Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted | 7 comments

Is Jesus Living Up To Your Expectations?

Is Jesus Living Up To Your Expectations?

 

Way too many people who believe in Jesus, aren’t living the life that He promised. It’s a fact.

And so after a while, they look at Him and think to themselves: Being a Christian isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Jesus isn’t all that He promised to be.

I wonder if you know anyone like that …

 

Jesus Promises Rather a Lot

He promises peace (Phil 4:6,7), joy (John 15:11) and hope, riches and power (Eph 1:15-23). He promises a completely new life (2 Cor 5:17), an abundant life (John 10:10) and an eternal life (John 3:16).

Now that’s a very quick summary (and of course there’s more where that came from – lots more). But if you had only what’s promised in just those six passages, would that rock your world? Would it change everything? Well, every man, woman or child who places their faith in Jesus has those things already. It’s that simple.

So … why are the pews of churches full of people who don’t appear to be impacted by that; excited by that; totally transformed by that; radically energised by that?

 

A Narcissistic Perspective

We are, to a greater or lesser extent, products of our times; our social context. And the catch cry of our times is, quite simply, this: What’s in it for me?  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen Bible-believing Christians approach their faith, their Lord and their Saviour with that same attitude.

So … Jesus … what’s in it for me?

I’m not being critical, just stating the facts.

We imagine somehow that the ways of this world are the ways of the Kingdom. And therein lies the problem. What we need is something that will change our perspective. Something that unlocks all that Jesus has to offer us, in a world that’s told us since we were born – it’s all about you.

What we need is a different perspective.

 

Enter … A Different Perspective

AM_w_deathrow-20130708220949155102-620x349

Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted of one of the most brutal crimes in Maryland’s history. It took a jury just two and a half hours to send him to the chamber. 

Kirk Bloodsworth however, is also the first man on death row in the US, to have been exonerated by DNA evidence. Evidence which proved, conclusively, that he didn’t do it. You can read his full story here, but just listen to what he said about the moment he was told that the guilty sentence and his death penalty had been overturned:

It is as clear as the vision before me now,” says Kirk Bloodsworth, who was exonerated in 1993 after nine years in prison. He was sitting on his bunk in a death-row cell when his lawyer was ushered in and told him he was innocent and would be released in a few days. He began to weep.

”Of course I cried. Everyone cries at a birth,” he says. ”I have been born twice, once as a baby and once as a grown man and after that I saw the whole world fresh.”

That experience has transformed his life. He is now an ardent campaigner against the death penalty and has devoted his life to that cause. Why wouldn’t he? He’s been born again, and that’s changed everything for him. Absolutely everything.

He sees the whole world “fresh”. His re-birth has utterly transformed his life.

 

Are You Born Again?

I mean really, are you? 

Here’s the thing. Kirk was given back his short, temporal life on this earth. And just that (which is nowhere near as significant as our eternal life) has transformed the guy. He’ll never be the same again.

You and I … once we were on death row too. Not a temporal death row. An eternal death row. And by some amazing quirk of grace, we too were exonerated – not because of DNA evidence, but because Someone else went to the chamber on our behalf.

And my friend, that … that is meant to change everything. Everything!

Ephesians 2:1-10

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ —by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

 

So Here’s My Challenge to You

Just put yourself for a moment in that cell on death row with Kirk Bloodsworth. Imagine that you’re there. You’re him! The cell door swings open, and your lawyer walks in. Now take this passage from Ephesians and treat it as though it is exactly what the lawyer said to you. How do you feel? Do you cry?

Of  course you cry. Everyone cries at birth. You have been born twice, once as a child and once when you accepted Jesus. And after that, you see the whole world fresh.

So get on with it! Live your life as though this is the single, most important thing that you ever heard. Because it is.

And as the Spirit of God brings this amazing truth to life in your heart, it will change everything. Everything.

Because … that’s the way it was always meant to be.

 


________________________________________________________

Other posts you may find interesting ...


7 Comments

  1. Yes my life is different since being saved 3yrs ago, yes some of the excitement has worn off, but I have joyous moments. The current season of my life has me clinging to the bottom of Jesus’ robe like the woman afflicted by blood. I am clinging for dear life, but my lips are silent. I am reading my bible, but to my shame it feels dry, but I have faith that this will pass. I feel I am dishonouring Jesus when I force myself to read the Bible but this is the only way I know how to push through this current wilderness. I’m afraid, but have put my trust in the only person who won’t let me down, my Lord Jesus Christ. Recently I have not been sticking to my Bible plan, almost like I’m afraid, then I catch up and feel dry instead of comforted.

  2. Hi Berni
    This world can put you in such a rut. Personally I believe a good attitude can take you a long way. That is so right, we were on death row and Jesus unlocked the door and set us free that is hard to comprehend but I think a lot of us look inward and realise we don’t deserve it instead of realising we really are forgiven. So even though the enemy has a temporary lease on this world God still bestows beauty around us all the time. We know things in our head but need it from our hearts. I’m just learning but we can be victorious with nothing. Worship Him and rest in His presence

  3. Hi Berni,

    WOW! How hard to imagine being on death row and then being told you are free… such an emotional moment and the senses of crying, laughing, shouting for joy would overflow a being in his situation.

    Yes I think born again is what I am and others are too. I was a lukewarm Christian until my life changed, thanks to God. I cried at the realization and still cry happy tears and thank him for what I have today. Every day is different but it doesn’t need to be a super day. I am learning to enjoy life better by how I react rather than be distracted by how I think I need to.

    Very recently I was thinking it was my last day…..I have been fighting a bug and my blood pressure could not be read at the hospital as it was off the charts. My heart was racing and beating so fast. I felt a combination of anxiety, stress, and a real sense of what was happening and I was incredibly scared, not to mention my husband and child’s state seeing me shake uncontrollably.

    But before this happened I was laying down at home in bed and I felt awful but as I prayed I told myself to have faith in God and ask him for help. I couldn’t relax and I closed my eyes and it didn’t feel right as I felt I needed to be checked out. But I lay there hoping to feel better but I got worse. I closed my eyes and saw a circle, spot figure, and thought is this a tunnel that people see when they die??? I don’t know it was like seeing a spot in my eye after a camera flash had taken a photo of you… but I got a pretty clear message that I needed to get some medical attention. Only minutes before I left home for hospital my phone beeped letting me know I had a text. So I read it and it was my brother who knew nothing of the state I was in. He said “Ang, are you ok??”

    We do this often, send messages or ring when I am ringing him, or if one of us is unwell the other will call. So today I asked my brother and he said he text me because he had a bad feeling and wanted to know if I was ok.

    While I am writing this now, my Auntie did the same thing 2 years ago and rang moments before I was admitted with acute appendicitis. She had no idea I was ill. She has just sent me a text me while writing to you today and is concerned for me. She knew I had been off colour but no idea of the latest episode as no contact had been made for 3 days. She has sent this message this second wanting to know how I got on at the doctor and to send her love and letting me know she cares???

    I am recovering….I believe this is Gods mysterious way of sharing grace and letting us know there is someone always looking out for us through him, with him and in the unity of the holy spirit.

  4. Brilliant Berni!

  5. So Berny
    Why am I just as miserable as the next christian in the pew.
    Yes I cried when I was born again and it was a wonderful experience, I know where I will spend eternity and I look forward to all that that will be.
    BUT life for me is so ho hum, one day after an other. Roll on death, heaven must be better than this.
    Regards
    Malcolm

    PS. Yes I know what it cost Christ to save me.

    • Read the bible for yourself.

      • Trust the Word and Obey the Word. Then you will see your life change.

I'd love to know what you think ...