Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
How can we know and experience the Gospel (good news) of the Kingdom?
I think it’s by linking up with Jesus as your best friend. You see, Jesus never presents his life principles in the form of a list or set of doctrines. Jesus presents himself as the embodiment of life-the very essence of the good news or gospel of the Kingdom. So, the secret to experiencing and enjoying the gospel of the Kingdom is to be found only in Jesus.
We’ve discovered that only Jesus can give us certain things in life-things that we all seek. For too long we believed we had the answers to their needs and struggles. We didn’t! The bottom line is we could only suggest some tools for them to help themselves. But, at best, these wonderful tools enable a person to achieve a level of reformation by reforming himself or herself. Certainly this is helpful, but reformation can only work with symptoms. Transformation is what is needed at the core level-an inner change of heart. And it’s transformation that Jesus can bring into anyone’s life.
What is it that Jesus can give you that you can’t get on your own or from someone else? Since we’ve been following Jesus we have found four experiences that have become amazingly real to us.
What is really needed is a genuine change of heart-to see your life, predicaments, and people differently. Several years ago, we set out to study only the five Gospels for three years-Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. We did this in order to get to know this Jesus. This focus proved to be life changing! It was through this Jesus journey that we discovered what only Jesus could do for us that we cannot do for ourselves. We have no capability to change a person’s heart. We can’t give people peace. We can’t give people joy. We can’t give them love. We can’t, but we’ve come to realize that Jesus can!
Again, we are not speaking of the religious Jesus. We are referring to the most prominent and powerful person ever! And, in the most pragmatic way, this Jesus seems to be able to affect these internal changes in people. Even though we’ve experienced this personally and have observed his effect in people who need what he has, we find ourselves caught up in the joy of actually seeing it happen.
There’s something about Jesus without religious baggage-his words, his actions, his loving ways, his bent toward the disenfranchised and especially his name-that brings healing and wholeness to the heart and mind. Jesus is truly the most effective person you can embrace for yourself. It’s this embrace I want to focus on. I see it in actuality as “linking up” with Jesus-hanging on to Jesus so tightly and securely-as you would link up with your very best friend.