Tag Archives: pain

Jesus IS the Answer

Jesus IS the answer

What this world needs is Jesus. There is no better way to put it.

Jesus is the only answer to pain and evil and suffering. He took our pain upon Himself so death is not the end for us. Apart from Jesus, there is no answer to the big three headed monster of pain, evil and suffering. We just have to hope against hope that we live a better life and don’t experience any pain, evil or suffering. But if something does happen, we are left to simply shrug our shoulders and keep going through life more numb. Other religions ignore it but Jesus is the answer for it through a relationship with Him.

Jesus is the hope of this world. Jesus resurrected from the dead to conquer death and the grave which gives us hope that no matter how bad this world gets, it is not our final home. There IS something better coming. When He was crucified, He didn’t just die as a good man. He died as the Son of God and because of this, He defeated the grave and because of this, we have hope that even though there is pain evil and suffering in the world, we have hope that when we also die, it is not the end and life only gets better for eternity.

Jesus is love. God is love and we love because He first loved us. We only know what love is because of God. Jesus was that love personified to show the extent to which God loves us. How else can we explain what love is? How do we know love apart from a loving God? Do animals know love? Not in the same way humans do.

Jesus is truth. How can we say anything is true or not true if there is no standard? Our emotions are not a good enough standard. We need an absolute standard that stands the test of time. If there is no absolute truth then we are free to do what we want. The man who shot and killed the 2 reporters this morning is simply acting upon what his emotions led him to do. If there is no truth, how can we say what he did, or what anyone else does is wrong? Apart from Jesus, we are left to the simple rule of the animal kingdom, where only the strong survive.

Jesus is life. Apart from Jesus, we cannot experience true life because life only happens through Jesus. This world has so many things that promise a life to the full. They all fall short of offering true life. Drugs, alcohol, sex, and anything else this world offers only leads to bondage and addiction. Jesus leads to freedom which is how life is best lived.

Jesus is God. As God, Jesus is able to be this and so much more. The true question comes in do you follow Him? Do you know Him intimately or do you know Him as an acquaintance? Saying you know Him but not allowing your life to show it is living a lie. Saying you know Jesus but living for yourself is a lie.

If you truly know Jesus and follow Him, the Bible has simple ways to know if someone is a Christian or not:

  1. Do you love God more than anything else?
  2. Do you love your neighbor as much as you love yourself?
  3. Are you making disciples?

How you answer those three questions will reveal if you know about Jesus, or know Jesus and follow Him. It is extremely sad what happened this morning to Alison and Adam. I pray for their families and I pray they had a personal, life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.

The answer this world needs and already knows IS Jesus. And for those who consider themselves followers of Christ, the world needs us to give them Jesus. We can offer the world nothing more and nothing less. It is time for Christians to take seriously what the Gospel of Matthew says in 16:24:

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

That is how we change this world. Will you?

My prayers go out to the family of Alison and Adam.

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A distorted view of God…

This post is a review of  the book God Distorted by John Bishop

One of the biggest issues in the church today is how people view God. With so many broken families and homes, it is easy to see why people have this perspective. For instance, when an individual comes from a home where they have been abused emotionally and physically, why would they want to trust a God who also calls Himself and wants to be known as Father? Many within the church might not understand when people are reluctant to enter a relationship with a God who loves them. What we fail to see is that many times people bear such scars emotionally it becomes hard for them to trust anyone, let alone someone they cannot see.

John Bishop does an excellent job sharing stories from his own life and how they affected his perspective and hindered him from easily accepting God as his heavenly Father. The front of the book says this about the book: “How your earthly father affects your perception of God and why it matters.” I can say that even though I did not completely read the full book, this would be a great addition for anyone’s library. Mr. Bishop is able to relate with those who have experienced broken homes because his own story can leave you in tears. His step-father left their family one evening and he never saw him again. Read what he wrote about this event:

Despite the abuse, his leaving created a gaping hole in my young heart. We were sitting at the dinner table at what was soon to become the last time I would ever see or talk to him. I don’t remember what set him off, but I clearly remember his anger as he picked up the table and dumped all of the dinner, plates, silverware, and glassware on my mom, grandpa, grandma, younger brother and me. We sat, shocked and speechless, as he proceeded to yell at each of us – using words I can’t repeat – before he finally left. I was just a young child – confused, lonely, wanting so desperately to have a dad in my life – and yet here I was again, watching another dad leave me. I ran after him as fast as I could, catching him just as he reached his car, and yelled, “Dad, please don’t leave me!” He glanced at me and, without hesitating, put his hand on my chest, shoved me to the ground, and said, “You are not my kid. You never were and I am not your dad. Get over it!” I sat on my driveway and watched as his car drove away for the last time. Another father gone and I hated him.

The first time I read this story, it brought tears to my eyes. I could not imagine any father being able to do this, even if it was a step-father. Along with that, I cannot imagine a father being able to say this to any child. From that you can see that John is one who is able to write this book from his personal experiences. I cannot imagine all that he went through, and at this point, his own son is in prison as well. John is writing from a position of pain and experience, and along with that, love for his son and others who have experienced the same thing. He writes to reach out to those who are struggling to accept God as their own personal Savior because they cannot imagine Him as a Father.

This book review is not as long as others but as I said, I did not read the book in its entirety, but from what I did read, it is worth your time. If you, or someone you know, has experienced life without a father, or with a father who was not there for you, or abused you or anything else that has left you hurting, this book will be a great encouragement. I highly recommend it.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.