Jesus1st.Net

I love Jesus because Jesus 1st loved me.

17 April
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Twitter in Jesus’ Day

This is a cool look at what it might have been like if the events of Jesus’ life had been played out on Twitter.

 

13 June
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You Wouldn’t Love This Jesus

You say you love Jesus. But in all candor, you love your Jesus. You love the Jesus  you have fashioned for yourself, who values the same things you value and who is—pardon the pun—your own personal savior.

But, if Jesus were to show up right now, would you love the true Jesus of Scripture? Perhaps you would, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t love this Jesus. I know I don’t. I’d like to— I’m trying to, but His words go so far beyond my understanding or my desires of what I want God to be. He doesn’t fit into my box or my preferences. I doubt he fits in yours.

This Jesus says it is the poor in spirit and the meek who are blessed, not the righteous and the whole. This Jesus says to the poor, “you are blessed already” and looks at the rich and says, “sell all you have and give to the poor.”

This Jesus says the person you wouldn’t even pick for a janitor at your church is His choice for all the riches in eternity.

This Jesus gives to the poor, the injured, and the hungry without asking that they first become self-sufficient. This Jesus forgives the drunks and the prostitutes before they are rehabilitated. This Jesus eats dinner with people you wouldn’t let in your house— or want in your neighborhood.

This Jesus says it’s not for you to judge, not for you to fix and not your place to criticize the speck of dust in your neighbor’s eye until you have removed the giant tree limb from yours. In both cases, the solution to sin is in His hands, not ours.

This Jesus says your clothes, your car and your mansion don’t buy your spot in Heaven and neither do your good deeds nor your high standing at your church. This Jesus says your good deeds have about as much place in His Kingdom as a heap of filthy rags. He says no matter what you do, you are unworthy and only He is worthy.

This Jesus says you are not God, not close to God, nowhere near even being the god of your own life. Then, He offends the entire world by saying He is God.

You wouldn’t love this Jesus. For He comes into your church and flips over tables, shuts down your church bookstores, tells your pastors to stop charging money for courses where His word is being taught. He tells you, you can’t play favorites with His family members, can’t put one social class higher than another and can’t stop another class from hearing His message.

This Jesus forgives thieves and liars. He forgives women who have abortions and the doctors who perform them. This Jesus is a friend to the people you have deemed untouchable— while at the same time, He is a friend to you. Then, He tells you to love your enemies.

This Jesus says let your giving and your praying be done in secret. He says don’t take credit for your good works or righteous acts. He says all glory is His, and instant gratification simply isn’t in the cards. He flies in the face of prosperity teachers who say God shows financial favor and gives material possessions to those who love Him. In fact, this Jesus says you are blessed when you are mocked and persecuted for following Him.

Do you really love this Jesus?

26 November
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Jesus Isn’t What You Think

Jesus was conceived out of wedlock to a poor family from an underprivileged city and in a stable inhabited by livestock.

His mother was surrounded by scandal. His earthly father was a common day laborer.

When he grew up, he was homeless and a bit of a drifter. He was tried and sentenced to a criminal’s death for upsetting the religious establishment of his time.

Yet, his Father was royalty. If you are impressed by pedigree, you can not find one better. If you are drawn to power, you cannot find one with greater power. If you like influence, there is no one more influential.

But Jesus was despised, ignored and rejected. He was the envy of no man. He was sacrilegious, untraditional, kept close friendships with bad company and taught a message so repulsive to religious leaders that they had him killed.

If He lived today, the outcome would be no different.

23 November
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This Might Be Offensive

More country music about Jesus.

When I heard this one, I didn’t like the comparison at all. I thought the idea of Jesus as a “hillbilly” was offensive. For some reason, “country boy” was easy to stomach, but not hillbilly. Afterall, the latter is so unsophisticated and looked down upon—and then I realized what I was doing.

Father, forgive me!

23 November
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Jesus Was A Country Boy

I’ll admit it.
Sometimes I listen to country music.

What can I say? I have eclectic tastes in music. (And everything else.) One thing I notice about country music though is that when a country songwriter sets out to write about faith, they go much deeper and add more emotion than most Christian music. The following song is one of those. It takes the life Christ lives, translates that into what it would mean in today’s culture and makes several profound points. Take a look.

29 August
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Missing The Point

Jesus didn’t die to change people’s sexuality.
He died to change their standing before God.

Jesus didn’t come to stop abortion.
He gave His life to bring eternal life to sinful people.

Jesus didn’t give His life away for the right to bear arms.
He died to set humanity free from sin.

Jesus didn’t walk among us to take away mental illness.
He became a man to redeem the world’s sinful nature.

Jesus didn’t come to talk about science or how we got here.
He came to talk about our need for redemption and to bring us Home.

Jesus didn’t arrive to herald a political revolution.
His concern was delivering us from the rebellion of our hearts.

Jesus didn’t come to tell us about healthy eating and natural medicine.
He came to heal us from our brokenness.

Jesus didn’t come to give us more faith.
He came because our faith is small.

Jesus didn’t come to show us how to “get right with God.”
He came to make us right with God.

Jesus didn’t die to give you prosperity.
Jesus died on a Roman cross because you couldn’t pay your debt.

Jesus came, walked among us and died to rescue humanity from sin.
When we don’t realize this, we make the same mistake as those who missed Jesus 2,000 years ago.

21 August
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Introducing Jesus

This video, performed by Steve Harvey at one of his comedy shows, depicts how Harvey would introduce Jesus if he had the opportunity. Rob-Roy at streetfishing.org posted a blog about this video and poses the question as to whether or not this is an effective God-pleasing introduction, or an introduction that pleases Satan because it omits any mention of Christ’s work on the cross. Take a look at the video and see for yourself:

What do you think? Do you agree with Rob-Roy? Personally, I’m not sure where I land on this question. I do know my introduction would be a lot different. Here’s what I would say:

Ladies and gentlemen,
I’d like to introduce you to the only person who has ever loved me unconditionally.
I’d like you to meet the One Man who values me enough to travel a journey of billions of miles just to find me when I’ve wandered away.
The Man who gave up all His power, all His glory, all His dignity and His very life just to adopt me into His family.
I’d like you to meet someone who really cares, truly loves and always protects.
I want you to know The One who loves me in spite of me.
Even after all the times I haven’t trusted Him and all the times I’ve betrayed Him, He still keeps coming back for me.
I hurt Him every day and I do an incredibly good job of making Him look bad. Yet, He still cares and doesn’t leave.
My life makes Him look like a liar and a fraud.
But He is still faithful and unchanging.
I shrug Him off and put others before Him like He means nothing,
But the truth is, He is everything.
Without Him, I am nothing.
I’m not even worthy to speak His name.

That about sums up what I would say. How would you introduce Jesus?

12 August
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Which Jesus Do You Follow?

If Jesus returned today, would your church accept Him? Would you? This video and the song that goes with it does a good job contrasting the Jesus depicted in the Bible with the one followed in American Christian culture. Take a look for yourself.

08 August
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Are We Sheep or Goats?

“Now, before we can give anyone food, we have to make sure they are really in need and not taking advantage of us. If we serve meals, let’s make sure each person only gets one and nobody tries to go through the line twice.”

For I was hungry, but you would not feed me.

“I can’t believe those builders. Today was the second time one of them has come into our yard, turned on our hose and stolen our water.”

 I was thirsty, but you would not give me drink.

“I know we should give to the poor and the needy, but these are illegal immigrants. They are in this country illegally. Why should I give to them?”

 I was a stranger, but you would not welcome me.

“I spent 100 bucks on this shirt. Besides, last time I gave to the needy, we didn’t get a thank-you note. People are so ungrateful!”

 I was naked, but you would not clothe me.

“Visiting hospitals just isn’t for me. I don’t know what to do when confronted with terminally ill people. It’s uncomfortable.”

 I was sick and you would not take care of me.

“I don’t understand prison ministries. Why should we waste our time and resources on people who broke the law. They need to pay their debt to society first.”

 I was in prison and you would not care for me.

 Then they will answer him, “When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and we would not help you?” The King will reply, “I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.”

13 June
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How Does Jesus Fulfill The Law?

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
Matthew 5:17 

When Jesus says He has fulfilled the Law,
He means we could not keep it. So He did.

When Christ says the Law is completed,
He means sin is no longer an issue and because of His work on the cross it is finished.

When Jesus claims the requirements of the Law are satisfied,
He means He has built a bridge that religion could not build.

How does Jesus Fulfill the Law?
He is the Lord our God. He was there when the Israelites came out of Egypt.
He is the Name above all names that so many have used in vain.
He is the one true God that we have all put our own idols before.
He is the Sabbath rest for all who are weary.

Just as Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years,
Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan for 40 days.
Just as God’s message was delivered in Israel to 12 tribes,
Jesus’ message was delivered in Israel to 12 disciples.

Just as Abraham was instructed to sacrifice his son on a Mountain in the region of Moriah,
God sacrificed His Only Son on a mountain, in the same region.

Just as sin and death entered the world through Adam,
Sin and death met their end through Christ so that the world might be saved.

The Law is called the Word of God. It was delivered by the mouth of God and written by the hand of God,
Jesus is the Word made flesh. His spoke as God. His hands were pierced and the Law was fulfilled by His blood.

Jesus satisfied The Law because
No other sacrifice can make peace between man and God.
But Jesus is perfect peace.
Jesus is fully man.
And Jesus is fully God.