encountering Jesus (part 3)

Today many people say that they have “encountered” Jesus in their life.  Unfortunately many people haphazardly say that they are Christians.  Typically people look back on a time when they prayed with a man on television, to raising a hand or walking forward to the front of the worship center during a church worship service, or some sort of goose bumps that went up their spine while they were praying.  People say that such experiences prove that they have encountered Jesus.  

But can this be true?  Is the garb that we wear, the music that we listen to, and the youth group that we attend are enough to prove that we have encountered Jesus?    

Well, if it is of any consolation, I say that the Bible gives no such proof.  In fact, what we read in the Bible to determine if we have encountered Jesus is that we are to,

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13.5, NASB )

I would add that if we profess Jesus as Lord and declare that we have encountered Him as our Lord and Savior, then our life will show such evidence.  Let me explain.

What if I told you that I was changing a flat tire on the interstate just a couple of weeks ago and the lug nut to my tire fell off and rolled into the middle of the interstate.  Since it rolled out into the middle of the road, I ran out to pick-it-up.  After bending down to retrieve it, I looked up to see this obnoxiously huge cement truck plummeting towards me at over 100 mph.  The sad thing is I did not have enough time to get out of the way and I got hit by the truck. 

Would you believe me if I told you that this really happened?  Why or why not?  Hopefully you realize that this really didn’t happen to me, because if it did I would not be able to write for this blog.  In fact, I imagine that you would say that I am a liar, because it is impossible for us to have an encounter with such a large, fast moving object and not be changed.  I would say that you are right.  Now the question is, what is bigger and more powerful, God or the cement truck?  Since God is much larger and more powerful than the cement truck, should our lives not be changed in some shape, way, fashion, or form?  So, have you personally encountered Jesus Christ?  So, have you ever encountered Jesus Christ?  I’m not asking you if you ever prayed a prayer, or raised your hand during a church service, or walked down the aisle to pray with somebody, or if you have grown up in church.  These things do not save you; it is personally trusting in Jesus Christ in faith.  How then would I know if I have ever encountered Jesus Christ and have been saved?  Have you examined your life to see if there was a change from the way that it was previously lived?  Do you desire God and the things that please Him?  It is not perfection that we look for, but rather that we live a life that is sensitive to the things of God, to the things that please and displease Him.    

     

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4 Responses to encountering Jesus (part 3)

  1. For me, I depend solely upon the faith I have in the invisible God. Its by faith, not deeds that we are saved…

    I also constantly am being renewed and refreshed in the Lord, finding Him in the secret place, and constantly seeking Him for new joy… It seems every time I think about Him, there is new joy, and I’m constantly strengthened and prepared for the future and for the things I have to constantly deny…

    God is so good.

  2. Well, I left a comment earlier, I believe, and let his continue it…

    I was reading a verse today, and it says in Hebrews 12:4-11 that if we are disciplined by the hand of God so our sins may ultimately not continue, because they truly can if God doesn’t discipline us… It also says if we are not disciplined, then we are not sons… So just saying, in a sense, if we are not being “disciplined” by God, or, in other words, starving the desire for sin, then we are not sons.

    So maybe this is our confirmation that you were talking about tonight… I thought I would just stick that out there and see what happens… 🙂

  3. Jesse Wisnewski says:

    Stephen, great thoughts! I really enjoyed this last post and would agree that the passage in Hebrews 12 plays directly into what I have been talking about the last couple of weeks. If we have “encountered” Jesus Christ then we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5.21). Therefore, we are given new desires and passions for the things that please God, which ultimatley bring Him glory.

    This does not mean that we will be perfect, for we will always struggle with sin (check out Paul’s example in Romans 7.14-21). However, we will continually progress and become more like Jesus Christ in our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions.

    By the way, I really like the imagery of “starving the desire for sin.” I picture the presence of sin being starved and withering away, to allow for more room to live lives please to God.

    The LORD keep you and bless you! See you tomorrow.

  4. Thanks!
    This weekend was my defining point, and I want to thank you for listening to God and showing us the video that you played. It was so convicting, and I do believe that I have found the true meaning of being a Christian. “I am a new creation, the old has past away, behold, the new has come.”
    I have vowed to God to follow Him, and I know that I have been forgiven.
    I was saved, and I am still saved, and I know that I will forever be saved.
    Thanks Jesse. I know now that this is the only, true important thing in life… oh, and playing games;)

    God bless you too!
    -Stephen

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