Friday, June 7, 2024

The Jesus We Need to Know

I read about a book recently, about people who were raised in evangelical Christian homes who are leaving the church. It talked about how they disagreed with politics of some Christians and how they were turned away because Christians seemed to be saying those they loved, and they themselves, would go to hell.


As a mom, I longed to teach my kids when they were growing up how much Jesus loved them. But now, I wonder if that was the biggest thing I taught them.


In my own behavior, in what I said about other people, did I overwhelm them with Jesus’ love? Have I focused on teaching them, and anyone else I talk to about my faith, the way God is heartbroken to spend eternity with us? Or did I emphasize wrath and condemnation.


I’ve been studying the book of John about God’s grace and truth.


John 1: 14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


But, which do I focus on most? God’s grace or his truth.


I believe, in God’s love for us, the bible does say clear things about right and wrong. I also believe the bible teaches about a literal heaven and hell.


But what is it that those who know about my faith hear from me most? How do I try to lead them to God? Is it through fear and strict teaching about morals, or is it to rain on them the truth of God’s love?


I know the answer, because I know myself.


I do have a faith in God, but it’s often so weak.


Mark 9: 23-24: “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


I thank God that he included this verse in the Bible, to show it’s okay to beg for help with our weak faith.


I love studying the bible, and often many verses do give me comfort.


But I confess, most often, in my daily life, I cannot claim a real belief that God could love me, that he could forgive me. The Bible passages that sink deepest into my heart are about God’s wrath. If that’s true, how can I share his love with others?


So I want to start a new study. One of my favorite authors, Philip Yancey, has written a book called The Jesus I Never Knew. It’s been a long time since I read this, and I want to read it again, but the title gave me the idea for this new study: The Jesus we need to know. The Jesus I, my family, so many hurting people, need to know. I am excited about this journey. I pray that God will lead me to what I need to know and help me share it. I’ll finish with one passage that gives me great comfort.


Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 


  1. God loves you & so do I!
    I whisper to Amelia, Grandma loves you, Grandpa loves you but Je-Sus loves you most of all!
    I wish i had done that with the boys. I need to spend more time with them letting them know of God’s love

  2. Hi Kathy. I love this post about God's love and His grace. I sometimes question what message I am sharing about Jesus and pray it is the correct one.

    1. Patti, I think you do an excellent job.

  3. Hi Kathy, I loved your honesty, love, and concern for tipping the scales in one direction moreso than the other. When I read Jesus' interactions with others in His word, He didn't shy away from condemning wrong. Nor did he resist the urge to lavish love on those around Him - on us!!!
    Maybe it sounds PC to say balance is needed. We can't tell our children we love them while they're running out in oncoming traffic - that doesn't save them. But we can love the sinner, just as Christ did and still does today. That's my interpretation of God's word! Blessings, Erma :)