilled and faithful with them, then the Chief will send other sheep for you to tend to. Pour your life out to see that your sheep are properly cared for, put their needs before your own day-in and day-out, and let the promised crown of glory motivate you to remain faithful in these duties all the days of your life. You will have been a good shepherd if at some point your sheep mature to find themselves transitioned from following you to walking beside you while you both follow the Chief Shepherd side-by-side.
Ephesians 2:19-22 – Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Chief Cornerstone – The most important stone to be laid for the foundation to be square and level, because all other stones are laid to be in perfect alignment with it. If the chief cornerstone is properly laid, then the entire house can be built rock-solid. But if the chief cornerstone is off, then the entire house is unstable.
Paul, the ultimate church planter, repeatedly asserted that he preaches Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:23, 2 Cor 4:5, Phil 1:18, Col 1:28), and that’s because Paul knew that nothing of enduring quality gets built until the chief cornerstone is properly laid in place in the hearts of saints. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the house of God, the church, and everything else that gets built must be directly aligned with Him for the house to be rock-solid.
Dear anointed, living-stone of God. You are one of the stones that make up God’s house. Align yourself with Jesus Christ. And if you must come out of alignment with anything or anyone else in order to be aligned with Jesus, then by all means, come out of alignment boldly and immediately.
As you help to build God’s house, always remember that the only glue to be used to bond the stones together is love. No religion, no coercion, no rules, no regulations, no traditions; these all rot over time and bring the house down. Love never fails. As you love Him and love others as yourself, then you are doing your part to build and maintain the house of God. And the most loving thing that you can ever do, is help someone else get properly aligned with Jesus.
Mark 6:3 – Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.
Carpenter – A craftsman in wood.
Jesus is a common laborer. He works with his hands using tools and wood to create useful things for other households. He works long, hard hours for little pay, and deals with the many varying attitudes involved with selling goods to the public. He gets splinters, blood blisters, and banged thumbs. He deals with having to persevere to complete tasks under the pressure of customer’s expectations through uncomfortable heat and cold. He delights in a finished project, job-well-done, and happy customer; and is frustrated by broken tools, interruptions, mistakes, and unreasonable clients. And for all this, He brings home just enough pay for another day.
Jesus is familiar with your daily grind. He intimately understands your frustrations, hopes, fears, longings, depressions, hopelessness, obstacles, failures, victories, and dreams. He can experientially relate to your daily troubles, and empathizes with you because He was a lowly carpenter for over a decade.
Let the kindness and generosity of the Lord flow through you to everyone who serves you; waiters/waitresses, lawnmowers, receptionists, telephone customer service representatives, repairmen, and the like. Overlook any bad attitude that they may have, and give them the goodness of God so that they may taste and see that the Lord is good by your graceful attitude towards them. Remember, our Lord said that the greatest among us is he who serves, and that whatever we do to the “least of these”, we do it to Him. He takes it personally, how we treat servants.
Psalms 19:4-5 – In them [the heavens and the firmament] He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Bridegroom – A man who rejoices in both the anticipation-of and reality-of the blessedness of a marriage relationship with the woman who has captured the deep, loving, affections of his heart. He prepares for her, he comes for her, he takes her, and then he spends his life enjoying, loving, protecting, and caring for her.
Jesus is our heavenly bridegroom. He came and chose us, He has gone to prepare a place for us, He is wooing us more deeply day-after-day, and He will come for us in fullness, in due season. His love and affection for His bride-to-be are passionate and consuming. He longs for His bride to be with Him, and even now His love woos her towards Him, and causes their hearts to begin to become one.
Dear bride of the bridegroom, be enraptured by His choosing of you, and believe in His great love and affection for you. Let the sunshine of His endearing countenance always be warming your face as you go about your everyday life. Make a key motivation in your heart for your everyday life to be making yourself ready for the great wedding day. He is returning for you.
Your bridegroom’s bride is made-up of all the holy ones that He has chosen all across the earth, and part of your preparation is to help others be ready as well. Give no room for jealousy or rivalry. In all that you do to keep your heart and body pure for Him, exhort, encourage, and admonish your siblings in Christ to do likewise. He delights in the unity of the people who are called to come together to be His bride.