Growing up with parents and grandparents with childlike faith in God, believing in Jesus as Savior and living believing that He was Lord of their lives led me to believe in Him, too. My faith in God was tied to their faith in God. My grandparents were wise, full of hope, trusted Jesus in their difficult times that would rob them for a moment of their smiles. Even as a child I remember observing their actions and reactions to problems closely especially when their faces showed sadness.
I watched as they passionately prayed each evening, heard the praise and request words from their hearts with expectations that God would indeed intervene in His time. They would get up from their kneeling position and the smiles returned. These smiles were a result of trust and faith in the One they could not see but felt and knew well. Yes, they KNEW Him and prayed to Him expecting an answer even if the answer was yes, no, or wait. If you asked my parents and grandparents, who do they say the Son of Man is, they could readily answer with hearts, minds and souls driven by Jesus’ saving grace.
PAUSE FOR PRAYER
Do we really know Him?
Do we KNOW Him?
Or are we merely impressed with who He was in scripture?
Who do we say Jesus was, is and is to come?
Do we really believe that what we say we believe really real?
Is Jesus a mere part of our “God-part” of life?
Do we pull out our God-card when we need Him?
Does God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, (the Holy Trinity, the Three-In-One), have access to ALL of our lives no matter where we are, who we’re with, who we work for, what we are doing and as well as who we are?
Jesus asks us, “Who do YOU say I am?”, still. How will we answer? It’s a matter of life or death so we need to pause and thoughtfully, prayerfully and honestly answer at the start of each day given to us.
For me? I confess, I walked with God while grasping the apron strings of faith of my parents and grandparents. I had to let go of their faith building accomplishments for their own lives when they left earth to be joined with Jesus. This letting go was essential to growing my own faith, hope and trust in Jesus, who became LORD of my life. I thought I knew Jesus through my grandparents and parents. But when I had to fully rely on Him myself after they left earth, is when I really began to KNOW Him. Jesus came as God in flesh to earth to teach, to save, to heal, to provide a way to truth and life. He did what God told Him to do at exactly the right time. This is what I know; Jesus loves me. Jesus saved me. Jesus saves all who believe, truly believe, and gives all to the One and Only.
The Lord is my shepherd. He is all l I need. That’s who Jesus is!
Matthew-God’s Law Fulfilled
Matthew 16:13-28, NLT
Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
As soon as Jesus establish who He was, is and is to come with Peter who declared correctly His Messianic mission to the world, minds were opened and trusted to hear what will come to pass…
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. 28 And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
THINK ABOUT IT…
What if I only hung on to my parents and grandparent’s faith? What if I believed Jesus was only their “thing”? I shudder at the thought. I did come to a crossroads in my faith as a young adult in my twenties. I remember asking myself on day, as I cared for our first daughter, WHY? Why do I do what I do? What do I really believe about Jesus, His church and the connection of myself with it all? After a few days, Jesus revealed Himself to me in my thoughts. “Take all you have learned from your beloved family and build your own faith.” I did. I then began the journey to grow from childish faith to child-like faith. I never questioned Him again. Although tested many times in difficult situations, being honest with God with questions, He delivered me and my growing family, saved us from all kinds of troubles that challenged us and brought me to this day with complete faith and trust in Him alone.
NEED TO KNOW
The more we know Him the more He allows us to “see” and understand. All the mysteries of Christ cannot be contained by human minds but God will allow us to see what we need to know for the time He knows we need it. Peter would not be able to handle what lies ahead for Jesus, but He will follow Him, learn from Him and build His faith in Jesus no matter what. Peter will learn forgiveness through repentance with a new covenant agreement with God and begin to preach WHO Jesus is in later days. “Preach Jesus” will be the theme of all who will follow Him because they KNOW Him.
Who is this? It depends on how much you know.
Abba, Father in Heaven,
You are my shepherd. You are all I need. You let me rest in green pastures. You lead my beside peaceful streams. You renew my strength. You guide me along right paths, bringing honor to your Name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You ARE the feast! You honor me by anointing my head with healing oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. Yes!In Jesus Name and by His power working in me, Am