The Overlooked King of Glory

The Overlooked King of Glory

“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.” – Hebrews 1:3

Recently, this verse (along with the whole first chapter of Hebrews) was brought to my attention during a weekend conference I attended a couple of weeks ago. One particular speaker grabbed my attention. During his workshop I attended and during his keynote presentation, He spoke words that challenged me. I was challenged in the way I view Jesus and how I teach Him to my children. Richard Ross was speaking about how there is the Jesus we all know and are familiar with, but there is also the Jesus that most people seem to overlook and miss. Hebrews

The Jesus we know: We often talk and read stories to our children that highlight the Son of God’s – birth, time on earth, and His death, burial and resurrection. We may even talk about the day when He comes back for His bride. But how often do we talk about the Jesus who ascended into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of God? That seems to be the Jesus we often are missing out on when we think about Him. It causes me to wonder how many of us are teaching our children about the King Jesus who is powerful and mighty  – He who “radiates God’s own glory”. 

There is a magnificence in Jesus that I feel many of us are not fully grasping. When I go through and read the verses of scripture that highlight just a glimpse of who He is, right now, I am certain that, as a whole, believers are missing out on the fullness of the King of Glory. This then would lead me to agree with Ross when he said, “We have a generation missing who God is through Jesus Christ”. We bask in the wonder of our God, but sometimes we fail to bask in the wonder of Christ – who is the clear and full revelation of God.

The gospel revelation is excellent above the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his Son. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Father, John 14:7; the fullness of the Godhead dwells, not typically, or in a figure, but really, in him. When, on the fall of man, the world was breaking to pieces under the wrath and curse of God, the Son of God, undertaking the work of redemption, sustained it by his almighty power and goodness. From the glory of the person and office of Christ, we proceed to the glory of his grace. {Matthew Henry}

-In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Father-

My desire is to not only shift my perspective, but to teach my children about the magnificence found in Jesus Christ. I want them to be in awe as they enter the throne room of grace every time they pray, I want their view of God to be seen through the Son, and I want them to see God’s glory in the face of Christ. I want them to know and embrace the intimacy found in Christ and I also long for them to know and embrace the awe that is found in Christ. Ross says, “It is a double helix”. The intertwining of intimacy and awe so perfectly woven together is the double helix to which he is referring. Jesus Christ is all things intimate and He is all things magnificent. 

Let us all seek to view Jesus as He is seen and known by His heavenly father. As we lift our own eyes to see the King, let us lift the little eyes of our children to Him, as well. Let our prayer life, our worship and everything we do reflect not only His goodness and grace, but also, His might and wonder. Let us remember that, “Who Jesus will be in His second coming, is who He is today.” (Ross)

Confession: I used to think Jesus’ sacrifice was NBD

Confession: I used to think Jesus’ sacrifice was NBD

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
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We are a week a few days away from Good Friday. The day we somberly, with thankfulness in our hearts, bow in awe of the love of God toward us. At least that is how I approach Good Friday now.

I have a confession to make to you: I used to think Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf was NBD or No Big Deal. 

I’m going to tell you what truths I was forgetting to make me that indifferent to what Jesus did for us on Good Friday. Then I’ll tell you what brought me out of my forgetfulness and how I react to Good Friday now.

Friends, I used to think about Jesus dying on the cross and be very thankful. But while I was thankful, I was not particularly impressed.  

It seemed to me that sacrificing your life was kinda common. I remember reading stories of war heroes who valiantly gave their lives for their fellow soldiers and country and being so grateful. I remember hearing about how the Secret Service would jump in front of the President to save his life at the expense of theirs. As I got older, I would read about the courage of Christians who were killed for their faith. In all of these stories, I would think, “They did what Jesus did–sacrificed their life.”

And yes, it is true, they certainly did sacrifice their lives and I still am always moved and amazed at the courage of people when faced with incredible circumstances.

But I forgot one thing. Jesus was not just human.

It is true that Jesus was fully human, but he was also fully God. He is Emmanuel, God with us. This is the truth I was shamefully forgetting.

He is God and God allowed himself to be killed and tortured for us humans. 

A few thoughts brought me back into remembrance of this fact. When thinking about this incredible, astonishing, shocking, humbling truth of Jesus’ sacrifice, I like to go back to where the sacrifice all began: Christmas.

(If you don’t know about why we needed Jesus to be the sacrificial lamb for you and me, click here to learn more. It’s crucial to your life. I guarantee it’s worth your time. And if you have questions, please feel free to comment below  or send your email to us via our contact page and I’d love to chat with you.)

At Christmas, Jesus left heaven to come to earth so that he could be the sacrificial lamb for us.

Jesus left heaven!

That right there alone is enough of a sacrifice! Friends, I can’t even leave my bed on a cold day! Think about the perfection of heaven and what comfy, cozy place Jesus left for us.

We all know life here on earth is no cakewalk. We all get sick and tired and cold and hungry and… Jesus got those things too. He didn’t in heaven. Plus, he was mocked, beaten, spat upon, and betrayed by his closest friends. Not a cakewalk for sure. This alone is a huge sacrifice. I now always think about this sacrifice at Christmas and this sacrifice alone now leaves me in awe.

Second, Jesus is God. We are human. 

This seems obvious but for years it escaped me. I was knocked back into remembrance when my husband was talking about something he had heard someone say about humans, dirt, God, and how they all relate.

It starts with a question: Would you die for a pile of dirt? 

Probably not. I’m wagering almost every person would say that would be so crazy! And they would be right. But that is exactly what God did.

Genesis 2:7 (NIV) says, “And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Yep, we are dirt. From dirt we came and back to dirt our bodies will return when we die. The only thing that gives us any value is God himself because he breathed his life into us, gave us a soul that will live forever, and values us as cherished children.

I had forgotten that I am dirt and God is the Creator of the Universe whose very words have the power to bring galaxies into existence… 

…and yet he came down from comfy, cozy heaven for me and you to be tortured, betrayed, sick, and eventually killed.

On top of all of this, Jesus died for a pile of dirt that sins against him. For “all have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Romans 3:12 (NIV)

We have sinned against you Lord and yet you died for us.

Oh friends, how I have asked God for his forgiveness for my being so prideful and forgetful of his immense mercy, grace, and love toward us. Who can “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ?” Ephesians 3:18b (NIV)

I didn’t. And the truth is I still can’t.

Because I’m a human sinner I don’t think I can ever grasp how perfect and unselfish God’s love is toward us. I’m incapable for “who has known the mind of the Lord?” Romans 11:34 (NIV)

So for me, Good Friday now is a remembrance of who I am and who God is. This fact alone throws me into worship of him. Then, on top of that, to remember that he has died for us and that I know the depths of his love toward us is far greater than I can fathom–it’s overwhelming. I’m overwhelmed.

Have you ever felt this way?

Let me know in the comments. I’ll be glad to hear from you.

Journey Through the Bible: Jesus Revealed

Journey Through the Bible: Jesus Revealed

The beginning of a new year. It is a time when many goals are being set: health goals, financial goals, professional goals, and a variety of other personal goals. Another particularly popular goal set by many is the one to read through the Bible in a year. This is one that many people find difficult to complete. Those few who persevere through Leviticus and Numbers eventually will fizzle out somewhere between Deuteronomy and Joshua.

It’s tough. Beginning in the Old Testament can definitely be challenging, at best, and often times a difficult read. When you couple that with trying to cram in two to three chapters a day, it becomes even more complicated. But here’s the thing: His word–it is good. It is a giant unfolding story of love, grace, and redemption. From beginning to end, it is one big story pointing to Jesus. 

This year? Let this year be the one where you journey your way through the Bible with a different pair of eyes. This year, instead of taking in big chunks each day, slow down and take the time to savor the smaller pieces–digesting and enjoying the goodness wrapped in them…a goodness often overlooked.

The beautiful picture God paints through the words and stories of the Old Testament, words and stories that reveal His love and His mercy–that reveal Jesus–I somehow missed all my life. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I understood that while there are overarching lessons that can be gleaned from Old Testament stories, the heart of every story bears the shadow of the cross and gives us a glimpse of Jesus. As I have been going back and reading through familiar stories, ones I have read and heard since I was a child, I now find myself seeing it all differently.  As I read, I am caught up in the magnificence of God’s amazing love for us and am in awe as I find Jesus and the story of our rescue laid out so beautifully.

Over Thanksgiving, my family and I were sharing some favorite scriptures and my brother shared this verse: “And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them”. (Genesis 3:21) He shared how it was a reminder of God’s character–how even in our failures and in our shame, he loves us and cares for us. This verse stuck with me. I have been mulling it over and over for the last couple of months. He clothed them. It causes my breath to catch and my pulse to quicken. There, in a moment where Adam and Eve rejected God and His goodness, He clothed them–covering the nakedness of their sin, covering their shame.

I have always been so caught up in the verses that lead up to this passage, the verses outlying the fall, that I overlooked the words of love and grace so beautifully said. I understood and grieved over the brokenness of sin and yet did not see the act of mercy; I did not see the promised hope of redemption that is found in Christ. For all these years, I was missing out on an intimate whisper from God, a whisper that points to the One who came to clothe me, to cover me, from my sin and shame.

  • I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness…” Isaiah 61:10 (ESV)
  • For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27 (NIV)

This year, as you open up and breathe in His Word, take your time. This is a story about Jesus–our Rescuer, our Hope, and our Refuge; this is His love story to us. I hope that as you journey this year through God’s Word, it brings you closer to Him and the understanding of His great love and His great grace.

Happy Second Coming Day! Never heard of it? Read on.

Happy Second Coming Day! Never heard of it? Read on.

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Latest posts by Meredith P (see all)

Hello! I hope you and your family had a very happy First Coming Day last month! Or as December 25th is more commonly called, a very Merry Christmas. Yes, Happy Belated First Coming Day/Merry Christmas to you!

For the whole month of December, most of us prepare for the big day when we celebrate Jesus’ first coming to this earth and it is awesome! I delight in the decorating, buying gifts, singing carols, reading about it in the Bible, and more. In fact, there is usually so much to do, one of the most common questions I am asked as December 25th approaches is, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Or using my other name they might say, “Are you ready for First Coming Day?” Hopefully I can say ‘yes’ when asked or else I might find myself in a bit of a pickle. 🙂 But here is another question for us all, “Are we ready for Second Coming Day?”

Allow me to back pedal a bit. I’d like to share with you three things about our family’s journey with God and how He is leading us to celebrate a Second Coming Day. I’d like to tell you how the idea came about, why we find it to be so crucially important to how we walk out our everyday lives, and how we celebrate.

I once read something about Billy Graham that kinda changed my life. According to what I read, his mother would say to him every morning something like, “Look to the east, Billy. Do you see Jesus yet?” So he’d lift his eyes to the east and look for Jesus.

His mother’s question comes from Matthew 24:27 (NIV) “For as lightening that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

I read that this simple question asked by his mother each morning gave him a daily awareness to the truth that Jesus could actually come today. I read that this set in him an eternal perspective that led, among other things, to his becoming what we know of Billy Graham today: one of the greatest preachers of the gospel in our time. He wanted to spend his days before he saw Jesus coming in the east telling as many people as possible about it.

As a mom, this has resonated in my heart over and over for years. My heart cries out to God to use me to give my children the gift of this eternal perspective. So like the good Father He is, God is giving me, one of His children, the gift of a mind shift toward this eternal perspective so that I, in turn, can teach my children as He teaches me. Like I mentioned above, it has been years since this heart cry of mine to God started and honestly I’m still trying grasping the magnitude of it! Thank you God for being a patient teacher!

This is what I am learning and why keeping Jesus’ second coming in the forefront of my mind is so crucial:  I know the end of the story.

Allow me to use an illustration to explain. This past year, I was reading aloud an interesting book to my children. It was suspenseful! My oldest, 12, was so invested in the characters that he couldn’t take it. It was truly bothering his heart seeing all the trouble the character was going through. He had to know what happened to the main character so he read the very last page. I am telling you, this boy of mine was so much more relaxed while I continued to read the book over the week following. He was even telling his brothers, 9 and 7, “Don’t worry. I know what happens. I read the last page. It is going to be ok.”

Friends, don’t we know the end of our story? Can’t we read the last page?

We can.

Happy Second Coming Day!

It’s called Revelation and here it is:

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea… And I heard a loud voice saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:1-5 (NIV)

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”  Revelation 22:12-14 (NIV)

The above is from the last two chapters in the whole Bible. These words are the end of the story.

Jesus is coming back again.

He is going to make all things right.

Jesus wins. No questions. No close calls. 

He wins and we win through Him.

I am praying right now for you who are reading this and your families (and for myself and my family!) that the truth in these last pages will produce in us the same type of reaction that it did for my son as he read the last page of our book. 

That we would relax. 

That we would tell others, “Don’t worry. I know what happens. I read the last page. It is going to be ok.”

This is why remembering the second coming of Jesus matters. It gives the Christian, those who have as Jesus says above in Revelation, washed our robes in His blood through His sacrifice, this proper eternal perspective that should revolutionize our entire outlook on life.

(If you are not a Christian and are interested to know why in the world you need to have your robes washed in Jesus’ blood, please, read about it here. It is crucial.)

Isn’t it easy to get caught up in the temporal stuff of earth? In things that don’t really matter? I now categorize things that don’t really matter as anything that does not have to do with the eternal souls of people. Anything that won’t last on past Jesus’ second coming in many ways isn’t really worth a second thought.

I’m not trying to trivialize the grind of struggles on earth. I am not naive to the fact that terrible and unthinkable things happen down here. But so often, especially in America, we get upset at things that don’t really matter for eternity because our minds are down here on earth instead of set on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God and in control.

Friends, in Paul’s letter to the Phillippians he says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20 (NIV)

This verse kinda wraps this point up. If you are a Christian, earth is not your home. So its no surprise that things don’t go as planned down here. No fear. We are eagerly waiting for a Savior’s second coming to bring us home.

So think about whatever difficult or troubling situation you might be dealing with at this time. Ask God to give you an eternal perspective on your struggle. Ask Him to show you what portion of your struggle is eternal and what portion is temporal. Focus on the eternal and let go of the temporal. He will help those that earnestly seek His assistance.

So what does Second Coming Day look like in our house? Over the years it has taken many forms. The first year it was full of activities like waking up to a trumpet blast (1 Thessalonians 4:16)and building our heavenly rooms (John 14:2) gingerbread house style. The year I had another baby it looked like just a talk over dinner. And this year, I think it will be somewhere in between.

The point is not to have yet another thing to do, but to create in our homes an eager anticipation to the reality that the day is coming when the trumpet call is real, any problem we have is eclipsed by His glory, sin and death are gone forever, and we are taken home.

To look forward to and celebrate the victory that is His Second Coming as much as we look back and celebrate the sacrifice of His First Coming. It really does change everything.

I’ll end with this. By far my favorite and most enduring way to celebrate is when we take the Lord’s Supper as a family. Each time we are huddled as a family over the bread and grape juice, we remind ourselves and our children not only of Jesus’ sacrifice at His first coming, but also we remember to look forward to the victory of His return.

“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV) emphasis mine

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’

Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” Revelation 22: 20-21 (NIV)

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