Monday, August 4, 2008

A new series of posts....

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus....There's just something about that name..... One of my favorite old hymns.

Seasoned throughout scripture are the most beautiful names of our Savior. Rich descriptions such as I am, King of Kings, Lamb of God, Friend. I have been wanting to learn more about these names and the promises they hold so I have started reading a book entitled Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler. It's a daily guide of prayers, scriptures and devotionals that take you through 26 weeks of some of the descriptions of our Lord. I thought I would take one post a week to highlight some of what I learned.

Week #1: Immanuel - God with us.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there:
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10

Luke chapter 5 tells the story of Simon Peter the fisherman. He and his friends had been out fishing. With each cast of their net, they anticipated that big catch. But after a whole night of fishing, they had nothing but maybe an old sandal. Then Jesus climbed into the boat. He told them to row out into deeper waters and put their nets down for a catch. Simon was a little skeptical at first, but he did what Jesus said. When their nets hit the water this time, there were so many fish they had to call for back-up just to reel it in. Verse 8 says: When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"

Ann writes:
There's something right about Peter's response. Jesus is holy and sin is his implacable enemy. Still the Lord didn't leave Peter. Instead he stayed and transformed his life. And that's what Jesus wants to do with our lives. We make a mistake when we let our sin drag us down and away from the One who has promised to be with us. Instead of running to him, we let a cloud settle over us. Finding it hard to pray, we move farther away. In a thousand different ways, we say, "Depart from me, O Lord!" (Praying the Names of Jesus p. 19)

God is so good! He knew I needed this one for my first week. Lately I have thought of myself as a true 'pit dweller' (Psalm 40). I have battled depression for years, but lately it seems to have gone deeper than ever before. Verse 2 of Psalm 40 says: He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. It dawned on me, for Him to lift me out of that pit, He had to be there. He never left my side at all. My Immanuel.

You know, God does not say that we will never have struggles or heart ache. He never says that life is going to be perfect. It's easy to picture ourselves a tiny island encircled by our difficulties, but He asks us to imagine ourselves wrapped in the presence of a faithful God.

Thank You Jesus! You always know exactly what I need when I need it. I pray Lord that you will use this study to transform my life. I've also been reminded this week Lord that you use us as believers to be Christ to others as well. Help me Lord to be Jesus to someone who needs it this week. I praise You for who You are to me and who You will become these next few weeks. Thank you Lord and I give you all the glory!

Here's some more scriptures. Enjoy your Immanuel this week!
Isaiah 8:10
Joshua 1:9
John 14:15-21

No comments: