Friday, 31 January 2014

Do you know Him?

Do you know Him?

There's this video online, that crops up every once in a while. It's this old black preacher, in the old melodramatic Pentecostal style, asking his audience if they know Him. It's inspiring and powerful, and the slides that someone created to go with his speech make it even more impactful. The old preacher uses the names of God and the result's of Jesus' sacrifice to emphasize that there's so much about our salvation that we take for granted.

But really, when you stop and think about it, do we really know Jesus?

Jesus, the One called the Word -- the embodiment of the spoken Word of God, that by Him God created the entire universe. Everything we see around us, every pebble, every snowflake, every squirrel and icicle and rabbit and cloud was made by the Word. And, on top of that, Scripture teaches us that it is because of this Word that everything still exists. Scientifically, this would make sense, as scientists still don't know why an atom sticks together at it's core. When we all know that like-charged particles repel, how like-charged particles are so bound together in the core of an atom nucleus, that separating just one atom releases enough energy to blow up a city .. that power that holds them together is called by scientists "nuclear force", but by Scripture, the Word.

It is this powerful being that limited Himself into a finite human body, was born as a helpless baby. I have a 9 month old, and I've been having babies frequently over the last 5 years, so I'm quite familiar with them. And really, there isn't much that is more helpless than a newborn baby. About all they can do is squall and suck and.. well poop, for the polite term. They can't feed themselves, they can't communicate in any meaningful way, and they certainly can't clean themselves up. They depend on their parents to care for them. Talk about trust! Imagine, the Creator of the Universe, dependent on two human beings to care for His physical needs, and make sure He stayed alive..

Do you really know Jesus?

When I read through the story of His life here on this earth, the familiar words sometimes make it hard to see the real Jesus. I mean, He got tired. He was dirty. It's not like there was a ton of running water around, back in 30 AD, and well, He didn't even really have a home, so when exactly did He wash?? He got hungry, had to eat and drink.. and well, use the bathroom too! None of that is mentioned in Scripture, but He really was human, so all that we do, He must have done too.. He was one of us.

And yet, He was better than we could ever be without Him. He never once sinned. He didn't give into those lustful thoughts we expect from men when they see a beautiful woman -- he certainly admired beautiful women, but he didn't treat them as servants or objects. We see Jesus treating even the outcast woman, caught in the middle of adultery, with kindness and respect!  He didn't lash out when he was hurt by a friend, even though even his best friends turned on him when he needed them most. And he even forgave them, sought them out and worked to restore that relationship. He didn't even act superior, when it was obvious he was, but treated the lawyers and teachers and Pharisees that came to test him with absolute respect. He showed how to act, how to think.. how to love even the most unlove-able of people.

Do you really know Jesus?

His life was miraculous and powerful, but His death was even more so. He wasn't robbed of life, He gave it. In spite of tremendous pain and agony, physically, emotionally and spiritually, He still had enough control that He gave his life away. And why? Why in the world would someone give their life up?

Jesus did it for love.

We don't understand this kind of love. To us, there's "I love my dog." and "I love your hair!" and "I love my child." and even "I love my spouse." There's casual love, there's parental love and there's sexual love. This kind of sacrificial, unconditional love doesn't exist in our world. The closest we come is parental, and even then, if it really came down to it, a lot of people would give up their child to save themselves. In fact, they do, daily -- that's why we have legalized abortion. We do not understand the love that put Jesus on the cross, kept Him there, and gave Him the power to give His life away.

I don't know we really do know Jesus.

If we really knew Jesus, we would know how much He loves us, because to know Jesus is to know Love. If we really knew Jesus, we would be able to ask and receive His best-- His healing, His grace, His acceptance, His provision, His direction. The struggle would be taken out of the Christian life. If we really knew Jesus, trusting Him would be a no-brainer. So when He would ask you to give your last $100 to a certain missionary, you wouldn't hesitate -- He's good for it.  When He'd ask you to go to Bible college, despite it meaning you moving cross borders and requiring money you don't have right now -- you'd fill out the application forms anyway, because you'd know -- He's got it. When He would tell you to forgive the so-called friend who gossiped about you, and probably will continue to do so, despite your request to the contrary, you'd forgive anyway. How could you not, when you know Jesus?

If we really knew Jesus, we wouldn't be trying to earn His salvation. We'd be grateful to Him, in confidence of already having it. Condemnation would have no place to stick to, because knowing Jesus would erase any doubt about what you've done or not done -- it wouldn't matter anyway, because Jesus took care of it.

Knowing Jesus takes the struggle out of the Christian life.

Do you really know Him?

How do you know if you know Him? Your actions will prove it.

If you love God, you will love your brother-in-Christ.
Those who worship Him, worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Fear God and live.

Do you know Hiim?

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