Why Is Jesus Superior to The Angels?

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man .For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. Hebrews 2:9-12

Very meticulously the writer of Hebrews laid out the case using old testament scripture that Jesus was superior to the Angels. Although the angels had been God messengers throughout the Old Testament Scripture both in reigning forth judgment, in speaking to the prophets, in presenting themselves to God’s people as guides along the way; yet, they were always subject to Jesus rule.  The angels are ascribed as having great strength and wisdom. Still, they are servants of Christ who are sent forth as “ministering spirits to them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1: 14).

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It is such a comforting thought that Jesus has sent forth angels to comfort and to protect me. Still, I must not lose sight of the truth.  Angels are not beings that I should worship.  Only God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is worthy of all my praise. Jesus humbled Himself to come to earth and for a time to be placed in a position below the angels, so that He might suffer as a man and to purchase my salvation through His death on a cruel cross.  He, by such, has won the victory for me to one day be with Him and reign with Him in Glory.

Let us for a moment, go step by step through the arguments as to why Jesus is Superior to the angels so that we might understand the depth of humility it took for Jesus Christ to take on human flesh.

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What Is the One Truth That Cannot Be Compromised?

Jesus Christ, “who being the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” Hebrews 1:3-4(NKJV)

Some of the false doctrines that tried to invade the early church continues to invade some of the religions today.  Many tried to proclaim that Jesus was either a prophet or perhaps even an angel sent from God. There had been mention in old testament scripture that angels were sent at times to guide the people or to speak God’s words to His people. It would be much easier to believe that Jesus was “an angel or prophet of God” than to accept that He was God Incarnate as God’s only son.  Some said then and some still say that it doesn’t really matter which we believe, as long as we believe in God.  Yet, that is a lie!

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That is why the book of Hebrews is so important to grasp both for those who know Christ as their Savior and those who are yet in search of God’s Grace.  For the sinner, knowing who Christ really is becomes the pivotal point of accepting Him as your Savior.  For the Christian to truly comprehend the truth of this great salvation we have been given; we must first place Jesus in His rightful place without compromising to sound politically correct.

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Skipping Stones to Your Glory

Tragedies and sorrows seem to always be present surrounding us in this world.  So how can I or you hold onto a steadfast joy despite the tragedies and sorrows of this life?

Stones to Glory

Skipping Stones to Your Glory

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

Storms surround my life today

Sorrows urging me to pray

With gentle voice, I hear You say

Trust in me I’ll guide your way

 

A pilgrim in this foreign land

Where is the hope in which I stand?

You paid the price- that just demand

And hold me firm within Your hand

 

Chorus:

So, Precious Lord let my eyes see

That you have won my victory

Whatever sorrows facing me

Are skipping stones to Your Glory

 

Fix my eyes on Christ my Savior King

And then, oh then my heart will sing

Of Your wondrous Joy in everything

No matter what this life may bring

 

The sorrows of life, their ebb and tide

That force me on my knees abide

And rips away my selfish pride

That in thy Grace my tears subside

 

The trials that would tear apart

This fragile, broken, lonely heart

Except thy love can ne’er depart

Each day, Your Grace-my fresh new start

 

Chorus:

So, Precious Lord let my eyes see

That you have won my victory

Whatever sorrows facing me

Are skipping stones to Your Glory

 

Fix my eyes on Christ my Savior King

And then, oh then my heart will sing

Of Your wondrous Joy in everything

No matter what this life may bring

Jesus Christ has already won the victory.  All I need do is to focus upon Him.  How can I hope for Joy if I do not focus upon the very source of Joy?  All these trials, pains and sorrows are merely stones on which I may skip closer to Him.  If I embrace the truth that Jesus Christ holds all things by the power of His word; then, I can have the assurance that “all of this works together for my good.”  Everything is but a skipping stone on my journey toward seeing Glory, Beauty and Majesty beyond any thing this heart could imagine.  If I know that God is and that He rewards all who seek Him, then I can trust Him in the midst of every trial that comes my way; knowing that His plan is to bring me into His bosom of everlasting Joy.  There are no “bad days” for those who know Christ as their Savior.  All of those days we might have once thought bad are merely stones upon which we may skip our way closer to Him.  The more I see Him, the more I realize that He is my Joy, my greatest Treasure, and my Everlasting love.  So what Satan meant for evil in an attempt to steal my Joy; God has used for good every single time. 

I hope this poem warms your heart today reminding you of Him.  My prayer each morning is that God reveal to You His Joy, His love and His Glory that you might seek Him.  May He establish your faith in Jesus Christ and comfort you through whatever trials you face today.

Photo used by permission of Arto Marttinen via Unsplash.com  The inscription I added.

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2016

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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3 Truths That Will Catapult Your Life into Joyous Victory

Jesus Christ “his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Hebrews 1:2-3

As I go about my days along this life journey, why is it so important that I recognize the magnificence and glory of Jesus as King, seated upon His throne? How would that change my view of life’s struggles? How can that affect my relationships with friends, co-workers, and family? My life is filled with dreams, desires, decisions, work, and activities. We must constantly think about our health, our car, our house, our finances, our relationships, and our jobs. Even when it comes to our faith, we fill our lives with the “activities”; yet, in all that do we truly stop to realize the importance of seeing Jesus upon His throne.

Christ Holds together

The writer of Hebrews wants us to realize that Jesus is already the King. He is the obedient son who died upon a cross at His Father’s bidding; yet, He is also the express image of the Father and the bright radiance of His Glory. Not only was Jesus the humble sacrificial lamb who died to save the world; but, Jesus is also the one through whom the Father spoke the world into being and the one who holds everything in place by the word of His power. This is the same truth that John expressed when he wrote,

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Dear God, Will You Really Speak to Me? Absolutely!

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV

“Speak, Oh Lord, tell me why this pain! I need to know what to do next; if you would only tell me, then I could follow!!” Has that ever been the cry of your heart? I know it has been mine. Yet, does God speak to us? How does He speak and how can we know it is His voice?

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In the midst of a storm, we turn our eyes upon the cross, seeking to hear God’s voice.

As we begin to study this book of Hebrews, we are immediately confronted with the words that God spoke through the prophets in various ways and various times. Throughout the Old Testament we have God’s word presented. He spoke in the narratives of the history. He spoke through the miracles in the lives of His people. At times He spoke through songs as He did in the book of Psalms; while at other times He spoke through instruction such as Proverbs. He spoke through the Old Testament prophets. He spoke in many ways so that each of us could uniquely hear His Voice. There was one major truth that rings throughout every scripture. “We are sinners incapable of reaching God were it not for His Grace and Love reaching forth to save us.” All of the Old Testament scripture points us toward Jesus Christ; the Son of God who took on flesh to live among us and to die that we might have life.

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How to Really Have a Faith to Overcome Adversity

 

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” Luke 8:22-26 (NKJV)

Where is your faith when everything seems to come crashing in around you? How do you hold on when facing cancer, loss, heartbreak, trials, and suffering in this world? We look around us and see the evil effects of sin surrounding us. We look within and see the effects of evil lurking there within our own hearts, always crouching near (selfishness, pride, anger, desires and our inability to love God as we should). Where can we find the faith to overcome adversity? How do we know hope, joy and peace in the midst of life’s storms?

crashing waves

We who might think ourselves skilled navigators upon this sea of life are taken by surprise by the raging waters and find ourselves drowning. We cry out for help to God. Jesus speaks. The raging storm stops as He asks, “Where is your faith?” Once more we tremble as we realize that we don’t even know, as we cry out concerning Jesus, “Who can this be?” We, the followers of Jesus, don’t know Him as the one who spoke the world into being nor the one whose very words hold the world’s existence in place.

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Joy Pours Over Me

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

Out of the darkest valleys or sorrows that life can bring, God remains Sovereign and His Plan is always to bring us good.  It all goes back to Faith is 1. Knowing that God is and 2. Believing that God richly blesses those who seek Him.  My journey to discover the truth of love and joy took me down a lot of winding roads.  Some of those roads seemed at the time very treacherous indeed; but, God had a plan for my good.  That plan never depended on my figuring it out or my getting it “right.”  It depended 100% on God’s Grace, Love and Sovereignty to complete the work He began in me.    My life is filled with peace, joy, hope and love.  Oh, don’t get me wrong; there are trials as well.  The difference in my response is how I view the trials.   I have learned to embrace each trial as a precious gift that once unwrapped will reveal to me some precious aspect of God’s Glory that I had not seen before.  As I concluded the series, In Search of True Love; my prayer is that I have helped you to see the magnitude of God’s Grace and Love toward you.  Tomorrow, we will begin a new series through Hebrews (at least that is my plan for now, unless God chooses otherwise).  I wrote this poem today and hope it touches your heart with joy, peace and hope.

Joy Pours Over Me

JOY POURS OVER ME

by Effie Darlene Barba

Every Step of my journey here

Through the darkest nights

That were filled with fear

Or the mountaintops

Clothed with laughter’s cheer

Your voice called to me

Your heart drew me near

 

Through pain and tears You taught me how

To seek your face Be-

Fore your throne to bow

Where You my heart would

Grace and Love endow

Your wondrous Strength to

Soar above the now

 

The scars from all the years gone by

Were healed because Your

Tears You chose to cry

As on a Cross You

Sent your son to die

And pay the price for

Someone such as I

 

And then I saw the value, worth

Of all the sorrows

Pains upon this earth

Travailing pains

That brought new birth

To life eternal

Filled with Joyous mirth

 

For purest gold to truly shine

It must endure the fire’s

Flames which do refine

Or pressed beneath the

Darkness in a mine

A diamond forms so

Precious, rare and fine

 

Your truth revealed this mystery

Pain is a gift that

Helps my heart to see

Glimpses of You

Spectrum of Glory

Dimensions of Love

Until

Joy pours over me

Please feel free to post a comment, share a story or just say Hi.  Hope you can join us tomorrow as we start a new series.

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2016

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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What Really Is the Most Amazing Truth About Love?

 

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NKJV) The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you…You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. Jeremiah 31:2-4 NKJV

After everything that God had done, I should have been overwhelmed by joy. God had amazingly worked out all the details of my life. I was filled with the awe and wonder of His Grace toward me. Yet, there was that dark hollow hole buried deep within my heart. A broken piece within my heart that longed for love. With everything in me, I wanted to bury that desire once and for all. I pleaded with God to make it go away to make me feel satisfied in Him. I stuffed the feeling away, trying to ignore it. Busily I filled each day with work, Bible study and prayer; hoping to make that ‘hole” disappear. Like Paul, I prayed over and over again to the only one who could take control of my heart and remove this darkness. I really wanted God to be the only treasure I did seek; but, there was that one longing I could not rid myself of. The sadness of which would haunt me at times when no one else was around. Never could I imagine what God was about to do next as He determined to show me the truth of love.

purest love

It was late in the fall of 2014 that God was to begin a journey to teach me what it was to love with a pure heart. Entering into my life would be the return of a casual friend. Oh, I had known him in the past—lost contact, then in 2010 by a miraculous work of God; this friend had answered a prayer. He had the manuscript of one of my first writings. In a frantic search for my copy, I had prayed for God to help me find it. Out of nowhere within 24 hours, this man had sent me a message on Facebook to say, “Did you ever publish that book?” He sent me a copy. Our friendship and correspondence was very distant and casual after that; maybe a “Hi, how are you?”  Then once more in 2014, God would send this man to answer a prayer and to teach me the ultimate truth about love.

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How Is Patience a Wonderful Demonstration of Love?

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30) Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:14) Love is patient; love is kind (I Corinthians 13:4 NIV)

So, often in our Christian walk, God bids us to wait upon Him. There are promises throughout scripture for strength, victory, peace and even joy as we learn to wait upon God in the midst of any circumstance. There was a time that I would have said, “God, please let me just skip this lesson on patience. It is not one that I am going to ever learn, so can we move on to something else?” Yet, God knew that this was a lesson which is vital to both my faith and my ability to love Him as I should. Patience while waiting is both an act of faith and an act of love toward God.

As I wrote in the last post, I arrived into Columbia with great anticipation of all that God was going to do. He had moved rapidly in preparing my move. Mountains were flattened and laid at my feet. After I arrived, there was the bitterest cold winter with snow fall after snow fall. Each day I would carefully, cautiously make my way safely to work in my car not made for snow. The short sale on my house in Florida had come to a standstill. The applications for a second job only ended in closed doors. For the first time in all of my career, I was being turned down for a job. Financially it was tough on a part time job. Certainly God knew this. So, I opted to have no cable, kept my house at the bare minimum of heating while wearing layers of clothes to keep warm, and did everything I could to survive financially. At the end of each month I rejoiced that I made it. I never failed to tithe and God would stretch the remainder of the money.

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Can I Truly Love Before I Know How to Be Loved?

I will love them freely (Hosea 14:4) Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Where is the faith to sustain us when the bitter cold of winter strikes again deep into our valleys of life? We want so much to believe that because we obeyed God’s command that we deserve some great reward for our feeble act of valor! We so quickly lose sight of the truth that we are incapable of any act of faith had it not been for God’s great mercy and grace reaching down to enlighten our hearts to seek Him. At the end of so many heartbreaks, so many health struggles, so many surgeries, financial ruin, and so many trials; I kept waiting for my life to suddenly become restored like Job’s was. Hadn’t I been faithful to follow after God through many devastating trials? I had obeyed when He commanded I stay with Pete. I had obeyed when He bid me to go to Florida. I had obeyed when He asked me to leave Florida and return to Missouri. I knew that God had orchestrated it all; so now, I awaited His next command which I was certain would suddenly flourish me in all.

Yea, I have loved thee

When I pulled into Columbia with my big U-Haul truck and my car hitched onto the trailer behind, I rejoiced. God had been faithful to get me safely here through some areas of snow and ice. Alberto and several friends came to unload my truck and place all the boxes inside the new home Alberto had bought for me. That, in itself had been a humbling experience. Certainly I would be paying the mortgage; but along with the move, I had lost my home. I had markedly downsized my possessions. There was some sadness in the loss. Yet, they were only material possessions and mattered little in the scheme of eternity. It wasn’t the first time I had laid aside my home and possessions; yet, a part of me hoped it was the last. As a parent, I wanted to be the one who always gave to my children. This time, I was receiving. Emotionally that was very hard for me. Maybe, just maybe; that was what God knew about me. It was even hard for me to receive His gifts, His love, and His joy. A part of me needed to feel that I was the one giving to God—through sacrifice, through sorrow and through whatever feeble act of obedience.

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