As you probably figured out by the title, I'm learning Chinese. I'm hoping to spend most of the next school year in China, and possibly a good portion of the rest of my life. It's up to God. But I figured I may as well start learning Chinese now.
The characters in the title, "耶稣," mean "Jesus," pronounced, "yay - soo" (pinyin - Yēsū). But I love what happens when you separate them. The first character still means "Jesus," but when you take the second character on its own, "稣" means "revive." How cool is that? English, you are so boring.
It made me think about how integral "revive" is to the character of Jesus (no pun intended). Most directly, I'm sure that 稣 is there because of the resurrection, when Jesus came back to life, was revived (re = again, vive = living. thank you Latin.). But if you think about it, "revive" is central to Jesus' work in our hearts as well, as we are brought out of our sins into His hope and eternal life. And again, "revive" is what Jesus can do to our hearts every day when we go to Him for our rest.
This morning at church, our pastor gave a sermon on resting in God, specifically as sabbath rest. From our rest, we then go out to the world for God, struggling in the battle for souls. But that rest, consistent rest, is a vital prerequisite to the work God has laid out for us. Because only when we are still with God can He revive our weary souls.
I automatically thought of the song "Marvelous Light" as I thought of how Jesus restores and revives us through salvation, and through our daily walk with Him. The second verse says:
My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean,
Your breath fills up my lungs,
Now I'm free, now I'm free.
We were once dead in sin, dead to true joy, dead to God. But He sacrificed Himself to bring us up from our misery and fill us with His life. In fact, the gospel is central to our life and vitality. By focusing on Jesus and His great love for us, our spirits can truly experience God's renewing power. We can be filled to overflowing with the greatness of our Savior.
Jimmy is such a perfect example of this to me. When I think of him, I remember the contagious smiles that radiated from him. But it wasn't just happiness, it was a deep joy, a deep fulfillment a deep love for Jesus. Love that renewed him every day to pour himself out for the people around him, like we saw him do at Survival. In the end, I believe it was the gospel in him that made Jimmy full to the brim with exuberance. How fitting that "Marvelous Light" was one of his most favorite worship songs. And for twelve weeks now, he's been with God, seeing God's face. I can't even begin to imagine how much joy he has now. And I can't wait to join him.
Do not run into your day, your week, your year, or your life without stopping to be still and rest with God. Come to Jesus to let your spirit be revived, refreshed, renewed. Let your thoughts be centered on the gospel - God's redeeming work - in order for the joy of Christ to be your strength. When you hear the name of Jesus, remember the centrality of revival to who He is, as so well illustrated by His name in Chinese: 耶稣 - Jesus-Reviver.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28