Victory Over Depression Blog

(Healing & Victory Through Jesus Christ)

Archive for the category “The Person Of Jesus Christ”

Listen To Him

“I gave her time to repent…and she did not repent.” Rev 2:21 NKJV

Paul told the church at Ephesus, “I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you” (Acts 20:20 NIV).

A surgeon saves your life by cutting out what threatens you, and God’s Word does that with us.  

One of Christ’s warnings to the church at Thyatira was: “I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds” (Rev 2:21-22 NKJV).

When you are heading over a cliff’s edge, someone who truly loves you will try to stop you.  And nobody loves you like the Lord!  But you cannot keep ignoring His warnings.

The Prodigal Son’s father welcomed him back home, but he still lost his family inheritance.  Every day you live, you put another building block in place.

What are you building?  One day you will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul describes it: “The fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1Cor 3:13-15 NIV).

– from a daily devotional

Your friends may think your disobedience is no big deal.  However, God, who knows the extent of your ultimate loss, will “get in your face” and tell you to repent while you still have time. Today, if He is speaking to you about a certain issue, listen to Him! Obey Him!

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The Suffering Prince

Picture yourself tied to a tree,
condemned of the sins of eternity.

Then picture a spear, parting the air,
seeking your heart to cut your despair.

Suddenly—a knight, in armor of white,
stands in the gap betwixt you and its flight,
bears the lance that runs him through.

His heart has been pierced that yours may beat,
and the blood of his corpse washes your feet.

Picture yourself in raiment white,
cleansed by the blood of the lifeless knight.

Never to mourn,
the prince who was downed,

For he is not lost! It is you who are found.

– by Johnny Hart, creator of BC Comics

The Via Dolorosa (The Way of Suffering)

The road Christ walked to Calvary is called (in Spanish) The Via Dolorosa – meaning The Way Of Suffering

Has the impact of Christ’s suffering on your behalf rooted deeply into your heart?

If No, IT”S TIME TO.

Why Did Jesus Choose The Cross?

Why did Jesus Choose The Cross?

Simply because through it, Jesus makes your salvation possible, reveals His plan to your heart, draws you near to Him, and keeps you secure for all eternity.

The message of the cross is that the justice, wisdom, love, and power of God has given you the victory over sin & death so that you can have eternal life.

Therefore, remember all He gave for you.

When you do, no matter what’s going on, focusing on what the Savior provided for you on the cross will make all the difference.

– Charles Stanley

 

Consider This Incredible Truth

Our Savior chose to become accursed so that He could remove the penalty of our sin from us.

He preferred to suffer such an extreme way – to die an excruciating death among the worst criminals of Rome – than to be separated from you and me for eternity.

When I think about that, it makes me want to fall down on my face and worship Him.

What an awesome and loving Savior we serve!

– from Charles Stanley

Who Are You Relying On?

We stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God.” 2Co 1:9 NLT

Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials” (Jn 16:33 NLT).

You solve one problem, and another one comes along to take its place.

They’re not all big, but they’re all necessary to your spiritual growth.

How do you assess the strength of something? By testing it!

The Bible says: “Don’t be…shocked that you are going through testing…It will prepare you” (1Pe 4:12-13 CEV).

Some of your most life-enriching experiences will come during your worst moments

  • when your heart is broken,
  • when you feel abandoned,
  • when you’re out of options,
  • when your pain levels go through the roof & you turn to God.

That’s when you learn to pray heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers.

When you’re in pain you don’t have the energy for superficial ones. And that’s when you discover, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Ps 34:18 NLT).

God could have kept Joseph out of prison, Daniel out of the lions’ den, Jeremiah out of the slimy pit, and Paul from being shipwrecked, but He didn’t. As a result, each one of them was drawn closer to God and impacted the world around them.

Your problems force you to look to God and depend on Him instead of yourself. This is especially hard on superachievers like Paul. “We…saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us” (2Co 1:9 TLB).

You’ll never know what God can do until God is all you’ve got.

So place your needs into His capable, loving hands, and watch what happens.

– from a daily devotional

JESUS HIMSELF – The Content Of The Christian Faith

There is something, which makes Christianity more than a religion, more than an ethic, and more than the idle dream of the sentimental idealist. It is this something, which makes it relevant to each one of us right now as a contemporary experience.

It is the fact that Christ Himself is the very life content of the Christian faith. It is He who makes it “tick.” “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:24).

The One who calls you is the One who does that to which He calls you. “For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).  Jesus is Himself the very dynamic of all His demands.

Christ did not die simply that you might be saved from a bad conscience, or even to remove the stain of past failure, but to “clear the decks” for divine action. You have been told that Christ died to save you. This is gloriously true in a very limited, though vital sense.

In Romans 5:10 we read, “If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” The Lord Jesus Christ therefore ministers to you in two distinct ways – He reconciles you to God by His death, and He saves you by His life.

This, however, is but the beginning of the story, “for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, (now an accomplished fact,) we shall be saved (as a continuing process) by His life” (Romans 5:10).

The glorious fact of the matter is this ­ no sooner has God reconciled to Himself the man who has responded to His call, than He re-imparts to him, as a forgiven sinner, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and this restoration to him of the Holy Spirit constitutes what the Bible calls regeneration, or new birth. Titus 3:5 and 6, ­ “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”

From: The Saving Life of Christ, by Major Ian Thomas

Don’t Hold On. LET GO!!!!!

When you reach the end of your rope, DON’T HOLD ON.  LET GO!!!!!

It’s easy to say “Hold On” when you feel you are at the end of your rope.  When you can’t take circumstances any longer, it’s easy to give up.

In the world’s eyes, saying “Hold On” means “Don’t Give Up.”  However, when a Christian is told to “Hold Onto Jesus,” it really is not the way Jesus views things.

Should we hold onto Jesus” or “Is Jesus holding onto us?

That’s my point.  In our own willpower and in all sincerity, we can never hold onto Jesus especially for a long time.  We can sure try and things may get better for a short time.  However, in the long run, our willpower eventually leads to being controlled by our flesh, sin nature.  So we are doomed to failure.

That’s why: Jesus is ALWAYS holding onto us, even despite overwhelming trials and circumstances.

You let go so Jesus can live His life through you.

The “letting go” is admitting to God you cannot live life on your own.

You “let go” of the old, destructive life (symbolic of the rope) and you fall into the loving, caring arms of Jesus.

Jesus heals, restores, and give you a new life every day – His very own life in you.

Jesus takes over and begins to live His life through you.
NOTHING CAN BE MORE EXCITING & FULFILLING TO EXPERIENCE.

An Introduction to JESUS CHRIST: THE PUBLIC YEARS

Since we looked at Jesus’ silent years, we are now ready to look at His public years.

Jesus’ public life was a result of the strength of His solitary life.  He taught us the importance of balancing both, with the solitary life always having a prominent place above the public life.

The greatest commandment is always to love God first and foremost.  Pure, genuine love always comes from the heart.  Pure, genuine love can never be forced.  To nurture the greatest commandment, one must develop an intimate, love relationship with God from the heart.  This can only occur in solitary prayer with God, the kind Jesus illustrated.

Jesus, then, summed up the remaining commandments into loving one’s neighbor as oneself.  From our intimate relationship with God, we draw His strength and can then love our neighbors as ourselves.  We will serve our neighbors for their benefit.  We will serve them cheerfully.  We will see them the way God sees them.  When not following these commandments in the correct context, anxiety, impatience, and arrogance usually occur.

We see this exemplified in the gospel of Luke with the story of Martha and Mary.  Notice how Jesus sets the correct priority between the solitary life of loving God and the public life of loving and serving God in Luke 10:38-42.  Observe closely what Jesus calls the most important.  Now as they were traveling along, He (Jesus) entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.  She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.  But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”  But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Ministry like Martha is doing is important, but not at the expense of ministering unto the Lord in solitude.  We see Jesus laying a foundation of what being “a person after God’s heart” is.  It begins with a passion to love only God first in every area of one’s life.  Even if this is not fulfilled in some area of one’s life, as long as there is a desire to love God, God will complete His love in those areas.  Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

However, sin keeps one’s heart away from God’s heart.  Sin is like a disease that keeps eating away the inside of one’s heart.  This is vital to understand and accept.  Not accepting it keeps the love of God from penetrating those areas of your heart that your specific sin(s) is occupying.  I pray you are able to see this and repent of your sin(s) that keep you from God.  God loves you so much and wants to reveal it in the depths of your heart.

Jesus is always your foundation.  Only His love must motivate your every action.  Only through solitude and intimacy with Jesus can you become “a person after God’s own heart.”  God will give you such a passion to fall in love with Jesus every day that it will become natural to do.  This is the heart we see developed in Jesus through His intimacy with the Father.  Then at the proper time, God sends His love out through you to the hurting needs of the public.

Let’s now see how Jesus shows God’s intimate love publicly, while never losing focus on His love for the Father.  Let’s see how Jesus intimately touched the people He encountered.  We shall see how Jesus is the perfect example of what “a person after God’s own heart” is.  From the strength of the solitary years, Jesus was ready to be God “in action” during the public years.

JESUS CHRIST: THE HIDDEN YEARS

The Hidden Years

For the first 30 years of His life, Jesus lived a life of solitude.  Nothing is known about His early years except when He was 12.  His parents journeyed to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover and were unaware He stayed behind when the feast ended.

I believe one of the main reasons God does not reveal the hidden years of Jesus’ life is to show us that He lived an ordinary, simple life like everyone else.  God does this so we can know that Jesus identifies the same routines, joys, and hardships of life that we experience.  This is how simple God is.  Otherwise, many would probably speculate supernatural things that Jesus did in His hidden years, instead of simply seeking God for who He is.

The hidden years of Jesus are an invaluable lesson for today.  Often, and unfortunately, His hidden years confuse many.  God remains silent and hidden in peoples’ lives because He desires each to know Him more from the heart, and less from the mind.  Sadly, too many people try to understand God with only their mind and come away disappointed.  They usually say, “If God is such a loving God, why does He permit so much suffering?” or “Why would a loving God send people to hell?”  They want to bring God down to their level, instead of permitting God to bring them up to His.  That is why God looks at the heart.

God reached down and became a human being (Jesus) and died on the cross for the sins of the world.  Through the human eye, this makes no sense.  Through the spiritual eyes of the heart, the cross makes perfect sense because the Holy Spirit speaks to the heart first.  God will not genuinely reveal Himself to those who search for Him with their minds.  Those who search for God with their hearts will be brought to the foot of the cross.  (II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose hearts is completely His.)

The apostle Paul explains accurately the foolishness of the cross to the world.  I Corinthians 1:27-29 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.

God does indeed see all the sufferings of the world, including yours.  Being creator, He knows everything and wants you to know He understands the deepest pain and sufferings you go through.  He shows us by permitting His Son Jesus to suffer and die.  That is why Jesus can identify with your life.  With the exception of sin, Jesus has experienced (in one way or another) everything you have experienced or will experience.  After all, Jesus is God Himself in the flesh of a man.

Jesus went to school.  Jesus played with children.  Jesus got bumps and bruises like any child.  Jesus obeyed His parents.  He cried.  He got a job.  He paid bills.  He had friends.  He played.   He sang.  Much more can obviously be added to what Jesus did growing up, but the point is made.  With the exception of sin, Jesus is just as human as you and me.  He clearly understands how we feel.  He has lived it.  Can you relate this truth to your life?  Remember also that Jesus rose from the dead.  He lives forever and desires you to join Him.

Because Jesus is so human in His solitary life, many gloss over this importance.  I pray you will not.  I pray you are able to see the riches of Jesus’ solitary life until He began public ministry at age 30.  The simplicity of Jesus is so obvious, but remains hidden because many Christians prefer to see Jesus more as the supernatural God.  They purposely gloss over His ordinary life as a man.  Jesus is God and will always be God, but for many Jesus is just too human.  Is Jesus too human for you?  Do you only want to see a supernatural God in Jesus?  I pray you choose wisely.

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Jesus is God and will always be God,

but for many Jesus is just too human.

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The solitary life of Jesus is a splendid introduction to the public life of Jesus.  Jesus’ solitary life was very intimate with His Father.  He was focused and always in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  This is God in three distinct persons.  (This is called the doctrine of the Trinity.)

We see this intimate fellowship overflowing into His public life.  One thing noticeable in the four gospels is that Jesus often slipped away privately to be in fellowship and prayer with the Father.  This type of heart fellowship with God is how God shares His love through us to others.  Our own solitary life with God is just as important as Jesus exemplified.  Jesus sets the outstanding example for us to follow.

In Jesus’ public ministry and life, it was always God the Father doing the speaking, the listening, the teaching, and the touching through Jesus the man.  We see Jesus exemplifying this dozens of times in the gospel of John.  “It is the Father who sent me….

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