Who Is This Jesus?

by Rick Schatz

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).

The identity of Jesus is the question of the ages.  Every individual must answer the question about the identity of Christ.

Just consider the message we find in Matthew 16 and the impact that the identity of Jesus had on His disciples.  These men had followed Christ for three years, and Jesus made them squarely face the question of His identity.  Moved by the Holy Spirit, Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the Living God.

As they recognized this truth, the life of every disciple was turned upside down.  Their faith grew until they became fully convinced that Jesus was who He said He was.  Their faith led them to share the good news of the gospel with an unbelieving world.  They spoke with clarity and boldness and were willing to give their lives to share the good news about Jesus as Lord and King.

For every believer and servant of Christ, He is not only Savior but also Lord of everyday living.  We’re called to live righteously, and many of us are blessed with the opportunity to be husbands and fathers.  We’re called to serve our families and to love our wives as Christ loved the Church.  Coming to know Jesus as Christ changes everything.  It brings joy, peace, and hope in this life and salvation for the next.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16

So, who do you say He is?  How have you been changed by Him?

This devotion appears in On The Road: Meditations for Men Who Travel, a collection of inspiring and encouraging writings from dozens of Christian leaders and businessmen.  Click here to order a copy from Beacon Hill Press.

Benediction: Ephesians 3

by Maria Marballi

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV84)

The pursuit of purity is much like a tennis match between you and, essentially, everything else.  Lies and deceit are hurled at you from every angle: pornified images, aspirations of artificial beauty, and distorted depictions of what relationships look like, of what sex looks like.  And just like the most skilled of players, the world, expertly coached by the evil one, will aim stronger where it knows you are weaker.

In a heart where Christ does not reign, a person doesn’t stand a chance against the billboards, pop-ups, and HD screens, even with the best of intentions.  To “merely” lust with the eyes and gratify all sexual desire is commonplace, and guarding our hearts from such has been deemed unnecessary by almost every media outlet.

But those who know Christ know otherwise.  Those who know Christ know that purity is not an empty calling, nor is it an impossible one.  When we walk in communion and fellowship with Him, we aren’t really the ones fighting; He fights for us.  Our fight is simply to stay in that communion and fellowship with Him.

Imagine yourself walking in purity; imagine leading a holy life.  Picture what it would look like to have your heart and mind be cleansed and sanctified.  Now dwell on the benediction in Ephesians 3 once again.  He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, and many of us haven’t even asked yet.

 

Maria Marballi is a sophomore at The Ohio State University and is currently serving as a 2012 pureJUSTICE intern.