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Monday, July 28, 2014

What does Jesus look like?

Posted by Gary on February 7, 2014

Revelation 1:12-18  “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

I have titled this post, “What does Jesus look like?” as a follow up to my most recent post, “What did Jesus look like?”. The distinction being Jesus’ appearance while on earth in contrast to what He looks like now that He has returned to His glory in heaven.

The Bible says virtually nothing about what Jesus looked like during His time on earth except that there was nothing in His appearance to attract us to Him (Isaiah 53:2). But in the first chapter of the book of Revelation, we find a detailed explanation of what Jesus looks like now and it is my great hope that contemplating this description of Jesus will transform our understanding of Him and transform our lives.

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What did Jesus look like?

Posted by Gary on February 5, 2014

Isaiah 53:2  “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”

In almost everyone, the mention of the name of Jesus brings to mind a handsome man, with long brown hair and beard. You can see Him in your mind’s eye can’t you? There He is, knocking on the door with no handle or laying across that large rock in the garden of Gethsemane praying. We know Jesus when we see Him don’t we?

The truth is, Jesus did not (does not) look anything like the pictures of Him we have admired and hung in our homes thinking that they can bring down some blessing on our house, keep the devil away or at least make Jesus seem nearer to us.

How do I know what Jesus looks like? I don’t. That is the point and neither do you or anyone else for that matter.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

I love it! The God of glory thunders

Posted by Gary on July 9, 2012

Psalm 29:3  “…The God of glory thunders…”

Job 40:9 “…do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like His?”

You’ve got to see this footage from a recent Texas Rangers game. At the top of the fourth inning lightning strikes with a thunder that drives one player to all fours and umpires and players run off the field in fear.

Minnesota Twin Denard Span Tweeted after the game, “That’s the loudest noise I’ve ever heard. I thought Jesus was comin!”

Watching these  events I couldn’t help but think of Scripture’s description of unsaved man and his reaction to the appearance of Jesus:

Revelation 6:15-17 “Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Peter tells us that the seeming delay in Jesus’ return is linked to His patience and His desire for men to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). Man’s response to Christ’s graciousness is an increasing irreverence toward the Son of God. We plunge ourselves deeper into the sin that offends the holy God. It would appear that we do not fear God at all.

This mere thunderclap from heaven dropped a man to his knees and sent many fleeing. Let me assure you, this demonstration of power is nearly nothing compared to what God is capable of. God merely lifts His finger and men tremble. What will we do on the day when He roars from heaven? Watch this three minute video and heed the command of the angel of Revelation:

Revelation 14:7  “Fear God, and give Him glory…”

Does God hate?

Posted by Gary on May 21, 2012

Before you proceed to read this post please consider the following…I can honestly say that I do not have a greater fear than to be found saying something about God that isn’t true. By His grace, I take my privileged calling as a teacher about God very seriously. This being said, there are two dangers when it comes to saying things about God: The first is the obvious danger of saying things about God that are not true. The second danger is less obvious but just as wrong and that is a refusal to say things about God that are true. This generation of believers needs to be challenged in regard to their view of God. Do we believe in the God who is, whose being and ways often bewilder and astound us or are we insisting on a God who fits nicely in our little box? The God of the smiley face who conforms to our thinking and never does anything that defies our thinking? God is who He is. Let us as His creatures humble ourselves and worship and adore Him as He reveals Himself to us.

1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Psalm 95:10-11 “For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways. “Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest.”

Psalm 11:5 “The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.”

Malachi 1:2-3 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have You loved us?” “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.”

Let it be said at the outset that it is the Christian’s great joy and glory to proclaim that God is love. Note the verse from 1 John 4 above does not say that, “God loves” or “God is loving” it says that, “God is love”.

This means quite simply that God is the source and fountain of all love. If He is love then there is no love apart from Him. The love a husband has for his wife or that a mother has for her children comes from God. The love a child has for his puppy or the love between good friends is at its root, from God.

This is true not only for believers but even for atheists and agnostics. They may not believe it or accept it, but the love that the atheist has for his wife he has from God and it doesn’t need his acknowledgement to be so. God is love and there is no love without Him.

This being said, does the fact that God is love mean that He cannot and does not hate?

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Selective hearing?

Posted by Gary on May 18, 2010

I read today that Ted Turner wonders if God is talking to us in light of the recent Gulf Coast oil spill:

“I’m not a real religious person, but I’m somewhat religious. And I’m just wondering if God is telling us he doesn’t want us to drill offshore,” he said. “And right before that we had that coal mine disaster in West Virginia where we lost 29 miners,” as well as repeated mining disasters – “seems like there’s one over there every week” – in China. “Maybe the Lord’s tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Your Jesus?

Posted by Gary on January 15, 2010

This past Sunday our sermon Scripture was Revelation chapter 1 which includes a description of Jesus that I believe is so far from our conception of Him. This of course is the glorified Christ, as He is now after the resurrection in heaven and what do we know about such a Jesus?

Revelation 1:13-18 “and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Hair white as wool? Eyes like a flame of fire? Feet like burnished bronze? A voice like the sound of many waters? A sharp sword coming from His mouth? A face like the sun shining in its strength? A presence that causes even apostles to fall to the ground?

Our idea of Jesus is basically a gentle hippy. Long brown hair, deep blue eyes ( no flames in the eyes of our Jesus). Our Jesus has a gentle face with cheeks it would seemed brushed with rouge, the real Jesus’ face cannot be looked upon for the light from it is blinding. We could throw our arms around our Jesus, John sees Him and falls at His feet as if he were dead.

Our Jesus is only love and love to us means that He wants us to do whatever we think will make us happy even though what makes us happy is unholy and unlike Him. Is our Jesus the same Jesus who rules with a rod of iron and treads the winepress of the wrath of God Almighty?

Revelation 19:15  “From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”

Please be certain that your Jesus is the Jesus of the Bible and almost certainly you will have to make some vast adjustments to your perception and thoughts. With all this said, the awesome, fearful, holy Jesus is full of mercy toward those who fear Him and have placed their faith in Him. For those like John who fall down before Him His response is always and mercifully, “Do not be afraid…”

No further comment needed

Posted by Gary on January 16, 2007

Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be members of his household. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”