For the skeptical, spiritually tired, and turned off. For the hurt, disillusioned, and fed up. For those who can’t seem to embrace Jesus past their negative experiences or views of “Christians” or “church.” Perhaps, you should reconsider Jesus, and here’s 7 reasons why…
Jesus isn’t a political party- Despite what some have done in evangelical Christian circles to make Jesus a member of their political party, Jesus doesn’t have a political affiliation. He is separate, above, and beyond politics. Yes, Christians have political views and get involved politically. No fault there. But, any moral standards derived from Jesus are just that, from Jesus. Jesus has great relevance to politics, but exist outside of politics. As political parties claim to be more “Christian” in values and standards than others, it is important to let Jesus stand by Himself, outside of any one political affiliation. Loving and embracing Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean loving and embracing a certain political party. One does not require the other.
Jesus isn’t a club with a membership- At times, I think we Christians, with our churches, have done more to turn people off to Jesus than perhaps anything or anyone else. Jesus created, loves, and died for His Church. Jesus is totally into Church. But, much of what some have made church into, Jesus is not into at all! We have done a great job at majoring in the minors and minoring in the majors. We give more concern to people who have their Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving (and what kind of decorations they are) than we do to caring for orphans, the needy, and a host of other things that really matter.
We can’t separate Jesus from Church, but we must separate Jesus from what some have made church into. In fact, I would go so far as to say, Jesus has already separated himself from more than a few churches of today, the people there just don’t realize it.
Loving and embracing Jesus doesn’t mean you have to love and embrace every church or all the things we see happening within our Christian culture. There are many healthy churches out there that are true to the Gospel, and Jesus wants to bless us with a healthy church experience, but there is much within churches today and our Christian culture that Jesus has distanced Himself from and so should we. Loving Jesus doesn’t require loving “club-church.”
Jesus wants to be with you- Jesus loves you, unconditionally. He is not angry with you, eagerly waiting to push you under His thumb. Jesus loves you and likes you. No, not everything we do, but so much of what we are. Jesus wants to associate Himself with you; living with, in, and as you. This is the essence of His affection for you. Jesus is well pleased with you and believes in you. He looks well passed what we have or have not done all the way into the heart of His creative hand and imaging of our lives. No failure, inadequacy, or rebellion is past the gaze of His gleaming eyes of Grace and hope upon your life. Loving Jesus doesn’t mean being called out and shamed to the point up repentance and becoming the kind of person who religiously judges others. It is God’s kindness and goodness that leads people to changing their mind about Him and how to live, not punishment. Jesus loves you and is proud to call you His divine creation.
Jesus loves better than they do- No one is perfect but Jesus, no one loves perfectly but Jesus. Christians aren’t perfect. What we try to portray as being loving often falls short. In fact, in some circles, Christians aren’t loving at all. We have been known to shoot our own wounded, carelessly judge the world, and turn our noses up at people who we deem to be not as spiritual and pure as we are.
Jesus’ brand of love is deeper, wider, and greater than any Christian could consistently manifest. Yes, God loves the world through people, any over and over, God uses people to express and manifest His love to the world, often doing amazing things and having a huge impact. However, we all fall short of loving like Jesus loves us and others. We fail people, Jesus’ love never fails. We fail in loving people, Jesus will never fail in loving you. Loving and embracing Jesus doesn’t mean becoming the kind of unloving person we see some Christians display, nor does it mean that when Christians fail us or the world, that Jesus has failed, lacks integrity, or trustability. Let people love and bless you, but trust Jesus more, and feed on His supply of love the most. Then you will never hunger nor thirst again! Don’t judge Jesus by His followers, but by His Grace and love upon them, it’s the same love and Grace that is upon you.
Jesus is inside out- Despite what some Christians have made of the Christian life, Jesus is most concerned about what’s on the inside, not what’s on the outside. It’s your faith that is most important to Him, not your performance and spiritual gymnastics. Jesus works on the inside of a person, recreating them from the mind and heart outwards. Jesus is not into behavior modification, He is into life transformation.
Loving Jesus doesn’t mean trying and striving to live up to standards and steps of religious performance and behaviors that you know you can never perfectly master all the time. It is not a life of do’s and don’ts to manage, it’s a life of faith; learning to believe and trust the right things. It’s a life of your behaviors catching up with your identity in Christ, not your identity in Christ being caught up in your behaviors.
Loving and embracing Jesus doesn’t mean getting on a treadmill of spiritual performance exercises and tests. It’s not about striving and trying to progress spiritually as you compare and contrast your life to other Christians, rather, it’s about living from God’s success in completely recreating you through His finished work on the cross, actualized in your life the moment you believe. The Christian life is not about who you are becoming, it’s about who you have already become through His work on your behalf on the cross, received by faith alone.
Jesus is always on point- Jesus not only has truth, He is Truth. There is nothing false or faulty in Him. Debate nuances of the Bible as you will, but debating Jesus and His wisdom will leave you humbled at the very least, every time. He is the best picture God ever took of Himself. He is God. The Messiah. The One and only who saves men from themselves.What He says works, period. It’s always on time and on target. He is who He said He was, and what He says accomplishes what He says it will do. He is the source of all true wisdom, and His counsel in always on point. There is no One greater, nor any source of wisdom that is greater. He is time tested, scientifically undebunkable, historically documented, and faith proven.
Loving and embracing Jesus doesn’t mean you have to leave your brain at home, nor does it mean His is finite enough for our minds and understanding to ever fully comprehend. Jesus shows us enough to enable us to have faith, and withholds enough to make sure it is by faith that we receive, know, and walk with Him. We can see and receive some of the things of God through intellect, we see and receive the everything of God only through faith. Search the world over, everything you need is already in and from Him. Believe and receive.
Jesus is better than you think- Jesus is better than life, He is life. Jesus is better than love, He is love. Jesus is better than the church down the street. He is better than the Christian in the cubicle next to you. Jesus is more forgiving, more sacrificing, more merciful, more generous, more powerful, more real, more understanding, more trustable, and more gracious than you ever imagined. He is more capable and willing, more freeing and fulfilling. Taste and see (by faith) that the Lord is good, and your expectations will be exceeded. Hunger and thirst no more.
Reconsider. Let Him stand alone on His own nature and merits, and see how you have and never will stand alone. He is with you now.
Taste and see. Believe and receive.