The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






A Matter Of Faith

Will the real Jesus please stand up?

By Pastor Joel Lawler

There are MANY denominations, churches and faith systems that claim to know Jesus. They, despite their differences, say they are based on His teachings. Some groups claim that they are THE ONLY way to know Jesus. Could they all be wrong? Are some of them right? Is only one of them right? How does someone choose and know for sure that they are getting the REAL Jesus?

The real Jesus wants to be known and will reveal Himself to those who earnestly seek Him. He sees past all the external junk straight to the person's heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I think it is a mistake to get caught up in the whole label deal (Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, Presbyterian...) Those boxes and boundaries are something that we (sinful man) cooked up. Regardless of what label someone wears, Jesus is seeking to have a relationship with each and every individual right where they are.

God knows those who are genuinely looking for Him and He will reveal Himself

Pastor Joel Lawler

to them.

Luke 11:9-13 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and gently knocks. He wants a relationship with us. God created us to be in a relationship with us. We broke off that relationship when we chose to rebel against Him. The consequences of our choice was that we could no longer have a relationship with Him. He paid the penalty of our sin and offers a way back to Him through His grace.

Revelation 3:20 "'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."

No one has a complete grasp on the real Jesus but those who sincerely seek Him are growing daily in their relationship with Him. No one can judge your or my heart. We cannot judge anyone else's heart either. It is between you and God.

Matthew 16:13-16 "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

"They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Jesus, in the above passage cut to the heart of the issue. He was not concerned with what other's were saying. He wanted to know what His disciples thought He was. Jesus is not concerned with what group you belong to. He does not care which church that you are a member of. He is not impressed with titles in front of your name or letters after it.

His question to you is the same as it was to His disciples, who is He to you?