October 5: “Focusing More on Jesus”

8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Jeremiah 4:19–6:15
Colossians 1:18–2:7
Psalm 77:1-20
Proverbs 24:23-25

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Colossians 1:18 (NLT): “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.”

Reflections from Scripture:

It has been my observation that America is becoming much less “Christian” in our worldview. We are currently watching the decline of Christianity and the rise of worldviews such as atheism, agnosticism, Islam, and many other religions.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that God’s name is disappearing. We still hear people say things like “Oh, my G..” when they get surprised. We still hear “God-talk” when politicians are trying to rally their religious base. Further, the varying false religions use the term “god” as well.

So, it has been my conviction for many years that Christians should refer to our God much less by His title (“God”) and more by the name of His Son, “Jesus.” Therefore, I try to spotlight Jesus much more than God in my sermons, Bible studies, and writings.

Why?

Because when we talk about “God,” it gets mixed in with other religions and political rhetoric that also refers to “god.” But, when we talk about Jesus, we separate ourselves from everyone else. Jesus is distinctly Christian.

The question then becomes: “Can we do this? Can we highlight the second person of the Trinity while referring less to the first person of the Trinity?”

Let me allow Scripture to answer these sorts of questions.

Colossians 1:18 (NLT): “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.”

John 14:8–9 (NLT): “Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?’” 

John 1:1, 14 (NLT): “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God… So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”

Philippians 2:9–11 (NLT): “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

God the Father and Jesus are distinct from each other while also being completely One. While we cannot fully comprehend this, we do understand that we can exalt the Name of Jesus, and in so doing, glorify God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

So, in an age when “God” is being overused, generalized, and watered down, I believe that Christians need to use “Jesus” more frequently when they refer to the God they serve. In so doing, we will distinguish ourselves from the growing confusion within our culture about who we love, enjoy, serve, and obey.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, You are the image of the invisible God. Thank You for making the Father more knowable to me. And as I go farther into a Christless culture, help me to never be ashamed of You but to speak Your Name boldly and courageously. The world desperately needs You. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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