Restoration in Owning It (My Redeemer Lives 3:4)

I like to talk.

I’ll just be honest. I like to talk A LOT.

Therefore, proclaiming should be no problem for me.

Except it is. I not only open my mouth when I should keep it closed. I also keep it closed when it should be opened wide.

Even more so because of resurrection…

Resurrections are all over Scripture, and in Romans 10 we find the promise that they aren’t just connected to our lives, our faith, or our hearts, but to our mouths as well.

Read Romans 10:8-11 below, or in your own Bible:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

The Word is in my heart and in my mouth.

God puts it there.

We may not confess at all the right times, but we confess. We confess when we read this and let the Spirit do His work. We confess when we show up for worship or Bible study. We confess when we sit with a friend, our spouse, or our children and pray.

We don’t just confess the death of Christ. This passage tells us we confess that Jesus is Lord in His death, but goodness is He Lord in His Life as well, in His resurrection, in God’s mighty action of raising Him from the dead for our salvation.

God puts the confession in our hearts through the Word and in our Baptisms, then He brings it to our lips because…restoration.

In verse 10, God tells us we are justified in Christ’s death, and we are saved in confession of His name.

We do not confess because we are these really great people, with really great personalities, and fancy, really great sounding words. We confess because our Resurrection God claims us.

It’s important to keep it always in the context of the rest of Scripture:

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal,the promised Holy Spirit… (NIV)

Matthew Henry describes the confession of our hearts and mouths in Romans 10 as “openly professing” or even better,

“owning Christianity.”

Romans 10:11 promises that we will not be put to shame, because all of it stems from this restorative reality:

Jesus always owns us.

We confess, because He has confessed us before God the Father.

He died and confessed we were His.

He rose and confessed He gave us Life.

He stands before the Father now and confesses righteousness for us.

I like to talk a lot, yes, but may I talk about Jesus more and more every day.

May I own Him, because I have been owned.

There is healing and restoration for our hearts and our minds in a Savior who claims us as His own. He will always own us in this life before the church at a font, before Father in heaven, and before the world on that day yet to come.

You know resurrection,

Now, go own it. 😉

A Dirty Rotten Doubter and a Touchable Jesus (My Redeemer Lives 2:2)

Don’t you just hate it when someone defines you by one action  —

that one time you were mean in junior high,

the forgotten birthday your sibling won’t let you forget,

the time you got that speeding ticket…or three.

That last one might just be me.

No one loves a label, particularly one with a negative connotation, and especially one that just won’t die.

In this way we can completely relate to Thomas. How would you like to be remembered in infamy as the Doubter, with Doubting always added as a catchy pre-fix to your name?

Before we define Thomas by one passage of Scripture in John 20, let’s preface our post-resurrection-Thomas reading with less famous passages in which he makes his appearance.

In John 11:16, following the resurrection of Lazarus, Thomas proclaims his absolute willingness to die with Jesus:

So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 

In John 14:5-6, Thomas asks questions of Jesus, to understand and know His teacher, His Savior more, a clear mark of discipleship:

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

When my husband showed me these verses, my heart became tender toward Thomas. He seems a little like an all-in or all-out kind of person, something I lend toward myself. However, it’s not how I see Thomas that matters, but how Jesus sees Thomas, and in our famous “Doubting” Thomas passage in John 20, Jesus makes His thoughts and His grace quite clear for our Doubter.

Read John 20:19-29 –

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Let’s put the emphasis here where it belongs: on Christ, rather than Thomas, so we can see Thomas for who Christ sees Thomas to be.

Jesus reaches in.

He reaches into Thomas’s questions.

He reaches into Thomas’s stubbornness.

He reaches into Thomas’s failure.

The Risen Christ gives Thomas the same gift He gave everyone else, despite his doubts. He offers him confession and forgiveness, new eyes, and a new heart.

I’m especially struck by the direct translation of the Greek for John 20:27:

“Bring the finger of you here, and see the hands of me, and bring the hand of you, and put (it) into the side of me.”

The timbre of it gives attention to the intimacy Jesus offered in response to Thomas’s proclamation that he would “never believe” unless he saw the marks and placed his hands in Jesus’ side.

Jesus takes the time and effort to address our fears and our failures. He doesn’t leave Thomas in shame. He offers the very thing Thomas says he needs. Now, this doesn’t always happen. When we ask for a sign, that doesn’t mean we’ll get it…or does it? Look further down in John Chapter 20 to find the answer.

John 20:30-31 –

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

These are written, Thomas’s story is written as a sign for us. The Word of Life, the entirety of Scripture is the Sign for us. In fact, the signs are so many, so full that they can’t all be recorded in Scripture. He writes them in our lives and on our hearts.
We are all Thomases…Dirty Doubters, but we have a Touchable Savior.
Our Risen Savior comes into our lives and into our homes in His Word, answering questions, giving signs of Who He is and What He does for us every day. That same confession and forgiveness He offered Thomas is what defines us through the Resurrection of Jesus.
Thomas – Touched by Jesus….that’s his real name and how we are blessed to remember him.
Leave your name in the comments below, like my example here, write it large on a paper to remind yourself, and/or write it on your hand with an eyeliner or a marker. Let’s proclaim the Resurrection’s grace in our lives together.

I am Heidi – Touched by Jesus

It’s a Journey – Written in Iron Ink: Weight Loss

I am never more amazed than when I get to sit down and hear the story of someone else’s journey.

Our journeys may look different from one another, but it’s amazing how God knits and weaves His purposes into every life, every journey.

On today’s podcast, I sit down and talk to Sara Borgstede at The Holy Mess about her journey of losing weight and learning new ways to organize and value her emotions. She also shares with us the challenges of setting goals and rewriting the messages she told herself along the way. In this conversation together, we’ll call out the cultural messages about food and body image, and firmly plant ourselves in the joy of relationships and grace that God gives to us along the way.

Sara shares insights around the Word with us and the wisdom that this journey from God is one of endurance; the race is steady, but sometimes can feel relentless, but He is also doing something New in our lives each day. Sara shares wisdom and insight discuss around two verses in particular— Hebrews 12:1-2 and Isaiah 43:19 :

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert. 

Do you hear the tension and the promise in each?

Sara offers her story to us, as well as her tips and encouragement for our own journey.

You can find Sara at

The Holy Mess


Faithful Finish Lines

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