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Who Was Jesus To You This Year?

Title: Who Was Jesus To You This Year?
Description: We asked 12 artists to hand-letter who Jesus was to them this year and here they are. Share with us your stories, they may be a great encouragement to someone else too!

 

THE ONE WHO NEVER GIVES UP ON ME.

In my 13-year journey with God, I have flaked out on God, been disillusioned, strayed away, doubted God, and failed to put my trust in God more times than I can count. But one thing remained constant: God’s love for me. I would always plead with God when I was struggling, “Don’t give up on me and I won’t give up on You”. And God will always comfort me by telling me that He is there. He has always been there and forever will be. It is His love and encouragement that keeps me moving forward. So who is Jesus to me? He’s the One who never gives up on me.

Artwork by Thalia Abreu (@goodwithinco)

 

 

PEACE AND JOY GIVER

Only Jesus gives us perfect peace and joy – not our relationships, finances, or career. It is a perfect peace and joy that is full, permanent, and satisfying. Jesus SECURED our faith, joy, and peace when he went to the Cross. Therefore, our peace and joy rest on the foundation of His atoning sacrifice, not on our own works or abilities.

Throughout this year, I have been learning and relearning the fact that in everything, I am able to enjoy the peace of God (that surpasses all understanding) when I make my requests known to Him by prayer and supplication.

Paul prays, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13). This is such a good reminder for me: when I trust in God’s promises, I am able to have fullness of joy and perfect peace, and God is glorified through it.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and joy to those with whom He is pleased – to those who believe!

Artwork by Hannah Hwang (@hannah.letters)

 

HE’S A WAY MAKER

This year was full of victories and prayers being answered. After years of praying for specific chains to break, the chains came undone, showing God’s grace, love and mercy. He truly cares for His children and has the best plans awaiting them. Trust Him. Persevere. Never let go. Include Him in all of your decisions, worries, problems, and victories. And I promise you it will be worth it. He’s listening to you. Just remember that His plans are perfect, and we can just trust Him! Great is Thy faithfulness.

Artwork by Lauren (@ofsaltandlight)

 

MY FRIEND THAT CONSTANTLY HUMBLED ME

This year, I learned a lot about myself and why Jesus has placed me where I currently am. At the beginning of the year, I was in a transition period and I felt unsure about a lot of things in my life, especially in the areas of friendships and career opportunities. But God has been so good at reminding me to let go of my fears and trust Him. He gave me a church community to lean on and an opportunity to intern for a great organization. With each opportunity, Jesus tore down my pride and humbled me, teaching me to lean more on Him daily.

Artwork by Sonya Lao (@write.side.up)

 

MY TOUGHEST COACH AND LOUDEST CHEERLEADER

At the beginning of the year, I had a gut feeling that 2018 would be my best year yet. Boy, was I wrong! Instead, 2018 has been marked by rejection, my first heartbreak and immense self-doubt. I would say that Jesus is my toughest coach, because I believe He has put me through these hard tests to make me more dependent on Him. Yet at the same time, He was my loudest cheerleader, giving me hope and strength to carry on for the entire year.

Artwork by Chebett Chirchir (@lettertown)

 

MY NAVIGATION SYSTEM

“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Lord has been a navigation system to me this year. There were many decisions I had to seek Him for. Before this, I would pray for something and ask God to answer it. But as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve learned to trust His plans more than I trust mine.

He knows what’s the best route for me to take to my destination. As the drivers of our lives, the wheels are still in our hands, but we can decide whether or not to follow what the navigation system tells us to do. I’m learning to ask Him to direct my path, to lead me to the way He wants me to walk in, and not what I want for myself.

Artwork by Elizabeth Gonzales (@eggraphy)

 

THE GIVER OF GRACE

This past year Jesus has been the giver of grace for me. He has overwhelmed me with blessings that I did not deserve and that’s what I love so much about Him. He is my Grace Giver!

Artwork by Cory Romeiser (@coryromeiser)

 

EVERYTHING AND MORE

To me, God is everything. He is the source of love, life, and everything else in the entire universe and beyond. The entire Bible is filled with His love for us. While some things in life may remain a mystery to us, as Spurgeon said, “When you can’t trace God’s hand, you can trust His heart”. How amazing it is that God made us to love us. As John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: that a man lay down his life for his friend.”

Artwork by Novia Jonatan (@novia_jonatan)

 

JESUS IS MY COMFORTER AND HEALER

This year, I’ve experienced the comfort of God through new friendships and worship songs. He has blessed me with new friendships I never knew could be fostered in such a short span of time. I’ve also personally felt God speaking to me through worship songs. Amazingly, each time a song ends on Spotify, another worship song will play and it’s always just what I needed to hear. Through the various songs I have listened to, I am always reminded of God’s love for me. He knows everything that is happening in my life, and that reassurance has cleared my uncertainties, doubts, pain, worries, and fears. There is just no word that can describe the love He has for me.

Artwork by Siaw Chia (@tan1889_xiaojia)

 

MY LIFELINE

This past year has been a season of uncovering wounds, breaking off chains, and healing. There were times when I was so overwhelmed that I lost my appetite and could not move or work, much less lead groups and serve in worship. During such times, Jesus was literally my lifeline. He gave me enough strength for each day. He shone through my weakness when I had nothing left within me. He carried me through when I could not pick myself up anymore. He showed me His great love and faithfulness and brought full Life back into my life.

Artwork by Gloria Chan (@ahintofglo)

 

EVERLASTING TREASURE

Where do you seek your treasure? Do you seek satisfaction from earthly success, relationships, money, comfort, and self-image? I admit that I’ve sought treasure in these things. But every time, they’ve left me empty and longing for more. Treasures of the world are vain and fleeting; they’ll fall away with time. Only one treasure will last forever—Jesus. Only He can and will fill that chasm in your soul. This Christmas, let us celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a baby born to become our greatest Treasure!

Artwork by Rachel Tu (@designedwithdelight)

 

A FAITHFUL FRIEND THROUGH IT ALL

I share all my joys and sadness with God. Even late into the night, He listens to what I have to say and encourages me with His Word. The little things I forget during the day, He brings them back to my remembrance. In the midst of my busyness, He nudges me, reminding me about our late night dates. He is always challenging me beyond my limits and rejoices with me in my victories. I can fully rely on this faithful friend, He has got my back!

Artwork by Sarah Ang (@salahong)

How Was Jesus Both God and Man?

Cover artwork by Abigail Jeyaraj (@handsxpens)

Written By Richard Goetz

Dr Richard Goetz is a professor of theology at TCA College, Singapore. He has a passion for learning and then sharing that knowledge, information and understanding with others. Dr Goetz studies and teaches widely in the areas of theology, ethics, philosophy, and church history, having earned his PhD in theology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Dr Goetz and his wife, Tammy, have been married for over 30 years and have two grown daughters.

Christmas is fast approaching. It’s the time of the year when Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I enjoy Christmas a lot, not just because it’s a time when we give and receive gifts, but especially because of the many beautiful Christmas carols we get to hear and sing.

One of my favorites is Charles Wesley’s “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”  Not only is it easy to sing and remember, the lyrics tell us the entire message of Christmas.  The latter part of the second verse goes:

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail, th’incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!”

With these words, Wesley describes the Incarnation or the biblical idea that in the person of the baby Jesus, God became human, or as John’s gospel declares “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).  But this raises two important questions: how can someone be both God and man at the same time, and why did Jesus need to be both?

The reason Jesus needed to be both God and man is that God designed humans for relationship with Himself, but ever since Adam’s fall, our sin has corrupted us and broken our relationship with God. Yet, in His infinite love, God still wants a relationship with us; He wants us to be reconciled to Him. But in our sinful condition, that is impossible. We need our sin removed but we are not capable of doing it—it would be like a medical doctor trying to perform open heart surgery on himself.

For that reason, we need someone else to perform the surgery and remove that sin for us, someone who by himself is not corrupted by sin. The only person who meets that condition is God Himself. Thus, Jesus had to be God in order to die on our behalf as a sacrifice for our sins.

But if Jesus were only God then what He accomplished on the cross in paying the penalty for our sins couldn’t be applied to us; He might be the perfect sinless sacrifice but He couldn’t really be our substitute; in order to substitute for us He needed to be like us. Thus, Jesus needed to be man, too, in order to apply the benefits of His death to us and on our behalf, to cover our sin.

It is one thing, though, to confess or to acknowledge that Jesus was simultaneously both God and man, and understand why He needed to be both. But it is another thing entirely to try and understand how Jesus was both God and man at the same time.

God is infinite, man is finite; God is morally perfect, man is morally flawed; God is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good, man is limited in power, knowledge, and goodness. Yet, the disciples saw Jesus eat, sleep, walk, talk, laugh, get tired, get hungry, be beaten, bleed, and die as a man. They also witnessed him heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, calm the seas, walk on water, forgive sins, teach new truth with authority, and rise from the dead, which all testify to His also being God. How are we to explain this?

The definitive early church statement or confession regarding who Jesus was is found in the Chalcedonian Creed. This creed, or confessional statement, crafted by bishops of the church in 451 AD, declares that Jesus was fully (truly) God and fully (truly) man, “like unto God as to his divinity, like unto us as to his humanity”.

When trying to explain difficult concepts, it can be helpful to first explain what it is not. Firstly, Jesus is not half God, half man; he is not alternately God and then man; and he is not a synthesis of God and man combined into something new. He is also not just a man with a superior God-consciousness, or a man with some superior new moral teaching, or a man who happened to have some right ideas about God; He was not a ghost or angel. Jesus is fully God and fully man; in other words, He is both at the same time.

What this means is that Jesus had two natures, not just one; a divine nature and a human one, combined in the same person, Jesus. The divine nature added human nature to itself and the human nature was in submission to the divine. While on earth, the divine nature of Jesus also voluntarily gave up the use or exercise of some of His divine attributes, such as knowing all things and existing everywhere, in order to be in union with His human nature.

How do we know that He was both God and man? Because it is a precise description of Jesus as recorded in Scripture, drawn from biblical data, which is itself based on the eyewitness testimony and accounts of the apostles.

Nineteenth century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard declared the dual nature of Christ to be a paradox, which means something which appears to be contradictory but nonetheless can be true. Because he saw it as a paradox, he concluded that it required a leap of faith to confess or believe.

Kierkegaard would seem to be right; at the very least we would have to conclude that Jesus as simultaneously God and man is a profound mystery. The Apostle Paul declares as much in his letter to the Colossians where he wrote, “in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ” (Colossians 2:2).

Confessing this mystery, that Jesus is both God and man, by a “leap of faith” is arguably the single most important decision a person can make. I know it has been for me. This “leap of faith” has brought me into a personal relationship with God and given me forgiveness, freedom and hope for both this life and eternity.

In this Christmas season, truthfully, we won’t really be able to fully grasp or understand how Jesus was both God and man at the same time. But not understanding, or not being able to understand, does not mean it is not true; we must simply believe and confess it as true within the limits of our knowledge and understanding. For that is the very nature of faith: putting our trust in a just and loving God.

 

Editor’s Note: This is the third article in a four-part series on who Jesus is. Read the first article, “Why Do We Even Need A Savior?” here, and the second article, “Why Did Jesus Have to Come As A Human?” here, and the last article “What Difference Does Jesus Make?” here.

Who Is Jesus To You?

Throughout history, Jesus has been described as a troublemaker, role model, fraud, revolutionary, Messiah, and Son of God. YMI film crews from 6 countries around the world asked people a simple question: Who is Jesus to you?

For more stories on who Jesus is:

Why Do We Need A Savior?

Why did Jesus have to come as a human?

How was Jesus both God and man?

Coming soon: What difference does Jesus make?

Jesus

3-jesus

No matter what your relationship status is this month, may you remember that you are deeply loved by Jesus. He is the true lover of your soul. And He is pursuing you with a crazy, relentless all-powerful love. He is the only one that will truly “complete” you. He takes great delight in you, and He rejoices over you with singing. He is calling your name, and inviting you into a beautiful adventure. There is nobody like Him, and nothing can ever compare to His love. Rejoice in this love today…and may your soul sing His praise…today and always.

Contributed by Jason Van Dyk, God’s Fingerprints