On the first page of this chapter in Begg’s and Ferguson’s book, Name Above All Names, I have scribbled, “this chapter resends hope to me on every page”. What an encouraging page to head back to after having read it many weeks ago – especially on a day when my pregnancy hormones are crazy and it seems like every email or text I receive just hits me in the wrong way. HOPE
Here are some thoughts from the chapter on Jesus: Son of Man:
1. “We are struck by how deeply embedded some of their character traits seem to be” (pg 103). As a parent – do you wonder what traits you are passing to your children? I think about that often now that I have two loveable boys of our own. My husband often says that is one of the hardest jobs in parenting: seeing your sin looking back at you. I think my parents did a good job of raising me – but as an adult I see where some of my traits come from and it is scary to think that I too could pass on some less than desirable or Godly traits to my boys. This is where hope comes in. God is a God of bringing hope and change into a family. Just because your family is one way doesn’t mean that those traits and cycles have to continue to the next generation. Sebastian’s life verse ends in hope for the children in the coming generation – the good of the Lord (Jer 32:39) Do you parent or live like there is hope in breaking the sin cycle in your family?
2. “The kingdom of God will overwhelm all other kingdoms. The Kingdom of God will be established and will endure forevermore” (pg 105). I already dislike seeing ads for the Presidential race in 2016. Good that a new president will be coming either way, but not looking forward to the next 2+ years where the backbiting and slander will happen everywhere. And when the bad news comes on the news or as I watch previews for certain coming shows or movies – previews that revel in betrayal, sin, murder, affairs – I know that God is still on His throne and He will make all things right in His time. That brings me hope.
3. “The Son of Man is coming to the source of ultimate authority. It resides exclusively in the Ancient of Days, who is seated on the throne.” (pg 107). I’ve learned recently from Rob Rienow that any question of sin or dysfunction in this life is really a question of authority. Who is the ultimate authority in your life? Who is the ultimate authority in this world? If our answer is not God – we are wrong. Some will think and say and live and believe that they are their ultimate source of authority – but God created and gave life to everyone of us, so He is our ultimate authority. That is very hope-giving to me.
4. “The remarkable thing about this picture of Jesus is that He is never isolated from His people” (pg 108). I’ve actually thought much about this in light of some of the “suffering” and tears I’ve had over the last two months. Not all of my tears are hormone related. And one of the things that brings me the most comfort is that Jesus suffered. He had people slander him. Yet He believed and taught and lived truth and was planted firmly in the hand of God His Father. This brings me hope when I am going through trials.
5. “Kingdom grace brings more than forgiveness. It brings freedom from the powers of darkness and restoration to new life” (pg 118). My husband would probably like me to frame that quote. It was probably one of the most powerful in this whole book to me. Grace is the only thing that sets us free from the tyranny of listening to others, or repeating harmful lies to ourselves, by letting others’ thoughts control us, or by living in destructive habits that control our lives. Walk in light. Dwell in freedom.