Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD. Psalm 117
- God has great love that never ends. He/She is worthy of praise. Forever.
- I can call all people to praise God.
- I can praise God forever.
- I flourish in God’s love for me and all creation.
- I live because of God’s faithfulness to me. I live because of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.
When he had said this, Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped in linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes, and let him go.” John 11:43-44 NIV
- God, manifested in Jesus Christ, raised Lazarus from the dead. It was a proof of Jesus’ connection with God and his power. It was glory in all its purity. It was incredible, but Jesus didn’t do all the work.
- Lazarus’ friends had to take off his grave clothes. Jesus left work for us to do. We need to take off each other’s grave clothes! We GET to take off each other’s grave clothes. Whose grave clothes am I not taking off?
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:5 NIV
- Jesus is eternal. I love that Jesus had no beginning. He was before he was born. He also knew where he came from (John 8:14). I can’t remember where I came from, but Jesus knew his eternality.
- God glorifies other persons within the Godhead. God, manifested in Jesus Christ, enjoys receiving that glory even to the point of praying for it. Their love relationship is joyful and reciprocal. Love is bountiful, and one of its purposes is the enjoyment of the other.
- I am incredibly grateful that I have been invited to be in union with God. The Father in Jesus, me in Jesus, and Jesus in me (John 14:20). The Holy Spirit is in me also. I get union with God! That is the most incredible news!
Since we have been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:9-11 NIV
- God reconciled us to Him/Herself through the death of God’s Son Jesus Christ.
- Jesus Christ, as God and therefore the most powerful force in the universe, chose to die as far as the body was concerned in order that I might live as far as my spirit is concerned. Hurray!
- I am reconciled to the life-giving Force of the universe. That which gives life to all is happy with me. That, which moves the hearts of all people and gives breath to all, gives breath to me. I am a friend of God!
- I get to live in my spirit forever. My body gets to be raised again. “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus to Martha in John 11:25-26 NIV.
And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” Mark 9:1 NIV
- God comes with power. That is what characterizes His/Her reign also. God is powerful, and the reign of God on earth has been going on since God, incarnate in Jesus Christ, died and rose again. Now that’s amazing!
- So I pray, “Your kingdom come; your will be done.” I don’t wait for the reign of God to start. It already is. How do I invite it into my life? How do I reign with Christ in heavenly places?
Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. John 7:16-17 NIV
- God is able to be tested. The teaching of Jesus can be tested by doing the revealed will of God. Following Jesus’ teaching reveals the truth of God. Yes, it does!
- I can discover all truth. As I walk deeper and deeper in the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. As I follow Christ, I will learn more and more of the effect of the will of God. I will learn that God’s will is indeed all those things! Abundance!
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35 NIV
- God is our source of life. He/She is what sustains us and is our food. God produces life.
- I am well-fed. I never lack anything because God is my nourishment. I am protected, safe, content, confident.
Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest. Luke 9:48 NIV
- God reveals Him/Herself through what is weak. It’s interesting that Jesus never said that when we see someone being in charge, then we will know that person is blessed and highly favored. At least I can’t think of a place that He said that. Nope, God appears to us through little children. Frankly, as a nanny I fully believe that! God appears to me through children every single day.
- I must become like a little child. Tonight what I think of most when I think of a child is their never ending curiosity. Innocently curious about everything, constantly learning, always growing, tenderly loving, fully rebelling. But also, powerless. Unable to live unless they can depend on a parent or guardian. I must see that the only way I can live is if I depend on God.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV
- God made the universe by simply commanding it to be. I have come to think that God can never lie because if He/She said something, it would simply come into being. Like, God could say, “The sky is green.” and the sky would suddenly become green instead of God being wrong. God’s words are powerful and create reality.
2. I can walk by faith because God’s words make what is invisible visible. Faith is the tangible evidence of what is still invisible. It brings the invisible to light.
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:21-24 NIV
- God brings righteousness. One of the things I love most that I learned in seminary is the Greek for “faith in Jesus Christ” in this verse can just as easily be translated “faithfulness of Jesus Christ.” Righteousness comes to those who believe because of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in his birth, life, death, and resurrection. Salvation is not dependent on me. It is dependent solely on Jesus.
- God is more glorious (amazing, incredible, perfect, righteous) than the most incredible person alive.
- God’s righteousness makes people who are unrighteous righteous. God reaches out and pulls us forward into righteousness with Him/Her. It’s like how Jesus’ touch healed people when he was physically alive in a human body. God’s touch makes us righteous. When God touches us, we heal.
- I am saved by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. He brings me through death and leads me into life. I died with Him, and now He lives in me. He brings me through death into life daily, and I am so grateful for that.
- When God makes me righteous, I get to be glorious like God. When I think of John 17:9-10, “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” Glory comes to Jesus Christ through me. That is the greatest privilege that I will ever know.
- I get to become like God. Act like God; talk like God; love like God.