Articles for Jesus - Do You Know Jesus?

     Many will know OF Jesus, but those who KNOW Him know that there is a difference.

     For me, this came when I completely grounded myself in Him and my Faith, thus leading to truly seeking Him and studying the Word.

     Years ago, my form of "religion" was studying ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and the Sumerians, and watching hit TV shows such as "Ancient Aliens" or different series on Gaia Network.

     I tried to fit God and Jesus into all of this. I always knew Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, but until I had a moment in life where God was the only card I had left to play to relieve me of mental stress and anguish, I didn't KNOW Jesus.

     Once I did, suddenly everything fit. It dawned on me that it was so simple, and I was the one making it complicated. Jesus is Lord over everything. He is our Lord and Savior. That's it. That's all that really matters.

     Once you ground yourself in this, your perspective on the world changes and importance of certain things increases and decreases. For me, I realized that everything I used to study in ancient world history DOES fit in the Bible, just not in the way I was trying to make it fit. My eyes opened to the demonic things right in front of me.

     For example, once in a while, I still come across an episode of "Ancient Aliens", but now I watch it from a biblical perspective, and all these "big questions" they pose with somber music and fear eliciting images actually are not scary and have an answer in the Bible.

     I remember watching one episode in particular about a missing Mayan civilisation that vehemently practiced human sacrifices, namely blood sacrifices often done to children, and they were performed in hopes of pleasing some demi-god "from the sky", and they also posed a question along the lines of, "Where did they go? What happened? Who were these beings that visited them and they performed sacrifices to?"  Of course, it was dressed up with flashy images and scary, somber music in the background, and the person narrating it had a curious tone of voice.

     Well, once grounded in Faith, I knew that the Word teaches that satan is the prince of the powers of the air. I also knew then that blood sacrifices are completely demonic and not of God.

     Yes, once God tested a man to see if he would kill his only son, (Genesis 22 with Abraham and Isaac), but that didn't go through and it was a required test of Faith in Abraham, completely different from actually spilling the blood of youth repeatedly for centuries.

     And then, is it any wonder why this civilization vanished and was left scattered and in ruins? The Old Testament has many recounts of old lands and groups of people that God destroyed and said would never be built or established again due to their transgressions against Him. Perhaps civilizations that practiced blood sacrifices like this are one of them?

     I'm not saying that's exactly what happened in this situation, and am merely using a possible example, but one can ponder just as much as a show like this will try to convince you that it has nothing to do with God.

     This was another point I noticed after being saved - when I studied all these ancient religions and civilizations, and even shows such as "Ancient Aliens", I came to realize that they all suffered from one thing in common, and that was a complete lack of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Even before Jesus' time, God was present and so were His Angels and the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament tells much about this.

     Circling back to the topic question, there are questions one should ask themselves if pondering whether or not they KNOW Jesus.  Back in the late 1960's through early 1970's, renowned author and writer J. I. Packer posed 4 questions to test yourself to see how grounded in Faith you are and how well you "know God", which I have elaborated on as well:

1- Do you have great energy for God? 

In other words, does God motivate you?  Do you feel riled up when you see anti-God things take place around you?  When God is being defied or disregarded, does it bother you?  If you answered "No" to any of these questions, or answered a weak "Yes", then perhaps this is a good place to start.

2- Do you have great thoughts of God?  

The Book of Daniel teaches us how Daniel viewed God, in which he often exclaimed the phrase, "Praise be to the name of God, all wisdom and power are His forever and ever..."  Do you think about God in this way?  Does this amazing sense of His Holy Majesty, perfection and grace keep you humble and dependent, awed and obedient to Him?  If you answered "No" to any of these questions, or answered a weak "Yes", then perhaps this is a 2nd good place to start....

3- Do you show great boldness for God?  

In otherwords, would you stick your neck out for God, even if everyone else tried to tell you He was wrong?  Daniel and his friends were men who stuck their necks out for God, and not in a foolish, hard headed way.  They refused to accept untrue and unsound doctrine, such as being forced to worship the image of Nebuchadnezzar, which they refused.  They KNEW God.  They worshipped God.  They refused to worship another man because they KNEW God and KNEW that He was the only one they should be worshipping.  

Think about our world today, and some things that are being forced on society that you and fellow Christians KNOW is wrong and against the Word of God.  Will you stand up for what is correct?  Will you stick your neck out for God, because you truly believe in your heart that He is all that matters, and understand that ALL of this is His now and forever, regardless of what man tells you?  If you answered "No" to any of these questions, or answered a weak "Yes", then perhaps this is a good 3rd place to start....

4- Do you have great contentment in God?

In otherwords, do you have peace of mind possessed with full asurance that you have known God, and that God knows you, and that this relationship gurantees God's favor to you in life, through death and on forever?  Again, in Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw his friends into a blazing furnace if they did not worship his image.  They refused, because they firmly believed that either God would save them now in the physical world, or He would save them to everlasting paradise in the afterlife.  It didn't matter either way to them!  They would have died for their God and their belief, love and trust in Him.

But, as you know, something miraculous happened when he threw those 3 men into the fire.  Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the fire! They were walking around, unharmed!  The Lord not only rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and He was with them. From then on, Nebuchadnezzar praised God and issued a decree forbidding anyone to say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

So, as you ponder what was discussed here, do you know Jesus?  Can you answer confidently?  I think it is very possible that we all, myself included, have some work to do on our Faith when we compare ourselves to some of the best exmaples of men who stuck their neck out for God.

Stay safe, and have a Blessed day my friends!