Tag Archives: Good News

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Jesus

Jesus Is….Son of God; Son of Man

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JesusWhat titles do you have? What titles would you like to have? Doctor? Professor? Governor? Mr. President? Princess? (Seriously!) The appeal is understandable. Those titles carry honor. They carry prestige. Some we can earn. Masters, doctorates and other post-graduate programs are in high demand. Some are simply given. All provide opportunities to have a great or better life.

What about these titles: “Holy One”? “Son of God”? Jesus had the highest of all titles already at his birth. The Bible shares how an angel named Gabriel spoke to a woman named Mary: “The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Jesus is holy. He is the true Son of God. The titles “Holy One” and “Son of God” indicate that all power, wisdom and authority belonged to Jesus even at birth because as true God he possessed them from eternity. His name is above every name and over every title and authority that can be given.

Maybe you struggle with the concept of a God who is over ou universe and a man named Jesus who lived 2000 years ago supposedly has an impact on your life right now. Maybe that’s too much for you to put any stock in, but consider what it means for you if the Bible is true. Jesus, the Holy One, the Son of God, di not keep himself from seeking another title, decidedly a step down. It did not require a four-year graduate program or many evening classes, but it did require humble service, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Jesus also took the title Son of Man. He came down from heaven to earth to take up our cause and to die a humble death on the cross—a death that should have been ours, because we were born and created to be God’s own, but have instead pursued this title: sinner.

Jesus became our Savior. Even with the title Son of God he willingly took the title Son of Man, in order to die for us on the cross. Jesus loved us enough to do that for us, and now he gives you a new, prestigious title: Child of God!

“The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” – Gabriel

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Jesus


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Jesus

Jesus Is…The Good Shepherd

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JesusMan Dies to Save Trapped Bunny pops up as you scroll through your news app. You tap on the video. You see what reminds you of the furry little Cadbury Crème Egg mascot trapped in a precarious position. A heroic rescue follows, but the rescuer dies.

You’re baffled, and…you’re impressed! You think, “What inspired that guy to give his own life for a bunny? Sometimes, I forget even to feed my own pet!”

Another headline: Man Dies to Save World.

That headline doespop up when you read the Bible. It may sound like it’s from a too-predictable superhero movie. It may seem too good to be true, but it is true! Jesus is that man. His agonizing, humiliating death on a Roman torture-pole was the heroic rescue of the world. He didn’t rescue it from global warming or hunger or war, but from the single problem at the root of each of those – our sins and the damnation they bring.  Despite what some speculate, Jesus didn’t come to post the 10 commandments at every town hall and enforce them. The world already stood condemned by the law because of its sin. Jesus came to rescue the world, and by the way, “world” means everyone in it, including you.

Look at the extraordinary heroism in Jesus, this world’s rescuer! It was more than heroism. Even though he is true God, Jesus displayed God’s love and God’s plan to give forgiveness and eternal life to all as he lost his own life! Jesus’ life, death, and bodily resurrection show you the very heart of God. This is a headline worth your time. It is worth reading more about. Scroll on.

Here’s a way to picture Jesus your God and Savior: Jesus is The Good Shepherd. He tells you why: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).We are the sheep. We have strayed and wandered into a precarious and deadly situation because we are sinful.  At some point our “bleating” hearts will cry out in fear, in anxiety, and in distress. We are lost sheep who need a rescue – not just by a hired hand, not just by any shepherd, but by The Good Shepherd. He is not a no-name hero who will be forgotten tomorrow. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who, being both God and man, laid down his life for you.

Your life’s headline reads: Good Shepherd Dies to Save THIS Sheep.


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April 2014

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How Majestic!

“Ride on, ride on, in Majesty…”  Jesus rode into Jerusalem as our majestic King.  That classic hymn is fitting, isn’t it? Jesus does exude majesty.  Our God exudes majesty.

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

So begins, and ends, Psalm 8.  God is truly majestic.  We see it in his creation. When we remove the distractions and distortions of stubborn hearts, or complaints, or regrets, we are compelled to praise God for his majesty.  Children understand the greatness of God and are quick to praise him for it.  Certainly there were children among those who lined the path with palm branches as Jesus rode into Jerusalem.  What joy must have filled their young voices at the sight of Jesus! When the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke the crowd and silence those children, Jesus said, “If they were silent, the stones would cry out.”  The Psalmist captures that compelling nature of God’s majesty:

“You have set your glory above the heavens.  From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise…”

Yet, when we consider God’s majesty aren’t we struck by our own unworthiness?

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

God’s creation opens our eyes to his power, his goodness, and his perfect majesty.  His works, made by his own hands sit in stark contrast to the works we try to accomplish with our feeble hands. When we look at our life and our work, what majesty is there?  None.  Instead we see the blemishes and defects of sin littered across the landscape of our life.  Why would God care for us?

That’s his true majesty. God crowns us with glory and honor, even in our imperfection. God’s true majesty is found in what he did for us through Jesus.  After Palm Sunday it seemed Jesus’ majesty was stripped from him.  He was beaten, ridiculed, and hung upon a tree to die.  The creator of the heavens and the earth suffered as the worst of criminals.  Yet, this was God’s majesty: the king who would die for his subjects; the king who really did care for his people; our God who cares for us.  So Jesus died for us. He died to remove our blemishes and he rose to life to give us his majesty.

On Easter we celebrate his life and the life he gives to us.  Psalm 8 speaks first about Jesus and then what Jesus gives to us:

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  You made him ruler over the works of your hands; and put everything under his feet.

This Easter, and always, let us join to say:

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”


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From Garden to Glory

From Garden to Glory

Category:Bible Studies,Events Tags : 

From Garden to Glory

Midweek Interactive Worship

Wednesdays, March 12th- April 9th, 2014

These services will blend meditation, worship, and study as we walk with Jesus “From Garden to Glory.”

Soup and salad suppers will be served at 5:30. The services will begin at 6:15 following the supper.

 


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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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Uplifted Series

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Uplifted

Do you ever feel down after Christmas ends and the celebration of the New Year has settled? Do you wonder what more there is to look forward to? Do you feel bogged down by the return to the routines of life? Do you wish someone or something could lift you and your spirits?

Jesus does! Jesus lifts you up to feel something special, to be someone special, and to do something special. Jesus lifts you up to see him in incredible ways and to follow him with your life. Some days your life in Jesus may be a challenge, but Jesus will lift you up to meet that challenge.

You are…uplifted!

Join us for worship starting January 26th for this series!


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Jesus Is…Savior

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“Help!”

It’s a simple word, but it’s not so simple to say, is it? It’s an admission of vulnerability. And nobody wants to be considered vulnerable. To cry out “Help!” is to admit that you can’t get yourself out of whatever predicament you are in. You need someone to come and save you. You have to swallow your pride, display some humility and admit that you can’t do it. You need help.

There was a writer who lived nearly 3000 years ago. His name was Asaph. Asaph needed help. So did everyone around him. Foreign nations had invaded his homeland. They trashed the reputation of Asaph’s God and threatened Asaph’s life, and the lives of his countrymen. So Asaph and his fellow countrymen went to their God – the only God.

They knew they hadn’t done anything to earn God’s help. In fact, part of the reason they needed help was because of their disobedience against God and his will. But they still turned to God because of his reputation: he is the God of salvation. They knew God is in the business of helping. In fact, not only does he give help freely but he specializes in it. Only God could help them out of their difficulties in life. Only God could save them from their greatest difficulty—their sin. They were not disappointed. God did save them from their enemies, but more importantly, he forgave their sin. That’s his reputation. He is the Savior.

God has the same reputation today. He is your Savior. Not too long ago we celebrated Christmas, the day when God sent us his Son, Jesus. We needed God’s help desperately. We were separated from God. We had sinned. We couldn’t help ourselves to get rid of our guilt. God helped us. God sent us a Savior. He forgives all our sin. God is in the business of helping. That’s his reputation.

God is your Savior. You can call on him for help and deliverance. He promises his forgiveness and love. He will help you out of trouble. Call on your Savior for strength to carry your burdens. Look to your Lord Jesus for help. He – and only he – can help you. He – and only he – is your Savior.

 


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In a Manger

In a Manger Christmas Program

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In a MangerThe children of Beautiful Savior with present the Christmas story in word and song on December 22nd, 2013 at 9:20am.


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December 2013

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What’s up with “Emmanuel?”

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lowly exile here, until the Son of Man appear.

Familiar words to you?  More than likely you recognized the lyrics of that Christmas carol.  What do those words mean? What do they mean for you?

The pivotal word of the phrase is “Emmanuel.”  Sometimes it is written as “Immanuel.”  It is the same Hebrew word transposed into English, and the meaning behind this Hebrew word is huge for you.  The word comes from Isaiah 7:14:

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Somewhat of a unique name for a baby.  But not when you consider the baby this was referring to.  This baby is the baby you know as Jesus.  This is another name for Jesus.  It means “God with us!”  To break it down, emma = with, nu = us, el = God.  “God with us” is an amazing statement, isn’t it?  God is the perfect creator of all things.   Yet, we, his creation, are imperfect.  We are fallen.  We daily fall into sin – crossing the line which God has clearly laid out in his word and even written on our hearts.   How can the perfect God be with imperfect, unholy people? Through that baby, with that name.

Emmanuel.

Jesus was “God with us.”  Not only is it incredible that God was willing to be in the middle of the sinful world, and among sinful people, but the power of that preposition “with” goes even deeper.  In Jesus, God not only was among his people, but God took on the flesh and blood of his people.  He took on the flesh and blood of his people so that he could rescue them from their captivity. So he could ransom them – pay the price demanded by their captors.

You are a part of the Israel in captivity.  While the nation of Israel found itself carried into captivity by several foreign powers, the foreign power that has carried you into captivity is sin. Jesus paid with his blood and his life to rescue you from that captivity – to free you from the chains of sin.  He became God with us, so that you could be with God for eternity.

Emmanuel.

This well-known Christmas carol isn’t just about Christmas.  Its words do remind us to reflect on what happened when God became Emmanuel – “God with us” – on that Christmas morning, and Jesus has rescued us from the captivity, but we still long for the day when that rescued will be complete.  The day when the “Son of Man” appears again.  And once again God will be with us, and we will be with God.

Emmanuel.

Do you remember the refrain for this well-known carol: “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel will ransom captive Israel!”

Do it!  Rejoice!  God will be with us, because Jesus has ransomed us – he has bought us back from the sin that claimed our lives and gives us freedom in his name.

Reflection:

What special comfort do you have knowing Jesus is Emmanuel, “God with us”?

Write a prayer asking God to help you prepare for Jesus’ return.

Advent Worship

Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel


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