Archive for December, 2013


Have you met Jesus? Yes? – Do you really know Him? Is there a desire in your heart to meet Him if you haven’t yet, or to get to know Him more if you have? Why wouldn’t you want to meet the most influential person in all of Human history, (http://tinyurl.com/n6bn3xz) especially when you consider His public life spanned a mere three and a half years!

Can I introduce Him to you? If you have met Him, can I show you more of Him than you know at present? To know Jesus is to have a complete life change. Actually there’s no way to meet Jesus and not have a life impacting experience!

This month we have spoken about Jesus to introduce Him to you and deepen your understanding of who He really is.

Week 1 – Born for pain – Jesus’ plan from the beginning was to suffer and die for the whole of mankind. He was born to die.

Week 2 – A life lived for others – The incredible passion of Jesus to love, serve and give to others.

Week 3 – The other side of Jesus – His dedication to purpose, a steely eyed determination to go to the cross.

Week 4 – Risen and Living – This week we see what is Jesus doing now. What has been His activity since He ascended up into heaven? Do you know what Jesus is doing right now?

The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well established events in history (see here http://tinyurl.com/n5kbad) having risen from the dead, of course Jesus is still alive and He is interacting with people’s lives all over the world. If you have religion – you have a dead founder such as Mohammed or Buddha and a set of rules to follow or learn. When you meet Jesus you begin a relationship with a living person. You begin a conversation with a person who is both fully God and fully man.

Think of the wonder of this reality. Before the moment of Jesus being conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, He pre-existed in heaven from eternity. (By the way, humans do not pre-exist before birth, Humans begin their eternal life at conception and pass on into eternity at the death of our physical bodies.) He was in spirit form, infinite, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. Then in one moment of time He was contracted to a span as the hymn writer says (http://tinyurl.com/krdwz6w ) and He became in the form of a human being.

Phil  2:6-7  Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [[b]possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not [c]think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped [d]or retained,

But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [e]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. (AMP)

Jesus had a body exactly like yours and mine. He had a body that felt pain, needed food, was subject to tiredness, every human emotion and function. That body of Jesus ascended into heaven after the resurrection. He is now seated on the right hand of the Father in heaven for eternity. Think about this – humanity has entered the Godhead! When we see Jesus at His second coming or if we pass before then, we will see, and meet and behold that same Jesus who ascended. He will still, and for eternity, have the nail scars in His hands and feet and the deep wound in His side.

Imagine the wonder and the gratitude of seeing those hands and feet. No wonder the angels fall before him and those who have gathered at His throne cast their crowns before Him.

Rev 4:9-10  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (ESV)

So what is Jesus doing now that He has risen from the dead? Has He been in the Bahamas since then taking it easy, having accomplished all He purposed to do? Is there a holiday home in heaven where He relaxes until the time of His second coming? Let me fill you in on what He is doing now and every day until His coming again.  (You realise He’s coming back again, right?)

Sending the Holy Spirit

His very first task when He ascended was to send the Holy Spirit into the earth: John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. (NKJV) The work of the Holy Spirit is to help the church complete the call to take the gospel to the whole world and make disciples in every nation.  The work is not complete yet. Of the approximately 210 nations on earth only a few yet remain to be impacted by the gospel. Still there are many ethnic groups on earth who need to be reached with the gospel. Speaking of His second coming Jesus says, Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Build the church.

Jesus main focus through the Holy Spirit is to build the church. He said Matt 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b]shall not prevail against it. Jesus is overseeing the building of a church that will reach the whole earth. He is at work through the work of the Holy Spirit to raise up leaders who will preach the gospel, plant churches and pray for the will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Make intercession for us.

Heb 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them. (AMP) Jesus who is seated in heaven Ephes 1:20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], ever lives to make intercession for us, pleading our case before the Father. As our advocate or Lawyer He makes a case for our redemption and deliverance, declaring that the faith with which we appropriate our salvation is sufficient to obtain the promises and enter into His family. Our prayer come up to heaven Rev 5:8 And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin] prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each was holding a harp (lute or guitar), and they had golden bowls full of incense (fragrant spices and gums for burning), which are the prayers of God’s people (the saints).

So when you need an answer or some help from above, and you call on Jesus, He is ready to make intercession for you at the throne of the Father. You are never alone. He is with you always even until the end of the world. (Matt  28:20)

We serve a loving Saviour and one who is always active to be with you and strengthen you every day you live in Him. So don’t do life alone. Invite Jesus into your life. Pray this prayer right now…

“Dear Lord Jesus, please come into my life, I turn away from my sinful lifestyle and I turn to you. Forgive all my sins and set me free. I chose to follow you for the rest of my life. I believe that you died on the cross for me and I believe that you rose again from the dead. Thank you Jesus. Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer for the first time and you want to walk with Jesus please contact me via the comment box below.


Ps Craig Anderson.

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Choose someone you would like to meet. Who would you choose? In all of human history, if you could choose to meet anyone, who would it be? Many of us have met Jesus, and we feel we know Him. But how well do you know Him? Would you like to know Him better? Listen as I share about the other side of Jesus.

What was Jesus like?

What was it like to meet Him and know Him? Can we get an insight into the experience that the 12 disciples of Jesus had as they met and travelled with Jesus for three and half years? He was, and is, the greatest figure in human history, He and His followers have made a bigger impact than any other person in history. Especially when you consider that he only walked the stage of life publically for three and a half years.

There was the people-person Jesus who preached simple but powerful messages, healed countless people and gathered the little children in His arms to bless them. This approachable Jesus, who healed foreigners even when He said He was called to Israel primarily, raised children to life from the dead, and gave a son back to his mother from the dead; had another side to His persona.

Jesus was incredibly focussed.

He had a mindset to that was unrelentingly pointed to one great purpose. His death.

The story began before the earth was formed.

Rev 13:8 And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, everyone whose name has not been recorded in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain [in sacrifice][a]from the foundation of the world.

In the beginning before time; the conversation may have gone something like this… The father says to the Son, Let us make man in our own image, male and female shall we create them. And they shall have dominion and rule the earth that we have made. Our love for them shall be complete. It is a love that shall cost us. What price shall we be prepared to pay for them? They shall need redemption. They shall need restoration and these things shall come at a cost, but whatever is of great value, our offspring, shall be bought with a price; and the price shall be that of blood. Jesus accepted the call and the charge pre-empting the words of Isaiah centuries later when asked who shall go for them?

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Then that which was written before the beginning of time but recorded by John was established: John 3:16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

The die was cast; the purpose set; the life of Jesus was destined for death and separation from the father for a time. He was now a man with a mission. And so He said:

Matt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Luke 9:51 Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem.

John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

Even when His well-meaning disciples were reticent to accept is impending death, He spoke strongly against their opposition:

Matt 16:21-23 21 From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised [k]from death.

22 Then Peter took Him aside [l]to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and [m]charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You!

23 But Jesus turned [n]away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are [o]minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.

Jesus single minded in His pursuit of His purpose was unassailable. He was a man born for purpose and nothing was going to dissuade Him from that purpose. Tell me if you can, what man is bent on death and the sacrifice of His life for others from the moment of His birth? Who in human history has determined to give His life for others as a long standing goal for their life? Can you think of one?

But this man, this God-man, who came from heaven was single minded and fixed in His purpose, so that the reason He came was clear and he remained unflinching to the end. His reason to live was that he may die, and not just die but die as a substitute, a ransom for many. There was the people-person side of Jesus but then there was this focussed, unflinching side of Jesus concerning His purpose. Every minute of every day He thought about why he came and He thought about what lay ahead of Him in Jerusalem at the last Passover.

Matt 16:21 21 From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised [a]from death.

Was He focussed? Yes. Was He intense? No, because even at His moment of death He gave a criminal on the cross beside Him the answer for eternal life. No power on earth or in heaven would be able to dissuade Him from the grand purpose of His life and that grand purpose was death.

What now?

Do you know Him?

And more than that what is the purpose of your life?

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I know you know Him. You’ve read about Him. Almost everyone “knows” Him here in Australia. In fact 40% of Australians claim to be a Christian; although only 40% of those go to church regularly.  http://mccrindle.com.au/resources/Australian-Communities-Report_McCrindle-Research.pdf   and   http://www.ncls.org.au/default.aspx?sitemapid=2260

But do you really know Him? What is Jesus like? What would He say to you if you met Him today? How would He react to the world we now live in?

Really today’s world, although vastly different in terms of technology and how we spend our time and what knowledge is available, is actually just the same as the world in Jesus day when you consider the problems people face.

For example sickness, relationship breakdown, stress and anxiety, and poverty are all real problems today just like they were 2000 years ago. His answers and approach to your needs and your concerns is the same as His approach to people in every age.

So why would anyone want to know Jesus? – Wouldn’t you want to know the greatest figure in human history? If He rose from the dead as the bible says, He is still alive and can meet you and have an impact in your life today. Why be put off by the crowd. If others don’t want to know Him does that mean you have to follow suit?

My story. When I was invited to church (That’s where you meet Jesus, right?) in 1977 by my best friend at uni, I decided that I was curious to find out who this Jesus was and see what His claims were. I argued with myself (or maybe the devil) and said, “I’ve got an open mind, I can look and see what Jesus is doing and saying and make up my own mind.” At the time God was planning an encounter for me to meet Jesus, and I am so glad that happened!

So what is Jesus really like? – The New Testament tells of His birth to a virgin, growing up as a carpenter’s son, and living in Egypt for the first few years of His life. Stunning the religious leaders at age 13 with His knowledge and wisdom, He only surfaced as a public figure at age 30 for three and half short years, until his torturous death on a cross at 33. It would be difficult to find one individual in any sphere of life who had such a world-wide impact and long lasting impact after only three and a half years of public life.

In the New Testament there are recorded many of His sermons and sayings together with 25 particular healing miracles, eight miracles in nature, five reports of multitudes being healed and three people raised from the dead. His messages are the most impacting things recorded, and how He treated people is what we will focus on today.

Jesus lived a life focussed on others.

Read with me this passage: Luke 8:40-56 (ESV)

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,[e] she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter[f] said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Jesus went among the people. You could touch Him. Today people who are famous or have megastar status seldom go among the crowds for fear of being accosted or injured. Royalty cautiously shake hands across a fence erected for crowd control. These people have fame, notoriety or entertainment value but Jesus topped all that by being able to heal absolutely anything on the spot. Can you imagine the crowd attraction? With celebrities today there’s a distance from the crowd but with Jesus He was in the midst of the crowd all the time. Jesus allowed this and moved among the people.

  1. Jesus was pressed on every side. The crowd pressure was enormous. Imagine the clamour to get healed! I saw what this was like in Ballarat when I was assisting a well know healing ministry person John Mellor to pray for people. JESUS LIVED FOR OTHERS
  2. Jesus made time for a needy person. This woman came to Jesus and she was essentially unclean according to the Jewish law, when a woman had an issue of blood she could not come out among people. JESUS LIVED FOR OTHERS.
  3. Jesus met Jairus, he was a member of the group that had so radically opposed Jesus because they did not like Him. Jesus showed mercy to him and raised his daughter from the dead. JESUS LIVED FOR OTHERS.

Jesus lived His whole life focussed on others. He made such a huge impact on this world, not just because He said really wise things, and not just because He healed people miraculously and raised them from the dead; but He was God and He had power to transform a life from sinful and broken to clean and righteous.

His miracles and lifestyle give evidence to his claims that He is God and He does have the power to transform a life. While His life is miraculous and amazing, it’s His death that we focus on because everything that you need is accomplished by His death. Jesus died for you. He was perfect and without sin and yet He took the punishment for sin that every one of us rightly deserve. For everything you and I have ever done wrong in our lives, we will give account. God knows everything, and sees everything. Because He is righteous, He must judge all sin; but the good news is Jesus choose to take the rap for you. That’s love! Your response? Knowing about Jesus is one thing but knowing Him is entirely different. You can read all about a famous person and know their facts and history but only when you have met them and become friends do you actually know them. You must know Jesus before you can see the reality of what He has done for you. You need an encounter. You need to meet Him. Jesus loves you. He lived for others to show His motive is love. But most importantly, He died for you.

What to do now. Jesus showed His great love for people all through His life and even more so by dying for them at the cross. He asked them for response, He said if you believe in me, you would have everlasting life. John 3:16.

If you’re already a Christian, then live this life like He did. Live it for others. Let his example of Jesus life be your pattern of living. What does that look like for you?


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