Sweet Start is a unique blend of spiritual and creative inspiration, and is an outpouring of my desire to share generously with my readers. If Bible study isn’t really your thing, you’re welcome to skip straight to the creativity! If you’re hanging around for the study, here’s a helpful hint: hovering your mouse over the verse reference links will activate a pop-up box with the text of the reference. Easy peasy!
Romans, day 5
Before moving on in the book of Romans, I think it’s really important to set a foundation of understanding who Jesus is in terms of how Paul describes him in Romans 1:1-4. In previous days, I’ve dug into what it means that Jesus is the Son of David and Son of man, leading into a discussion of the title Son of God. Today, I’m going to set up the stage for who Jesus is as our Lord. What exactly does that mean? Let’s work through this together! Just like in previous days, there’s a lot of depth to who Jesus is that is worth our time exploring.
Let us stoop: Here in the New Testament, which was written primarily in Greek, the English word “Lord” is translated from the Greek transliteration, “kyrios.” This word has a sense of a master, as in someone who has possession or ownership of someone or something. Furthermore, it is a term of reverence and respect, just like you or I might call someone “sir,” keeping the sense that the person being addressed is of a higher position than oneself.
This is a somewhat ridiculous example, but my husband is part of an organization called the “Chiefs,” and they have “Chiefs parties” that are probably similar to a frat party (and yes, we’re talking about grown men. Don’t get me started…) So, in response, the wives have Princess parties, complete with an Old Great Princess (OGP, for short) who wears a massive Native American headdress to the Princess naming ceremony. You get your princess name at the second party you attend, and until you are named, you are merely a “girl,” not a full-fledged Princess. At the ceremony, the girls must never stand so their head is higher than the OGP’s head, which means that for most of the night, the girls walk around in a stooped position. It’s really hilarious to see grown women stoop-walking. But, my point is this: when you recognize that someone is in total authority over you, it’s proper to stoop! In an exceedingly more substantial way, Jesus is Lord over all. By Him all things were made (Colossians 1:16), so therefore it is proper that all things are surrendered to His sovereign authority. That is what it means to fear the Lord– not to be afraid of Him, but to respect His authority over everything! Although I would discourage stoop-walking for the sake of your spine, spend some time thinking about what a stooped heart looks like. How should we act as Christians, as people whose hearts are bowed down to the Lord Jesus?
The Lord is God: The Bible tells us that there are many who are called “Lord” or “god” (1 Corinthians 8:5, Psalms 82:6-7), but there is only one true God, the Lord God (Jeremiah 10:10). We are commanded to “love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and soul.” (Deuteronomy 11:13) “LORD” in Deuteronomy 11 is the Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH, sometimes written as Yahweh or Jehovah. The name YHWH was/is so holy to our Jewish friends that they stopped pronouncing it altogether, replacing it instead with the word Adonai (another word for “Lord,” but not the most holy name of Almighty God, the great name I AM revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14). We find YHWH in verses such as Isaiah 45:5 (NASB), “I am the LORD and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.” If you have a King James Version of the Bible, anywhere you see the word LORD written in capital letters, you can be sure that it is translated from YHWH.
So, is there a connection between the Lord God of Deuteronomy– the Lord who is the only God according to Isaiah– and Jesus who is the Lord? YES! Let’s look at Isaiah 40:3 together. “A voice cries, ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (ESV) In John 1:23, John the Baptist tells the men questioning him about his identity that he is the voice crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. And who was John preparing the way for? Jesus! (John 1:30-31) 1 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “God was manifest in the flesh.” John 1 says that the Word, who was with God and was God, became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is most assuredly the LORD, not just someone who is called “Lord” out of reverence.
Is Jesus exclusively the Lord? You might be asking yourself, “well if Jesus is the Lord (the Lord who is God), what about the Father and the Holy Spirit?” This is an important step in understanding the nature of God. When Jesus prays to the Father, He begins, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth…” (Matthew 11:25) Clearly, according to Jesus’ own profession, the Father is also the Lord. Likewise, 2 Corinthians 3:17 explicitly says, “the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (ESV) Thus, the Lord God is most fully known in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
But, there is a little bit of a catch here: it is impossible for us to come to know (come into a relationship or become one with) the Father or the Holy Spirit without first accepting Jesus as Lord, now that God has been revealed through the person of Jesus. It brings glory to the Father that every knee should bow to Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11), who has been declared King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). Surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus is what aligns us in proper submission to the will of the Father and the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, who makes us a new creation from the inside out. While Jesus is not exclusively the Lord apart from the Father or the Spirit, to us “there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (1 Corinthians 8:6) Bowing to King Jesus has the effect of putting us in a place of surrender to the Lord God, in full. Try to bow first to the Father or request the work of the Spirit by passing over the Lord of lords, and miss the mark completely. It matters that Jesus is the Lord.
While today’s study was a little longer than I typically write, I hope it helps you understand the importance of accepting Jesus as the Lord. We will return to this idea in Romans 10, which might take awhile at the pace I study, but I pray the foundation is firmly in place to help us more fully grasp the message of Romans. Praise God for revealing His nature in Jesus! Now let’s get to some stamping!
Crazy About You #1
Ready for a new stamp set challenge? Here we go! My last set of projects featured the free Sale-a-bration stamp set You Brighten My Day, but today I’m kicking off a new round of projects featuring the stamp set Crazy About You from the new Occasions Catalog. My favorite thing about this set? It’s got tons of sentiments to mix and match, but also three adorable floral-inspired images that can be used in so many ways. I can’t wait to start showing off some of the fun techniques I’ve used while working with this set.
My card was inspired by the Pals Paper Arts sketch challenge, PPA236. Pals Paper Arts is organized by demonstrators in Mary Fish’s group, the Stampin’ Pretty Pals. I am directly under Mary’s leadership, which means anyone who joins my team also has all the perks of being a Pal! We have the most amazing support group. If you haven’t tried out all the benefits of being a part of my demonstrator team and the Pals group, you don’t know what you’re missing! Product discounts, rewards and freebies, recognition, lots of new stamping friends… I could go on and on. (Don’t forget that there are extra perks right now for purchasing a starter kit! Your choice of a free Occasions Catalog kit or 2 free Sale-a-bration products. Woohoo!) I’m allowed to get excited about free stuff, right?? For now, here is the PPA236 sketch:
The technique I used on today’s card is called “kissing.” Seasonally appropriate, right? Valentines Day is right around the corner, so I’d say it is (wink wink). Stay tuned for a webinar recording that shows you how I did the kissing technique on this card, along with some other projects you could make using this set and technique.
The color combo Melon Mambo, Pool Party, Crumb Cake, and So Saffron is so bright and happy, don’t you think? I inked the layered flower image with Pool Party Ink and “kissed” it onto my Dictionary background stamp that had been inked with Crumb Cake before stamping onto the card front. I really love the look of text layered with floral images. It’s a little hard to see the “kissed” image in the big photo, so here’s a closeup! You’ll also notice the tone-on-tone Dictionary stamp as a backdrop for the sentiment words, and the delicate crinkles of the Crumb Cake seam binding ribbon. To make the seam binding ribbon textured with wrinkles, simply spritz with water and crumple up in your hand. When it dries, it will hold the texture! I folded mine for a pleated look in addition to the wrinkles.
Would you like to see more of my projects using this stamp set? Be sure to subscribe to my blog to get a weekly post digest sent to your email so you don’t miss a single one! When I have more posts up for this challenge round, you’ll be able to access all the posts featuring Crazy About You by clicking this link.
Many Blessings & Happy Stamping,