What I am about to tell you is a true story. It happened in a school in which I worked. A young woman, who was a frequent substitute at the school, applied for an interim job teaching Spanish. She had taken a course in high school and several courses in college. She could read basic Spanish especially if she had access to a dictionary, and she was able to speak in a limited manner. So she felt confident in her ability to teach basic Spanish at the middle school level.
As part of the interview she was engaged in a conversation in Spanish by one of the teachers on the panel of interviewers. In addition she had to translate a passage from a book. Imagine her shock and embarrassment when she realized her knowledge was not broad enough or deep enough to qualify her for the teaching position.
In a some sense, I could apply this to my knowledge of Jesus. Maybe I need to think again about what I really know about Jesus, and how I apply that knowledge to my relationship with Jesus.
Why a Second Look at Jesus
In the previous post, “A Second Look,” we explored taking a deeper look into the truths about Jesus, who He is and what we have in Him. It is important for us to keep growing in our knowledge and understanding of Jesus.
In Phil.3:7-8a, Paul says this knowing of Jesus is so important to him that he considers everything else as a waste in comparison to knowing Him: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.”
Paul put a high value on growing in his relationship with Jesus, in his understanding of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for us. We should have this same hunger and thirst to know Jesus more, to know Him beyond the boundaries of the routine ways we look at Him. It is my quest to look at the scriptures that talk about Jesus and the blessings we have in Him, so that I might fully know Him, understand what He has accomplished for me, and more truly honor Him.
Jesus Manifests the Kindness of God
Life has its trials and troubles. Sometimes, when I am going through a difficult situation like dealing with financial pressures, sickness, death of a loved one, a consistently difficult relationship or any number of problems, I am tempted to think that God has some type of bad intention towards me, to hurt me or harm me. Have you ever thought that?
This type of thinking is far from the truth. Ephesians 2:6-7, clearly shows God’s kind intentions towards us and His kindness is shown to us “in Jesus.”
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
God’s kindness towards us is manifested “in Jesus.” This reference Ephesians 2:7 about the kindness of God in Jesus is sandwiched within a context of God’s outpouring of love and grace for us in Jesus. We see how He has made us alive in Jesus when we were dead in sins; and, how He has raised us up and seated us with Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-8). This passage enumerates many ways God worked in and through Jesus, and then the writer sums it up by saying all these things show us God’s good and kind intentions to us “in Jesus.” It is important to note that apart from Jesus we would never experience God’s kindness.
I don’t know about you, but the very thought of me being the recipient of kindness from the God who creates and sustains all life is an amazing thought.
So the next time I am feeling discouraged about my circumstances in life and am questioning God’s intentions towards me, I will remember this passage and set my thinking right. I will choose to thank God for His kindness to me in Jesus, my Savior, rather than to blame God for any discomfort I feel in this life. What about you?
“For at one time we too were foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to all sorts of desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:3-6
At this time I would like to share a link with you. I have a friend who loves to thank God and praise God in song for His many blessings in Jesus. She is making an album of praise songs. For more information on this check out the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1440539986/morgan-minsks-solo-album-praise