The simple answer is: I don’t know! And just as importantly, I don’t need to know!
First things first… a little background about me. Not too long ago, I had a job that I loved more than anything. I think that was part of the reason I stood there four and a half years ago confused and baffled… devastated. It was more than a job. It was a calling; a mission. I was good at it! People loved me! I was a kids and youth pastor for 12 years. I didn’t know then but I do know now, I put that ministry before everything, even God himself! All in an attempt to feed my ego. …
The standards required of spiritual warriors are much different than the standards of ordinary people. The common practice among Christians today is to drag yourself to church on Sunday morning and then live in turmoil the rest of the week. For the spiritual warrior, though it is different. We know that the chosen life is about much more than going to church for an hour a week and then walking out the door and forgetting about it for another week. …
For non believers, the name of Jesus many times causes negative emotions. These emotions take many different forms. It confuses them. It embarrasses them. It makes them angry. It makes them want to change the subject. It makes them want to argue. But why?
If you go to a friend and bring up the subject of god (lower case) then people are ok but when you bring up the name of Jesus people have a problem.
When Jesus started His mission here on Earth people began to realize that He was making many amazing and hard to believe statements about who He was, why He was here and what was happening. How could a simple carpenter from Nazareth be saying such things?
So what were some of these statements that He made:
He was making claims that would make Him equal to God.
He was the only way to salvation.
He was the only way to forgiveness of sins.
Today we will begin looking at the claims Jesus made and decide if they were true. The truth isn’t about what you want to believe but what is real.I We live in a world were people believe in many different things and in many cases those things are not real.
So what about Jesus? Who did He claim to be? Are those claims true?
Let’s start at the beginning. He claimed to be God. Many different belief systems believe in a “god” or a spirit of the universe who created and is in charge of the world.Muslims, Jews, and Hindus all believe in a God that knows them personally and takes an active role in this planet’s affairs.
Believing in Jesus takes it one step further. God became man through Jesus. This is what makes being a Christian far different then the other belief systems. Jesus Christ is not a first and last name. In Greek the name Jesus means “the lord saves” and Christ mean “anointed one” which points towards a King and/or a priest.
The Old Testament promised His coming and the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus Christ is God. The references throughout the scripture could only apply to God.
These are so many scriptures in both the Old and New Testament referring to Jesus and how it had to be Him. The characteristics Jesus had can only be true of God.
Jesus is self-existent. (Existing independently of any cause, as God. –Dictionary.com) John 1:2 (NIV): 2 He was with God in the beginning.
Jesus is omnipresent. (Present everywhere at the same time.) Matthew 18:20 (NIV): For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Jesus is omniscient. (Having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding.) John 6:64 (NIV): 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
Jesus is omnipotent. (Almighty or infinite in power.) Matthew 8:26-27 (NIV): 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Jesus’ first followers were Jews who had very strong religious beliefs and only believed in one true God. Some of theses early believers included:
Paul who was named Saul a Jewish Rabbi. Before Jesus changed his name to Paul, he was a violent persecutor of the early church. (See Acts 8:3)
Peter a Jewish fisherman, who Jesus called at the beginning of His Earthly ministry. (See Matthew 16:16)
Martha who was a personal friend of Jesus. (See John 11:27)
Stephen who was the first Christian to be stoned to death for his belief. (See Acts 7:59)
Thomas who first doubted that Jesus had rome from the grave. (See John 20:25-28)
Jesus made some bold claims about who He was. He also did some amazing things in the presence of many witnesses:
Jesus himself claimed to be eternal.
He claimed to be equal with God.
Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath.
Jesus was in direct conflict with the Jewish leaders.
As Jesus said and did these things, the religious leaders of the day became increasingly angry.and hostile towards Him. They sought to kill him several times before His actual trial. There were several attempts at stoning Him and in one instance they tried to throw Him off a cliff. Why were they so angry?
They understood the claims that He was making and the things He was doing. It drove them crazy. He claimed to be the Son of God. He claimed that He had the ability to forgive sins. He healed sickness. He performed numerous miracles. During His trial He made claims that further infuriated the authorities. They never stopped to consider if His claims were true.
Jesus was put on trial for who He claimed to be, not for anything he may have done. During the trial Jesus confessed to being God (Matthew 27:41-43). You must decide if that claim is true.
Jesus is the only one who has and can offer eternal life. 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV) says “11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Will you accept His Offer?
Next time was Jesus crazy? Was He lying? Or is He God? There are no other choices.
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Many people don’t believe that the law of sowing and reaping works. There are those who will mock this truth. We live in a period where people are so interested in themselves that they refuse to look at the evidence. …
One of our world’s greatest needs is the ability and desire to share God. In order for you to take hold of all that
generosity has to offer, you must share God with every person you encounter. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.“xlvi I am not talking about pushing your beliefs on others, which will actually have the opposite effect on people than what you should be striving for. Don’t be pushy! Simply learn to share by the life you lead. Share by example! Live your life in such a way that people see the positive results you achieve. They will take note of it and that’s when they will begin to ask questions. …
We are taught at an early age that if we try hard enough we can be whatever we want. I do believe this, to a certain extent, but it misses the point of real success. Yes, if I spend my life working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week staying on top of all the financial journals and magazines, neglecting my wife and kids, forgoing real opportunities to do good in society and to help others then there is a very real possibility that I can be successful in making some money. If I did this, though, I would be miserable and so would everyone around me. I would add no real value to the world. I would just be a slave to what I think success is. …
I was at the gym early this morning and I got to thinking about my friends. It brought me into a place
I’m not talking about those people that you know casually. I’m talking about those few good, close friends that know you well. They are there with you through anything. They stand shoulder-to-shoulder with challenges you never thought you would face. They celebrate when you experience victory! …
That’s right… you read that right. Today I got wet and it changed my life!
I checked the weather before I left the house this morning. I saw lots of clouds but no rain drops. Sometimes I need to remember that I live in Connecticut, a place where the forecast is never very accurate. In fact, the weather sometimes changes from hour to hour. …
When people think about the topic of generosity what usually comes to mind is money. More specifically, their money and what they need to give away. Generosity certainly includes money and how much of your money you give away to help others. That is only a small part of generosity though.
Yes, generosity is much more than giving away money. Generosity is about time, talent, knowledge, wisdom, faith and just about anything else that you may possess. In fact, you are very unlikely to become financially successful unless you learn to be generous in all areas of your life. …