Jesus Christ came to build connection. He came to restore the relationship between God and man. He came to bridge the gap between the past, present and future. Since he lived more than 2,000 years ago, what we know and understand about him comes from one of three sources:
- What others tell us about him.
- What we read about him in the scriptures.
- What is revealed to us supernaturally by the Holy Spirit.
Many believers reading this blog will mindlessly nod that the “hallmarks” of a Christian include talking about God, memorizing verses, and raising your hands in church (OK the hand raising might be pushing it for some, but you know what I mean). But is it possible to have all three of these principles active in our lives and have no real connection to our Father? I believe it is. And I’ve come to realize that the most vulnerable connecting point for many Christians is that very few of us actually read the Bible.
Why is that? If I have the conviction that the Bible is the inspired word of God speaking into the hearts of every generation, what keeps me from devoting a few minutes every day to actually sit down and read it? It can’t really be time related because I make time for the things that are important to me.
Honestly, it can be confusing, and we struggle to find a way to connect our #justtryingtosurvive life with biblical concepts. We’ll substitute with books about scripture, worship CDs, and podcasts of famous preachers – all great supplements, but they can’t replace actually opening the Bible, reading it, and then acting on it.
Until about 15 years ago – I was not a big fan of the Old Testament. I couldn’t make a whole lot of sense of it all, but then I heard a narration of how Jesus Christ is revealed in every book of the Bible. It awakened a desire in me to know this Jesus of the Old Testament. For the very first time I realized that even in obscure books such as Nahum and Zephaniah, the central message is about Christ. Until that moment, I had never connected the dots. And then it hit me – it’s all about relationship. If you think about it, a “connector” takes two things that are separated and it creates a relationship where there wasn’t one before. The Old Testament and New Testament are connected.
The watered down version of religion wants to sanitize scripture and conveniently leave out the message of Christ. So it won’t be, you know, offensive. But without Him – there is no connection. No relationship. The Bible suddenly becomes a collection of stories – some quite bizarre – with no real meaning or purpose.
I kept a copy all these years to remind me of the connectedness of the scriptures. The next time you flip open the book of Joel, or Obadiah, look for the relationship, and as you connect the dots, the image of our Savior will emerge in you. The closer you get to Him the closer you get to God.
Name Above All Names – From the album God With Us
God promised that he will never leave us or forsake us, and He demonstrated his faithfulness to us in Christ from the beginning of time…
in GENESIS, Jesus is the Ram at Abraham’s altar
in EXODUS, He is the Passover Lamb
in LEVITICUS, He is the High Priest
in NUMBERS, He is the Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night
in DEUTERONOMY, He is the City of Our Refuge
in JOSHUA, He is the Scarlet Thread out Rahab’s window
in JUDGES, He is our Judge
in RUTH, He is our Kinsman Redeemer
in 1 & 2 SAMUEL, He is our Trusted Prophet
and in KINGS and CHRONICLES, He is our Reining King
in EZRA, He is our Faithful Scribe
in NEHEMIAH, He is the Rebuilder of everything that is broken
in ESTHER, He is the Mordecai sitting faithful at the gate
and in JOB, He is our Redeemer that ever liveth
in PSALMS, He is my shepherd and I shall not want
in PROVERBS and ECCLESIASTES, He is our Wisdom
and in the SONG OF SOLOMON, He is the beautiful bridegroom
in ISAIAH, He is the Suffering Servant
in JEREMIAH and LAMENTATIONS, It is Jesus that is the Weeping Prophet
in EZEKIEL, He is the wonderful Four Faced Man
and in DANIEL, He is the Fourth Man in the midst of a fiery furnace
in HOSEA, He is my Love that is forever faithful
in JOEL, He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit
in AMOS, He is our Burden Bearer
in OBADIAH, He is our Savior
and in JONAH, He is the great Foreign Missionary that takes the word of God to all the world
in MICAH, He is the messenger with beautiful feet
in NAHUM, He is the Avenger
in HABAKKUK, He is the Watchman ever praying for revival
in ZEPHANIAH, He is the Lord mighty to save
in HAGGAI, He is the Restorer of our lost heritage
in ZECHARIAH, He is our Fountain
and in MALACHI, He is the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings
in MATTHEW, Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God
in MARK, He is the Miracle Worker
in LUKE, He is the Son of Man
and in JOHN, He is the door by which every one of us must enter
in ACTS, He is the Shining Light that appears to Saul on the road to Damascus
in ROMANS, He is our Justifier
in 1 CORINTHIANS, He is our Redeemer
in 2 CORINTHIANS, He is our Sin Bearer
in GALATIANS, He Redeems us from the law
in EPHESIANS, He is our Unsearchable Riches
in PHILIPPIANS, He Supplies our every need
and in COLOSSIANS, He is the Fullness of the Godhead bodily
in 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS, He is our soon coming King
in 1 & 2 TIMOTHY, He is the Mediator between God and man
in TITUS, He is our Blessed Hope
and in PHILEMON, He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother
in HEBREWS, He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant
in JAMES, it is the Lord that heals the sick
in 1 & 2 PETER, He is the Chief Shepherd
in 1, 2 & 3 JOHN, it is Jesus who has the tenderness of love
in JUDE, He is the Lord coming with ten thousand saints
and in REVELATION, lift up your eyes church, for your redemption draweth neigh. He is King of kings and Lord of lords!