All in Bible Study

Jesus responded, “Just because I am the one making these claims doesn’t mean they’re invalid. For I absolutely know who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m going. But you Pharisees have no idea about what I’m saying. For you’ve set yourselves up as judges of others based on outward appearances, but I certainly never judge others in that way. For I discern the truth. And I am not alone in my judgments, for my Father and I have the same understanding in all things, and he has sent me to you.”

John 8:14-16 TPT

I love this passage. Jesus is so amazing!! These verses come just after He had proclaimed, “I am the light of the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.” (Verse 12) The Pharisees were astonished and offended by this declaration. How could Jesus claim such a thing?? They got snarky with Him and accused Him of being arrogant. “You’re just boasting about yourself!” they said. “Since we only have your word on this, it makes your testimony invalid!” (Verse 13)

But guess what? Jesus wasn’t being arrogant or conceited when He said these things. Not at all. He was simply speaking the life-giving truth of who He was!! And the people needed to hear this truth, because it was their chance to have eternal hope!

Oh how beautiful Jesus is. He is our light. We literally do not ever have to walk in the darkness of despair that wraps this world in its tentacles, because Jesus’s light overcomes it; His life can and will flood our lives if we recognize Him as our Savior and declare Him as our Lord.

That’s enough good news right there for us to give thanks for eternity. But something else has struck a powerful chord in me as I’ve meditated on this passage: we can have the same confidence Jesus had in these verses. We too can say, “I absolutely know who I am!” Why? Because we are in Him (“Your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Col. 3:3) and He is in us (“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Gal. 2:20). We have become one with Him because of what He has done for us on the cross. Oh Jesus! How marvelous You are to Love us like this. Because of His sacrifice, because of His Love, we can confidently, absolutely, know who we are.

I'm Not Good Enough: Why Christians Need a Savior, Too

Hi friends!

I just wanted to write a quick little blog about a Scripture that kinda just kicked me in the gut. Here it is:

“You are busy analyzing the Scriptures, frantically poring over them in hopes of gaining eternal life. Everything you read points to me, yet you still refuse to come to me so I can give you the life you’re looking for – eternal life!” John 5:39, The Passion Translation

These are the words of Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders of the day. They were refusing to believe in Him as the Son of God, to embrace Him as their Savior.

But wait – I believe in Jesus, so why did this kick me in the gut? Well honestly, I know for a fact that there is some Pharisee in me…a part of me that wants to perform and to measure up and to be full of head knowledge about the Scriptures and try to live accordingly. I mean, isn’t that what makes me a good Christian?

But man, I have been realizing more than ever that simply knowing (or even knowing AND doing) the “right things” according to Scripture IS NOT GOING TO SAVE ME. In fact, I think for those of us who have grown up in the church, who think we are “good” because we don’t swear or get drunk or have sex outside of marriage, etc. etc. – I think we are in a serious danger zone. Why? Because we, like those religious leaders of Jesus’s day, think that we are made good by what we do. We may not say it out loud, but we are so “good” that we think we don’t need saving! Yes, we can say that Jesus is our Savior, that He’s forgiven our sins, and that we have given our hearts to Him. But are we truly trusting in HIM as our salvation, or have we simply been trusting our own good behavior??…

I’ve made no secret of the fact that the past year has been hard.

Like really hard. Like get-me-out-of-here hard.

And yes, sometimes in the midst of it I have wondered where God is. I have asked Him, “why have you forsaken me?” Didn’t even Jesus in His darkest hour ask the same question (see Matt. 27:46)? And yet..

And yet…

Somehow through it all, somehow all along, even in those moments when I was struggling for my very breath and feeling the deepest pain...

I rejoiced. I found joy. I felt joy. Something about the fact that I knew that there was something worth fighting for, Someone worth living for who was even worth dying for…that caused me to have this odd sense of joy in the midst of it all.

I promise before God that what I am telling you is true. It is not a lie.

Even in those moments in my car when I felt like the weight of everything was going to crush me. Even in those moments when I could not keep the tears from falling down my face…or worse…those moments when the ache was so deep that even tears wouldn’t come…I had this sense of anticipation deep within me that said, this is where I find out what’s real. And I know the secret. I already know what’s real. I just have to fight to keep that truth in my mind now…fight to get it down into my heart like never before.

And friends, that real is Jesus. And this is now my message, this is now my story: Suffering is part of the beauty of life. Suffering is part of the joy of walking with Christ. I know it sounds crazy, but stop, still yourself… isn’t there something within you, a little glimmer of hope that what I am saying is true?

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”

2 Samuel 7:18, ESV

The prophet Nathan had just delivered to King David the most incredible word from the Lord. The word had begun with the Lord speaking of the past, about how He had taken notice of David years prior, plucking him from obscurity and choosing him as the future leader of all of Israel (“I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel.” 2 Sam. 7:8b, NLT). Then He recounted to David all He had done, reminding him how He had been by his side every moment, fighting on his behalf and delivering him from his enemies (v. 9).

Surely these words made David’s heart beat faster and grow hotter as he remembered all that God had done for him. This would certainly have been enough to cause him to rejoice and be in awe of God’s intimate love and goodness for the rest of his days. And yet…

God wasn’t finished.

He went on to outline the fame He was going to bring to David’s name and family. He told him of His incredible plans for the future, plans that would originate with David and stretch into eternity, literally promising him an unending dynasty. God told David that his throne would be secure forever. This was a covenant – a promise that God could not and would not break. “Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16, NLT

After receiving this prophetic word from the Lord, David was so wrecked and in awe of God that he was compelled to go and speak with Him himself.

First of all – I love this. I love how David heard the God-words through a prophet, and therefore could have just said, “Wow! That’s amazing! Take my thanks back to the Lord for me, please…” But this is David we are talking about! The passionate lover of God couldn’t leave it at that. He needed to express his thanks to God one-on-one, not through an intermediary. And so, he immediately “went in” to sit before the Lord to pour out his heart.

And pour out his heart he did. This Scripture so beautifully expresses the heartfelt response to the words of the Divine being spoken intricately and intimately over a single human being. “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”

God. Is. So. Personal. Sit down and think about it for a minute. Look at your life. No matter where you are standing, if you are reading these words, you are an absolute MIRACLE. Perhaps even the fact that you are reading these exact words today is evidence that God sees you and knows your every specific prayer and longing!...