Tag: Jesus

  • Four Benefits of The Cross

    Effective prayer begins at the cross. The cross separates the believer from sin and connects him to God. Through prayer this truth becomes a personal reality instead of merely an intellectual novelty. All Christian’s acknowledge the theological importance of Jesus’ cross. How does the cross impact my prayer habits on a practical level? Let’s look at a Scripture verse from the Old Testament book of Isaiah.

    But he was pierced for our transgressions;

    he was crushed for our iniquities;

    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

    and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ESV)

    There are four specific benefits of the cross seen in this verse. Below is a simple outline of their significance and how I use them to begin most of my times of prayer.

    1. I thank God for the whip that provides me healing for my body. The wounds by which we are healed were laid on our Savior’s back by a whip. This verse is quoted in the New Testament in 1 Peter 2:24.
    2. I thank God for the crown of thorns that provides me peace for my mind. When I read of the chastisement (punishment) that brings peace I think of the crown of thorns that my King chose to wear. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that we have not been given a spirit of fear, but instead a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
    3. I thank God for the spear that provides atonement for my iniquities. A spear crushed the Master’s side, literally breaking His heart, so that I could receive a new heart. My new heart hates sin and loves righteousness.
    4. I thank God for the nails that provide forgiveness for my transgressions. Our Lord’s hands and feet were pierced so that I can receive forgiveness for all my transgressions. It is amazing that His crimson blood can cause filthy me to become whiter than snow!

    I start most of my prayer times by going through this list and thanking God out loud for these four benefits of the cross. This helps me to approach God with humility and gratitude.

    What do you think? What do you do to begin your times of prayer?


  • Jesus: A Theography by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

    How many books about Jesus can we possibly need? According to authors Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola there are more biographies of Jesus than there are of anyone else. This being the case, I was somewhat reluctant to pick up their new addition to this crowded category. Now that I have read “Jesus: A Theography,” I believe this work does more than earn its place among books about Jesus, it comes close to creating an entirely new genre.
    Sweet and Viola do much more than re-tell the story of Jesus’ life. They trace Jesus actions and explore His character as they are revealed from the first words of Genesis at the beginning of the Bible all the way to the last words of the Revelation. Having grown up as a Christian, I have read through the Bible several times. I have read through the gospels in the New Testament even more often. I was delighted to find that this book helped open my eyes to see Jesus at work in portions of the Bible where I had not previously noticed Him. This book helped me to read the Bible with fresh eyes and to love and appreciate Jesus much more as a truly divine person than as merely an idea or a doctrine.
    Anyone with an interest in Jesus will find more than a little of value in Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola’s “Jesus: A Theography.”

  • Questions Jesus Asked, part 7

    • If even the smallest things are beyond you control, why are you anxious about the rest? Luke 12:26
    • Why do you not judge for yourselves what is tight? Luke 12:57
    • What king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Luke 14:31
    • If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? Luke 16:11
    • Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? Luke 17:18
    • Will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Luke 18:7
    • When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on earth? Luke 18:8
    • Who is greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Luke 22:27
    • Why are you sleeping? Luke 22:46
    • If they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? Luke 23:31

    These are questions Jesus asked. Do you have answers?


  • Questions Jesus Asked, part 6

    • Why do you question in your hearts? Luke 5:22
    • Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46
    • Where is your faith? Luke 8:25
    • What is your name? Luke 8:30
    • Who touched me? Luke 8:45
    • Will you be exalted to heaven? Luke 10:15
    • What is written in the Law? How do you read it? Luke 10:26
    • Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers? Luke 10:36
    • Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? Luke 11:40
    • Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you? Luke 12:14

    These are questions Jesus asked. Do you have answers?

  • Questions Jesus Asked, part 5

    1. Why does this generation seek a sign? Mark 8:12
    2. Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? Mark 8:17-18
    3. How many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? Mark 8:19
    4. [To a blind man] Do you see anything? Mark 8:23
    5. What were you discussing on the way? Mark 9:33
    6. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Mark 9:50
    7. What did Moses command you? Mark 10:3
    8. Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down. Mark 13:2
    9. Simon, are you asleep? Mark 14:37
    10. Why were you looking for me? Luke 2:49

    These are questions Jesus asked. Do you have answers?

  • Questions Jesus Asked, part 4

    1. Why do you trouble the woman? Matthew 26:10
    2. Could you not watch with me one hour? Matthew 26:40
    3. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? Matthew 26:53
    4. Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Matthew 26:55
    5. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46
    6. Why do you question these things in your hearts? Mark 2:8
    7. Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? Mark 4:21
    8. Who touched my garments? Mark 5:30
    9. Why are you making a commotion and weeping? Mark 5:39
    10. Are you also without understanding? Mark 7:18

    These are all questions Jesus asked. What are your answers?