Christian Verbs :: O is for Obeying

Merriam-Webster’s defines the word ‘obey’ in two ways. One has to do with following commands or guidance and the second has to do with conformance. To obey is to follow the commands or guidance; and to obey is also to conform to or comply with.

To obey is to follow commands or guidance. While I was a child, I remember learning the song, “Trust and Obey” whose lyrics went as follows: “Trust and obey for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” For many of us, trusting in the Lord is not a big deal, but when it comes to obedience, it is altogether a different story. Not only do we not casually heed to God’s Spirit but we sometimes willfully choose to disobey Him. Thankfully, we have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who empathizes and mediates for us, whose mercy endures for ever. But why should we even give Jesus a chance to have to mediate for us? How much greater it would be for Jesus, to present (not plead for) us as ones who truly fear God (loving and obeying Him), eschewing evil, as He did of Job, and not have to meditate our case. For those who love Him, will keep (obey) His commands or follow His guidance as a sheep does a true Shepherd.

To obey is to conform to or comply with. The Bible counsels us that we ought not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. In other words, we are not to obey the patterns of this world, which is in enmity with God (James 4:4), but be transformed by our minds complying with that of God’s and a pure heart that is after His very own. We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), for unto all who obey, Jesus is the author of eternal (not temporary) salvation unto them (Hebrews 5:9). In fact, by obeying the truth through the Spirit, one purifies their souls (1 Peter 1:22).

Point(s) to ponder:
So if someone was to ask you now, if you/I obey Jesus?, our answer really should not be yes or no but ” I follow His commands or guidance and I conform to His likeness”. Can we truly answer this way?

1 Peter 1:22 (KJV)
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Christian Verbs :: N is for Nurturing

Although, the word “nurture” has its roots from Latin nutritus, which is the past participle of nutrire meaning to to suckle or nourish, Merriam-Webster’s has two other definitions for the word “nurture”, which are training (or upbringing) and the sum of the environmental factors influencing the behavior and traits expressed by an organism. To nurture is not only to nourish but to train and create an influential environment.

As Christians we need to be nurturing others. We need to present the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, nourishing those who are starving for The Bread of Life, the manna from heaven (John 6:51,58). We need to train our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and train newer believers to walk according to the will of God. The Bible says  “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Additionally, our lives must create the environmental factors that influence the behavior and traits of other believers so that they may grow in the Lord and non-believers so that they may be nourished and satisfied.

Point(s) to ponder:
Would people around you consider you/me to be a person who nurtures?

Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Christian Verbs :: M is for Magnifying

The Psalmist says, “O magnify the LORD with me,  and let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:3). When Mary was given the news that she would be a earthern vessel through whom the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, would be born, she responded by saying “My soul doth magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46).

What does it mean to magnify the Lord? I remember when I was little, we would use a magnifying glass to light a fire by holding it in the rays of the sun. The sun rays would be concentrated, focused and channelized to create a beam of light that burnt the object on which the beam of light was focused. Additionally,  a magnifying glass makes the object on the other side appear bigger and closer. Likewise, the word of God which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105), needs to be concentrated, focused and channelized to burn into the hearts of those who hear of God, through our lives. We ought to be God’s magnifying glasses. We need to be God’s magnifying glasses so that people who see God through us, would see Him for how big He is and how close He is to all.

Point(s) to ponder:
As Christians we need to magnify the Lord. Are we focusing Christ in the lives of others and making God appear closer and bigger to those who are seeking to see Him?

Psalm 34:3 (KJV)
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Christian Verbs :: L is for Loving

The entirety of Christianity can be summed up in one word – “Love”. It is about a God who loved the world so much, that He offered His Only begotten Son (John 3:!6), who was Love personified Himself, to be a sacrifice, so that a world that was made to love Him, will repent and return to Him, and love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). In fact, the very first time, the word “love” is used in the King James Version of the Bible is symbolic of the offering of Jesus, God’s only son, whom he loved as we see in Genesis 22:2 when God tells Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, who thou lovest, …; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

The speaker before the assembly (Ekklesia) says that the whole duty of man; the conclusion of the matter is this – Fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Jesus said, if you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). In other words, Jesus was saying, the conclusion of the matter; the whole duty of man is this – Fear God and Love Him, since keeping His commandments is an expression of our love for Him. As Christians, we must Fear God and Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30), for He who loves, knows God, who is Love (1 John 4:7-8), and this is our whole duty.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. How are we doing in our duty to God? Are we loving Him by keeping His commandments?

1 John 4:7-8 (KJV)
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Christian Verbs :: K is for Kissing

The Bible talks about kissing in several contexts, the most familiar one, of course, being the kiss from Judas on Jesus as Judas betrayed Jesus, so much so, that the phrase “kiss of death” that is used to signify this event is now part of Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 words from the Bible. Then we have the manner in which, one is to greet/salute each other with a holy kiss or kiss of love (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12,  1 Thessalonians  5:26,  1 Peter 5:14) and the kiss that Isaac sought of Esau his son, that Jacob stole deceiving his father for his blessings (Genesis 27:25-27). The kiss on Jacob was a kiss of deception and the kiss of Judas was a kiss of death. But the Bible also teaches us of another type of kiss, a kiss not of deception or death, but of dedication. The Psalmist expresses that we ought to Kiss the Son lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:12). Kiss the Son, what does that mean?  This means that we ought to pay homage as servants who are dedicated to a master and show reverence to the Son of God (Jesus Christ). In fact, Jesus himself recognized the importance of the kiss of dedication when he asked Simon the disciple, as to where his kiss from Simon was, while pointing out that the woman who had a heart of devotion, seeking Jesus for forgiveness had not ceased to kiss his feet in dedication. (Luke 7:44-50). We ought to be expressing our dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ as well. God expects a kiss of devotion and dedication, not deception or death. He expects a kiss from the brokenhearted not the betrayer.

Point(s) to ponder:

1. If Jesus was to tell you/me what He told Simon,”Thou gavest me no kiss”, what would your/mine response be? Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, ~ Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Genesis 27:25-27 (KJV)
And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.|
And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:

Psalm 2:12 (KJV)
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Luke 7:38-39; 44-50 (KJV)
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Christian Verbs :: J is for Joining

The Bible tells that if Christ be in us, then the Spirit of God bears witness that we are children of God, and as children heirs, but not just heirs, but joint-heirs with Christ Jesus (Romans 8:10, 16-17). This means that we also jointly inherit what God has  provisioned for Jesus Christ, His Only begotten Son. The operative phrase in this text is “If Christ be in you”. This means that we ought to join with Christ, because He responds by joining in us with His Spirit. Jesus said, I am the Vine and you are branches, abide (join) in me an I in you (John 15:1,4). To abide in Jesus is to be grafted (joined) into the Vine. In horticulture, grafting is the process of fusing dissimilar plants so that the result is one plant. Likewise, when we join we Christ, we need to be fused with Him and we should be One with Him. And when we are One with Him, we are not just heirs, but joint-heirs with Him.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Are you joined with Christ i.e., Have you believed in Him and accepted Him as your Savior and Lord?
  2. Are you grafted with Him i.e., Are you fused with Jesus Christ and His Holiness. When the Root is Holy, the entire plant bears good fruit? What is the kind of fruit you/I are bearing?

Romans 8:16-17 (KJV)
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Christian Verbs :: I is for Interceding

Jesus Christ is an intercessor.

Isaiah 53:12 affirms that Jesus interceded for sinners. It reads “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”  Hebrews 7:25 expresses that Jesus is able also to save all who come unto God by him, seeing He lives forever to make intercession for the repentant sinner on his/her road to reconciliation and recovery to God and no one can condemn (Romans 8:34).

Romans 8:27 indicates that Jesus intercedes for the saints. It reads “And he [Jesus] that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

As Christians (Christ-Ones), we ought to be imitators of Jesus Christ and if He intercedes for the sinner and for the saint, we ought to do likewise as well. Paul writes to his co-laborer Timothy, exhorting him to make intercession for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1).Jesus interceded for sinners, and He intercedes for saints and for all who come to God, just as we ought to. I is for interceding, a.k.a., for us to stand in the gap. If God was to offer that position of standing in the gap for Him, would He see you/I faithful in that task?

1 Timothy 2:1 (KJV)
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;