VIDEO Four Burning Questions, Who Do You Say That I Am?

But who do you say that I am? Mark 8:29

There is a turning point in the ministry of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel. Prior to chapter 8, our Lord’s main emphasis was in His identity. Through His teachings, conversations, parables, and miracles, He wanted His disciples to comprehend His personhood, that He was the Messiah. In Mark 8, He took the disciples to the remote areas of Caesarea Philippi and quizzed them. “Who do [men] say that I am?” He asked. “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

Jesus abruptly changed subjects and began teaching them about His work—what He had come to do. Mark 8:31 says, “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things…and be killed, and after three days rise again.” In the next chapter, He repeated the lesson (Mark 9:31). In the next chapter, He explained it again (Mark 10:32-34).

These are the two foundational questions we must understand—the person and the work of Christ. Who is Jesus? What did He do?

The answers to those questions provide the basis for our entire walk of faith.

Because He was God as well as man, He was able to be the one final sacrifice for our sins. Billy Graham


Who Do You Say Jesus Is? – Paul Washer

Whispering Words

[Build] others up according to their needs. Ephesians 4:29

The young man fidgeted as he sat down for his flight. His eyes darted back and forth to the aircraft windows. Then he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying to calm himself—but it didn’t work. As the plane took off, he slowly rocked back and forth. An older woman across the aisle from him put her hand on his arm and gently engaged him in conversation to divert his attention from his stress. “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “We’re going to be okay,” and “You’re doing well” were a few things she whispered. She could have been irritated with him or ignored him. But she chose a touch and a few words. Little things. When they landed three hours later, he said, “Thank you so much for helping me.”

Such beautiful pictures of tenderheartedness can be hard to find. Kindness does not come naturally to many of us; our primary concern is often ourselves. But when the apostle Paul urged, “Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32), he was not saying it all depends on us. After we’ve been given a new life by our faith in Jesus, the Spirit begins a transformation. Kindness is the ongoing work of the Spirit renewing our thoughts and attitudes (v. 23).

Compassion is understanding the troubles of others and reaching out. 

The God of compassion is at work in our hearts, allowing us in turn to touch others’ lives by reaching out and whispering words of encouragement.

Lord, use me today to bring someone hope, a lighter burden, encouragement.

Compassion is understanding the troubles of others and reaching out.

By Anne Cetas 

INSIGHT

The power of our words is a theme throughout Scripture. The admonition in Ephesians 4:29 is to build each other up through our speech. The book of Proverbs encourages its readers to get a grip on wisdom, and part of wisdom living is the right use of our words. That’s why many Proverbs speak about “words,” “speech,” the “mouth,” and “lips.” Proverbs 10:11 describes the tremendous power of words to invigorate and enrich others: “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”

How can you build someone up today with your words?

Receiving Humility’s Reward

Luke 14:7-11

Have you ever exalted yourself? It may not have involved choosing the best seat at a banquet, but perhaps you’ve let culture shape what you do. For example, we’re encouraged to “blow our own horn,” demand our rights, and seek recognition. But Jesus taught that we should humble ourselves and let God do the exalting. And His ways of rewarding us are different from the world’s. While He may choose to bless us materially, such benefits can’t compare with the less tangible rewards He offers—like answered prayer or increased understanding of who He is. Certain attitudes prevent us from humbling ourselves and may obstruct divine rewards. These include …

Impatience. We want it now and are unwilling to trust that God is in control.

Insecurity. If certain things don’t happen, we feel we cannot continue.

Identity in the wrong things. Our self-worth is wrapped up in achieving society’s standards of success.

Ignorance of God’s ways. We disregard His Word and decide what’s right.

Impure motives. Discontent or jealousy causes us to push ahead of God and use manipulation to get our way.

Impulsiveness. Without asking God, we assume every opportunity in life is an open door we should enter.

Ingratitude. If we lack gratefulness, our perspective can be skewed.
A humble nature doesn’t come naturally. We find humility not by seeking it, but by seeking the Lord. As we focus on Him in all His greatness, we’ll come to understand how worthy He is of our total submission, worship, and reverence.

Quick and the Dead

“And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” (Acts 10:42)

This is the climax of the first Christian sermon to the Gentiles delivered by Peter in the house of the Roman centurion, Cornelius. Peter emphasized the truth that Jesus was not just the promised Messiah of Israel, but that “he is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36), and that it is He alone who will judge the “quick and dead.”

This striking phrase occurs only three times in the Bible, each time denoting that Christ is Judge of all men. Paul wrote to Timothy as follows: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:1-2). Peter wrote concerning the gross Gentile sins from which his readers had been delivered: “[They] shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5).

The term “quick” is the same as “living.” When Christ returns, “the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16), and then all believers, including those still alive in the flesh at His coming, “must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). This will be the judgment of the “quick.” All the saved are alive in Christ at “the resurrection of life.”

But He must also judge the dead—that is, those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) at “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29), “for the Father . . . hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . . and they were judged every man according to their works. . . . This is the second death” (Revelation 20:12-14). HMM

The builders, every one had his sword girded by his side

Nehemiah 4:1-9, 11-15, 17-21

Nehemiah 4:1, 2

Mockery has always been the favourite weapon of ungodly men. In this case Sanballat scoffed at the zealous eagerness of the people. “See,” said he, “they work as if a city could be built in a day.” That which was eminently to their honour he made the theme of his jeering—a very common habit to this day.

Nehemiah 4:3

This bird of the same feather sang the same note. He scoffed because he was afraid.

Nehemiah 4:4, 5

A prayer more after the spirit of the law than the gospel. It is full of Nehemiah’s zeal for right, but lacks the gentleness of Jesus.

Nehemiah 4:9

Cromwell bade his soldiers trust in God, and keep their powder dry. Nehemiah was equally practical.

Nehemiah 4:11

They intended to take them by surprise, but in this they were foiled.

Nehemiah 4:12

It was well done of these outlying Jews to warn their brethren so often; they acted as sentinels.

Nehemiah 4:13, 14

He set before them the terribleness of God as a reason for having no terror of men. “Fear him, ye saints, and ye will then have nothing else to fear.”

Nehemiah 4:15

They lost no time in holidays and congratulations; they were in earnest, and kept to their business.

Nehemiah 4:17, 18

So must Christians both labour and fight, watch and pray, build up the good, and guard against the evil.

Nehemiah 4:19, 20

Here was the best reason for courage. If God be for us, who can be against us? O God, our God, fight for us this day!

Nehemiah 4:21

In God’s work we may well make long days. Time is short, and the Lord’s work deserves all our strength.

 

Your Response to the Word

The word of God…is sharper than any two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)

Men and women who read and study the Scriptures for their literary beauty alone have missed the whole purpose for which they were given.

God’s Word is not to be enjoyed as one might “enjoy” a Beethoven symphony or a poem by Wordsworth.

The reason: the Bible demands immediate action, faith, surrender, committal. Until it has secured these, it has done nothing positive for the reader, but it has increased his responsibility and deepened the judgment that must follow.

The Bible was called forth by the fall of man. It is the voice of God calling men home from the wilds of sin; it is a road map for returning prodigals. It is instruction in righteousness, light in darkness, information about God and man and life and death and heaven and hell.

Further, the destiny of each individual depends upon the response to that Voice in the Word!

 

Fear to Fear

“Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.” Jer. 1:8

Whenever fear comes in and makes us falter, we are in danger of falling into sin. Conceit is to be dreaded, but so is cowardice. “Dare to be a Daniel.” Our great Captain should be served by brave soldiers.

What a reason for bravery is here! God is with those who are with Him. God will never be away when the hour of struggle comes. Do they threaten you? Who are you that you should be afraid of a man that shall die? Will you lose your situation? Your God whom you serve will find bread and water for His servants. Can you not trust Him? Do they pour ridicule upon you? Will this break your bones or your heart? Bear it for Christ’s sake, and even rejoice because of it.

God is with the true, the just, the holy, to deliver them; and He will deliver you. Remember how Daniel came out of the lions’ den, and the three holy children out of the furnace. Yours is not so desperate a case as theirs; but if it were, the Lord would bear you through, and make you more than a conqueror. Fear to fear. Be afraid to be afraid. Your worst enemy is within your own bosom. Get to your knees and cry for help, and then rise up saying, “I will trust, and not be afraid.”

 

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