Jesus Is _____. (book review)

Jesus Is _____If someone asked you to fill in the blank to this question, could you do it quickly: “Jesus is ______”? After reading Judah’s Smith book by this title, you will find it much easier to get a clearer picture of just who Jesus is.

Through the 2000 years since Jesus Christ’s public ministry, many people have made statements trying to define Jesus. In Jesus Is_____, Pastor Judah Smith confronts head-on a lot of the incorrect stereotypes that exist for those both in the Christian tradition, and those outside of it. They are really quite simple statements—Jesus is your friend, Jesus is grace, Jesus is the point, Jesus is happy, Jesus is here, and Jesus is alive—but it’s amazing how complicated and messy we have made these simple thoughts.

Pastor Smith is very candid and personable in his writing, so he let us see inside his own thought processes as he wrestled with these concepts about who Jesus is. In each section, he brings a fresh perspective to help us cut through the haze created by so many people’s misunderstanding of Jesus Christ.

Whether you have had a relationship with Jesus for years, or whether you’ve only heard His name but aren’t really sure about much else concerning Him, Jesus Is _____ will help you see Jesus Christ more clearly. This is an excellent book to use in a small group discussion, as together the group can move into a clearer, biblically-sound picture of Jesus.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Love Cycle

…Whoever loves God must also love his brother. …This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. (1 John 4:21, 5:2)

Love cycleThis is a really cool cycle! I know I love God because I obey His command to love others, which I can only do because I love God and obey Him….

Here’s the cycle breaker: If I don’t love others, it’s a clear indications that I don’t love God, and the cycle of love-obedience-love is shattered.

Loving God is the natural fuel to obey Him. He is love. He demonstrated this by loving unloveable, sinful me. If He loved me, how could I do anything less than love Him? If I truly love Him, I will naturally want to obey Him. His commands aren’t difficult because He empowers me to do them. His command is to be like Him—He is love so I must love.

I know I am loving God because I am loving others. I can only love others because the love of God is in me. This love inspires me to obey Him and love others. This obedience draws me closer to God, which fuels me for even greater love.

Love fuels my obedience. Obedience fuels my love. And this virtuous cycle can go on and on and on and on and …

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