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Missing Jesus

“After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.”
Luke 2:43 NIV

Mary felt a gentle tug on her tunic.

“Where’s Jesus?”

She stooped and looked into the large brown eyes of the young boy clinging to his mother’s hand and brushed his tousled hair from his forehead. “I’m sure he’s with Joseph.”

As she lifted her gaze to his mother, tears left tracks on her dust-covered skin. “Jesus continues to remind me that he’s twelve now—’almost a man.’” She stood, brushed her wet cheeks with the back of her hand, and forced a smile. “I suppose I must grow accustomed to him not wanting to tag along with his mother on our trips to and from Jerusalem. He’d rather join in with the banter of the men at the rear of the caravan.”

She reached down and clasped the boy’s hand then continued on the way with her friend.

_________

“Where’s Jesus?”

Joseph kicked a stone along the dusty desert road and chuckled at his friend’s question. “I’m sure he’s with Mary. As much as he likes to be with the men, he worries about his mother. He knows it’s difficult for her to accept the fact that he’s no longer her ‘little boy.’” He shook his head and sighed. “She’ll adjust.”

_________

“Where’s Jesus?”

Mary’s almond-shaped eyes bulged as she stared into Joseph’s anxious face. “Isn’t he

with you?

He swallowed hard. “No. I thought he was with you.”

Her eyes darted through the crowd as she pushed her way past the weary travelers

then pointed in the opposite direction. “Joseph, go that way. We’ve got to find Jesus. I

can’t believe he’s missing!”

_________

 

“Where’s Jesus?”

What’s your reply?

Stop and look around you. Is Jesus missing from your days? How long has it taken you to notice he’s slipped into the background of your activities? Can you even remember the last time you heard his voice?

If not, don’t fret. God’s not abandoned you. Although you’ve drifted, he’s never taken his eyes from you. There’s no place he’d rather be than in the center of your activity. He promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Panic-stricken, Mary and Joseph returned to the place they’d last seen Jesus. Perhaps we should too. They found him in the temple sitting among the teachers discussing the things of the Spirit. Perhaps, we will too. When Mary asked Jesus why he had stayed behind, he replied, “Didn’t you know, I must be about my Father’s business?” Perhaps, we should be too.

Are you missing Jesus? When was the last time you opened God’s word, darkened the door of his house, or surrounded yourself with his family? Take time to be still and focus on his Word. Ask him to meet you there. You’ll find him—I promise.

Blessings,

Starr

 

Faithfulness

“They included all the little ones… For they were faithful in consecrating themselves.” 

2 Chronicles 31:18 (NIV) 

Ten years ago I walked down the aisle to the man I knew (and still know!) God intended for me to spend the rest of my life with. That day we pledged to have each other’s backs no matter what.

In this verse in 2 Chronicles the Levites (Israelites who aided the priests in their temple duties) were being commended for faithfully consecrating themselves unto the Lord. Faithfulness is a daily occurrence, not a sporadic implementation, but a steady determination demonstrated through action.

In high-school I faithfully attended church and youth group, but the hours in between were spent living selfishly for myself and unfaithfully toward the Lord. God saw my heart for what it was and He lovingly but firmly led me through some disciplinary action in order to align my heart and actions with His.

Just as I pledged to be faithful to my husband ten years ago, I pledged to be faithful to God when I asked Him to be my Lord and Savior. I am very thankful I have been much more successful at remaining faithful to my husband than to the Lord, for no earthly man has the infinite amount of grace and mercy our Lord has.

In Romans 12:1 we are encouraged to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord. I hope we can all heed the example of the Levites in 2 Chronicles and be commended for faithfully living a life that glorifies the Lord.

God bless!

Noree

 

 

Photo Credit:   Me

No Other Name

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”
Acts 4:12 NIV 

What is in a name? In Exodus, Moses asked God what His name is, and God replied “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14 NIV). These words, translated from ehyeh aser ehyeh are boundless. In other words, God was here before, He is now, and He will be. God is self-existent.

When Jesus was born, his name was not uncommon among Jewish babies born in Israel. In fact, historians mention many other people living at that time with the name Jesus, and even the New Testament lists others with the same name. The actual word of course was not Jesus then, but Yeshua or Joshua. Yeshua is the literal Hebrew word for salvation, so it makes sense that people would name their babies after the awaited promise.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he said to her “you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:31-32a NIV). All of the boys named Jesus up until then were salvation in name only, but this Jesus would grow up to embody the word himself. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NIV). And this Jesus was not only Salvation, but God himself. We see this in the book of John, when the Pharisees were taunting Jesus and asked him how he could have seen Abraham. “‘Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!’” (John 8:58 NIV). Can you guess what word “I am” was translated from? Ehyeh. The same word God used for His own name.

It is difficult to think of a name as anything more than an identifier, but the Bible teaches us a deeper meaning. In John 14:14 NIV, Jesus said “you may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” and Phil. 2:10-11 NIV states that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

We often hear someone end a prayer with “we ask these things in Jesus name.” Maybe we hear it so often we don’t ponder the kind of power we are calling down. Next time you use these words, believe the promise that as children of God who have been redeemed, whatever we ask in the name of Jesus will be answered.

Your sister in Christ,

Erin Tabor