THE BRIDGE OF A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER
By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com. (This is several part lesson.)
DO I REALLY KNOW JESUS? IS MY EXPERIENCE WITH JESUS PERSONAL TO ME? AM I GROWING AND DEVELOPING CLOSER AND CLOSER.
Jesus is much more than a religion, Jesus is all about a personal relationship. I always wonder at the CHILDREN OF GOD… WHY? WHY DO THEY STAY CHILDREN? I looked at this in a negative light. One day I thought GOD DESIRES US TO BE HIS CHILDREN AND DEPEND TOTALLY UPON HIM! GOD HAS CHILDREN, BUT GOD HAS NEVER HAD GRANDCHILDREN… Jesus must be personal.
Baal is frozen statue? Mohammed is dead. Buddha is dead. We know a risen Savior, HE IS ALIVE AND WELL. Why would one make a carving that has eyes and cannot see, ears and cannot hear, legs that cannot walk and then worship a dead, lifeless being?
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Faith, hope , peace and love GROW AT THE SPEED OF RELATIONSHIPS. LIP SERVICE AND HEARING AND NOT DOING WILL NEVER SATISFY. Is Jesus alive and well in your heart. Jesus must be more than just going to church. Jesus must be more than a SPARE TIRE religion that you use when you have a flat.
YOU DETERMINE THE POWER AND STRENGTH OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
A good relationship requires DAILY FELLOWSHIP. How do we know God? By His Word the Bible, by faithful church attendance, by fellowship and communion.
There are TWO DOGS with a person, the CARNAL or temporal and then there is the SPIRITUAL or ETERNAL. Which dog is the strongest? The one you feed will beat up the other. BURY THE OLD MAN, CLAIM THE NEW LIFE OF THE OLD MAN.
The very CORE of Christianity is “ HAVING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.”
GOD IS NOT SEARCHING FOR PERFECT PEOPLE. MARRED PEOPLE? GOD TOLD JEREMIAH TO GET UP AND GO TO THE POTTER’S HOUSE AND LEARN A LESSON ABOUT GOD… DON’T GIVE UP ON PEOPLE…
Many think I will come to Jesus when I get all my bad habits corrected. Not so, a personal relationship with Jesus will help you become THE GOD PERSON HE DESIRES!
Jeremiah 18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Marred: ruined, hurt, damaged, diminish the value, poison, stain, taint, tarnish…
OUR ENEMY COMES TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY US AND OUR FAMILIES. The enemy’s plan is total destruction… MARRED CLAY… A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP DOES NOT JUST CHANGE THE OUTSIDE… JESUS CHANGES US FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
THE MASTER POTTER CAN MAKE IT AGAIN… GOD’S PLAN IS CLEAR… WE CAN HAVE A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER THAT CAN CHANGED MARRED CLAY
Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Destruction: to damage something so bad it cannot be repaired, to utterly ruin,
I read in a dictionary years ago DESTRUCTION has no plural. You can only destroy something once.
GOD KNEW BETTER… GOD CAN DELIVER US FROM OUR DESTRUCTION”S” …
WE need God’s PERSONAL ENCOUNTER --- GOD NEVER GIVES UP ON PEOPLE AS LONG AS THEY ARE BREATHING.
JESUS INVITES US INTO A NEW PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP TO HEAR THE HEART BEAT OF GOD. THERE IS GOOD NEWS YOU USE IF YOU CHOOSE.
The Bible contains good news. There is power in the name of Jesus Christ to restore those that are broken and refresh those that have been crushed. God loves people, hurt, broken people. Jesus has a STANDING INVITATION FOR A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP TO KNOW HIM IN HIS FULLNESS.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
KNOW AND UNDERSTAND JESUS’ LOVE WILLS US TO FIND OUR PURPOSE AND GOD’S PLAN.
RECONCILIATION: to become friendly again, finding a way to restore, to settle…
God has a plan IN THE VALLEY HE RESTORES OUR SOUL, may we find a PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH OUR SAVIOR AND MAKE HIM OUR LORD.
CHANGE OCCURS WHEN WE HAVE A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER… GO OUT ON A LIMB?
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem for the Passover. JESUS HAD TO STOP IN JERICHO! Jesus knew a short man that needed A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH GOD’S OWN SON.
ZACCHAEUS HAD THE PERSONAL FRANCHISE FOR ROMAN TAXATION OF THE AREA AROUND JERICHO. Roman tax employees were known for cheating and heavy handed practices to raise money. Zacchaeus had become very rich by abusing his taxation authority to his advantage. Often rich people think they live above the law. He was a CHIEF.
Just as the IRS is not thought of in a favorable light, ZACCHEAUS WAS HATED BY ALL, especially by the Jews camp.
Luke 19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. 6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, that he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him this day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Somewhere in a meeting or a conversation ZACCHAEUS heard of a SPECIAL MAN NAMED JESUS. Zacchaeus wanted to SEE Jesus BUT THERE WAS MORE, HE WANTED TO SEE WHO JESUS WAS? He was hungry for a personal encounter.
1. Do we know when we make our mind TO DO something we will FACE OBSTACLES? The crowd was in the way! The man was VERTICALLY CHALLENGED, His height had become a handicap for his ability to see over all the people.
2. Zacchaeus did seral things HE DID NOT NORMALLY DO. For change to occur we must RUN AROUND THE OBSTACLES. They Zacchaeus did something way out of his NORM, He CLIMBED A TREE. Wow, I am sure people were mocking the short man climbing the tree.
3. ZACCHAEUS WENT OUT ON A LIMB… The personal decision was made I MUST SEE JESUS.
BEYOND HIS COMFORT ZONE…
4. IN THE BIG CROWD JESUS LOOKED UP, HE SAW ZACCHAEUS. (This is why Jesus came to Jericho. History records there were around 12,000 people in the crowd. BUT ONE IS GOING TO HAVE A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS.)
5. JESUS KNEW ZACCHAEUS BY NAME. How? Jesus knows your name, a PERSONAL ENCOUNTER is happening. Remember when the Roman guards were hitting Jesus? They asked Jesus to tell their names? I BELIEVE JESUS COULD HAVE!
Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
6. JESUS DID NOT JUST KNOW ZACCHAEUS IN THE TREE. JESUS KNEW ABOUT ZACCHAEUS HOME LIFE. Jesus knew he was a tax collector. Jesus knew ZACCHAEUS WAS A MARRED VESSEL. JESUS KNOWS WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN! JESUS KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE! JESUS HAS A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER THAT WILL FOOREVER CHANGE YOU.
7. JESUS KNEW ZACCHAEUS WAS HE WAS IN THE WAITING ROOM -- OUT ON A LIMB. JESUS KNEW WHERE ZACCHAEUS WAS, HIS EXACT LOCATION THAT DAY WAS NO MYSTERY TO THE SON OF GOD. JESUS KNEW THE EXACT SPOT AND SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF WHERE THE TAX COLLECTOR WAS.
8. Zacchaeus was FILLED WITH JOY, he knew he would NEVER BE THE SAME.
9. Jesus said: RIGHT NOW BOY, I am coming to your house.
10. The religious crowd knew this sinner’s history, they were quick to judge. But not Jesus. Jesus saw something wonderful, a great potential in this evil tax collector.
WE ARE IN A WAR. THE BATTLES ARE HOT AND HEAVY. WE STRUGGLE WITH FLESHLY DESIRES. JESUS LOVES US EVEN WHEN WE HAVE LOST OUR PERSONAL STRUGGLE AND FAILED…
WHY DID JESUS TAKE A DETOUR TO SYCHAR? There was a broken sinner that the religious crowd wanted nothing to do with her. Jesus saw a personal encounter would forever change her at Jacob’s well.
John 4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria.
Sir, you have nothing to draw water out of this well? Jesus was not there for the well, Jesus loved this broken woman. A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS WILL OFTEN EXPOSE SOME DIRT AND GARBAGE… History should never hinder a personal encounter.
John 4:16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
AFTER A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS THE CHANGE THAT WILL OCCUR IN US WILL BE WE HAVE TO GO TELL OTHERS ABOUT WHAT JEUS HAS DONE IN OUR HEARTS….
John 4:27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
THE TESTIMONY OF A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS CAN LEAD OTHERS TO A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER…
John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
AFTER HER PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE MAN THAT WAS DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER MAN SHE MET. Jesus eyes were different. He did not focus on her body, but her heart! Jesus’ good ole boys return from the store and were amazed that JESUS CARED ABOUT A SAMARITAN? AND A WOMAN? She had a personal encounter with God’s son.
THE RELIGIOUS CROWD IS SCREAMING KILL HER… The law says SHE MUST DIE, stone her to death.
JESUS WRITES A MESSAGE IN THE SAND AND ONE BY ONE THE CROWD LEAVES…
Want to see the difference between the religious crowd and the personal relationship? WHO IS QUALIFIED TO THROW THE FIRST STONE. If we err may we side to MERCY AND GRACE.
John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS WILL NOT ONLY CAUSE US TO CHANGE
THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN THE VERY ACT OF ADULTERY: where is the man? GO AND SIN NO MORE…
THIS VILE SINNER WAS FOREVER CHANGED BECAUSE SHE HAD A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WIITH MERCY AND GRACE…
John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
THE PROVE IS IN THE PUDDING. HOW WILL PEOPLE KNOW I HAVE HAD A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH GOD’S SON?
THERE WILL BE TWO EXTERNAL SIGNS OF A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER…
A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER BRINGS CHANGE… HOW WILL THEY KNOW OF YOUR ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS?
Will they know because of the church you attend?
Will they know just because you were baptized in water?
Will people know you know Jesus because you have a bunch of rules that you follow?
Will they know because you mouth and habits have changed?
1. WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE THAT YOU HAVE HAD A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS? LOVE…
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
2. You will love God’s commandments, they will not be hard to you.
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
CONCLUSION: A REAL PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS WILL REFLECT A SO WHAT LOVE….
Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
WILL I BUILD A BRIDGE FOR OTHERS TO CROSS IN DIFFICULT TIMES…
THE BRIDGE BUILDER, UNKNOWN.
An old man going on a lone highway, came at the evening cold and gray, to a chasm vast and wide.
Through which was flowing a swollen tide, the old man crossed in the twilight dim
The swollen stream had no fear for him; but he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide. “Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near;
“You are wasting your strength on building here, your journey will end with the ending day,
You will never again pass this way. You have crossed the chasm deep and wide;
Why build you this bridge at evening tide?” The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There followed after me today, a fair haired youth,
Whose feet must pass this way. The chasm that has been nought for me,
To that fair haired youth may a pitfall be. He too, must cross in the twilight dim,
Good friend, I am building this bridge for Him.”
His servant, Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com This is several part lesson.
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