Archives For Discovering Jesus

Every one of us hungers for three things:  Acceptance, Security, and Significance.

Satisfied in Jesus

Satisfied in Jesus

We are driven to find these three.  We hope for them, dream for them, reach for them.  Every human pursuit and relationship is a step seeking an experience of one or more of these.  Neil T. Anderson speaks of these three fundamental needs of people in his book, Victory Over The Darkness.

Unfortunately as much as we reach for an experience of these, we often fail to fully find it.  Years ago, the Rolling Stones sang a song that cried out, “I can’t get no satisfaction…’cause I try and I try and I try and I try.”  All of us can relate to that.

But the truth is that these things are squarely found in Christ Jesus.  We cannot find them anywhere else, but in Him.

Think about it!  We hunger for…


*We search for it in our fathers and mothers, in our friends and co-workers, in intimate relationships with a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancée, or spouse.  We sometimes gain a measure of it.  But never do we find (nor could we) total and ultimate acceptance from anyone.

*Ultimate acceptance is only fully found in Jesus.  When you connect with Jesus your hunger for acceptance is satisfied.  Think about it…

  1. You become a member of His family.  The Bible says, “to all who received him…he gave the right to become children of God.”(John 1:12)
  2. You are brought into union with His Spirit.  Scripture tells us, “he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)
  3. You are His treasured possession.  He says, “you have been bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
  4. You have been adopted as His child.  Ephesians 1:5 says, we were “adopted as his sons.

You are completely and utterly accepted in Christ.


*We search for security in possessions, relationships, health, and even in our own self-righteousness.  But none of these things make us secure in any eternal sense.  All of them are temporary and flimsy supports at best.

*Ultimate and eternal security is only found in Jesus.  For the Word says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

It is only in Jesus that we have security in His love.  He will never stop loving us or considering us His.  Only with the Lord that we can truly and eternally know that it is well with our soul.


*We search for significance in so many ways.  We strive for it through achievement, wealth, and self exaltation (bragging or even putting people down so that we can feel lifted up).

*But true significance is only found in Jesus.  He is our Creator.  He knows what we are made for.  It is only in submission to Him and His will that we can really connect to our life’s purpose.  God’s word declares, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Our deepest hunger is found in the one who loved us enough to die for our salvation.  Faith in Him and a relationship with Him is what our soul craves.

Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Question:  How has knowing Christ brought you satisfaction where before it was elusive?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

We teach our children to recognize emergencies and respond by calling 911.  Doing so is important and could save their lives and the lives of others.



There are times when our spiritual condition warrants a spiritual 911.  A time when things are not right and we need to do something about it right now.  It is important to recognize when we are in that state and to know what to do to change our condition.

When is it time to call a spiritual 911?  Learn to recognize the…

Symptoms of Spiritual Emergency…

  1. Emptiness.  Deep needs and real crises inevitably come into your life.  When they do and you look within yourself for strength, to lean on God, do you come up empty?  Have you so neglected your relationship with God that when you call on that faith, your experience of it is weak.  This is a symptom of spiritual emergency.  Ephesians 5:18 says, “be filled with the Spirit.”  To be full of God you have to pursue him, empty your life of competing loyalties, and invite him into every aspect of your life.
  2. Uselessness.  When your faith in God does not change you or shape your choices, it is a sign of spiritual emergency.  James 1:27 speaks of a practice of religion that is “worthless.”  The reason so many people are uninterested in church or Christianity is because they say, “what is the point?”  They have seen too many professing Christians display no real qualitative difference in their lives as a result of their faith in Jesus.  When there are signs of uselessness in our faith, it is time to immediately turn to God and begin walking in obedience, allowing his Spirit to transform us and use us for his glory.
  3. Phoniness.  We are all prone to measures of hypocrisy.  Are their places in your spiritual life where your talk does not match your walk?  This does not mean you are never authentic.  You can be a hypocrite and still be authentic once in a while.  Even a fake clock is correct two times each day.  Do you detect hints of spiritual phoniness in your life?  This is a symptom of spiritual emergency.  It is time to stop, turn from the hypocrisy, and make authentic choices.
  4. Unproductiveness.  If your faith does not lead you into serving others or sharing your faith with others, it is a sign of spiritual emergency.  If we are vitally connected with Christ we will bear fruit for Christ.  John 15:5-6 says, “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”  If your faith is not driving you into acts of service, repent and surrender your life to be an instrument in God’s hand for serving others.
  5. Lifelessness.  If your faith in Jesus is more ritual than it is relationship, then you have a spiritual emergency.  Being merely religious doesn’t bring a vibrant spiritual life.  Only Jesus brings that.  If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, you won’t have a zeal for his kingdom, nor the excitement over his work in your life.  When you are really filled with Jesus, you want to know him better.  You have zeal about you.  Not only do you want to know him better but you want others to know him.  1 John 5:12 says, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  If you have never personally turned from your sin, believed in Christ, and surrendered to his leadership, then now is the time to do so.

When we taught our son how to call 911 in an emergency, for a while he got it wrong.  We would ask, “What number do you call in an emergency?”  He would say, “991.”  Well, 991 wouldn’t help at all.  Emergency services won’t respond to that number.  It is important to know what to do in an emergency.

When you are faced with a spiritual emergency in your life it is important that you know what to do.  Turn to God.  James 4:7-9 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.

It is as simple as turning away from sin and renewing your relationship with Christ.

Question:  Is there a time in your life when you recognized you had a spiritual emergency and you turned back to God?  How did you experience God’s grace?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

When I was a boy, I didn’t grow up with Christian instruction.  I knew nothing of God’s eternal plan for us and didn’t know about heaven.

Focus on the Destination

Focus on the Destination


I had no Bible knowledge about the afterlife.  Heaven was a mystery to me and hell was just a word my parents used when mad.  So I figured, when you died, that was it.  Your body went stiff, they stuck you in a box, put you in a hole, and dumped six feet of earth on top.  I thought you were dead, unconscious, and that was it.

Yet I could not imagine being without consciousness.  So in my child’s brain, when I thought of death, all I could imagine was being aware that I was stuck in that box, six feet under, in that hole forever.  I was terrified.  I simply could not imagine non-existence.

Why couldn’t I conceive of non-existence?  God had set eternity in my heart.  The Bible says, “He has…set eternity in the hearts of men.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  We have an in born expectation that our souls go on.  The grave is not the end of our story.  There is more.

People long for what they have lost.  Read the first three chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-3) and you will see that God made the world good, without death.  Death came as a result of sin.  Since then the creation has not been the same.  Deep in our souls we long for that paradise lost.

The good news is that in Jesus we ultimately gain back what was lost to the sin that brought death.  Jesus, God’s perfect and sinless Son, took our sin on the cross, paid for it and rose again to life.  Because of this, those who trust in Christ are redeemed to God and will ultimately experience the fullness of their salvation in heaven.

When you accept Christ and have the assurance that you will be in heaven with God forever, it has huge impact on your day to day life.  Some people say things like, “She is so heavenly minded that she is no earthly good.”  But is that true?

The argument I make is that we are not heavenly minded enough as Christians.  We need to think on heaven more.  We need to remember we are merely passing through this sin-scared life on the way to a culmination of God’s plan that is every bit heavenly.

When we focus on heaven it can have great power over how we experience our day to day life.

I loved teaching my kids how to ride their bikes without training wheels.  But when I did, there was a challenge.  The hardest thing was to help them overcome the fear of crashing.  They would often fear mailboxes along the sidewalk as if the posts were going to jump out and hit them.

The problem was, instead of focusing on the destination down the walkway, they would fearfully focus on the mailbox.  And guess what.  They would hit it every time.  They always drove the bike toward their focus.

But when they learned to focus on the destination, they avoided the crashes.  They were able to ride the straight and narrow path without fear.  They pedaled forward with confidence.

Riding a bike and living with heaven in your sights is much the same.  Without heaven in your sights there are a lot of fearful distractions and alluring temptations to pull your focus and drive you into a post.  The fear of death, anxiety over money, the desire for achievement, lust of the flesh, greed, pride, all demand our attention as we pedal on down the sidewalk of righteousness.

So I challenge you, live with heaven in your sights.  Don’t focus on the fears and distractions that would pull you off of God’s path.  Remember that your life is meant for heaven and that nothing that we face on this earth can rob that from us.

Question:  How has the truth of God’s promise of heaven encouraged you to keep on pedaling through life’s challenges.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

When your soul trembles before the infinite holiness of God, you are changed.  You experience “Holy Tremors.”  In previous weeks I have written on the powerful spiritual impact an awareness of God’s greatness has on our spiritual experience.   If you have not read those posts I encourage you to read The Power Of Living In Awe Of God and Five Things That Happen When You Experience God’s Greatness.

God's Holiness

God’s Holiness

Here I will build on those previous posts by explaining…

Four Things That an Experience of God’s Holiness Compels us to Do…

1. Urgently repent of sin.  When Isaiah encountered the Holy Presence of God he cried out, “Woe to me!…I am ruined!  For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5)  When he experienced God’s greatness, Isaiah could not escape the truth of his own sinfulness.  He was compelled to confess that sin and flee from it.

Recently I read the entire Bible through in just 6-weeks.  Never before had I done this.  As I read chapter after chapter of God’s revealed holiness throughout history, I was overwhelmed.  I could not escape my own sin and was compelled to confess the many ways I miss God’s mark.

The great news of repentance is the promise of God’s refreshing grace. (Acts 3:19)  For Isaiah, his confession was met with God’s mercy as a coal from the alter was applied to his lips symbolic of the fact that God had provided atonement.  When we experience God’s holiness, we tremble, we are shaken from our love for sin, and gloriously we encounter God’s forgiving grace.

2. Assume a posture of reverence.  In Isaiah’s encounter we see the angelic beings, seraphs, in a constant posture of reverence before God.  The Bible says, “with two wings they covered their faces.” (Isaiah 6:2)  These angelic beings were keenly aware of God’s greatness and understood their place before his divinity.  Because of this they continually experienced the power of being in the presence of the One who is “Holy, holy, holy.” (Isaiah 6:3)

Why do we not experience more of God?  We do not treat him with reverence and awe.  We bring him down to our level.  We try to make him our “good buddy.”  But he is not that.  He is the LORD!  If you experience him in his power you cannot help but choose a posture of awe.  O’ that we would live with a continuous commitment to reverence everything that is of God.

3. Position for service.  Before God’s greatness, Isaiah reported to duty.  He speaks to God offering him his very life.  He says those famous words that we should all offer to the Lord, “Here am I.  Send me!”  (Isaiah 6:8)

This is so wonderful.  Encountering the God infinitely greater than you opens up the door for your significance.  When you truly reverence God, it becomes the passion of your life to serve him.  Nothing is more powerful than to surrender to the service of the Great God who created you and has history in his hands.

Today, would you dare to look to the heavens and say, “Here am I.  Send me!

4. Proclaim God’s Greatness.  The seraphs were unashamedly calling to each other about the greatness of God.  Isaiah begged to be sent out to proclaim that greatness to a culture that did not acknowledge God in reverence.  Why?  Because the greatness of God consumed the passion of these servants of the Lord.  O’ that this would become our motivation to proclaim the message of the Christ.  O’ that we would be compelled to proclaim his greatness to our children, neighbors, and the nations.

Experiencing “Holy Tremors” compels us to repent of sin, revere God in all things, position ourselves for service, and proclaim God’s Majesty.  May we become a people who tremble before God’s thunderous power.

Question:  What has an experience of God’s greatness compelled you to do with your life?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The great need of our day is for a soul shaking experience of God’s Holy Greatness.  Without this we will never experience thorough revival, nor the sweeping movement of a Spiritual Awakening.  In a previous post, “The Power of Living In Awe of God I argued that without a soul shaking faith in the Greatness of God people cannot not fully experience conviction of sin, nor the overwhelming grace of God’s saving love.

Awesome God

Awesome God

In this blog I will identify what happens to us when we open our spiritual eyes to God’s holiness and power.  Isaiah is our example.  In Isaiah 6, he encountered God’s holy transcendence.  It changed him.  It made him realize his brokenness before God’s greatness.

Let’s look at what happens to you when you open your life to God’s Awe-Producing Greatness…

  1. You recognize that God is all-together separate and above man.  Isaiah says, “I saw the Lord…high and exalted.” (Isaiah 6:1)  Angelic beings called seraphs hovered over God, calling out in thunderous voices, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:3)  Isaiah saw God was above him in every way.  This is so important for us.  If we see God as too familiar, our limited view of God blinds us to the greatness of God.  How sad and empty is our life when it’s not filled with a power greater than our own.
  2. You recognize that God is absolutely, immeasurably, and infinitely all-powerful.  Isaiah heard the angelic beings refer to the Lord as “Almighty.”  He has all power.  When you experience the Holy power of God, you boldly believe that God can do anything to advance His kingdom through you.  Can we share our faith with our friends?  Can we take the gospel to every home in our community?  Can we pray and see God answer our prayers for our nation and world?  Of course this is possible.  Why?  Because God is “Almighty.”  Our boldness in the work of God is directly linked to our belief in the greatness of God.
  3. You recognize that the evidence of God’s sovereign majesty is everywhere.  If you really allow your life to be open to the absolute sovereign greatness of God, you begin to experience his power everywhere.  The seraphs proclaimed, “the whole earth is full of his glory.”  O’ that we would encounter God’s otherness so profoundly and recognize continually God’s activity that is always at work around us.
  4. You are overwhelmed so completely that all other loyalties are shaken away, leaving God to be the prime value in your life.  The Bible says, the “doorposts and thresholds shook.” (Isaiah 6:4)  After this, it was difficult for him to find any reason to not be utterly devoted to the One True God.  Believers in our day are so divided between the pleasures of this life and the pursuit of God.  We need to experience God with such force that we can no longer imagine not devoting ourselves to him.
  5. Conviction of sin is so strong that repentance is the only hope for relief and accepting God’s mercy and forgiveness through the atoning sacrifice of Christ becomes irresistible.  The prophet cries out “Woe to me!”…”I am a man of unclean lips.”  (Isaiah 6:5)  When he sees God’s holiness, it was impossible for him not to face his own sinfulness.  We need this!  The people of God cannot move forward when we are shackled to sin we have become blind to.  It was only after Isaiah saw his sin that he was ready for God’s mercy and saving grace.  After Isaiah’s confession, God took a “live coal” from the atoning sacrifice and touched Isaiah’s lips declaring, “your guilt is taken away.” (Isaiah 6:7)


Let us pray that God will open our minds to more fully experience his awesome greatness.

Question:  What is it in our lives that prevent us from experiencing the holiness of God?  You can leave a comment by clicking here..

Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you.”  (Matthew 7:7)  He encourages you to be bold in asking for his involvement in your life.  Why?  The answer is simple and profound.  He cares!


Bold Prayers

The Lord cares for you.  He cares so much that he sent his Son to die on the cross and rise from the dead to secure your redemption, to bring you into right relationship with him.  He wants your prayers to be bold.  He wants you to approach his “throne of grace with confidence.” (Hebrews 4:16)

As parents, when our kids ask us for things we do not want to give, we think of ways to show them what they ask is not wise.  But when they ask us for things that we want to give, we are thrilled they are asking and eager to fill their request.  It is the same with God.

Knowing God necessitates knowing what God wants, what he wants to do in you.  When you know what God wants it is easy to know what you can pray for with confidence.

Here are six things God wants…

  1. He wants to meet your needs.  Paul wrote, “God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)  Often we get our greed confused with our need.  It is not that God wants to give us anything we ask for.  But he is eager to meet our needs.  You can know he wants to take care of you.  Be open to the way God will choose to meet those needs, but be not shy about bringing your need to him.
  2. He wants to guide you with his Word.  The Bible teaches “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)  He loves when you submerge yourself in Scripture, seeking guidance from him.  You can ask him to guide you and he will.
  3. He wants to treat you better than you deserve.  In the parable of the prodigal son, the Father (representing God) shows kindness, rather than rebuke, to his repentant son. (Luke 15) He treated the boy better than he deserved.  We didn’t deserve the gift of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but by his grace he gave it.  Perhaps you have failed, but do not shy away from coming to God in prayer and asking for help.  Maybe you don’t deserve the help.  Truth is none of us do.  But God is inclined to help the broken.
  4. He wants to turn your troubles into teaching moments.  When we are facing difficulties we often think that all is wasted.  But it is not.  God never wastes a hurt.  Every challenge is an opportunity for us to learn.  Instead of asking “Why Me?”  We should be asking, “What are you teaching me in this, LORD?”
  5. He wants us to return from our spiritual wanderings.  Some of us have wandered from our relationship with God, wandered from his ways.  We can be tempted to think that since we have wandered, God has written us off.  But that is not true.  In the parable of the prodigal we see the Father faithfully waiting for the return of his son.  God has not written you off.  He wants you to return and he is waiting to welcome you back into his loving arms.
  6. He wants to fill you with his celebrative love.  The Father in the story of the prodigal welcomes his wayward son home with a lavish celebration.  This is powerful.  It means the God celebrates when we approach him for mercy.  God celebrates over you.  You are that precious to him.

Knowing God wants to do these things, be bold in asking for him to do so.  He will celebrate in your asking.

Question:  How are you going to choose to pray more boldly now that you know God wants to answer your prayers?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

One night years ago I was jarred out of my sleep when an earthquake struck our area.  Beds shook, figurines fell off of shelves, and cracks formed in the sidewalks.  When tremors strike, things are shaken and forever changed.


Holy Tremors

I believe in holy tremors!  I believe in a shaking of the soul that comes when God’s holiness is dramatically encountered.  When the soul is shaken by God’s righteous transcendence, then former loyalties, lesser values, and selfish pursuits are abandoned.  When the soul is shaken these things are cleared away, making room for a singular loyalty to God.

We have lost that holy fear of God in our day.  God has become so familiar to us in our minds that we view Him as our big buddy in the sky.

This is disturbing in a couple of ways.

First, it robs God of the honor due Him.  He is the Mighty, Holy, and Transcendent God.

But second, it robs us.  It prevents us from truly being impacted by His Greatness.

I believe that the great need of our day is to be shaken with holy tremors.  O’ that men and women, boys and girls, in our world would be so shaken by God’s holiness that sin would seem utterly foolish and that we would surrender to the Master’s weighty lordship.

What does it take for this to happen?  It takes people like you and me encountering the Awesome Holiness of God.  It takes us willingly humbling ourselves before the Righteous LORD.

The great prophet Isaiah encountered the LORD in His holiness and power and it forever changed him.  In the temple he saw the LORD.  He witnessed angelic creatures proclaim that God is “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  (Isaiah 6:3)

And the temple shook.  But it wasn’t only the house of worship that was shaken, Isaiah trembled.  “Woe to me!” he cried out, “I am ruined!  For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5)

Isaiah encountered the weighty righteousness of God and that shook him to his core.  That caused him to get honest about the sinful condition of his life.  That compelled him to confess his sin and be willing to turn from it.

We must pray for our souls, our church, our community, our country, our world, to shake with holy tremors.  It is time for us to see God as Great and Awesome.

When we read the Scriptures and see God in His greatness, do we humbly tremble?  Do we recognize how grand He is and how small we are?

When we think of Christ’s love, His death for us on the cross, His glorious resurrection, do we tremble?

The old Negro spiritual asks the question, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”  Then the refrain goes like this, “Sometimes it causes me to tremble…tremble…tremble.”

Oh, that our souls would tremble before God’s Greatness, His Holiness, His Righteousness.  Oh that we would be overwhelmed by Him in every way.

It is only when we tremble before Him that we truly understand His power and begin to experience His overwhelming love.  Today, humble yourself before the Greatness of God.

Question:  In what ways have you experienced holy tremors and how has it changed your experience of God?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.