The motto for our Brazilian national ministry is “Always Jesus.” It means that the Lord Jesus is always the center of our attention. He is the focus of our faith. He must be in first place, for the kingdom of God is also his, Ephesians 5.5; Matthew 6.33; John 18.36.
We can and should deal with many topics that the Bible mentions. And these are considered in the light of Jesus Christ as the wisdom and power of God for salvation. If we speak of the church, the end times, the family, money, employment—whatever the subject—we must bring the subject to the feet of Jesus and submit it to his Lordship.
The apostle Paul affirmed that “Christ is all” Colossians 3.11. To a congregation that was listening to a doctrine of a diminished Jesus, Paul shouts that “in [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Colossians 2.3. Everything is summed up in him, for he is the high point of the work of God, Colossians 1.15-20.
The gospel of John records seven great I-AM affirmations of the Lord Jesus, among them: “I am the light of the world” John 8.12. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” John 14.6. And none greater than this one: “I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am!” John 8.58. The people understood very well what Jesus was saying, because they grabbed up rocks to stone him with. Jesus made himself equal to God.
In his second letter, Peter uses the complete phrase: “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 1.11; 2.20; 3.18. The context of each usage brings rich knowledge. And the phrase itself reminds us that (1) Jesus is Lord of all, and ought to be our Lord as well; (2) In order to be our Savior, he must first be our Lord (the order is important); (3) Only Jesus saves, for there is no salvation in any other name.
In a series of messages in the Urbanova congregation about “The Big Why of Everything,” we recently considered the presence of God. One might even say that one of the great themes of the Bible is the God who makes himself present among mankind. This presence today is realized in the person of Christ, for, due to sin, man has fallen short of the “glorious presence” of God, as one Brazilian version puts it, Romans 3.23 NTLH. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7.14, receiving the name of Emmanuel: “God with us” Matthew 1.23. As we obey the Lord and fulfill his mission, we enjoy his promise: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” Matthew 28.20.
Our motto—and it is obviously more than a mere motto—is “Always Jesus,” because he is not only in our past and present, but because we await his coming at any time, in the future. He promised to prepare a place for us together with himself and with the Father in eternity. On the day of his coming, “Always Jesus” will become “Eternally Jesus.”
This article is a translation of Randal’s editorial for the next issue of Edificação (Edification) Magazine, which circulates among Portuguese-speaking Christians. If you’d like to help publish this magazine, go here.