LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a
LJC – “Lord Jesus Christ”
At the beginning of this series of Bible studies, LJC stood for Life-Journey-Change. Now at the conclusion, LJC stands for Lord Jesus Christ. Each Bible study has been based upon specific scriptural passages that the Lord used to encourage me as my husband and I moved from one home to another. In the beginning, I used the phrase Life-Journey-Change and the initials LJC because it seems descriptive of what I was sharing. Maybe I should not have been surprised when the initials LJC came to my attention as being those of our Lord Jesus Christ, but I was still amazed. God has been the focus of all the studies so it was appropriate that our Lord Jesus Christ would be honored as a central theme. Today, let’s delve a little deeper into the meaning of the name Lord Jesus Christ and look more closely at who He is as revealed through scripture.
Lord Jesus Christ
Three words comprise this complete name. Most of the time, the majority of us use only one of these three words when referring to the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity. However, these is significance to each name that is part of the full name. Let’s look at a couple of scriptures before we focus on each name individually.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36 NKJV (bold type is my choice)
God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11(bold type is my choice)
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
Lord is the title of the Son of God.
This title first became popular in the book of Acts. It is also the most often used name for Jesus in the book of Acts.
It is a name used most often after Jesus’ resurrection rather than when he lived on earth.
It suggests the idea of relationship. If Jesus is Lord, He is Lord of something or someone.
Lordship signifies surrender and yielding of one’s life to someone else, namely Jesus.
As Christians, we each need to place Jesus Christ on the throne of our lives at some point and time.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
Jesus is the name of the Son of God.
At the time when Jesus was born, this was one of the most popular names for a boy.
Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua.
Jesus means “Jehovah the Savior.”
Jesus only referred to himself by this name two times. (see Acts 9:5 and Revelation 22:16)
Come, see a man, who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ? John 4:29
Christ is the office of the Son of God.
Christ means “anointed one” and is often translated “Messiah” in the Old Testament.
Jesus did not directly use this title for himself but neither did he deny it. (see Mark 14:62)
Christ was Paul’s favorite name for Jesus and he uses it independently 211 times in his epistles.
Lord Jesus Christ
Paul uses the expression “Lord Jesus Christ” at least 49 times in his epistles of the Bible.
It is appropriate for us to consider the Son of God as Lord Jesus Christ in relationship to our Life-Journey-Change if we want our Lives to be a Journey that will ultimately Change us into His likeness.
I want to stress that every physical journey I take during my life that requires me to embrace change is also a spiritual journey of my life that allows me to be changed into the likeness of my Lord Jesus Christ. Everything is part of God’s plan and purpose and He wastes nothing. Paul says in Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” “To be conformed to the likeness of his Son” can mean “to be changed in order to obtain the character of Lord Jesus Christ.”
Master Key Verse: I am the way and the truth and the life – John 14:6
In our Master Key Verse of John 14:6, we hear Jesus personally speak, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” This verse helps us see the connection between our two LJC interpretations. When Jesus says, “I am the way,” it seems to me that He is saying that not only will He be with us on our journey but that He will be the way and lead the way of our journey. When Jesus says, “I am the truth,” I sense that He is telling us that He will lead us upon the true way that will change us into being like Him who is the truth. When Jesus says “I am the life,” I think He is revealing Himself as being the life we are to emulate in our lives.
Now let’s dissect this verse of scripture word by word to better understand the powerful meaning contained within it.
The name God chooses by which to identify Himself is I AM
God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM” This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14
The covenant name of God in the Old Testament is a form of the verb “to be” and is repeated two times. Jehovah is I AM.
In the English Bible, this name is printed LORD with all 4 letters capitalized.
God used the name I AM to show His unchanging nature.
He is always described as present tense. God is not just God of the past (I Am – not “I was”) or simply God of the future (I AM – not “I shall be”).
This name for God substantiates the fact that God is never late nor is He ever early, He is always on time when He moves in our lives.
Hebrews 13:8 states the name “I AM” by saying Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Jesus used the expression “I am” not only to assert His claims to be like Jehovah but to demonstrate that He was Jehovah.
In the gospel of John, Jesus used the expression “I am” eight times in the context of revealing aspects of his character as Jehovah. One of these times is in John 14:6 which we are currently giving consideration.
God still chooses this name to introduce Himself to each of us while we are on our life’s journey involving change.
Jesus is the Way – He directs the Way of our journey.
“Way” comes from the Greek word “hados” that literally means “road” or “highway.” Consequently, we can say Jesus is the road of our journey.
Isaiah 30:21 – Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
Psalm 18:30 – As for God, His way is perfect.
Matthew 4:19 – Jesus says “Come, follow me.”- These are the words Jesus used to call His disciples and He still calls us with the same words today. He is calling us to follow Him on all of our life journeys.
Jesus is the Truth – We encounter change so that we are able to live in the truth; so that we can be true to the example set before us by Jesus.
Jesus is the standard of truth.
John 1:17 – grace and truth come through Jesus Christ
John 5:20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, that we may know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ
May we proclaim with David the words of Psalm 25:5, “Lead me in your truth.”
The word for “truth” in Psalm 25 is “emet” which is spelled with the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Because of this, the rabbis concluded that truth upholds the first and the last of God’s creation and everything in between.
May we be willing to travel the roads of any journey during our lifetime that will change us to be the people of truth who emulate Jesus’ attribute of truth.
Jesus is the life and He chooses to share His life with us if we choose to accept Him as the Life. During our life and journey, Jesus’ life is available to us.
I Corinthians 5:45 –So it is written: “The first Adam became a living being”; the last Adam (Jesus), a life-giving spirit.
Jesus is unique among men because He has life in Himself.
Jesus, who was life, gave His life so that we who were dead in sin might live (see Ephesians 2:4,5)
John 11:25 – I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes I me will never die.
In this I AM statement Jesus not only stresses to Mary and Martha that He is the Life but He also emphasizes the importance of His being the life.
John 10:10 – I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.
This abundant life refers not only to the life we live on earth now, but the gift of eternal life as well.
Eternal life is available because of John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus says in Mark 8:35, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
This is what happens during our life when we go on the journeys planned for us by God that cause us to be changed. We lose our lives in order to be changed so that we can receive the everlasting life Jesus offers us.
Concluding LJC and LJC
LIFE is a JOURNEY … a JOURNEY involves CHANGE … embrace CHANGE in your LIFE
LORD JESUS CHRIST
Master Key Verse: I am the way and the truth and the life – John 14:6
Life = the life (Jesus) Journey = the way (Jesus) Change = the truth (Jesus)
Let’s now read the complete verse of John 14:6, I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.
Putting it all together, we can say that Jesus (the great I AM) is the Way and the Truth and the Life for our lives. With the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives, our journeys will help us to be changed so that our final destination will be eternal life with God our Father. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord allows us to be forgiven of our sins and changed into new creations who will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
My Reader, may you hear what Jesus is saying to you through the chosen words of Sarah Young in her book Jesus Calling: “Though I lead you along paths that feel alien to you, trust that I know what I am doing. If you follow Me wholeheartedly, you will discover facets of yourself that were previously hidden. I know you intimately – far better than you know yourself. In union with Me, you are complete. In closeness to Me, you are transformed more and more into the one I designed you to be.” To me, these words confirm what I have stressed about our Lord Jesus Christ (LJC) being the way and the truth and the life of the purpose of each Life-Journey-Change (LJC) experience we encounter.
I encourage you to travel your Life-Journey-Change (LJC) roads acknowledging our Lord Jesus Christ (LJC) as the Way and the Truth and the Life for you.
Author’s note: Many of the insights I have shared in this study come from Elmer L. Towns’ book The Names of Jesus that I have read numerous times over the years.