Victory In Jesus

“For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  – Hebrews 12:2


I find it interesting that there are hundreds of messianic prophecies in the Old Testament of the Bible―God’s revelation predicting the coming Messiah. These 39 books were written between 1450 B.C. and 430 B.C. God chose to reveal His plan to redeem mankind, and each of His proclamations about the coming Messiah has been revealed in Jesus.

God revealed to the prophet Amos, who lived 700 years before Jesus was crucified, that “on that day” the sun will set at noon and darkness will cover the earth (Amos 8:9). And then Matthew, one of many eyewitnesses, confirms that the entire land became dark for three hours (Matthew 27:45). This darkness at Jesus’ crucifixion is Matthew’s first supernatural sign before God’s salvation of the world.

When darkness swallowed the sun, Jesus swallowed death in victory.

The Psalmist in Psalm 118:15b-17 (HCSB) predicts Christ’s rising from the grave:

“The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly! 16 The Lord’s right hand is raised. The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly!” 17 I will not die, but I will live and proclaim what the Lord has done.

Mark 16:6 (NIV) records an angel saying,

 Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”

The Father raised Jesus up in the power of His Holy Spirit, seating Him at His right hand―to His original position before Jesus took on flesh (John 1:1-5). Jesus  reigns victoriously (Philippians 2:9-11) and will one day reign in justice over His new earth (Revelation 21). The question I must ask myself: Does Jesus reign victoriously in my heart, or am I harboring sin?

I love that the apostle Paul gives the image of God’s children sitting victoriously with Christ in the “heavenly realms,” replacing the image of us as being objects of God’s wrath due to our sin (Ephesians 2:1-9). This is made possible only because our sinless Lord took our deserved punishment upon Himself (Isaiah 53:4-12). Our eternal life is secured only through Jesus Christ (1 John 5:11-12).

As God’s children, do we embrace God’s grace and extend it to others?

Maybe you’re unsure whether or not you are God’s child. This is a decision only you can make. The church can’t save you. Your good works or parents’ faith can’t save you.

There are no guarantees for tomorrow. Isaiah 55:6-7 says,

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.”

If God is knocking on your heart’s door, please don’t ignore Him. I encourage you to call out to Christ, seek His forgiveness, and ask Him to save you. He loves you!

Press On

I wonder when Jesus first realized He was God’s Son, and His purpose for living on earth. Growing up under the care of a carpenter, he likely hammered hundreds of nails. Did He ever cringe―knowing His earthly fate would end with sharp spikes piercing His own hands and feet?

Luke 2:40-52 gives an account of Jesus at the age of twelve. Jesus―strong and full of God’s wisdom and grace―remained behind in Jerusalem when his parents began journeying home from their yearly Passover Festival. Mary and Joseph were concerned. Where is Jesus?

After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers.”   – (vs. 46-47)

Joseph and Mary:  Relief … astonishment … parental anger

Jesus:  “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (vs. 49) “Or be about my Father’s business,” (NIV Bible’s footnote)

Joseph and Mary:  Fear … misunderstanding

Was this Jesus’ first experience of His identity and mission being misunderstood? It wouldn’t be His last. The gospels―Matthew, Mark, Luke and John―detail Jesus’ suffering. His blood brothers ridiculed Him. Many disciples turned away. Even those in His inner circle misunderstood many of His teachings, and then scattered upon Jesus’ arrest. His home town shunned Him. The Pharisees bombarded Him with false accusations…

But Jesus pressed on.

In ministry, Jesus didn’t have home comforts, but instead dwelt among throngs of people―many pursuing Him with selfish motives.

But He persevered.

Satan―knowing Jesus’ true identity and mission from the get-go―assaulted Him with temptations, seeking to steal Jesus’ worship, kingdom and glory.

But Jesus overcame (Matthew 4).

So what prompted Jesus’ strong resolve amid such opposition? He prayed often, plugging into His Father’s power source. Also, Jesus declared:

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.”  – John 4:34

God’s grace to us led Christ to His death. Jesus―fully God and fully man―did not come to gain political power or status, but to suffer and die so we could have eternal life (Hebrews 2:9-10).


Our sinless Christ sympathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 2:18). He is the answer to all our dilemmas and temptations. Through Christ, we too can press on (Philippians 4:13).

Me, A Saint?

When I think of “saints,” the following thoughts surface: 1) the song, When the Saints Go Marching In; 2) Saint Patrick’s Day; 3) Mother Teresa; 4) martyrs who have died for their faith, (and last, but not least); 5) I know I’m saved and am trying to become more Christ-like, but I am not a saint.


I admit, the fact that God calls His children “saints” causes me to squirm. I’m well aware of my shortcomings. Maybe that’s why God prods me to explore this topic more in depth.

“Saints” appear 95 times in the Bible. The Greek word for saints is hagios, which signifies being separated from sin and consecrated to God. It is used of people and things concerning their devotion to God―divine demands upon the conduct of believers who are called hagioi, “saints,” “sanctified,” or “holy” ones.

This sainthood is not by achievement or attainment, but is rather a state into which God in grace calls people (2 Timothy 1:9); yet believers are called to confess sin, become cleansed, and forsake sin. We are admonished to live a holy life so we might experience fellowship with our holy God (1 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 3:11).

When a person is spiritually reborn into God’s family he/she has the greatest experience of love and the greatest inheritance. Those who become Christians are purposed to be His holy children―saints―that are set apart for His service.

God views us as righteous only through our union and identification with His Son, Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:30).

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  – 2 Corinthians 5:21

Thankfully, holiness is God’s master intrinsic work … phew!

Jesus is the fulfillment and culmination of God’s revelation through the centuries. When we know Him, we have all we need to be saved from our sin and to have a perfect relationship with God (Hebrews 1:1-2). If we are in Christ, God looks upon us as saints … I know, mind boggling, but exciting just the same! So, the question arises, are we saints in Christ? Or, are we trying to be saints by our own efforts? When I’ve strived apart from Christ, I’ve always wound up frustrated. How about you?

Below is Chris Tomlin’s song, Jesus Messiah. The corresponding video is graphic, but a good reminder of the extent Jesus suffered that we might have life.

God Bless,

K. D.

*This article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at

Training or Trying?

Congratulations to the WA 1B State Champs―again! Their win marks five consecutive state championships. Although they possess much athletic talent, anyone who observes this team knows their success is crowned through their commitment to train.



A discipline is something you do even when you don’t feel like it. These girls played 80-plus games each summer. Their time spent practicing has resulted in smooth, automatic teamwork during pressured game situations. They are a lot of fun to watch.

I don’t know of an easy road to success. Consistent, hard work of correct training builds a strong framework in any arena, including spiritual growth. The apostle Paul admonishes us to train ourselves to be godly.

Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”   – 1Timothy 4:7-8

How do we grow spiritually and pursue God’s holiness? Although God is never limited, He uses the following three things:

Circumstances – We will have trials. But …

In all things, God works for the good of those who love Him … to be conformed to the image of His Son.” – Romans 8:28-29

Relationships – (Hebrews 10:24-25)

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”   –  Proverbs 27:17

Spiritual Disciplines – Our growth isn’t automatic (Philippians 2:12). Our growth is:

  • intentional and incremental
  • personal and seasonal
  • relational and practical

What are the training habits of spiritual growth?

  •  PRAYER – Mark 1:35
  •   SCRIPTURE – Matthew 4:4
  •   FAITH – Matthew 9:29

God calls us to surrender to Him in order that we might become the person He desires. I love that, although we are told to “take up our cross and follow Christ” (Mark 8:34), His yoke is easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:30). And the blessings of being in Christ far outweigh being “out of Christ.”

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5

Meek simply means to be under God’s control.

The following video shows a horse trainer taming a wild mustang, a great illustration of God’s gentleness and patience as He works with us and within us.

Have a wonderful week!


*This post article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at

Who Am I?

What was I writing? … oh yeah, forgetfulness.

The other night I raked through my bathroom drawer looking for my headband, (to keep my hair back when washing my face.) Where in the world is it? Then I glanced in the mirror. Oh brother, when did I slip that on? I really don’t have memory loss―or do I? I admit, however, to occasional absentmindedness.

Ah, forgetfulness…

Remember the movie, Home Alone?

c56a17f1fd3a81af4cfb8077a6d1ea6dThankfully, I haven’t forgotten my kids on a family vacation. However, I can relate to frenzied Mom moments. Busyness, multitasking, and/or juggling hats only intensifies the craziness. That’s when I ask … who am I?

I know better than to let my feelings dictate my identity. For they come and go like the winter fog. I don’t want to settle for people’s opinions that change like the wind. And I refuse to listen to Satan’s accusations.

So, who am I in Christ?

In Christ …

I am chosen (Romans 8:30; Ephesians 1:4-6; 1 Peter 2:9):

  • Hand-picked by God
  • Adopted as His child
  • Called and purposed for salvation, even though I don’t deserve it

I am called to a holy life (2 Timothy 1:9):

  • Because of God’s purpose and grace before the world began

God’s call on the believer’s life results in abundant blessing. I’m all for God’s blessings, aren’t you? Here are some more benefits for the believer in Christ:

  • I am blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3).
  • I am holy, blameless, and covered in God’s love (Eph. 1:4).
  • I am forgiven (Eph. 1:7).560ebc9fada38635237e35db3f9b9761
  • I am marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13).
  • I have been raised up to sit with Christ in glory (Eph. 2:6).
  • I am God’s work of art (Eph. 2:10) … wow!

Paul prayed that God would enlighten the eyes of (our) hearts so (we) may know the hope to which He has called (us), the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.”     -Ephesians 1:18

If you―like me―forget who you are, look in the mirror and remember WHOSE YOU ARE. Here’s another great song by Casting Crowns, Who Am I? You can view it at this link:

Remember–you are blessed,

K. D.