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Ten Titles of Jesus

Ten Devotionals on the Titles of Jesus by Pastor Jack Lash

1- “Jesus my Savior”

Jesus is my savior. This implies some very important things. It implies that I need a savior. It implies that I have a savior. And it implies that I am not the savior of myself or anyone else.

I need a savior.

The fact that Jesus is my savior implies that I need saving. It implies that there is something I need to be saved from. Many Christians wouldn’t know how to answer if you asked them, “What does Jesus save you from?” We will never grasp the import of Jesus as our savior until we grasp the enormous reality of the righteous wrath of God from which He has saved us. Each of us was born in sin, born under the righteous anger of God. We were, as Eph.2:3 tells us, “by nature children of wrath.” And our evil deeds only accentuated our guilt before the holy eyes of the divine judge. We were on the eternal death row, deserving to die and to receive the full venting of God’s justice – eternally. In our modern climate, it is easy to drift into thinking that Jesus saves us from unhappiness and anxiety and uneasiness. But these things were the least of our problems. No person can appreciate the salvation of Christ unless he comes to appreciate the heaping up of God’s holy wrath against him on account of sin.

I have a savior.

If we dwell upon our sinfulness and guiltiness before God, and do not move on to the revelation of a Savior who is greater than our sin, then we have not moved far enough. Impressed by the enormity of our sin and guilt, and of the wrath of a holy God, we must then come to embrace the magnificent truth that a mighty savior has been provided for us, a savior whose power to save far exceeds the weight of our sin and guilt. We are not just sinners; we are sinners saved by grace! And we need to learn to live as though we have a savior, because often we live like we don’t. Often we live as though there is no forgiveness of our sins, as though God is against us and not for us, as though there is no help for us from God against sin and against temptation and against guilt feelings. We have a savior! We have a towering, triumphant, overpowering, compassionate, gracious, loving, redeeming, ever-present savior who left the glories of heaven and came to earth in order to die as a man so that He could save us. The gift has been given! Our salvation has been won! Jesus is our savior! We are His and He is ours!

I am not the savior of myself.

The fact that Jesus is my savior also means that it is time for me to stop trying to save myself. Of course on the one hand I know that I don’t need to save myself and that I can’t save myself. But something inside me keeps wanting to do it on my own. In my pride I keep wanting God to be impressed by my performance instead of by Christ’s. I want to be the knight in shining armor who rides in and rescues myself from my problems. I want to be glorified as savior instead of recognizing my weakness and inability – and glorifying Jesus as my only hope and savior. We see this tendency in the human soul from earliest childhood, when every child says, “I can do it myself!” We hate that we need help. We hate that we can’t do it on our own. We hate that we need mercy and grace. We want God to owe us reward instead of giving it to us on account of Christ when we don’t deserve it. We don’t want charity. It hurts our pride. We want to work for our reward. But we cannot save ourselves. Jesus is our savior. And there is no salvation for us apart from Him. God gives grace to the humble.

I am not the savior of anyone else.

The fact that Jesus is my savior also means that I am not the savior of anyone else. I’m afraid that there is much ministry being done not for Christ but for self. We love being needed by others. We love being able to save others and receiving praise for it. We love playing the role of the Messiah, of the savior. But the fact is that I have nothing to offer anyone except Jesus. I cannot save. I cannot even really help. The closest I can come to actually helping and saving another person is to introduce them to the One who really can save. But I must always be careful not to serve and love and help for my own glory instead of for God’s. I am dispensable. I am not the answer to everyone else’s problems. I am not the Messiah. I am my neighbor’s neighbor, not his savior. The whole world doesn’t revolve around my ministry. God is perfectly able to do His work in the lives of people apart from my help. The fact that He allows me to participate in His work is a result of His mercy, not His weakness. I don’t have it in me to really help anyone! Any help I give to another is God helping them through a broken and unworthy vessel that deserves no credit or praise. There is a savior, but I am not him.

Jesus is my savior. Hallelujah! What a savior!

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2- “Jesus the Messiah”

Christ is not the last name of Jesus. Christ is a title, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word, Messiah (John 1:41). In English, both of these words mean, “the anointed one.” So, when we say Jesus Christ, we are saying Jesus, the anointed One.

Not only are there numerous uses of the word Messiah in the OT (e.g. Ps.2:2; Is.61:1; Dan.9:25-26), there are over 500 uses of the word Christ in the New Testament. Obviously this word must say something about Jesus which is important for us to understand. What is the significance of the fact that Jesus is the anointed One?

Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ. He is the One promised long ago by the prophets, the One who would rise above all others in order to save mankind. Human history is a story of moral and spiritual failure, because history is the story of man’s attempts to succeed on his own. But Jesus was the One who was different. How was He different? He was not a mere man. The Spirit of God rested upon Him. He was able to perfectly fulfill the holy requirements of God because He did not operate by mere human power. He was filled with the power of God. He was a man who was connected to divine power, not just in a partial way or for short periods, but permanently and fully and intrinsically. He was the One who was anointed with God, the One who had God upon Him and in Him. Indeed, this man Jesus was divine.

It is only because Jesus was the anointed One that He was able to do the mighty work necessary for our salvation. By divine power He lived in perfect righteousness; by divine power He died bearing our punishment upon Himself. If Jesus had not been Messiah, He could not have been Savior. And now we glory in this One who came in the power of God and was therefore able to achieve perfect conformity to the holy standard of God. For by His divine power He took upon Himself the judgment we deserved and by His divine power He won the glorious reward for His righteousness, a reward which He now lovingly bestows upon us.

But another remarkable thing must be added to this. Once Christ had ascended into heaven, He poured out the Holy Spirit upon His people, the same divine Spirit with Whom He had been anointed at His baptism.

All this should leave us eternally celebrating this divine Person who lived in the power of God. It should also leave us with the knowledge that the same Spirit who was at work in Jesus has been given to us. And though we have the Spirit in a limited sense (whereas Jesus had Him without measure – John 3:34), yet we have Him truly can be filled with Him more and more.

What else does it mean for us that Jesus is the Messiah? It means that we can’t do it on our own. It means that all the glory belongs to Him. And it means that our only hope for moral progress lies in being filled with His Spirit, grace and power.

“Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord!” (1Cor.1:31)

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3- “Jesus: the Last Adam”

The two most important men in human history are Adam and Jesus. Adam led mankind into sin and misery. Jesus leads His people into forgiveness and life. Adam began the old era, Jesus inaugurates the new. We are born into the image of the first Adam. We are reborn into the image of the last Adam. In 1Corinthians 15:45 Paul calls Jesus the last Adam, reflecting the important correlation between Jesus and Adam. Jesus is a new Adam, greater than the original Adam in every way. He is the son of God (Adam is called the son of God in Luke 3:37). He is in the image of God; He is the firstborn of all creation (Col.1:15). Jesus was tempted in every way just as Adam was – but without sin (Heb.4:15). He is the ruler of creation (Rev.3:14).

The name Adam means man. It is very closely related to the Hebrew word for ground (i.e. dirt), ADAMA, because Adam was formed by God from the ground. The first Adam came from the earth (literally); the last Adam came from heaven.

Romans 5:14 tells us that Adam was a type of the One to come. This means that Adam was like Jesus, pointing forward to His coming. There is much similar between the first Adam and the last Adam. But the great parallel between them is the fact that they were both representative men. Adam acted on not only on his own behalf. He acted on behalf of all his people, all who would be born of him. He was their federal head, which means that he represented them in his acts. Our destiny was determined by what he did as our representative. His actions counted for us. We fell in him, as a result of his fall. Even though we weren’t literally there when Adam originally sinned, it’s the same as if we were there sinning with him because his sin counts as our sin. We sinned in Adam because he was our federal head.

Is it fair for God to count Adam’s sin against us? Is it fair for God to punish us for Adam’s fall? The problem is, if we question the justice of God in our condemnation, we also pull the rug out from under the basis of our salvation. For it is this same principle of counting one man’s actions for all those for whom he serves as federal head, that is the means by which God counts Christ’s righteousness and death for us:

1Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”

Through Adam sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and because all sinned (in Adam), death spread to all men (Rom.5:12).

By the sin of Adam the many died. And much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many (Rom.5:15).

For if by the transgression of Adam, death reigned through him, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the Jesus Christ (Rom.5:17).

“So then as through one transgression (Adam’s) there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness (Jesus’) there resulted justification of life to all men.” (Rom.5:18)

Just as we were all represented in the fall by our father Adam, so we now are represented by Jesus, another Adam, a new and greater Adam, an Adam who didn’t fall into sin – bringing us with him – but a divine and sinless Adam who carries us with Him into righteousness and peace and joy, who turns away the curse justly imposed on us as a result of the first Adam.

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4- “Jesus, the Door”

Jesus therefore said to them again, "Truly truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. . . I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." – John 10: 7,9

In John 10 (the sheep chapter), in addition to calling Himself the good shepherd, Jesus called Himself the door. I think we’ll find an inquiry into what He meant by this inspiring and challenging.

The idea of a door assumes the presence of a wall or a barrier of some kind separating two places. A door is a way through the barrier, a way which can be opened or shut, to allow in or to keep out.

The two places separated by a great barrier are two great kingdoms, two dominions: the Kingdom of light and the dominion of darkness. And every person is in one or the other. In other words, Biblically there is no neutral territory between heaven and hell. Having "the keys of the kingdom" is the same as "having the key to the abyss" (Rev. 20). It just matters which side of the wall you are on.

This reality of two dominions separated by a giant barrier is even painted for us in the creation, where there is heaven and there is earth and there is a great firmament which divides the two. It is not an accident that God created things this way. It is a physical picture of a spiritual reality.

Now Biblically within the barrier there is a door that can be opened to allow movement from one dominion to the other. At first it may seem as if there are two doors, not one: one leading into heaven and one leading to prison. But the two are really the same door, viewed from opposite sides.

When God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden, there was some kind of a barrier between the world and paradise with some kind of a door (or “way”) to allow access between them. Gen. 3:24 says that “After God drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cheribim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

During Jacob's famous dream in Gen. 28:17 Jacob looks up the ladder which leads to heaven and says that “this is the gate of heaven.”

Later, in the days of Moses and Joshua, the Red Sea and the Jordan river are barriers between life and death. God makes a way through them – a gateway through the waters.

The walls of the tabernacle/temple, and the curtain in the tabernacle/temple are barriers between the place of God and the place of men (Cheribim were embroidered on the fabric of the curtain to make it like Eden).

Opening the Door

Jesus is the One who opens this door. In Is. 22:22 there is one spoken of who will be given the key of the house of David (which is the Kingdom of God). This is interpreted in the book of Rev. as relating to Jesus. “These are the words of the One who is holy and true, and who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.” (Rev.3:7)

Luke 13:24-25 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’”

Matt. 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad the road that leads to destruction, and many enter throught it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Cf. Matt. 25:10ff.)

All this helps us to understand what Jesus means when He calls Himself “the door” in John 10:7,9.

After Eden, access to the presence of God was only by bloodshed. There was the blood on doorposts at the original Passover. There were the OT sacrifices which were always offered at the doorway to the tabernacle/temple. And the temple curtain was torn when the blood of Jesus was shed.

Listen to Heb. 10:19-22a: “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”

The stone rolled in front of the tomb of Jesus was like the door between life and death. When they were putting Jesus in the tomb it was as if they were putting the key into the lock. And when the great stone door was opened, it was opened not just so that Jesus might be delivered from death but so all His people might be delivered as well.

The Non-believer

If you are not a believer in Christ this means you are locked in a prison, awaiting execution, awaiting eternal torture of a kind never even imagined before. This is what the Bible teaches. There is only one key, only one way of escape, only one manner of deliverance: Jesus Christ. You must come to Him, flee to Him. You can only enter into God's house through the door. The door is Jesus Christ.

But it will cost you. Not lots of money, one cannot buy this kind of freedom. Not lots of effort, no amount is enough. This freedom costs us our independence, it costs us control of our own lives. It costs us everything.

The door is now open but it will not remain open forever. Some day it will be slammed shut forever, with no second chances. It may close very soon. Today is the day to enter in, today is the day of salvation. Do not delay another minute.

The Believer

If you are a believer in Christ, God has graciously flung open the door to you in His Son. Will you now daily open the door of Your heart to Him? Fling the door wide open and let Him reign in every area. He brings only blessing. Do you have a closet that is closed off to Him? Do you have smelly things hidden away behind locked doors? If you do, what is it winning for you? What good is it doing? Don't you realize that you're holding off the very thing that you most need? Will you resist the One who has come to help you? If you do, it will only give you a guilty conscience and eat away at you inside. It will prevent you from enjoying close fellowship with the Lord. It will make it impossible to face God and to get close to people. It will sap the life out of you. Open the door and let the Lord come in and clean it all out. It may be painful, but it is painful like surgery, life-saving surgery.

Jesus says to the people of the church: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock and if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him and he with Me."

On the other hand, perhaps as you search your own conscience, you feel like you have opened wide the door to the Lord. Then enjoy the blessing of the Lord! Savor His favor! Celebrate Immanuel, for God is with you! But remember to give Him the glory, "for it is God who is at work within you giving you the desire and the power to achieve His purpose." And always be ready to open the next door that He wants access to.

Or maybe as you search your own conscience, you feel like you have opened wide the door to the Lord and yet you still feel empty, as if God has abandoned you, as if He's closed the door to you. What you have on your hands in that case is a battle of faith. Sometimes God allows us to feel alone and abandoned just to test our faith. He says, "I'm going to allow him to feel depressed to teach him to walk by faith." or "I'm going to allow him to feel lazy or worried or anti-social or insecure or afraid, or even self-confident or self-sufficient." The issue isn't what feelings we have but what we do with your feelings, how we respond to your feelings. Do we go along with our feelings or fight to put faith in charge?

Outreach

Some Christians act as if they have not entered into the body of Christ, into the household of God. They always are looking for everyone else to reach out to them as if they are perpetual visitors and everyone else is a host. This is a misunderstanding of who we are. We have been welcomed into the family of Christ. We are no longer outsiders. This means that it’s time for us to start acting like hosts in the household of God, not like guests. It is not our relationships to others that determines whether we belong. It is our relationship to Christ. If we are in Christ, we are insiders, not outsiders:
"Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship with His people and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. . . He came and preached peace to you who were far away, for through Him we have access to the Father by the Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household." (Eph. 2:12-19)

Since then you belong, since you are a part of God's house, since you are members of Christ's body, be a welcomer, not a visitor; play the part of a host, not the part of a guest. Don't wait for others to reach out to you. Allow the love of Christ to overflow in you so that it flows out to others.

The door has been thrown open to you. Enter in and marinate yourself in the blessed presence of the Lord. Receive one another as Christ has received you. And reach out to pull others in as Christ has reached out to you.

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5- “Jesus, the Morning Star”

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (Rev.22:16)

In Num. 24:17 there was a prophecy of Balaam which spoke of Jesus as a star:

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; a star shall come forth from Jacob, a scepter shall rise from Israel...”

The birth of Jesus was signified by a star which led the magi to the child Jesus in Bethlehem. And Jesus calls Himself the morning star in Rev. 22:16 (above).

So, what is the significance of Jesus being referred to as a star, and as the morning star in particular? Well, stars have always symbolized the great powers that rule over the earth. So, it makes sense that Jesus would be called a star and His arrival signified by a star. But Jesus isn’t just any old star, He is the morning star. The morning star comes up just before dawn (I think it is actually the planet Venus), signaling the dawn of a new day. So, Jesus’ coming signaled the dawning of a new day.

We have spoken often in recent sermons about the old creation and the new creation that Jesus came to inaugurate. The old creation is symbolized by the dark night and the new creation is symbolized by the brigthness of day. Jesus came when it was still dark, but brought the new day with Him. His coming represented the beginning of a new beginning. Right now the day is starting but the night isn’t quite over yet. The full brightness of the new day will not be seen until He comes again. On that day, things will shift from a bright light in a dark place to the full light of day:

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near.” (Rom.13:12)

“...until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2Peter 1:19)

(Of course, before Christ came His comings were spoken of as if they were one as opposed to two, much as two mountain ranges often look like one from a distance:

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings...” {Malachi 4:2}

“...because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us.” {Luke 1:78})

So how should we act now? What does all this mean for us where we are at present? Hear and heed what God says:

“It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Rom.13:11-12)

“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2Peter 1:19)

“Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

In these passages God tells us:

1- to awaken from sleep (It is so easy for us to live in a daze in this world, asleep to the reality and the truth of God.)
2- to lay aside the deeds of darkness (The world lives for self: pleasure, popularity, superiority. We must lay these aside. See Col.3:5-9 and Gal.5:19-21.)
3- to put on the armor of the light (Having taken off the deeds of darkness, we must clothe ourselves with the armor of God: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God. See Eph.6:13-17.)
4- to pay close attention to the word of God, which is a bright lamp shining in the darkness of this world (“Let the word of Christ dwell within you richly.” Col. 3:16)
5- to awake and arise from the dead so that Christ will shine on us (This really sums up all the others and speaks of the fullness of the Spirit of Christ in which we can live. When the Lord makes His face to shine upon us, we prosper. When His face frowns upon us, we shrivel.)

What is the result of living according to these instructions? Jesus tells us that, on the last day, to the one who walks with Him and does His will:

“I will give him the morning star.” (Revelation 2:28) In other words, He will give us Himself. There is no greater prize than this.

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6- “Jesus: Prophet, Priest and King”

“It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King.” Thus begins the eighth chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith (see Questions 42-45 of the Westminster Larger Catechism).

Jesus Christ carries out His role as our Redeemer in these three ways: as prophet, as priest, and as king. Understanding these helps us grasp more fully all that Jesus did for us in His coming.

Prophet

Christ is a prophet in the sense that He came from God to proclaim God’s truth to us. He did this both by what He taught and by how He lived. Divine light shone through His words and His life in an unparalleled way; so much so that He referred to Himself as “the truth” (John 14:6). He so surpassed the prophets of old in the fullness with which He revealed God to us that Heb.1:1-3 says:

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.”

Priest

There are at least two ways that Jesus acts as a priest for us. First, He offers up a spotless sacrifice before God for our sins.

“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)

(He is Himself the spotless sacrifice, of course.) And second, He intercedes for us before the Father:

“Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

King

Christ is a king to us in that He gathers a nation around Himself, a people to live under His happy reign. He gives this people His law, and chooses officers to serve under Him in His kingdom. He rewards His people’s obedience, and He corrects their sins. He protects them from their enemies and executes vengeance upon those who will not yield to His rule, ordering all things for His own glory and for the good of His own people. (Read what God says about King Jesus in Psalm 2.)

Conclusion

In the OT God showed His great love for His people by sending prophets and priests and kings. But who could have ever expected that they were all very imperfect representations of one great Prophet/Priest/King. Not only did Jesus fulfill all three offices, but He fulfilled them all perfectly. He was the ultimate prophet, the ultimate priest, the ultimate king. All other prophets, priests and kings who have ever lived have been – at best – dim reflections of the Christ. He is the truth; He is our sacrifice for sins; even now He is interceding for us before His Father in heaven, pleading the merit of His blood on our behalf. He is the supreme ruler over us, our benevolent King, who rules all things and makes all things serve the best interests of His precious subjects.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Join all the glorious names of wisdom, love, and power
That mortals ever knew, that angels ever bore
All are too poor to speak His worth
Too poor to set my Savior forth.

Great Prophet of my God
My tongue would bless Your name
Through You the joyful news of our salvation came
The joyful news of sins forgiv’n
Of hell subdued and peace with heav’n.

Jesus my great high priest
Offered His blood and died
My guilty conscience seeks no sacrifice beside
His powerful blood did once atone
And now it pleads before the throne.

My Savior and my Lord,
My Conqueror and my King,
Your scepter, and Your sword, Your reigning grace I sing
Yours is the power;
Behold I sit and to Your lordly power submit. (by Isaac Watts)

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7- "Jesus, God’s Yes"

“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” (2Cor.1:20)

Jesus is God’s great "YES!" to all His promises of salvation and help for His people. Every promise of God to us in the Bible is ultimately a promise to send us Jesus. When God promised to help, it was Jesus whom He was planning to send to be our Helper. When God promised He would be with His people, it was in the coming of Christ that the promise was ultimately to be fulfilled. When God promised to deliver His people, His plan was to send Jesus as our deliverer. So, when Jesus comes, He is the fulfillment of all God’s promises. He is God’s great “Here it is!” He was God’s great “Yes!” to the question of whether He was going to come through and keep all His promises to His people.

But then comes the crucial matter: How will His people respond? Will they receive Christ as God’s “YES!”, or will they reject Him? Will they say “AMEN!”" to God’s Christ, or will they say, “Anathema!” ("Let him be accursed!")? Faith means saying “Amen!” to God’s gift of Jesus.

Amen is a Greek expression which means, “So let it be!” It is an expression of agreement with what has been said. It is a way of lending my support and endorsement to something just spoken. Saying amen to God’s gift of Jesus then is the key to life. This amen gets you to heaven; whereas a failure to amen leads to the pit of hell. The “AMEN!” which comes or does not come “through us” to “the glory of God” which has been revealed in Jesus Christ is the make-or-break issue in every person’s life. Those who say “AMEN!” to Jesus plant their feet on a solid Rock. Those who refuse will be crushed by that same Rock (Matt.21:44).

Is your life a hearty "AMEN!" to Jesus Christ? Is your life a resounding "YES!" to God’s great "YES!"?

The most important feature of every day is whether or not we are saying “YES!” to Christ, which means saying “No!” to our sinful flesh. (Inevitably if you do not say “No!” to your flesh, you are saying “No!” to Jesus. No man can serve two masters.)

Don’t you want your life to be a wholehearted and unhesitating "Yes!" to our Lord Jesus? May the Holy Spirit move our hearts to say “Yes!” to Him every day in every way. May we say “Yes!” to His love, “Yes!” to His promises, “Yes!” to His commandments and “Yes!” to the circumstances He wisely and lovingly ordains for us. May our willing and ready response to Him be apparent to all, so that each of our lives is a great pointer to the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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8- "Jesus, the Alpha and Omega"

ALPHA is the first letter of the Greek alphabet (BETA is the second – that’s where we get the word ‘alphabet’). The last letter is OMEGA. When Jesus says that he is the Alpha and the Omega, He means He is the start and the finish of all things:

“I am the first and the last.” (Rev.1:17)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” (Rev.21:6)

Jesus is the ALPHA, the beginning of all things, the Creator, the first cause, the One who got everything started:

“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3)

“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.” (Col.1:16) (See also John 1:10; Heb.1:10)

Jesus is also the OMEGA, the end of all things, the judge of all men and angels, the One who will bring all things to their final conclusion, the One who will welcome those clothed in His righteous robes into the gates of the New Jerusalem, and leave the rest outside:

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him.” (Rev.1:7)

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (Rev.22:12-15)

But Jesus is not just the ALPHA and the OMEGA of the world, He is the ALPHA and the OMEGA of you and me too. He is the One who made you – and remade you. And He is the One who will judge you – and who was judged for you. He’s our beginning and end, both physically and spiritually.

But Jesus is not content to be our ALPHA and OMEGA. He also wants to be our very life. He wants to fill every one of our days in the here and now. He wants to walk with us and abide in us and move in us. He wants to be the beginning and end – and the in-between – of each day. He wants to be the song that we sing and the food that we eat. When we lie down, He wants to be our last thought, and when we rise up, our first. He punctuates our lives with reminders His grace and undergirds them with His everlasting arms. He has been our ALPHA. He will be our OMEGA. But right now He wants to be our BETA, GAMMA, DELTA, EPSILON, ZETA, ETA, THETA, IOTA, KAPPA, LAMBDA, MU, NU, XI, OMICRON, PI, RHO, SIGMA, TAU, UPSILON, PHI, CHI, and PSI. Oh that we would be given eyes to see that Jesus is our all in all – everyday!

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

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9- "Jesus, the Vine"

We Must Not Only Live for Him, We Must Live in Him

In John 15:5 Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches.

In saying these things, He means to teach us that no person can bear any fruit in His life without being connected to, and drawing life from, Him:

The branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (v.4)

He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (v.5)

It’s not enough to live for Jesus. We must also live in Jesus. In fact, you really can’t live for Jesus unless you are living in Jesus. Jesus doesn’t just commission us to go forth into the world to do His will. He promises to go with us. And unless we go with Him, unless we depend on Him, unless we draw our strength from Him, our service will not be of any value to the kingdom of Christ. The only way Christian obedience works is when the believer is abiding in Jesus. If we forget Him, if we allow ourselves to be distant from Him, if we neglect our relationship with Him, we will accomplish nothing — no matter how good we look on the outside. This means that there is nothing more crucial in our lives than staying close to Jesus, running to Him in our pain, thankign Him for each blessing, quickly repenting before Him when we sin, remembering His favor toward us in Christ.

One more thing. In verse one Jesus says He is the true vine. This implies that there are false vines. This implies that there are false sources of strength and life that people often run to. There are things that promise to give happiness and fulfillment and power, which in fact give nothing of the sort. In fact, they enslave. In Jeremiah 2:11-13 we read:

My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. “Be appalled, O heavens, at this, and shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord. “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

There are two things we tend to do wrong. First, we forsake God, who is our glory, who is our fountain of living waters, who is our source of life and truth and strength. Second, we go after false sources of life: broken, muddy cisterns that promise water but give us nothing but stinky mud.

What is the vine we are trying to get life from? Is it Christ? Do we come to Him each day remembering afresh how desperately we need Him and how abundantly His mercy flows to us when we call out to Him? Or is there some other thing or place or person we seek to give us life and encouragement and happiness?

Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. If we are disconnected from Him we shrivel up and die. If we abide in Him, we bear much fruit, and, as Jesus says,

My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (v.8)

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10- "Jesus, the Branch"

One of the strange and least-known – but wonderful – designations of Christ is that of the Branch. At several places in the OT, God told His people by His prophets that this Branch was coming:

A- “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” (Isaiah 11:1)

B- “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

C- “In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.” (Jeremiah 33:15)

D- “I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.” (Zechariah 3:8)

E- “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.” (Zechariah 6:12)

But what is meant by this puzzling designation? Why is Jesus called the Branch? We get several hints from these verses themselves:

1- The Branch springs forth in new life. (A, C, E)
2- The Branch springs forth from the roots/stump of the tree of Jesse/David. (A, B, C)
3- The Branch will be a great king, who will rule in wisdom and righteousness, and bring salvation and peace to God’s people. (B, C)
4- The Branch will build the temple of the Lord. (E)

King David was given an amazing promise by God:

“When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2Sam.7:12-13)

More than four hundred years later, the Davidic dynasty – the longest running dynasty in human history – apparently ended when Nebuchadnezzar crushed Jerusalem and exiled the people to Babylon. But the promised son of David, who would rule in righteousness forever, had not yet come. The great tree of David (and his father Jesse) had been chopped down and fell with a great crash of despair and disappointment for the Jews. But the story was not over. After the seemingly dead stump of David/Jesse sat lifeless for over five hundred more years, a shoot/branch sprang forth from the dead stump – just as God had promised. It was Jesus Christ, the promised son of David, the shoot which Isaiah said would spring from the stem of Jesse, and the branch which would grow up from his roots and bear fruit (Is.11:1). He was the righteous Branch of David, the promised king who would reign and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land, in whose days the chosen people of God would be saved and made to dwell securely (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15). He was the man whose name is Branch, who would branch out and build the temple of the LORD (Zechariah 6:12).

And this is what Jesus is for us as well. He is the new life that springs forth when everything looks dead. He is our hope when everything looks hopeless. He is the reason we are not cast into despair – no matter how bleak things appear. He is the One who brings new life every day into a perishing world. He is the One who breathes new life every day into our fainting hearts and our weary souls.