i don’t want my Jesus.

{note: this is a repost of something i originally posted elsewhere on September 9, 2011 someplace that not many (if any) of you know about. just fyi.}

“why…?”

the question’s been asked. and here’s my answer: i’m just taking everything that i believe (or did believe) and re-evaluating WHY i believe it.

i’m trying to get rid of some of the “perfectionism” burden and the guilt-seeping “rules” that are dictating my life day in and day out.

I mean, really… did God INTEND for us to get so focused on all the rules that we lose sight of what’s really important — Him? was it His plan that His children feel burdened down with a weight they were never meant to carry? was it His plan that Christians continuously fight a battle they cannot win… AND were never meant to win? somehow I think not…

and just who exactly is my Jesus? is He some guy who treated people like low-life slobs or crazy freaks? not that i can see. when i look at Him, I see a lot of overwhelming love, unmerited grace, unforgettable mercy, incomprehensible blessings.

i don’t want my Jesus to be someone who spends all His time with the publicans and pharisees. i want my Jesus to be someone who’s willing to get down in the dirt to show a sinner how much He loves them. i want Him to be the one who steadies the prostitute as she rises to her feet just after washing His feet with her tears and hair. i want Him to be the man dying on the cross while still having enough compassion to forgive someone who’s done Him wrong.

that’s all this is about, really. just looking for answers… again. but this time, the right ones. not the extreme left, and not the extreme right — the balance between the lines.

Thoughts…?

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Posted on October 13, 2011, in Christian Life, Personal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. You’re not the only one who wants to shed images of what we’ve been told about Jesus, and return to an understanding of the real Jesus as the bible describes Him. John Eldredge just released a book this week about that very topic. I’m a few chapters into it, and it’s great. It’s called Beautiful Outlaw.

  2. That’s what the Christian life is all about really, balance. It’s like you’re walking down a road with a ditch on either side, to one side we have extreme licentiousness to the other side we have extreme legalism. The place where you want to stay is in the middle. The realization that we cannot live the perfect Christian life should make us look to Jesus that much more, because he is not only the author of our faith he is the perfector of it as well. There is this tension to the relationship though, because where we fail makes us want to run and hide from God instead of run to Him as the perfector of our faith. You have some great thoughts here, but there are times in our walk that we have to remember that in Christ we are already righteous and rely on Him to shave off our rough edges. When is beautiful music made? When the strings on the instrument (assuming it’s a stringed instrument) have just enough tension to make them taught. When are diamonds formed? When there is extreme pressure. It’s times like those that I remember the doxology in the book of Jude: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

  3. I have several thoughts, but I think that they’re kind of jumbled right now because I’m on Lortab. Let me see if I can make them make sense.

    1. I’ve been there, where I used to struggle so hard with trying to follow all the rules. Eventually, I broke down, couldn’t do it anymore. I left my church, and started going on and off to another church. It was hard for a while, and for a while I drifted off into sin. But I returned to my Lord. Now, of course we are to obey the commands of Christ. They’re His commands, and that’s part of what following Him is about. But, it’s about grace, not about works. The works should be a result of the grace God gives you in your daily life. If we fail to do what we know is good and right according to Scripture, we are in sin. So, we need the power of Christ to help us through.

    2. Jesus actually did spend a lot of time with publicans, not so much with Pharisees. Publicans were the outcasts of the outcasts, akin to lepers, because they were Jewish men who were subcontractors for the Roman government, collecting taxes, and often charging unfairly. The thing about the Pharisees though, Christ never rebuked them for their doctrine. Just for their deeds. Something to think about.

    3. God(Jesus) is more than love and mercy. God’s overarching attribute is not love, and it’s not mercy, and it’s not justice, and it’s not vengeance, and it’s not omniscience or omnipotence or grace. God’s overarching attribute is His holiness. I would strongly encourage you to purchase The Holiness of God by RC Sproul. He really digs deep into what all that entails. Brilliant book. God’s love and justice are both tempered by His Holiness. Holiness is the only attribute of God mentioned in triplicate in Scripture. God is not love, love, love, or merciful, merciful, merciful, but He is Holy, Holy, Holy. We are to be holy as Christ is holy. And to an extent we are, we are clothed in the righteousness and holiness of Christ in the eyes of God. But more than that, we are also to walk in Holiness. So then the question becomes, how do I walk in holiness without becoming legalistic?

    A couple of books to read:
    The Holiness of God by RC Sproul
    Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll
    Desiring God by John Piper
    Knowing God by J.I. Packer
    Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen

  1. Pingback: the Jesus i wanted. « Grow Up!

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