Did God Really Say Part 2
Creating God in my Own Image
Is it true that we all have to give up something to follow Jesus? I think it is. When I think about what Jesus did for me, the cross and the resurrection, I ponder a Jesus who is a finisher. He said, “It is finished.” It was. He hung there, bled, gasped for air and finally died. That was sufficient enough. His final moments before His death were brutal and agonizing. He died in place of the entire world. He was the Jewish Messiah who was to come and as it turns out the Savior of the entire world. But, on a more personal level, He met me in my sin and brokenness and redeemed me. Personally, I have experienced Him loving me and changing me.
During the journey to discovering Jesus I began to notice something. I noticed that I wasn’t comfortable with all of what the Bible teaches. I noticed sometimes Jesus was speaking and it was as if he could see my vile insides. There were sayings and concepts that I knew were in the Bible growing up, but now that I know Him when I am confronted with those words I must act and follow after my Savior.
No one who has any type of witness in the world around them has come to Christ and not had to give up something. Jesus does that. He asks us to part with our idols, our false selves, our false identities, our sexual misconduct, our business indiscretions. He deals with us on a personal level. He does it in His time and for His purposes. Someone may be a new believer and keep right on doing the same old thing that goes against scriptural teaching. But, if they really met Jesus He is working on them. We also don’t all start in the same place and it may take quite a long time.
I bring this up because so many read the Bible for loopholes. So many are looking for a way to get their friends into the Kingdom. The thought is something like: “I know what the Bible says about this or that, but my friend will never change that area of their life. Maybe if I investigate further I will find there is some gray area.” Sure enough if you go online you will find someone to agree with your point of view and even give you some more ammunition for battle.
Before long like a wood working master craftsman you are creating God in your image. He now is not as judgmental of your friends. He is not calling them to accountability. He is less hard on you as well. He is everything you want in a God and a Savior. You don’t have to miss out on heaven. You don’t have to change. Your friends are fine, the way they are. You have successfully molded God in your own image. It sounds crazy, but this seems to be the approach of many in this culture where what it means to follow Jesus is up for grabs.
The next step is when we keep repeating the same thing in an aggressive and angry way, this then is when the new idea becomes considered truth in our culture.
Instead we should act in true faith. Jesus says, “If you seek you will find (Matthew 7:7).” No one stays on a continual search. We all have ideas about God and life that we will not let go of, even if Jesus stood right in front of us and told us. But, true faith says, “I will go to the scriptures and find Him.” I will try to understand Jesus. I will try to understand God’s Word in it’s original context. I will seek Him no matter what I find, I will follow Him.
The truth about your friends whose lifestyle, attitudes, feelings, etc. conflict with the Gospel is they need to see the choice clearly, to make it. When you water down the Gospel for them you are making a tragic error. The message of the Bible is not for you to conform to your friend’s life. Their life is to be transformed by the Gospel. The Gospel calls people out of their life to follow a Savior who was willing to be crucified for them. Therefore, we should crucify our own sinful desires and follow Him. He knows the way and it is his instructions we need to master.
Also see click on these links for further study.
To Better Understand the New Testament. Take, “The New Testament Challenge.”
Here is what Tom Ziglar, “Proud Son of Zig Ziglar,” has to say about the New Testament Challenge.
“The New Testament Challenge by Aaron Mitchell is the perfect way to experience the New Testament in one year. The one page per chapter guide is perfect in helping you to understand God’s truths and how to apply them to your life. One day at a time, one chapter at a time, will change your life over time.”
– Tom Ziglar
CEO of Ziglar, Inc.
Find Out More, including links for purchase!