Tag Archives: Casting Crowns

An Epiphany

Epiphany Sunday

Epiphany means…. A Sudden Realization of something…. 

But it also means Manifestation

Epiphany Sunday celebrates the Manifestation… the Revelation of God the Father in His Son Jesus Christ

IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS!!!

For some, it means writing with chalk on the front door to protect the house for the coming year. 

For some, if the Christmas decorations are not removed on the Twelfth Night, they must be kept in place for the entire year to avoid bad luck.

Today we will look at an Epiphany we can have in our walk with Jesus… we will look at how we can run well and leave a good legacy.

Typically, three moments in the life of Christ are recognized on this day… three moments that point to Jesus. 

1. Wise Men – Matthew 2:1-12… fell down and worshipped

Matthew 2:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

2. Baptism of Jesus – Matthew 3:13-17 (ESV)

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

3. Wedding in Cana – John 2:1-11 (ESV)

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 

When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 

11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

These three moments reveal God through Jesus Christ.

John 1:18 The Passion Translation (TPT)

18 No one has ever gazed upon the fullness of God’s splendor except the uniquely beloved Son, who is cherished by the Father and held close to his heart. Now he has unfolded to us the full explanation of who God truly is!

Jesus has the highest honor…

Philippians 2:9-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Not only do we have the Great Commission which commands us…

Matthew 28:16-20 New International Version (NIV)

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

But most importantly we are to raise up our children…

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 4:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’

Psalm 78:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

We will not hide them from their children,

but tell to the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,

and the wonders that he has done.

We think often of our legacy… as we run the race we discussed last week, we think…  How can I leave a legacy? How can I leave a mark on the world? 

But too often, our legacy is all about us… about our name

We want to make sure people remember us… people to remember our victories, our trophies, our good works.

Our Legacy…. Only Jesus

Casting Crowns “Only Jesus” song…

Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself

Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else

Make a name the world remembers

But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams

I got lost in the light when it was up to me

To make a name the world remembers

But Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy

I don’t care if they remember me

Only Jesus

And I, I’ve only got one life to live

I’ll let every second point to Him

Only Jesus

All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won

Will crumble into dust when it’s said and done

‘Cause all that really mattered

Did I live the truth to the ones I love?

Was my life the proof that there is only One

Whose name will last forever?

And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy

I don’t care if they remember me

Only Jesus

And I, I’ve only got one life to live

I’ll let every second point to Him

Only Jesus

Jesus is the only name

Jesus is the only name

Jesus is the only name to remember, oh

Prosper in All

Blessed are those that “delight in the law of the LORD.” The Bible says that “they prosper in all they do.” For some, this may be seen as success, a success that brings anything and everything desired. But do not misunderstand what the Psalmist is sharing. The person will “delight in the law of the LORD.” This means that a blessed person is one who delights in God’s Word, in the commands of God.

In delighting in the law of the LORD, a person follows the law as best possible. In doing this, “they are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.” Because all of their actions are directed by God, “their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” This prospering does not mean they are prospering apart from God’s will. This prospering means that they are blessed because they follow the commands of God.

The people of God are crowned with success. Yes, crowned with success! But don’t think it’s a smooth ride and lots of riches. With the crowning of success, a child of God endures loss, trial, and suffering. The blessing is to come. The day will come when every child of the King will be crowned. And guess what, we will throw our crowns at the feet of the King. We will worship the King. “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because You created what You pleased” (see Revelation 4:10-11).

“But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” – Psalm 1:2-3 [NLT]

 

Listening to the “Voice of Truth” to Conquer the Bridge

I know I haven’t written anything since the first day; however, I can give you a list of reasons why.  No, I didn’t have writer’s block. I seriously don’t have a problem with thinking up things. Trust me, I am AdHd and my mind never shuts down. I simply had to fall on the floor for a few days and regroup. Okay, maybe there was no falling, but I felt like I was on the floor. After I began this blog and posted my first few entries, I went on vacation. I am not one to take “vacations” but I thought it was important to breathe a bit. So I was breathing. I hope you are as well. The only issue with vacations is typically they are a lot of work, between planning, packing, vacationing, returning home, and unpacking. I’m sure you can see why I felt I crashed on the floor.

When I returned back, I had to get into action with another project. A friend of mine suggested that I do a vlog of the trip. Well actually, I think she just wanted me to vlog in general. Nonetheless, I took the plunge. It certainly is different from anything I’ve ever done before, but I am the type of person who likes to test the waters and learn new things along the way. I am hoping that this vlogging and this blogging can help people to find God or get closer with God, and also be entertained and helped in some manner along the journey through technological things that end in “log.” If I take myself back to when I was a teenager, seeing all the exciting Internet capabilities, I still cannot fathom how we got from that time period to where we are now. I also cannot believe that I’m doing all this extra stuff considering I’m in school.

In regard to my vacation, it was a short trip to the beach. I have been to the shore on many occasions; however, this was the first time I was at this particular area. I will tell you I had to drive over three hours and it was a long trip– even longer on the way up because we traveled through a few storms. I have to admit that I was not afraid during the storms, but I was afraid when we got to this bridge. I have a fear of heights. It is always hard when we have to face our fears, whatever they may be in life. My favorite verse, as I’m sure anyone can tell, is Isaiah 41:10. That verse says to “fear not” and yet when I was crossing that bridge, I was very scared.

When we look at our “bridge” in life, we need to actually look at it with focused eyes. We each have our own “bridges.” Before I went back home, knowing I had to go over the bridge again, I wanted to be prepared. Lets just say on the way over the first time, my heart was racing. I was near a panic attack type situation, and I didn’t want that to happen the second time around. Sometimes your heart can only handle so much craziness. Therefore, I wanted to prepare for my “bridge.”

First, I took a look at the bridge. It was high up. That was my problem. It was surrounded by water, which also is scary. Then I looked at what could happen. The bridge could collapse. It was highly unlikely because it is a sturdy bridge with thousands of travelers each day, but it could happen. What then? Well I’d probably have the car fall into the water. There’s the possibility that part of the bridge could fall upon the car as it plummeted into the water. Or maybe in the tight quarters, rather than the bridge falling down, as the infamous song states, maybe there could have been an accident. That would have been devastating and at the speeds some cars were traveling, there could have been fatal injuries.

Those are some items that popped into my mind when I was thinking about this “bridge” of mine, which is actually a real bridge. Everyone has their own “bridges” as well. When I look over these items, it’s clear that I put too much stock in my earthly, temporal life. These things happen and then I die. Isn’t that awesome? I mean, then I get to go with the Father. No more pain. No more hardships. Isn’t that what we all want?

Then I think about why I actually was afraid. Why? Well before I left to go on the trip, I thought of the pain I would experience. With Rheumatoid Arthritis, it hurts to drive five miles; this was a much longer trip. This doubt and worry had a domino effect. Not putting everything into God’s hands caused the worry to grow. There I was going to the bridge and I was already worried. Satan can do this to us all, telling us we are not good enough, to watch out or this will happen, and so much more. Sometimes we need to pause and take a moment to see the Truth.

The truth is God is ALWAYS with us. The truth is God NEVER abandons His children. The truth is God doesn’t want us to suffer or to worry. The truth is NOTHING can take us out from under the loving arms of God. So why is it that we worry? Why is it that we let Satan step in between? All I can say is that we are not always 100% on guard for these attacks from Satan. We are not always at our 100% in life. We miss sleep. We miss meals. We get busy and don’t spend enough time doing things that we need to do most. Satan slips through the tiniest of cracks.

It’s all okay though, because God can protect us. Jesus defeated Satan and we have nothing to fear. We just need to listen more to the Truth. We need to focus in the right direction. And that’s what I did the second time I traveled over the bridge. See, the bridge didn’t change from when I went over it the first time, to the second trip where I returned. The bridge was always the same. We cannot expect God to change every “bridge” for us. We need to learn how to get around each “bridge.” God helps us, but we can’t expect to be spoon fed all the time.

I conquered that bridge. I was victorious only because God was there guiding me over the bridge. It was His comfort and His love that got me over the bridge with no screaming or near panic attacks. God can get you over your “bridges” as well. Focus on the “bridge” and ask God. He will help you every time– it’s only necessary to bring it to Him in faith. I still have more “bridges.” We all do. But God’s ready to help us conquer each one.