Posts tagged ‘Jesus ‘




Who am I?

I have been exploring and discussing this concept of “identity” in a variety of different venues and for different reasons over the past several months, and it has been an interesting and irritating process.
It is certainly an important thing for a person to consider – and I am not for a minute suggesting otherwise. I typically enjoy “processes” and learning and exploring concepts and definitions. I find that it helps me broaden my understanding and opens my mind to fresh ideas and opportunities. I am also better with details than big picture thinking, so it is with some surprise that I find myself “tired” of the process and wanting to look at the concept of identity from farther away. But sometimes I wonder if we don’t get so focused on the specifics that we miss the wonder and awe of the larger picture. And I ponder how we can preserve one while exploring the other – because they are both important and serve us in different ways. I could go on and on, but the point of this post is just to answer this question as succinctly as I can:

Who am I?

 I am someone who has chosen to accept the gift. Beyond that, who I am as a child of God is an identity that has been given to me. It is not something I have developed or have chosen to take on myself.

If you are a Christian, I invite you to just sit with that for a minute – re-read it if you like.

If you have read this post and are not a Christian, you may not have a clue what I mean. So let me explain – by gift – I mean the gift of salvation which is offered by God to all. The Bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) and also that “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) – Once we accept this gift we become children of God and enjoy a new identity which includes being forgiven, greatly loved, holy, blameless, alive in Christ, victorious, a light, redeemed, … and much more. These qualities, traits, and truths are given to us as God’s children.

(For a great list with scripture verse references, see: https://www.ficm.org/handy-links/#!/who-i-am-in-christ)

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1 comment March 22, 2014

“I MUST TELL JESUS”

Many of you will be familiar with this hymn if you grew up in any type of semi-traditional church experience.  I love hymns, and miss having them as a regular part of worship each Sunday.  This is a familiar one to me, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, I will include the lyrics throughout this post.   

 V1                  I must tell Jesus all of my trials,

                        I cannot bear these burdens alone.

                        In my distress He kindly will help me,

                        He ever loves and cares for His own.

 There are many reasons that I love hymns, but the number one reason is the lyrics.  I find them to be challenging, heartfelt, emotional, and eloquent.  If I happen to know the “story” behind a hymn and why it was written, my response is often heightened.  I wonder, “Could I write words such as these in the midst of a crisis or trauma in my life?”   “Do I know this Jesus that the hymn writer knows?” Hymns are a reminder of my Saviour, and His great love for me.  They often share a picture of the interaction of another believer (the songwriter) with our Father and as such I also find them deeply relational. 

 Chorus         I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!

                        I cannot bear my burdens alone;

                        I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!

                        Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

 The “thing” I’ve been pondering in this particular hymn is a word in the very first line.  “Must”  It doesn’t say I “should” or I “could” or I “might” tell Jesus.  It says I MUST – I am compelled to, I don’t have a choice in the matter.  The definition of “must” is: to be obliged to, it expresses necessity or insistence.  So, my question is – do I ever feel that way?  That I MUST tell Jesus something?  Is He my first inclination when things are not going well, or even when they are? The words of the hymn continue to go on and explain why the author MUST tell Jesus all of his trials – the reason being that it’s Jesus who is a kind, compassionate friend who will help His children if we ask and who ever loves and cares for us.  Do you believe this?  I have experienced this in my own life, BUT I can’t say that when an obstacle strikes my automatic response is to hit my knees.  I usually HAVE to tell someone, but it’s not usually my Saviour who’s first on the list. 

 V2                I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,

                        He is a kind, compassionate friend;

                        If I but ask Him He will deliver,

                        Make of my troubles quickly an end.

 I want to be like the author of this hymn – to know to the deepest core of my being that Jesus is MY kind, compassionate friend.  That He will love and care for me as He has promised in His word, and shown throughout my life.  I want the first cry of my heart to be to Him – no matter what the situation.  What about you?  Do you want to practice this with me?  I believe that as we study the Bible and learn more about Christ, we can choose to trust more and more that what He says is true.  As we deepen this relationship our response to life’s troubles will be to turn to Him first.  Let’s start today.  What MUST you tell Jesus right now?

 V3                 Tempted and tried I need a great Saviour,

                        One who can help my burdens to bear;

                        I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus:

                        He all my cares and sorrows will share.

 V4                 O how the world to evil allures me!

                        O how my heart is tempted to sin!

                        I must tell Jesus, and He will help me

                        Over the world the vict’ry to win.

“I Must Tell Jesus”  by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1893

P.S.  Alex did not know this hymn as he was “proofing” my post and asked me to sing it for him.  Then he made an outrageous suggestion… so if you’d like to hear how the hymn goes (and me ending in a different key than I started) feel free to listen to the mp3 by clicking this link.      I Must Tell Jesus

8 comments September 25, 2011

20/20 Vision

They say that hind sight is 20/20 meaning that when we look back on a situation we see clearly things we didn’t see while we were floundering around in the midst of it.  We have a “bigger” picture and see the story as a “whole” instead of being stuck in one chapter.   

The story of Easter is one that we look at with 20/20 vision.  Jesus life and ministry is culminated in the miraculous, hopeful, wonderful redemptive story of his death and resurrection.  We sing songs of praise and gratitude for His sacrifice.  We read the account in scriptures and are awed at the measure of His love for us.  We marvel at the disciples lack of faith and wonder – how did you not understand when He told you what was coming?

We somehow overlook the fact that they were still in the middle of their story.  They had just seen the most phenomenal human being they had ever encountered, their Teacher, their Leader, their Friend, the man they had walked miles with, eaten with, and loved, handed over to the authorities by one of their own. They watched as He was beaten, humiliated, and crucified, without saying a word in His own defence.  Imagine the shock and disbelief, their fear and uncertainty about what they should do, the despair and grief that it was all just OVER.

I can picture them sitting together shaking their heads in confusion and saying “what?!?” Trying to wrap their brains around the trauma they had just witnessed.  The next 3 days must have felt like a lifetime, existing in a fog, going through the motions, not eating much, asking each other –  “What should we do?  Should we have done something differently?”  Perhaps they were thinking about getting revenge on the Romans or even Judas  and possibly feeling guilty about those feelings as Jesus message had been one of love and forgiveness.

Can you feel the tension, can you sense the conflict raging within them, the disbelief, the hopelessness, the devastation as they tried desperately to come to grips with reality even as they wondered what kind of nightmare they were living.  And then – the resurrection – ahhh the sweet wonder of seeing their Lord ALIVE – what?!? Maybe some 20/20 vision started happening, but maybe not, their story wasn’t over yet.  

Where are you at in your story?  Are you at the beginning of a new discovery, looking forward a promising future and a happy ending? Are you looking back with 20/20 vision having come to the end able to see clearly the irritations and “whys” of the middle? Or are you in the midst of 3 dark days, barely able to tell which direction is up, not understanding why all this is happening, what to do, and wondering if it will ever end?!?  What will your response be – can you choose to believe that at some point in the future you will be able to look back with a different perspective than the one you have right now?  Can you cling to the TRUTH you know and try to hang on with the knowledge that the 3 days of darkness won’t last forever?  The Easter story is one of HOPE – it shows us that our God is all powerful, and we can take that hope into our own lives knowing that our story here on earth is not over – the end of our story has not yet been revealed.  Right now only God has 20/20 vision.

11 comments April 17, 2011

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