WHY SO MANY REJECT JESUS

The reason many reject Jesus is because they have a wrong understanding of who He is. They have “heard” this or “felt” that but have never really “Seen” who He is. This is exactly what we discover in the last few verses of the book of Job. The book of Job is full of misunderstanding God and what He’s about. Thankfully, in the end, Job sees. He said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). So you see, once Job finally saw, he “repented”, his mind was changed.

As long as we base our understanding of Jesus on what we’ve always “heard” or “felt” we will never know the real Jesus. It’s only when we “see” for ourselves, and come to know who He really is, that transformation takes place.

I would encourage you to get to know who Jesus really is and stop letting what others say, what you’ve always thought, etc. to prevent you from getting to know Him. I promise you what you will find will surprise you, delight you and change you forever!

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SHALL WE NOT RECEIVE EVIL?

The story of Job gives us a peak into the council room of heaven like no other book in the Bible. We read where Satan joined in on a heavenly meeting. God pointed out Job as a “blameless and upright man who feared God and turned away from evil.” Satan started doing what he does best, accusing. He said, “He only serves you because you have put a hedge about him. If you touch all that he has he’ll curse you to your face.” At this point it’s on! God tells Satan he can do anything to him except kill him.

Without going through all the details here we see Job loses just about everything he has: his oxen, donkeys, sheep, servants, camels and his sons and daughters. This all happened in one day mind you, and the Bible tells us “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not so sure this would be my first reaction. Job truly did understand something most of us have yet to learn and that is God is the only true power in the universe and everything that comes into our lives is there because God means it.

I can here the objections now. Someone will say, “Louie, what about the devil then? Isn’t he the enemy that causes all these destructive things?” I would say yes in one sense he does, but as we can see here God is still God and he set up boundaries for Satan that he could not cross. Let’s read a little further.

After Job lost all of his possessions and children Satan once again comes to God to ask for more room to get at him. He says to God, “If you just let me touch him he will curse you to your face.” God lets him at Job but tells him he has to stop short of taking his life so Job now finds himself covered in boils head to toe.

At this point his wife comes to him and says something that sounds very familiar to we that have been privileged to the conversation between God and Satan. Jobs wife is now being operated by the enemy. She says to Job, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God, and die!” But he said to her, “you speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Wow! What a thing to say! Do you mean we are to receive evil from God?

You see Job understood one thing and that is God is the only God. He has no rivals. He is the one who said, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God.” After the first two chapters of Job we don’t hear of Satan again. Jobs friends come to console him and they never once talk of Satan’s influence in the tragic events in Jobs life. I suppose you could make the argument they didn’t even know there was a Satan; I’m not sure about that. What I’m getting at is even though such awful and tragic things happened in Jobs life he always understood God was in it.

According to the scriptures we know Satan is the one that brought about the calamity but we also know God is in charge of it all. So in a sense God didn’t do the evil but at the same time he set Satan loose on Job. The real issue here is not assigning blame rather understanding God is still in charge and he will bring glory from it all. I once heard “The devil is still God’s devil.”

Seeing God in everything that comes into our lives is key to keeping our peace. Living by faith in Jesus Christ doesn’t always mean we are going to feel at ease or have clear skies all the way but we can know God is working even in the darkest night.

Another story, found in Genesis, teaches us this same principle. Joseph was mistreated by his own brothers, thrown into a pit and sold into slavery. If that’s not enough he was then falsely accused by his boss’s wife, put in prison and forgotten. Eventually he was released and rose to a high position in the Egyptian kingdom just in time to provide for the very brothers that had such evil intentions toward him. At the close of the story, when his brothers come groveling to him in fear, Joseph says, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Joseph had come to see God had been the one to orchestrate each and every step of his life in order for him to be there for his brothers.

Of course the ultimate picture of receiving evil from God is the cross. Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, went to the cross completely innocent of any wrong doing on our behalf. In fact Isaiah tells us “But the Lord was pleased to crush him, putting him to grief…” Just like we would Jesus had a struggle with this as we see in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed three times for his Father to come up with another way, but in the end he said, “If I must drink this cup then your will be done.” Jesus received evil from God in order to bring about our salvation.

I must admit I don’t understand all there is to know about this subject matter, but I do know once we learn to see everything in our lives as coming from the hand of a loving Father rather than an evil, hateful devil it is much easier to take. Never forget God is still God and he is never caught off guard. He is actively engaged in every aspect of our lives working it all out for our good and his glory.

Written by Louie

THAT I MAY KNOW HIM

Coming to a knowledge of God has very little to do with how many books you’ve read or how many Bible studies you’ve attended. Don’t get me wrong I love reading and would let you borrow some of my books in a heart beat if you were interested. What I’m talking about is a knowledge that only comes from getting to know a person. For instance the Bible says, “Adam knew his wife Eve.” This isn’t talking about sitting down and interviewing her to find out what her favorite color is or when her birthday is. This means Adam became one with Eve. This is an experiential knowledge of someone that only comes with spending intimate time together.

When the Bible talks of knowing God it means a knowledge that only comes through walking by faith through some hard stuff. In this case it’s learning who God is by how he always keeps his promises. Getting to know someone and their character can only come about over a period of time living with them.

Do you remember the story of Job? According to the Bible Job was an upright man and yet God pointed him out to Satan and let him bring all sorts of pain and loss into his life. Throughout the story we find all sorts of thoughts and ideas about why Job was going through all of the turmoil. Eventually God says to Job “Let me ask you a few questions.” He proceeds to grill Job about things Job knows absolutely nothing about to prove a point. Job had really no business questioning God’s character as to why he does what he does. Before Job’s trials he had an idea about who God was but now on the other side of the test he “knows” God. He says, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees you; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” It was only after going through some difficult things that Job really came to know God.

The Apostle Paul is another man that thought he knew a lot about God but discovered he was wrong. We’re introduced to Paul as a very religious, intelligent, zealous man. He thought he was doing what God wanted him to do by persecuting followers of Jesus thinking they were being lead astray. After meeting Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus he was changed. He had been introduced to who God really was and spent the rest of his life in pursuit of Christ in order to know him more intimately.

In Philippians 3 Paul runs through a long list of his accomplishments. He said he was “circumcised the eighth day, he was from Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.” In other words, if there were ever anyone that we would say knew about God it would be Paul. If you keep reading though you will discover after he came to know Christ he thought all his accomplishments and credentials were nothing more than rubbish. He said, “I have counted all of this as loss… I count them as rubbish so that I may gain Christ…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings… Wow! Did you catch that? Paul came to understand that to really know Christ one has to suffer with him. You see, when you suffer through something with someone you get to know them in a way that is unattainable otherwise. My prayer is that we can keep my eye on Christ through the suffering knowing he is ever-present in it.

Knowing Christ involves a little bit of suffering, but “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.”

Written by Louie