The world acknowledges two Jesuses: the Jesus of the Scriptures and the Jesus of culture.
The Jesus of culture is not the true Jesus but one who conforms to the world.
I am writing to the followers of the Jesus of Scripture. The Jesus of Scripture wants to lead you and me as a shepherd leads his sheep, a general leads his army, and as a faithful father leads his family. This type of sovereign leader knows the way that will bring wholeness, goodness, and abiding mercy and love to the object of His love and grace. The Jesus of Scriptures is looking for a people who will give their hearts to Him so He can prove Himself strong on their behalf.
In the midst of trouble, confusion, evil, and destruction, God is constantly asking us for our hearts that say, “Yes, Lord, no matter what—for Your glory.”
I believe our Lord Jesus is asking us to not lean on our own understanding, but trust His loving loyalty in all our circumstances.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6, NASB
My interpretation of that verse is when I cannot understand the finger of God or His hand, I know I can trust the heart of my Savior. His ways are beyond my understanding, but His love can be trusted for our good.
Remember in the depth of His sorrow and pain, His thoughts were on you and me as He whispered to God, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).” He could have added, “But You know, Father, what You are doing through Me.”
And even today as Jesus asks us for our obedience to His ways and words, it’s only because He wants to ravish our hearts with His presence. Brothers and sisters, we are never alone. He is with us, and in us, and in this very hour is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). Yes, with tears and with sorrow and pain, Jesus is there in every circumstance of our lives.
Oh, praise the Lord for He is good. His love covers us in all our circumstances. His purposes are for our highest good.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits.” -Psalm 103:2, NASB
I think today that most Christians would agree that the Church is on the defense in America and that we are in a state of retreat because we have lost our moral authority. I lose my moral authority when Jesus does not become prominent in everything that I do and every decision I make. Remember the passion of His life when He went into the temple and exploded with passionate rebuke?
“For zeal for Your house has consumed me … .” -Psalm 69:9, NASB
Yes, this is the Jesus of Scripture that dwells within each of us. And yes, Jesus wants our hearts, so He can give each of us His passion and His compassion for our world today.
Jesus, DO IT AGAIN in each of us. Today, Jesus, use me to bring hope and peace to those around me, in Your name.
Yes, I know we each desire to know and serve the Jesus of Scripture, but all the saints and heroes of our faith had to take risks in the culture in which they lived. Remember, we are really in a war zone for the hearts and minds of those in our network. The biggest consequence of not saying, “Yes, Lord” and going public with Jesus is never getting to see what God would have done if I had said something.
I will follow these thoughts with the story in the book of Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They took the risk. They went public and got thrown in the fiery furnace.
Take courage, and meditate on the words from the book of Job.
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him … .” -Job 13:15
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.