Tag Archives: February

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February 2014

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Above the Competition

by Pastor Kevin Boushek

The 22nd winter Olympic games begin this month in Sochi, Russia.  Thousands of well-trained, developed athletes from countries all over the world will gather to compete for bronze, silver, gold, and, maybe more importantly, the glory of victory. While the athletes will all be comfortable and cozy in the Olympic village, and may even develop close friendships with one another, as soon as they are out on the snow-covered slopes or in the ice arenas, they will compete against each other with ferocity, determination, and the will to beat out everyone else.

Can you imagine that competitiveness? What if you found out tomorrow that you would compete at the Olympics?  Would you be, if only slightly, overwhelmed by the sheer number of your opponents – not to mention the level of strength and skill they possess, likely far superior to yours? Undoubtedly so.

Does your life ever feel like you’ve been dropped into a fierce competition without any proper training? Does is ever feel worse?  As if an overwhelming number of people and things were not simply competition, but fierce enemies with the desire to drag you to your death?

Then you have felt like David, who wrote:

O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” (Psalm 3:1-2)

We feel enemies rise up all around us.  Sometimes those enemies are other people who want to see us fall and fail; who seem bent on destroying our reputation.  More often the enemies that rise against us are the familiar enemies of Satan and his bag of tricks and temptations – or even worse: the enemies that rise up within ourselves; selfish ambition, jealousy, anger, laziness, despair, and depression.  David knew all these too, but he had a place to turn:

But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. (Psalm 3:3-5)

Imagine the competition now. The Lord is your shield; he protects you.  The Lord lifts you up.  The Lord answers your cries and your prayers.  The Lord sustains you.  There is no one who can compete against your Lord.  There is no enemy who can fight him off – not even Satan, sin, or death.  Jesus was the ultimate victor and champion over them all.  Jesus is your Lord who competes for you.

Olympians compete to find themselves on a pedestal and granted a medal.  Your Lord has already given you far more in Jesus.  Through Jesus he has bestowed on you the glory of complete victory and has lifted you up above the competition.

Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms.  These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on God’s Word. 

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Jesus Is…Christ

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Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? If you have a “special someone” in your life – whether it is your wife or husband, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your children – you probably want to start to think about Valentine’s Day and how you can express your love and affection. From chocolates to red paper hearts, there will be many expressions of love and affection exchanged once again this Valentine’s Day.

God has also expressed his love to you. In fact, there is no greater act of love than the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus for our salvation. All of the Bible, God’s massive greeting card to all human beings, revolves around this one supreme act of unconditional love!

That tremendous expression of love can be highlighted in a simple little word and title. Unfortunately, we often use this word in vain as we cry out in surprise or curse our bad luck, but Christ is a title of Jesus that truly expresses God’s love for us.

What does the word Christ mean?

Matthew begins his book of the Bible by recording the genealogy of Jesus: “…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (Matthew 1:16). As Matthew sets the tone for his Gospel, he is careful to note that Jesus was revered as Christ. This title is a form of the Greek word chrio meaning “to pour or anoint.” To anoint was to pour sacred oil over someone’s head as a visible sign that God had set him aside for a special task. Jesus bore the title Christ because he was the one God anointed – set aside – to be the world’s Savior.

Another biblical writer, John, reveals Jesus as the Word made flesh and then describes Andrew’s excitement when he met Jesus: “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ)” (John 1:41). Andrew bursts forth in joyful acclamation. He used the title Messiah, which is the Hebrew equivalent of Christ, “the Anointed One.”

The Gospel writer John is keen to point out that from the time Jesus presented himself publicly the hope of the ages was intimately associated with salvation in Jesus. Yes, at the time of his baptism Jesus’ anointing as the Christ took place in an eye-opening way: “heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17). Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God and received the clear approval of his heavenly Father; a divine endorsement!

Because Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, he is the one God chose, even from ancient times, to bring salvation; redeeming us from the curse of sin!

There is no greater act of love! Jesus, the Christ, is God’s magnificent valentine to you!



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