Wednesday - TO-MA-TO, TO-MAH-TO


Carey Madding 

Today's Scripture: “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” Matthew 16:15, ESV 

Theme: How we label Jesus does matter. 


There is this cool little website that is called, “How Ya’ll, Youse, and You Guys Talk.” We’ve taken the quiz and been with others who have taken it... and it’s pretty accurate. It can tell you the main regions you lived in by how it has affected your speech. The amazing thing is that it also showed several other areas that I (a military brat) lived in for just a few years. For Pete’s sake! Have you ever been laughed at because you said you were about to put a toboggan on your head? Some words vary with no major harm or just a few moments of confusion.  


Through the years, Mike and I have lived in several places with strong religious influences, but not Christian influences. I have studied about cults and other world religions. When you are talking about missions, you must know what someone else believes to “become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22b, ESV). You have to build bridges from their religion to yours. 


But one thing you must never do is dilute the absolute truth about Jesus Christ, our fully human, fully God Savior. He is the line that separates all Christian denominations from cults. Though we may disagree on disputable matters, all mainline Christian denominations agree on the doctrine of Jesus. He is the standard, the line in the sand, about whom there is no disagreement. 

When dealing with other religions or cults, you don’t make associations between Jesus and their local god. You don’t imply it’s okay to believe in Jesus AND their little deity. And you don’t agree with someone who says that Jesus was “just” a good teacher or prophet. He was a Teacher and Prophet. He is the Great High Priest, but He is also so much more than any of those labels convey. 

Make It Personal: In your personal faith and beliefs, have you diluted the truth of Who Jesus is? Is He fully God, so that He is the powerful Savior you need to save you from your sins? Is He fully human, the understanding Priest who has experienced the same temptations and betrayals that all of us face, who can understand and intercede for you? If He is anything less, search your Bible and your heart. Ask the Spirit to reveal the truth of God to you. Anything less than “Savior of the World” and of your heart is shaky ground. 

Pray: Lord God, You are my eternal Father. Jesus, though You are the Son, You are also completely God. Though You are my Brother, and I am a co-heir of the kingdom with You, may I never forget that You are the Almighty God and the Everlasting Father. What I think and say about You matters. I am in awe of You, Your love, and Your sacrifice. May I always give You the honor and praise You deserve out of a heart filled with gratitude and love. In Your Name I pray. Amen.  

Read: Isaiah 9:6-7; Acts 4:11-12, 16:29-32; Philippians 2:9-11 

Weekly Memory Verse: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b, ESV