Archives For Discovering Jesus

Life is difficult! For everyone there is loss, sorrow, disappointment, and disillusionment. Often when life isn’t good, people are tempted to think God is not good. But this is not true.

God is with us in the valleys

God is with us in the valleys

Sure life is tough, but God is always good. It is important that we see this fact or else we will never really know God in any realistic way. As a pastor, I regularly walk with people through traumatic loss, brutal betrayals, or seemingly unfixable frustrations. In those moments I see people begin to wonder, is God really there, is He in control?

Their main problem is an error in their view of God and this world. Typically a person constructs a theology that says God is here to make my world comfortable and safe. If it is safe, God is in control, if not than God must have checked out and “gone fishing.” I have seen this line of thinking alienate people from a relationship with God.

The story of the Bible does not teach us the above view of life, but another. The Word of God teaches us to see that God did create a world that is good. (Genesis 1) But that man rebelled, sinned, and brokenness and death resulted in the world. (Genesis 3) So now we live in a sin-sick, broken world, where many things don’t work, where people betray people, where the young can die, and where disappointments can last a lifetime.

But nothing about this broken world, or our suffering in it, makes God any less good. Our God is the same God who despite our sin has provided for us a salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul writes, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The Lord is redeeming a people from this broken world that they might have eternal life in His name.

For your faith to thrive you must embrace the dual reality that this life is harsh, but God is tender. The harshness of the world will not last. God will bring the sinfulness of this world to a final judgment and bring those who trust in Him into eternal bliss.

Real spiritual maturity comes when we accept that life has challenges and trust that God, through it all is with us and has purpose for us. The Psalmist said it best, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

Today I read from Oswald Chambers who said, “Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God’s character, we do not yet know Him.” How true this is.

The people I have seen truly experience the Lord are the people who have suffered much in the valley, but have chosen to not fear the valley when they know that our Shepherd God is walking with us and leading us through to the other side.

Question: How have you found God to be good in the midst of life’s sorrows? Share it here to encourage others. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Why is it that people lash their faith so tightly to their feelings?  Our emotions are fickle, always changing.  Yet our God never changes.  We often get a confused view of God when we look at him through the distorted lenses of our fluctuating moods.

Feelings Are Fickle

Feelings Are Fickle

So often I have heard people testify of their confidence in God’s goodness when the weather is fair and their circumstances sweet.  Then I have seen those same people declare their belief that God has forgotten them, withdrawn his forgiveness from them, and hidden his divine favor when their hearts are down and their circumstances frustrating.

But the fact is this… though our moods fluctuate and our circumstances shift, God’s love and grace toward us are divine and unmovable constants.

Consider the words of Paul,

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)

The great preacher of the past, Charles H. Spurgeon, commenting on the above passage, had this to say…

“How marvelous that we, worms, mortals, sinners, should be the objects of divine love!  But it is only “in the One He loves.”  Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience, at least, that is their apprehension.  When their spirit is lively, and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth!  But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted.  If they could but see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they stand accepted in One who never alters, in One who is always the one God loves, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, how much happier they would be, and how much more they would honor the Savior!  Rejoice then, believer, in this: you are accepted “in the One He loves.””[1]

Fellow believer in Christ, don’t allow your view of God’s mercies to be lashed to your fickle feelings.  Are you down today, feeling like you could not be divinely loved?  Know that you are loved.  You are loved in Christ and that love will never be lifted from your soul.  Are you instead feeling on top of the world?  Wonderful, but know that your happy feelings are not, in and of themselves, indicators of God’s favor.  That Jesus came and died for your sin and rose to be your Savior is the only indicator of mercy that you need.

So friend, rest today in the grace of God that you received when you received Christ.  If you are down, acknowledge it, but also acknowledge that though you know your feelings are in the dumps God’s love toward you in Christ is unchanging and he will bring you through.

Question:  How has the knowledge of God’s grace brought comfort to you in recent days?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, p. 534.

Have things not been going your way?  Have you been feeling like you are not good enough, that you can’t make the cut?  Then you need to read this post.

God Really Loves You!

God Really Loves You!


I’ll tell you right at the beginning, because God loves you.

I know, I know.  Some of you are saying, “Yeah, Yeah, I’ve heard that before.  That is the typical Sunday School answer.”

I can understand your reaction.  But read on.  God loves you and that means you are accepted by him.  That means you are not rejected, not by God.

If God loves you and accepts you, then no matter what happens in your circumstances, no matter how you might experience rejection or failure, God still embraces you.  Hope is not lost, but very much present.

Let me illustrate…

Dave Busby, the late evangelist, from childhood suffered severe handicaps due to polio.  His older brother was a star basketball player in high school.  Every Saturday morning a large group of boys would gather at their house to play ball.  One Saturday Dave decided to join the boys for a game.  He walked with a significant limp and was not an able athlete.  The boys shot to see who would pick teams.  When Dave shot the ball it missed the entire backboard.

Naturally Dave’s brother got to pick first.  Knowing he would not be picked, Dave dropped his head and limped toward the house.  It was then that his brother said, “I pick Dave.”  The handicapped boy turned around in disbelief.  “Why me?” he said.  “I’m no good.  I can’t even hit the backboard?  Why would you pick me?”  His brother, with tears in his eyes said, “Because I love you!”  Then, in front of all those high school boys, Dave’s brother unashamedly threw his arms around him and they both cried.

That is how God is with us.  Though others may reject us, he never does.  Through Christ we find acceptance.  With that acceptance we can move beyond our fears into the realm of faith.  We no longer need to be paralyzed with a fear of being rejected by someone.  We know that God has accepted us and that will never change.

Yes, we have sinned.  Yes, we have failed.  Yes, we don’t always measure up to some standard in the world?  But God has gone to great lengths to show us that his love for us can pull us through all that.

Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, to cover over our failure.  In him we find grace and acceptance, even though we do not deserve it.  That is what makes it grace.

So my friend, be encouraged today.  God picks you.  Sure you have been sin crippled.  Sure you don’t measure up to every standard.  But his arms, through Christ, are thrown around you, he chooses you, and with tears he says, “it is because I love you.”

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Question:  What are your favorite Bible verses that speak of God’s love and grace?  Share them with us.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Some people fear the craziest things.  I read about rare phobias that grip some people.  There are sufferers of peladophobia, which is the fear of baldness and bald people.  Talk about the need for Rogaine!  Others are seized by Aerophobia, the fear of drafts, or Odontophobia, the fear of teeth.  Some have Chaetophobia, a fear of hairy people.  There are even those plagued by Phobophobia, the fear of being afraid.

Overcoming Fear

Overcoming Fear

Perhaps our greatest fear is the fear of rejection.  Our fear of heights or the dark will always pale in comparison to our fear of rejection.  It is the fear of being rejected that tempts us away from advancing a new idea or innovation at the office.  We are afraid of making the sales call.  It scares us to confront an issue with our spouse or to discipline our children.  We are afraid they will reject us, leaving us to feel alone and abandoned.


Why We Fear Rejection

God designed us for healthy and uplifting connectivity.  We hunger for it.  If we don’t experience a vital kind of acceptance in our lives our souls starve.  An example of this can be found in the life of Leah an Old Testament character.  She had experienced both rejection and the fear of it.

Leah was daughter to Laban and older sister to Rachel.  When Jacob came to live with Laban he fell in love with Rachel, not Leah, and asked to marry her.  Laban agreed on the condition that Jacob first work for him for seven years.  The Bible gives some indication why Jacob chose Rachel over Leah.  It says, “Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful.” (Genesis 29:17)

In the mid-east women were largely veiled and usually all a man might notice of a girl was her eyes.  Leah did not have attractive eyes.  We don’t know what made them unattractive.  All we know is that her outward appearance was in noticeable contrast to the beauty of Rachel.  Can you imagine the pain she felt when she was by-passed by Jacob?  She tasted the bitterness of rejection.

For Leah it got even worse.  After seven years of work there is a wedding.  Jacob thinks he is marrying Rachel, but Laban does a switch and Jacob unknowingly marries Leah and in the darkness of the wedding chamber consummates the marriage with her.  When morning comes Jacob is shocked to find Leah and argues with Laban about his bum deal.  Then after enduring the traditional bridal week, Jacob marries Rachel the girl he loves “more than Leah,” and she becomes wife number two.  (Genesis 29:30)

This poor girl experiences the wretched pain of her father’s rejection.  Think about it.  Her dad is communicating to her that she is a burden to get rid of.  He is saying, “You are so unlovely that no one in their right mind would ever want to love you, so I must deceive someone into marrying you.”  A parent’s rejection can be devastating to our self-esteem.  Such rejection, once experienced, will instill in us a future fear of rejection.

Leah knew what it was like to feel alone in a crowd.  She understood being rejected in the most vulnerable of circumstances and so do we.  Maybe you haven’t been rejected like Leah, maybe you have.

Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places

What did Leah, afraid of further rejection, do?  She first looked for love in the wrong place.  She tried to find her primary source of acceptance in people.  The Bible says, that God “saw that Leah was not loved” and so he opened her womb and she bore a child. (Genesis 29:31)  The Lord, in the midst of all that rejection, was communicating to Leah his loving acceptance.  He was saying, “Hey, I favor you.  I love you!”  But Leah didn’t get it.

Instead she looks to her husband saying, “Surely my husband will love me now.” (Genesis 29:32)  But he didn’t.  God gives her two additional children and again Leah clings to the fleeting hope that she will find acceptance from her husband.  In every case she does not experience his love.

Today, a wife of a strained marriage gets pregnant and says, “This child will bring us together.  He will love me now.”  A young teenager clings to their boyfriend or girlfriend desperate not to loose their love and acceptance.  So often we walk on eggshells in our relationships with people many times not being honest or confrontational about an important matter.  We are afraid we will be rejected.

The problem is we seek love and acceptance primarily in people.  No person, even the most loving, can ever truly meet our deepest need for acceptance and love.  Love from people is indeed vital.  We hurt without it.  But our primary source should never be people.  It should be God!


God’s Embrace

Leah finally received God’s ultimate acceptance, his eternal embrace.  In it she found what she needed and moved beyond her fear to faith.  When God granted her fourth child she stopped looking only to her husband, but now she looked primarily to the Lord for love.  When the child was born, instead of saying “My husband will love me now,” she said “This time I will praise the LORD.” (Genesis 29:35)  She stopped turning solely to her husband and children.  She stopped looking to anything else.  This time she allowed herself to fall into God’s embrace.

After this she no longer needed to fear rejection.  That is not to say it would not hurt when she failed to receive Jacob’s affection.  But now she could no longer be robbed of experiencing ultimate love.  She now believed deeply that the Lord God had accepted her.  When we, like Leah, choose to accept God’s acceptance of us we are empowered.  We can face the risks of rejection.  We can know that rejection will come but that the Lord will never reject us.  Nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God.” (Romans 8:39)

Fulfill Your Devine Purpose!

When you accept that you are divinely accepted, you can confidently move forward in fulfilling your divinely given purpose.  God has plans for us all.  All of us have purpose in God’s Kingdom.  So it was with Leah.  When her fourth child is born, guess whom it was?  Judah.  Who is Judah?  It would be through the line of Judah that Jesus Christ would come.  Isn’t that amazing.  She not only experienced the acceptance of God, but then we see that God uses her to bring in the family out of which would come the Savior of the World.

We all have fears.  Most of us, to some extent fear rejection.  But we must not allow such fears to prevent us from fulfilling God’s dreams for our lives.  Life is too short and God’s affection for us to rich and unchanging to allow a fear to rob us.  Fully receive God’s embrace and experience his ultimate fear eliminating acceptance.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of…love.”  2Timothy1:7

Question:  How has God showed you that you need not succumb to the fear of rejection? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

One day, years ago, my friend’s wife died.  She was about 42 and seemed to have vibrant health.  But one night she went to sleep and never woke.  She left a wonderful husband and four great kids behind.  Before then I never witnessed a family grieve so hard.  She was a great wife, mother, and support to many and now she was gone.

Believe In The Goodness Of God

Believe In The Goodness Of God

As you can imagine, a loss like that can make your future look bleak.  I know each one of those family members had to wrestle with whether they could once again catch a vision for a hopeful tomorrow.

Every year I personally speak to scores of people who in suffering a loss or setback have begun to wonder if there will ever be a new horizon for them in their future.  They have felt so kicked while they were down, so un-favored over time, that they believe their future is bleak.

I know when I am worn down by a continuous stream of setbacks I get weary and tired.  No doubt you are the same.  Layer of hurt washes over consecutive layers of hurt to bring such a constant current of pain that your mind begins to think it will never get better.  It is like your brain accepts a new darker program of perception.

This is life’s great test of faith.

I had a friend who often would say, “Things are getting so bad, I’m about to lose my religion.”  How pathetic.

Think about it.  If your faith in God can’t sustain you through life’s trials, it isn’t a very stout faith.  If God is bigger than our problems, if he really transcends every reality, then shouldn’t our faith in him be strong enough to give us a persevering perspective over our problems and disappointments.

There are a lot of things that can drive you to think bleakly of your future…

You lose your job,

Can’t find a job,

Lose a friend,

A family member attempts suicide,

Get cheated on by a spouse or fiancée,

Struggle with chronic illness,

Endure through the ups and downs of a prodigal child,

Watch a loved one die,

Get your application rejected,

Get yourself stuck in an addiction,

Become frustrated in a loveless marriage,

Struggle with the pain of a heartbreaking divorce.

All these things and more can make your future hopes seem irreparably compromised.  God can seem distant and uninvolved.  You thought that a loving God was in the business of delivering you out of problems, but now he seems to you to be absent or literally leading you into painful difficulty.

So how do you trust God when the future looks bleak?

The writer of Proverbs tells us straight away…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The truth is “how do you trust God when the future looks bleak?” is really not a fruitful question.  It is not a matter of “how” but a matter of “that.”  It is a choice.

It is saying, I am hurt, I am disillusioned, I am frustrated and do not know how to fix things, but I am making the choice to trust in the transcendent will and divine love and perfect goodness of God.

It is a matter of not leaning “on your own understanding.”  It is about saying, I am confused in this situation, but I believe God is not in the least confounded.  It is choosing to believe that, even in the pain, God has a plan and that plan is for my good.

Paul writes in Romans, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

When my friend’s wife died, I watched him go through all the stages of grief.  But I never saw him lose his faith.  The blow he experienced could have been a tragedy over which he might have “lost his religion.”  But he didn’t.

In the months after her death I heard my friend and others in our circle say something over and over again.  It was a statement of faith, a profession of confidence in a God who understood more than our little minds ever could.  I heard people say, “This situation is terrible, but God is good.”

In saying that they changed their perspective on what initially seemed like a darker future.  They chose a perspective of faith.  They chose to believe God had a plan even in horrible brokenness and that the plan was for our good.  Not that someone passing away was good, it wasn’t.  But God had a plan to display his goodness in the midst of it all.

So have you struggled, through very real personal pain, to see a horizon in your future?  Yes?  Then you are faced with a choice—to trust or not to trust in the goodness and transcendent plans of God.

I beg you today—trust in his goodness even when your circumstances are not good.

Question: How have you found strength through a choice to trust in God’s goodness no matter what?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

(The following is an excerpt from my e-book, From Dust to Destiny.  To download a copy of the book, click here.  Share with others that they too might have and read a copy.)

What do you think about most?  The majority of us have one or two things we most think about.  Once you get to know someone you can often tell what it is for them.  Usually it is different things at different times of people’s lives.  It might be the acquisition of a material possession, or the achievement of a goal, or the hopes of finding true love.

The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd

When I was an 11-year old boy it was fish tanks.  You read me correct, fish tanks.  I had a hobby, fish collection.  I started out with a ten-gallon aquarium in my room with a few guppies.  But soon I got so obsessed I mowed some lawns, earned some money, and bought another ten-gallon tank and loaded it with fish.  My parents bought me a fish encyclopedia.  I knew so much about fish.  When I was at school my mind would drift to my fish.  When I mowed lawns for money I would dream of all the new fish I’d buy.  Soon I bought a 29 gallon tank and collected big fish.

A few years later it was bikes.  I started cycling and I had a dream of owning a Schwinn Super Le Tour 12-speed.  It was expensive.  I had to mow a lot of lawns to come up with the money.  I thought about it constantly.  My mind would continually obsess about earning enough cash to acquire my dream.  Eventually I bought the bike.

In college it was a beautiful girl, Stefanie.  I met her at our University Christian Ministry and couldn’t get her off my mind.  I thought about her when I was in class, thought about her at lunch, thought about her morning, noon, and night.  I asked her out.  We hit it off.  We saw a future in each other.  I thought about her when I was with her and even more when we were apart.  I even taped a picture of her on my bedside wall in the dorm, so my last thought would be of her as I drifted to sleep.  She was the driving obsession of my mind.  And I made her my wife.

Let me ask you an important question.  What is the constant driving obsession in the mind of God?  What is it that God thinks about above all other things?  What is the obsession of the Divine?  The answer is found in the mission of Christ.  Jesus said,…

“The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)        

Through Christ, God is pursuing a humanity that is lost from the hand of God due to sin so that He might rescue us from separation and death redeeming us back to Himself.  God is in hot pursuit of us.  He is the Hound of Heaven seeking to retrieve us from our lost condition and bring us home to him.


Jesus came for you, to save you from your sin, and to bring you home to a relationship with God the Father.  He considers you of inexpressible value, worthy of an all out pursuit.  In the Bible, Jesus speaks of this divine passion for your soul through a parable about a Shepherd and his sheep.

In his story the Shepherd represents the Lord and the sheep represents you and me.  He said, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”  (Luke 15:4)  Of course he does.  It is in the Shepherd’s nature to value each in his flock.  Even if only one is lost, he goes after it, pursues it until he finds the lamb.  I can imagine that shepherd constantly counting his sheep, making sure none are lost, all are with him.

Years ago I was a Youth Minister in a church.  As a part of the job I was responsible for planning trips and outings.  Sometimes I would take them on retreats or to camp.  Other times we would do things for pure fun, like going to a theme park.  Always I would find myself counting them.  If I had brought 23 kids, everywhere we would go I was continually counting.  One-two-five-ten-19-22, “where is Ben, has anyone seen Ben.”  My obsession was to keep tabs on those kids.  If I brought 23 kids to the event, I was going to bring 23 kids back.  Any other scenario was unacceptable.  There were a few times when I lost a kid.  I would not stop searching until I found that child.

That is the way Jesus is with us.  He comes for us, to bring us spiritually home to God.  Rejoicing always follows when he brings us home.  Jesus said, “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.  Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” (Luke 15:5-6)

Christ tells us that all of heaven rejoices in the same way when our Shepherd God redeems us back to the flock of his family.  He says, there is “rejoicing in heaven” (Luke 15:7) over a sinner who repents and is brought home to the grace of God.  Nothing brings joy to the heart of God more than when you are redeemed to the relationship with him you were always meant to have.


Question:  How does the knowledge that God, in Christ, came for you change how you view your life in the day to day?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Years ago I was the pastor of a small town Texas congregation.  In that little community there was a restaurant called “Doc’s.”  They had a strange practice in that place.  They would serve dessert first.  The very first thing the waitress would do would be to place your dessert in front of you.  By the cash register was a small sign, “Eat Dessert First, Life Is So Uncertain.”

Life is Uncertain

Life is Uncertain

Does uncertainty scare you?  It frightens most of us, which can be discouraging considering that life is so uncertain.

We hate that life is uncertain.  We want to feel assured.  We want to have it figured out.  We want to know what to expect.  But life sends us so many surprises.  Some of them are wonderful, some frightful.

I have traveled through life thinking I knew what God was going to do with me for the next several years, only to find that God had an assignment that I never expected to receive.  Five years ago, if you asked me if I would ever want to be a professor at a school, I would have said “no way.”  I was a pastor and that is all I could see for myself.  But then I was invited to serve as an online pastor at Liberty Seminary.  I have since taught hundreds of students while still serving my church as pastor.  What a cool surprise that has increased my opportunities.

But not all surprises are pleasant.  In fact, they can bring you to your knees and call you to deeply question.  Yesterday, I traveled hundreds of miles with my son and a staff member to visit two families in another city.  One family was helping their 5 year old boy fight cancer.  Two and a half months ago, they realized how uncertain life can be when they received that frightening diagnosis.

We also visited a young 18 year old girl who suffered a tragic gunshot wound to the face.  She is a personal friend of our family and a former member of our church.  That family never planned for this.  The trauma they suffer is difficult to comprehend.  They could not have anticipated this.  This is just another example of the uncertainty of life.

So what is the lesson here?  I am leading up to it.  It is this, the only certain thing in this uncertain life is God.

Everything changes in life, nothing is 100% predictable.  But God never changes.  The Scriptures declare…

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

So what am I saying?  I am saying that YOU cannot be certain of any circumstance.  You cannot be certain about your job, your future finances, the opportunities you will or won’t have in the future, your health, the health of those you love, or even if you will live long or short.

There is only one thing that is certain and it is God.  God is the one who can be certain to us in the midst of uncertainty.

Actually, our relationship with God thrusts us into uncertainty.  Oswald Chambers said it well, “To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we don’t not know what a day may bring forth.”  He goes on to point out that, “We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next.”  After all he loads our lives with so many surprises.

So what does it look like to grow in faith?  Growth comes when I accept that the God who does not change in essence and character will always guide me through this life of uncertainty.  Growth comes when I embrace the fact that God’s adventures cannot be predicted.  Growth comes when I place my trust in God and tell him that I will follow him into every uncertainty of my life.

Question:  Do you find comfort knowing that God is in the midst of your uncertainties?  Tell us why.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Jesus Is Amazing

April 18, 2014 — 2 Comments

On this Good Friday I just wanted to say that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is Amazing!

Amazing Jesus

Amazing Jesus

Why do I say this?  Because he is amazing in all these wonderful ways…

  1. Jesus has an amazing purpose.  Jesus birth was amazing, not like our birth.  He is the Son of God, born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Spirit of God.  John wrote of his birth saying, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14)  He was born with an amazing mission.  We are so impressed with American soldiers who engage in their mission to go into battle and preserve our Nation’s interests and freedoms.  We are so impressed when we hear of doctors and nurses who go to impoverished countries on medical mission to bring healing to the sick and wounded.  But how much more amazing must we find Jesus whose divine mission was to bring lost, sinful humanity back into eternal fellowship with the Holy and Righteous God.
  2. Jesus has an amazing power.  He performed amazing miracles.  He fed the hungry, made the blind to see, cleansed the diseased, and set the demon possessed free.  He showed powerful compassion to the sin wreaked, the handicapped, and the outcast.  But most importantly he gave himself to an amazing atoning death.  For God was pleased to…”through him to reconcile to himself all things…by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:20)  According to God’s Word, we who were sinful deserved to suffer and die for our sin against a Holy God.  But Jesus, who what sinless, did the amazing.  He died as a substitute for our sin.  He died to pay for the sins of humanity.  Spurgeon said, “My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorn those bleeding brows;  my sins cried “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”  and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders.”  And Jesus displayed his amazing power in the resurrection.  Jesus rose from the dead.  We can never take that lightly.  No one has this power but Christ.  Death could not hold him.  He died for our sins and we know this to be true because there is evidence that he rose again.  Because of this we know he has an amazing power to change our lives.  He rescues us from our past, revolutionizes us in our present, and reserves for us the most glorious and heavenly of futures.
  3. Jesus has an amazing proposal.  He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 10:28)  He says, if we will receive him we can have his life.  We can know his salvation.  All we must do is turn from our sin and turn to God.  Then we must trust in Christ for our forgiveness and new life.  And lastly we must tread in obedience to Christ as we commit to walk with him.

The Challenge:  This Easter Weekend, revel in the fact that there is a Savior who has come to you with an amazing purpose, power, and proposal.  If you have not taken him up on his proposal, why not do that this very day.  You will be eternally glad you did.


Question:  In what ways do you see Jesus’ purpose, power, and proposal changing our world?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

R.G. Lee, in his book Christ Above All, mentions sixteen characteristics claimed by the Savior.  These characteristics help us begin to see the Majesty of the Son of God.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

So what are these characteristics of this matchless Christ?

1. Pre-existence.  The origin of Jesus does not find its beginning two-thousand years ago.  Jesus always has been.  The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)  And John 1:3 declares, “Through him (Jesus) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

2. Supernatural Birth.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.”  Jesus was and is an uncreated being, the “only begotten Son.”  He was begotten of God and born of a woman.  Lee says of this birth, “Jesus’ birth into our world by virgin womb was a translation at the same time it was an incarnation.  It was a transfer of His person from a previous condition of existence to an earthly one.  It was His being clothed upon with humanity’s nature.” (Lee, 124)

3. Sinlessness.  It would be foolish self-deception for any human being to claim to be without sin.  Yet Jesus, God’s perfect Son, never hit a jarring note, never struck an in-congruent cord.  The Bible says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Heb.4:15)  In Jesus we see all moral, ethical, and spiritual excellencies unmarred and untainted by even the weakest shadow of darkness.

4. Omnipotence.  That means he possessed all power and all authority over all things.  The resurrected Lord claimed, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Mt.28:18)  But Jesus did not merely claim such authority, he demonstrated it.

5. Supernatural Mission and Message.  His mission was “to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)  He came to bring a message of salvation, but more than that, he came to be the message.  Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

6. Supernatural Wisdom.  He had the wisdom which could penetrate the true nature of the human heart.  “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.  He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.” (Jn.2:24-25)  Lee writes, “Jesus knew the end from the beginning.  Jesus knew men’s thoughts afar off.  To Jesus the black midnight was as the brightest noonday.” (Lee, 131)

7. Power to Forgive Sins.  No counselor, psychologist, priest, or preacher can, on his or her own power, forgive the sins that have brought you shame before God.  Only God can forgive the sins that offend his holy nature and Jesus, God’s Son, is God and has such power.

8. Power to Impart Eternal Life.  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (Jn. 11:25-26)

9. Equality with God.  Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” (Jn. 10:30)  He was equal in essence and in nature.  To see Jesus was to see God in the flesh.  To know Jesus was to know the Father God and to understand the nature of the Spirit of God.

10. Dominion Over Mankind.  Jesus is Lord.  He is the authority and he possesses the right to be singularly worshiped by man.  He has the authority to demand allegiance from us.  He said, “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Lk14:33)  Over and over again Jesus comes to people and says, “Follow me!”  He is the head, he is the First and the Last and this King of Kings calls each of us to allegiance, to submit to his loving and life giving authority.

11. Exclusive and Peculiar Knowledge of God.  Jesus said, “All things have been committed to me by my Father.  No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)

12. Right to Receive Worship.  Jesus accepted the worship of people.  Jesus does not accept flattery, he demands of us worship.  We read in Matthew 2:11-“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”  The Bible says, “And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him.” (Matthew 8:2, KJV)

13. Omnipresence.  Jesus said that he would be “with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) Christ, being God is present everywhere.  There is nowhere where he is not.

14. Judge of Men.  Paul declared, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.  He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

15. Lifted on a Cross that He might Lift Us.  Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32)  When Jesus was lifted on that cross, our sins were paid for that we might not sink into condemnation for our sin, but rather we might be lifted up in forgiveness and redemption.

16. Make a Personal Return to Earth.  Jesus is coming again.  The Bible declares, “we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)

Question:  Can you think of other characteristics of Christ that inspire our worship?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Jesus, The Perfect One

April 14, 2014 — 4 Comments

It is the week before Easter, the great celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Read this to be introduced, or for many of you, reminded, of the uniqueness and perfection of the Son of God.  Jesus was no mere man.  He was God in the flesh and he came to save us.



The Lord Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of our faith.  I did not always believe in him.  In fact, for years I considered myself an atheist, skeptical about any claims regarding God.  But when I was truly and deeply introduced to him I found him to be who he claimed to be and I was never the same.

Jesus is the full revelation of God and the only Savior of mankind.  Jesus is the pre-existent, virgin born, Son of Man, Son of God, miracle worker, and light of the world.  R.G. Lee, a preacher from many years back said this of him…

By the coming of God in human form, Jesus, clothed the body with imperishable nobility.  By Him who was made flesh, whose every muscle was a pulley divinely swung, whose every nerve was divine handwriting, whose every bone was divine sculpture, who, in kingly fashion, wore the flesh as a garment, the body has been made an instrument of Christ.  Through the human mouth God in authority spoke.  Through human eyes God in pity looked.  Through human hands God in love wrought.  Upon human feet God on errands of mercy went. Through a human heart God’s compassion was shown.  Through human ears God heard humanity’s despairing cry.[1]

Jesus is God, but became man.  He came to dwell in the flesh of our humanity, that he might save us from our sinful inhumanity.  Though we have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, he is the essence of moral purity.

Lee also said of him, “Jesus never struck a jarring note, never made a misstep.  On Him circumstances left no fingerprints.  Popularity never caused Him to hasten a footstep.  Hostility never caused Him to falter.  Temptations never loosened a moral fiber.  As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean so Christ is the ocean in which all moral excellencies and spiritual pleasures meet.  Even His enemies said they could find no fault in Him.  Even His worst foe proclaimed Him innocent.[2]

Jesus was sinless perfection and thus fit to be the atoning sacrifice for humankind’s sins through his death on the cross.  This atonement would find its completion in his miraculous resurrection that we will be celebrating in just a few days.

Today, as you prepare your spirit to worship the Risen Christ this Easter, think on the perfection of Christ.  Throughout the day, think on the fact that Christ himself is God’s greatest miracle.

In Christ you can know God.  In Christ you can be forgiven.  In Christ you can live eternally with God Almighty.

Today, praise him for who he is.  In fact, why not praise him for who he is by leaving a brief praise here in the comment section.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

[1] Robert G. Lee, Whirlwinds of God:  Messages (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1932), 64.

[2] Robert G. Lee, The Rose of Sharon (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1947), 17.