September 14 – Names of Jesus – Victorious One

Read Revelation 3:21

What does victory look like?

A victory is when you defeat or beat an opponent. A spiritual victory is when God defeats the evil one, Satan. God is THE only being powerful enough to defeat and have COMPLETE victory over Satan. This is why we call God the Victorious One. Jesus is committed to His promises. He will carry out a victory every time against Satan.

The perfect example of victory in the Bible is shown through the story of David and Goliath. Samuel 17 demonstrates an overlooked man, David, who sets out to fight the giant, Goliath. David was the underdog in more ways than one. He had no sword, was not respected for the job and he was small, but still spoke to the Philistine, Goliath, about coming before him to fight in the name of the Lord Almighty God. David chose to fight Goliath in battle with a stone and a slingshot. Not only did he go into battle, but he came out victorious.

“This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel..” Samuel 17:46

At this time David had defeated Goliath and continued on in Samuel 17:47 to claim, “the battle is the Lord’s.” David believed the whole world would know there is a God in Israel from a victorious battle. Goliath was defeated and God had won. David had a full understanding that God was the Victorious One and God worked through him. He knew God would work in miraculous ways despite his fear.

David could not have been victorious on his own. He needed the power of the Victorious One to win against Goliath for a greater purpose. Life often presents challenges which seem impossible. God is the only form of victory in our lives when it comes to finding peace, healing of sickness and mental illness, freedom, and more. God chose to be the Victorious One because He has greater power than we do alone.

Take time today to reflect on the times God has been victorious in your life.

Did you see God’s victory immediately or was His victory a process over time?

Pray for God to win and be victorious over every heart who needs to know Him.

Pray every heart grows closer to God, the Victorious One.

Thank God for being the Victorious One over every obstacle in your life.

Monica Foutty

Questions to consider:

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • In what way does this specific name bring you peace?
  • How have you experienced victory from the Lord in your life?

September 13 – Names of Jesus – Lamb of God

Read John 1:19-34

The Lawson family is a baseball family. Ever since I was a little boy, it has always been my dream to be a professional baseball player. I love the sport of baseball so much it’s crazy. It was in 8th grade however that I came to the realization that I could put a ball in a hoop much better than I could hit a baseball. Even though I stopped playing the game, my passion has continued to grow. There are times, however, where I think to myself what it would have been like for my dream to become a reality. I would be a superstar with a hefty multi-million dollar contract. People would cheer and chant my name as I walk up to the plate. What if? Now I would consider myself to be a very humble person. However, it doesn’t stop one from dreaming. If I was a big deal in the baseball scene, part of me would want to act like it. So much for humility!

If there was someone who had every right to be full of themselves, it was Jesus. Here He was, God in human form. He had the ability to do whatever He wanted. He heals people, raises the dead, walks on water and turns water into wine. Even so, there was no humbler person that Jesus. While He could do all of those things, He didn’t lord it over people. This is illustrated in John 1 when John the Baptist calls Jesus the “Lamb of God”.

When you think of a lamb, you don’t usually think of “power”, “king” or even “Almighty God”. However, John 1 contains the only mentions in the entire Bible of “Lamb of God”. Isaiah equates Jesus like a “lamb led to a slaughter”. What does it mean that Jesus is called “Lamb of God”? What significance does that have? What impact should it have on my life?

One of the things that have impacted my relationship with Jesus all the more is that He is personable. He isn’t just a vengeful and reckless God. Instead, He’s quite the opposite. While He was present at creation, was the promised Savior of the world, performed incredible miracles and even rose from the dead, He very much wants to have a personal relationship with you.

What does it mean to you that Jesus, being God, willingly went to the cross for you as a lamb is lead to the slaughter? In John 1, John the Baptist created an image of humility for Jesus. It’s beyond incredible to me that Jesus would do that for me.

 Jake Lawson

Questions to consider

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • How does it make you feel that Jesus would willingly die for you when He had the power to avoid it?
  • How is this name of Jesus going to influence the way you talk to people who don’t know Him?

September 12 – Names of Jesus – Prophet

Read Mark 6:1-6

Jesus showed up in his hometown with his 12 best friends. He began to teach. His authority was from God, not other humans.

He was a hit, impressing practically everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?”

But in the next breath they were finding fault with him: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?”

(Mark 6:1-3 MSG).

Even after all the miracles of healing which Jesus worked, he still was not accepted even in his own town. As he taught in the synagogue there the audience was amazed how this ordinary man, whom they knew as a carpenter could attain such wisdom. They rejected him.

Why? Perhaps they did not know what he had done. Perhaps they were jealous. But they did not welcome him even though he was a prophet and the Son of God. At a later time he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth.”

A prophet is a spokesman for God (Exodus 7:1 and John 4:19). The teachings of Jesus apply to us today:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”.   Mark 10:45 NIV

(Jesus was a servant)

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6. (Jesus is the only way).

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”.  Matthew 6:33

(Our priorities are important).

“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”.   Matthew 5:16 NIV

(Our daily attitude can positively affect others)

“… Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”. Mark 12:30

(The greatest commandment).

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31.

(A great way to live).

Tom Weckesser

Questions to consider:

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • Where did Jesus receive His authority and why is that so important?
  • Based on the shared definition of a prophet, how can you be one today? Who can you bring closer to Christ?

 

 

 

 

September 11 – Names of Jesus – Messiah

Read Matthew 16:13-20

Have you ever been sightseeing and find yourself overwhelmed with the history of a certain location? This happened to me 7 years ago when I was fortunate enough to be a part of a group that traveled to Israel. We saw incredible sights the entire week, many of which you find yourself just in awe being anywhere close to the site of historical and biblical events. One day, we traveled to Caesarea Philippi. Up until that point, I had heard about it and knew it was in the Bible having to do with Peter confessing Christ. However, a new perspective swept over me when you’re actually standing on the same rock in the same location Jesus was all those years ago.

This hole in a cave was a pagan center of worship. People would sacrifice animals and throw them down into the hole which was believed to be the entrance to Hell itself. The magnitude of being at that exact location was overwhelming. There were carvings in the wall that portrayed the sacrifices that took place there. Definitely an eerie feeling.

It was at this location that Jesus took His disciples and asked them who people say that He was. The disciples gave him some generic answers like, “John the Baptist”, “Elijah” and even “Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. This wasn’t the answer Jesus was looking for.

“Who do you say that I am?”

You may be reading this and think that you know who Jesus is. Perhaps Jesus is someone that you talk to when things get rough. Maybe, your only knowledge of Jesus comes in December when you hear the Christmas story read. Do you really know him? Do you know what He has done for you and wants to do through you even today?

When Jesus asked the disciples directly who they thought He was, Peter responded by saying:

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Peter was confessing that Jesus was who He said He was. Through all that he had experienced during his time with Jesus, Peter was confessing that Jesus was the anointed Savior of the world. Upon hearing this, Jesus said, “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (the grave) will not overcome it.” It is unclear if Jesus was referring to the literal rock they were standing on or on the truth that Peter just confessed.

Regardless, who do you say Jesus is? Do you say that He was a good guy? Do you say that He was a guy who said a lot of controversial things and performed miracles? Or do you say that He is the anointed Savior of the world? Will you allow Him to occupy that place in your life? Do you know for a fact that, even today, He can save you from your sin problem that is putting you on the fast track to Hell?

Will you confess that Jesus is who He said He is? Will you identify Jesus as Messiah in your life? Imagine all that He can do through you if your foundation is the same truth Peter confessed!

Jake Lawson

Questions to consider:

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • What are the consequences of not putting Jesus in His rightful place in your life?
  • How have you benefited from Jesus being #1 in your life?

September 10 – Names of Jesus – Alpha and Omega

Read Revelation 22:1-21

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

In this last chapter of the last book of the Bible, you find this last description of eternity and the last recorded words of Jesus. Having recorded numerous “I am” statements of Jesus in his gospel, John, here, writes one final declaration of His identity in verse 13 and cited above. Jesus describes Himself with three parallel pairs of words, each conveying the same concept:

  • The Alpha and the Omega
  • The First and the Last
  • The Beginning and the End

Likely, you understand that alpha and omega are letters of the Greek alphabet. In fact, alpha is, not surprisingly, the first letter, while omega is the last. Jesus is essentially saying that He is the A and the Z…and everything in between. He is the full alphabet. As the living Word, He is, even, the One who gives meaning to the letters of life.

As Alpha, He existed at the beginning (Jn. 1:1)…or even, if you can fathom it, before there was a beginning. He is the one who called both the three dimensional world (Gen. 1) and the perpetuity of time and eternity (Heb. 1:2) into existence. From nothing, He made heavens and earth, day and night, sea and dry land, sun and moon, fish and birds, wild animals and livestock, and man and woman. Colossians tells us that “all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16). Indeed, it is “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 18:28).

As Omega, Jesus has made all provisions for an endless eternity. He is the “who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev. 1:8). He will return in the air at the rapture to take believers with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18). He will return to the earth at His second coming (Rev. 19) to reign for 1000 years (Rev. 20). At the close of that millennium, Jesus, as Omega, will unveil our eternal home in the context of a new heaven and a new earth.

Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, has purpose in your creation and in your destiny. Praise Him!

Steve Kern

Questions to consider:

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • In what way does knowing that He is the beginning and the end bring you peace?
  • How can you use the truth of this name of Jesus to reach the lost around you?

 

September 9 – Names of Jesus – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace

Read Isaiah 9:6-7

Think of a person who has never failed you.

Can you name even one?

There is no one on this earth who will not fail you. As sinful people, we will always let each other down.

Now, think about the glory of Jesus. Your Wonderful Counselor, your Mighty God, your Eternal Father, the Prince of Peace.  He will never let you down. He will never leave you.

He is there for every single one of His children. He is your Wonderful Counselor. As such, He wants you to come to Him with all of the hardships that you’re battling (Matthew 11:28-29). He wants you to let Him in your life.

He wants you to worship Him with all that you have, for He is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17).

I love this combination of Jesus’ names. It is the perfect mixture of the way our Savior comforts us while simultaneously being the most powerful being in the Universe.

I’m going to ask you to do something a little out of the ordinary…I want you to close your eyes and simply sit in the greatness of Jesus. I want the power of Jesus to captivate your heart and mind in this moment and throughout the rest of the day.

As you go through the rest of your day, meditate on at least one of the names of Jesus that we’ve talked about. Let His glory fill you up today and rest in the comfort of His presence.

Chloe Boucher

Questions to consider:

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • Which one of these names resonates the most to you?
  • In what way are you going to use this name to rest in the comfort of His presence today?

 

 

September 8 – Names of Jesus – Lord Jesus Christ

Read Romans 13:14

As I read these words from Paul, I can’t help but think about our culture today. I reflect on how much stock people place on someone based on the material appearance of the clothes they may be wearing, what jewelry may be shimmering from their wrists, what latest and greatest makeup and hair products they have. Our choices externally say a lot about us internally. Have you ever noticed that Paul uses the reference to “clothe” or “put on” in more than one section of his letters? There’s importance in who or what we portray. But, like everything, it starts with our heart.

Paul is instructing us of the timeless truth to clothe ourselves with the Lord, Jesus Christ; what do you think he is trying to tell us about this name of Jesus? And how does this affect us?

The Greek writing “to clothe” means to sink into; “Lord” means master or authority, “Jesus Christ” is meaning the Chosen One, the Messiah. Break each of these names apart and you have an entire manifestation of who Christ was, is and is to come!

His name of authority and master brings on a sense of ownership over us. We belong to Him, we are His. He is our master, He is our authority, He is our first, our last, He is our beginning and our eternity, and He is the head. He is our Lord. He is our Savoir.

Colossians 1:16-18 says it perfectly; “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”

When we put on the name “Lord, Jesus Christ”, we are not only representing our salvation story, we are representing the story that He wrote long ago. The story of His grace, the story of His power and perfect love He portrayed on the cross rings out every time you proclaim His name.

So, my challenge to you is when you proclaim the name of Christ, do it with a reverence that He deserves. You do it in humility. Clothe yourself with the character of Christ. A character that He would see and say “well done.” No matter where you stand in your faith journey, He is Lord, He is Jesus, He is our Christ.

Our Father, our Savior, our Authority. Above all else.

Kelly Lawson

Questions to consider:

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • If you are honest with yourself, how much emphasis do you put into your outward appearance?
  • What would happen if we were to put as much emphasis on reflecting Christ to others around you?

September 7 – Names of Jesus – Mediator

Read 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Colossians 1:21-22, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 7:25, 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Five adult bodies, plus a Shih-tzu puppy, were crammed into my daughter, Kelsey’s, 2001 Jetta. We were headed to Flagstaff, AZ, which is a hair over two hours from Phoenix, where Kels lives. Spending the day shopping and taking in the town we had run out of adventure and kicked around the idea of going to the Grand Canyon. Some were interested; some were not. While conversing with a chatty, young girl at one of the shops, she assured us it was worth the trip. “You can be there in an hour and a half, tops!” Convinced, I pushed in that direction, so, off we went.

Google agreed with the chatty girl but for some reason it took us more like two and a half hours to get there. Trying to pass the time, we played games, but it was a l-o-o-n-g ride while we tried to stay out of each other’s personal space. There was ample time for my mind to wander to comments I had heard in the past, it’s just a hole in the ground, it’s not a big deal.

Arriving (mostly ecstatic about exiting the tiny Jetta) we trekked to the rim. As we walked, doubts were still circling around us like an annoying swarm of mosquito’s, until we finally got close enough to peer over the edge. Gasping, we took in the enormous view. God’s imagination and creative power on display left me tingly. I was awe-struck by the depth, expanse, and beauty. There was not an ounce of disappointment in me. Not one.

I don’t know if you’ve had the joy of seeing the Grand Canyon in person? I hope you have, but if not, could you imagine yourself standing on one rim and God standing on the other? Now, imagine trying to get to Him. If you’re anything like me, you immediately start thinking of ways: calling for a helicopter (my personal favorite), rounding up climbing gear, filling a backpack with water and food, finding a companion to go on the journey with you.

It’s our human nature to think we can get to God, isn’t it. We think we can somehow make it happen if we plan well enough, work hard enough, think smart enough. But as we read today God is ‘unapproachable light.’ The only way into His presence is pure perfection and we fall short.

Thank God He made a way to bridge the chasm. No gear required. None of my effort required, just a humble, life saving, admission of faith that I need Him.

Jesus is the one and only mediator. He is the pure, perfect, peacemaker that takes me from enemy to friend. From alienated to reconciled. The cost was great as He laid down His holy life for my necessary ransom and I’m forever grateful that He mediates for me.

Shelly Eberly

Questions to consider

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • How would you describe the giant chasm between God and you in your own life? In what way did it cause you to lean into a relationship with Him?
  • What feeling does it bring you to know that God is incredible and divine yet personable? How can this truth, and the illustration of the Grand Canyon, influence someone to trust in Him for the first time?

 

 

September 6 – Names of Jesus – Immanuel

Read Matthew 1:18-25

Do you know how your parents came up with your name? Some parents just like the way that a name sounds. Others choose (or avoid) names based on someone else they knew by that name. I knew a family with the last name “Sweet.” They named two of their daughters “Very” and “Truly.” I guess you could also say, then, that some names are given to intentionally bring a smile or cause a laugh.

Meanwhile, biblical names often carry with them some kind of significance. They can, at times, serve as an identifying statement about the person that bears them.

Through our current devotional series, we are looking at the names for Jesus. Many of the names ascribed to Him give us insight into His character and the nature of His life mission. As Joseph contemplated what to do after learning of his wife’s pregnancy, He was assured by the angel that Mary’s pregnancy was the result of the Holy Spirit’s action…not that of another man. The angel also told Joseph about two names for his step son:
Jesus – In talking about names for Jesus, we may not expect that even that name has significance. It is more than just a random first-century name that sounds nice. It is the Greek equivalent of the Old Testament name Joshua. “Jesus,” you see, means “Jehovah is salvation.” Thus, His very name reminds us of man’s biggest problem and His life purpose …to “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

Immanuel – It was just two verses later that the angel also introduced a name that gave insight into the Savior’s identity. He is “Immanuel” or “God with us” (Matt. 1:25). We dare not forget that we worship one God (Deut. 6:4) who is three persons at the same time (Matt. 28:19). Jesus is the Son of God who became human (Jn. 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:5-11). His deity was demonstrated through more than His name. You can see it in His claims (Jn. 8:58), His abilities (Mk. 2:5-12), and His attributes (Jn. 1:48-51).

Both of these names are personal for you. Jesus entered into the world as one who not only knows what it is to be human but also as one who can divinely do something about your needs…even your greatest problem of sin. Jesus can save you! Immanuel is with you!

Steve Kern

Questions to consider

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • In what way does the truth of God being with you bring encouragement?
  • What are some ways that you can provide encouragement to someone else through this name of Jesus?

September 5 – Names of Jesus – The Bread of Life

Read John 6:25-65

Free Food! Whenever we see an opportunity for some free food, we take it! When our children were young, they enjoyed walking around sampling different treats in grocery stores on Saturdays. Well, to be honest, we still enjoy this when the opportunity presents itself!

A phrase I’ve heard over the years will guide our thoughts today:

“You are what you eat!”

This statement has merit and can help us in our physical world but Jesus, in John 6, wants to show His followers who He is. He uses His power over the wind and waves and then multiplies a few loaves of bread and fish to allow all to see His identity.

They saw Jesus as a Rabbi, and then as a Prophet like Moses. Jesus corrects their thinking in verses 32-33 “I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Verse 35 goes on to say, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’”  He then addresses their unbelief and says multiple times so very plainly who He is and why He came.

Look at verses 35-65. I know it seems like a lot to read, but so valuable in the conversation of the text. Jesus says to them that He is the One sent from heaven and He is the Bread of Life, the Living Bread that came from heaven. He challenges their diet of religiosity and lays out the opportunity for them to believe and receive this truth. Their response was to immediately argue sharply among themselves and their conclusion in verse 60 was in question form; “This is a hard teaching, Who can accept it?”

This is the best question they could’ve asked! It is our question today!  As a Christ follower, we can say loudly “WE CAN.” May we all acknowledge and then go and share this truth as the disciples did in verses 69-70. “Lord, you have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Let’s feast on this truth and share this truth  so others can  be satisfied by  a relationship to Jesus- the Bread of Life! Our world is malnourished and feasting on the emptiness of self-centeredness.

Celeste Kern

Questions to consider

  • What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
  • What are some ways that our society tries to find satisfaction? What is the result?
  • In what ways have you experienced the satisfaction of Jesus?