We stand for JESUS.
Our leadership team recently finished a study on values for Mt Olive and these values were presented at our congregational assembly a few weeks ago. My plan is to delve into each one of these values here in my note, starting today.
The more we solidify our course around these values, the more unified we become as a body of Christ and the more influential we will be in our community as a dynamic force for good - for the sake of sharing the gospel.
We stand for JESUS.
Everything we do at Mount Olive is about Jesus.
Jesus is every Word of the Almighty God come to life. You want to know who God is, learn about Jesus. If you think Jesus is great but God is stale and angry and archaic, you might possibly be missing the real God because you are not seeing the real Jesus. He is all we love but he is all about challenge too. He won’t let us be everything we want to be because he knows that with us in charge of our life, we will break and bruise and bend all that he has planned for us.
In our brokenness, he gives us purpose and transformation through his love. As a community, we continually seek to know him and his comforting promises better.
So the first question we must ask is, “do we know him well?” I have no doubts that we know some of who God is...but do we know him well? Have we plumbed the depths of the divine canyons of God to see and experience his holiness and his love? Read these four passages and then I’ve got one more thought at the end.
Hebrews 12:1-2 // Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Matthew 7:23 // "Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’"
John 17:3 // Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 8:32 // Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Jesus’ own definition of eternal life is NOT about cherubs and clouds and heavenly choirs singing endlessly. When Jesus defines eternal life it is about relationship...with him: “that they may KNOW you, the only true God and Jesus Christ.” It’s a word that means you know him by experience. The way you know what a honeycrisp apple tastes like because you have experienced the sweet nectar of its fruit is the kind of knowledge Jesus is speaking about with knowing God.
Taste and see who Jesus is -- the full picture of him -- even the rough and challenging words that he might share with you, as he was willing to share with his good friend Peter (Matthew 16:23 for example). But also experience the Jesus who will never leave you nor forsake you.
So, do you know -- I mean REALLY know -- Jesus? I want to and I think you do too!