October 12, 2015
By Ben Seewald
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. - 1 Timothy 1:15
This is one of my favorite Bible verses! Let's dive into it together:
1) Something trust-worthy.
Think about what "trustworthy" means. We could say "Worthy of Trust." Sometimes we use this term to describe a faithful friend or a son or daughter who has shown themselves to be responsible. Praise God for good friends and responsible children! But even the most "trustworthy" human, is still just a human. We might trust them to bring the veggie tray to the party, and they might get stuck in traffic or perhaps an emergency comes up that is beyond their control (Of course, we should understand and forgive them).
The "trustworthy" in this verse is far stronger than we can use it to describe a human or anything else besides God Himself. Paul calls the statement in this verse "trustworthy" because God Himself had said the same and God is always true and does not lie.
The statement is worthy of trust because God said it, and God is supremely worthy of trust.
He further describes this saying as "deserving of full acceptance." Because it is SO true, it deserves to be accepted.
2) God on a mission
So what is this saying that Paul describes as so trustworthy and deserving of acceptance?
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"
The Son of God, second person of the Trinity, entered the world He created. This world so full of death, filth, disease, hate, abuse, and all evil. Philippians 2 talks about this more. Because we can't comprehend just how mighty and majestic God is, we can't even begin to understand the wonder that He would come into our world. The One who holds all things in existence, see Him laying there as a newborn baby in the feeding trough, in a barn, surrounded by dirt, and odors! Imagine the One who created water becoming thirsty! The one who created the digestive system needing to eat!? What a wonder this is! We could go on, bet it's enough for now to say:
We will never ever comprehend the infinite humbling the King of the Universe voluntarily endured in order to come into the world the way He did.
3) The objective
What was the objective of God's mission to planet Earth?
I'm picturing the Angels at this point. There is baby Jesus, laying in the feeding trough in that barn with his poor parents trying to keep Him warm by wrapping Him in rags. "What's this? Amazing! What could God be doing?" Wouldn't God only come into this sinful and evil world as a conquering King to judge the wickedness of mankind? What would cause God to come as a helpless baby when He is all powerful? I imagine that they eagerly watched to see what Jesus would do. I imagine their awe as Jesus lived a life of poverty and homelessness, followed by a rag-tag band of the scum of the earth, and looked upon with disdain by the more respectable religious people. I picture their utter shock and confusion as Jesus gave up His life in the most cruel and torturous form of execution know to man: crucifixion. He made the metal and the wood on which He would die. He sustained the heartbeat of the man that brutally whipped Him.
"To save sinners"!
This, my friends, is the best news in the universe! You may be trying to get your act together before you come to God. Maybe you are trying to be good enough so He will accept you. It won't work. There is nothing we can do to earn God's favor. Ephesians 2:8-9 days that salvation is by grace (un-earned favor) through faith, and not of works. Yet for you, unworthy sinner, Christ offers you Himself. He offers you His righteousness; He offers to take your place and you take His. Perhaps you are burdened with guilt and sin and feeling hopeless. Or perhaps you feel that you aren’t good enough for this gospel and that you’ve sinned away any chance of being accepted by God. Well, then this good news of Jesus Christ is for you: Christ calls all men everywhere to repent of their sins and to believe in Him and He will give them rest for their souls. Repentance means confessing your sins to the Lord and crying out to Him for forgiveness. Belief is the entrusting of yourself wholly to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He says that “all who come to Me, I will never cast out.” Come to Christ. He is a merciful Savior, ready to forgive. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". Jesus said in Mark 1:15 to "repent (turn from your sin) and believe in the gospel". Give up trying to earn God's favor by your works. Believe in what Jesus did to save sinners like us, and that it is the only thing that will save you. Ask God to help you turn away (repent) of your sins. Turn away from sin and turn to God. He is the only way to salvation (John 14:6).
Christians, those who know Christ as their Savior and Lord, let us not be ashamed of this message, for it is the power of God unto salvation for anyone who believes (Romans 1:16). This news is good news! Let's think on it every day, and boldly and lovingly share about the One who saved us poor sinners and gave us new life!
September 30, 2015
Hebrews 12:1-4 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
I love these verses in Hebrews 12! There is an amazing picture painted for us here, of running a race. Much can be said about this, but I just want to point to a few quick observations.
1) Picture a runner. We are exhorted to lay aside every weight and sin that would try to thwart us from running the race. Imagine a runner with a backpack full of games, a camera hanging around his neck, and reading a novel as he carelessly jogs along. Would you think he was very serious about running the race? This is not the picture we get in Hebrews 12. Christian, beware of getting bogged down with distractions that would cause you to lose your focus on Christ and the race we are to run.
Sin is obviously a hindrance. But there are other things that may not even be sin per say, but would cause us to be less effective in serving Christ. Hobbies, entertainment, frivolous and empty conversation, wasted time, etc. are all things that can creep into your life and stop you from running this race like you potentially could. We are told to "lay aside every weight". This doesn't mean that we can't enjoy a little recreation here and there. We all need to take breaks sometimes, and "catch our breaths" so to speak. Just make sure that it keeps it's proper place: to restore, refuel, and refresh you in order to be more effective in the future. Note that we are called to run with "patience" (or endurance).
2) What should drive us? What is our goal and motivation in the race of the Christian life? It is Christ! A runner must have his eyes set on the prize. He must be focused. "Looking to Christ..." This is how we live the Christian life. "Looking to Christ;" considering (thinking, meditating on) Him as verse 3 says. "Consider Him" says verse 3--and why? So you don't become weary and faint.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." So how do we get closer to God? How do we become more like Christ? By focusing on Him! As a runner focuses on the goal set before him/her, and runs with endurance to get closer to it and to reach it, so must we! Christ is our treasure! Christians, let us be focused on our prize. The fun and entertainments of this world are NOTHING compared to the infinite joy and fulfillment of knowing God. They are passing away. They are futile and temporary. They can be distractions and "weights" if we aren't careful. Let us focus on our prize, which is God Himself, and run with endurance the race that will bring us closer to Him!
September 29, 2015
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Baby Poll. We received over 110,000 votes and some wonderful name suggestions. We've listed everything below.
17,999 Boy/Girl twins
8,608 Twin Girls
3,096 Twin Boys
Top 5 Boy Names
Top 5 Girl Names
September 24, 2015
Ben and JessaWe are so grateful for the opportunity to share our enthusiasm about being new parents with the upcoming specials on TLC. It's a very exciting time preparing for the arrival our baby. We hope you’ll tune in. In the meantime watch for updates on theseewaldfamily.com.
September 14, 2015
Many things about God are beyond our comprehension. As humans we don't like this. We like a little bitty god that can fit inside our itty bitty logical box and be understood by our tiny little human brains. Take the hypostatic union of Jesus for example. Jesus, 100% God, 100% man. The God-Man. Two 100%??? Doesn't make sense in our brains. Maybe that is because He is GOD and we are humans. Maybe that's because God is really BIG and we are really small.
Maybe that's why Romans 11:33 says "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" and Psalm 50:21 says "These things have you done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was altogether such a one as yourself:"
Praise God that He has revealed to us truth about Himself and the gospel, how to be saved, that we can understand. Verses so clear are given to us, like John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." There are many single and complex truths in God's Word that we are to study and learn and understand. But there are some things about God, that as we read the Bible we will be unable to fully comprehend. Things like the Trinity, the Hypostatic Union, and the relationship between's God's sovereignty and decrees and our human responsibility and free agency. In these moments, don't reject it because you can't understand it. Instead, take a step back and stand in awe of God. Take a moment to think on His words in Psalm 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God:"
Please listen to Shai Linne's song "The Hypostatic Union"
August 16, 2015
August 11, 2015
July 7, 2015
Hope you are blessed by this short devotional—Ben.
“If you love me, keep my commandments.” –Jesus (John 14:15)
Anytime we sin, it’s a slap in the face of God. Our love for God is shown when we keep His commandments; When we break them, we are showing hatred towards God.
Sin is serious.
"Ye that love the LORD, hate evil....” Psalms 97:10
Let’s be examining ourselves. Even the born-again believer will fall into sin. It brings us much grief. Sin is an act of spiritual adultery against the only One Worthy, the Lover of our Souls, who loves us even to death. Praise God that even though the struggle is real, and many times we fall, He is still working in us, and conforming us to Christ’s image! (Romans 8:29, Ephesians 2:10)
But if sin is the pattern of our lives, this can be a sign that we really don’t love God. If we say “I love Jesus” but our actions prove the opposite…well, what’s that old saying “Actions speak louder than words.” Our words are empty and meaningless unless backed up by our actions.
Oh Lord! Deliver us from deception! It’s is easy to simply “say” but to really live it out and “do” is entirely another thing. So many deceive even themselves when they say they love Jesus—yet their lives show just the opposite! Free every Christian from hypocrisy! Help us to love you, and to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving” ourselves. (James 1:22)
Lord, break our hearts for what breaks Your heart, and grant us true repentance! Help us to look to Christ, and live in freedom from the sin that so easily entangles us.