I recently went to a leadership conference led by New York Times bestselling author John Maxwell. No one in the world has published more about leadership. But leadership is not his true passion. When asked about the one thing he desired most for the world he answered,
“To give people a true picture of God.”
Most of us have blurry vision. We don’t have a clear picture of Jesus and the transformational power he can have in our lives. This is not surprising. When imperfect people try to portray a perfect God, things don’t go well. Explanations in print, online, or in person are incomplete and awkward. Churches struggle to be relevant. People are turned off. The ripple effect causes most to not even explore Christianity.
That’s a shame, because if we understand who Jesus is – the greatest teacher, leader, and humble servant of all time – and see just how much he loves us, we will be amazed.
Let’s create three groups for illustration:
- People who are either indifferent to, or have rejected Jesus.
- People who admit belief Jesus, and even go to church, but live lukewarm, non-transformed lives.
- People who wholeheartedly believe and whose lives have been and continue to be transformed.
I would agree with John Maxwell and suggest the reason most people are in groups 1 and 2 is that they don’t have a clear picture of Jesus. Therefore most either reject him or live a lukewarm, non-transformed life based on incomplete or inaccurate information.
C.S. Lewis states in his classic book, Mere Christianity, that once you examine the actual claims of Jesus and His eyewitness followers, there are really only three alternatives for who He really is – either a liar, a lunatic, or our Lord.
My challenge to you: get to know the real Jesus. If you reject him as a liar or a lunatic after an in-depth exploration, so be it. At least you aren’t sitting lukewarm on the fence. But my prayer is that you will be transformed. Here some suggestions to begin your exploration:
- Read the Gospel of Luke, which describes the life and heart of Jesus, followed by the book of Acts which describes the birth of the early church. If your Bible has “thee’s and thou’s”, get a modern translation that is easy to read (NIV or NLT). Or use Bible.com for free, either on your desktop or smart phone. Your can even listed to recordings of the Bible and follow reading plans.
- Read the book A Search for the Spiritual – Exploring Real Christianity by James White. He does a great job explaining people’s most common questions about Christianity.
- Explore the Faith section of my website for a concise summary with links to resources: AnEternalImpact.com/Faith.
It would break my heart to have you live in a society that has all the information in the world literally in the palm of your hand, yet not be clear about what is most important for your life and eternity.
I agree with John Maxwell. I want more than anything for you to have a true picture of God.