THE KNOWING JESUS PROJECT
In 1967 I became acquainted with the facts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; but I did not understand the kind of person who died on my behalf. Jesus Christ took me from a life leading to destruction and set me on a path for His glory and good pleasure. For nearly fifty years I have been getting to know the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as a result of that knowledge He has ever so slowly been transforming me into His own image and likeness. Jesus hasn’t fixed all the problems in my life, but He has been in the process of fixing my soul. Like every Christian, I desire to share the person and work of Christ with others who do not believe.
About 4 years ago I began to walk for health reasons, and during my excursions I would share the Lord with those I met. There was one person who stands out in my recollection, she was Muslim and came to understand the basic facts about the gospel, but remained uninformed concerning Jesus’ character and attributes. I wanted to give her something that took a close look at Jesus’ character, the motives behind His sacrificial love, and the way that He interacted with people. I began to write so that I might hand her and others like her, material to better explain the kind of person God exemplified in Jesus, which eventually turned into the book, “The Jesus You Need to Know.”
The primary focus of the book is not the theological attributes about Jesus, such as His divinity and humanity, etc., so much as but His transcendent character. My ultimate goal is for others to understand that Jesus is completely trustworthy; so my reader can, by God’s grace, trust Him with his or her soul. Because the just shall live by faith, the Christian repeatedly places trust in Christ, for this reason I hope my book will be equally enlightening to believers also. It is a book that is meant to be read by the Christian and handed out to those to whom he or she has witnessed, and who has a further need to see the person of the Lord Jesus Christ in a Biblical light.
When I first spoke to the rep from WestBow Press, an affiliate of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Publishing, he asked about my motivation for writing, to which I replied, “2 thousand years ago Jesus suffered in my place, I can’t ever pay Him back, so that everything I do is out of a sense of debt.” I know I can’t pay Jesus back for an eternity of suffering on my behalf, but gratitude fills my heart as it does every true believer in Jesus Christ. We witness, disciple, teach, and love people out of the conviction that Christ loved us enough to suffer in our place. I have written this book out of the same conviction of debt, and that God was leading me to do so. I do not possess much confidence in my own abilities as a writer, but I believe that God has a purpose for "The Jesus You Need to Know", even if I do not know when and where He will use this book.
As one who witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ I believe that salvation is by God’s grace alone, and it is that grace that has enabled me to write a book about God’s Son. When the idea of raising money to help me pay for the publishing of my book came to mind I thought it a good one because it would allow me to exercise faith in God. The book that I have written is meant to give God all the glory -rather than myself- by placing the focus upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that even in raising money He would get the glory.
Particular expense defined
My goal in self publication through WestBow Press is to get published in a conventional way. If the book begins to sell and God bless it in that way, then Thomas Nelson will publish it to the fullest extent. $7500 will go toward cover format, E-Book Format and Distribution, book interior and cover design, Amazon “Look inside” and Google Preview, copyright, editing of both grammar and content, Promotional Material, a sufficient number of copies to distribute, and much more. My greatest desire is the building of God's kingdom and not just to sell books.
You should know that giving money is not the only way that you can help. Please spread the word about the “The Jesus You Need to Know” because by telling others, you could possibly multiply your contribution many times over. The ultimate purpose is to place a book in the hands of those who need to read about the Biblical Jesus, the One who gave His life as a ransom for many, the only One who makes the differnece between heaven and hell.
AN EXCERPT FROM “THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW”
“Jesus, however, on the night before His death, spent a substantial amount of time telling them all what they needed to know to keep them from stumbling. Before He took them into the Garden to pray, He first gave them the truth, so that they might place their faith where it would do the greatest good. Jesus warned them of their own coming failure but that He would pray for them. Jesus told Peter, “Before the rooster crows twice you will deny Me three times.” Peter, protest as he might, still denied his Lord, because when Jesus says that something is going to happen – it happens. So when the rooster crowed for the second time, Jesus turned and looked at Peter; at that very moment Peter denied he knew Jesus for the third time. I do not know what look Jesus had upon His face, but there is no doubt that at some point Peter remembered Jesus’ words, “Satan desires to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith does not fail.” Peter was sufficiently instilled with the knowledge that he was loved by Jesus and it was the love of Jesus that broke Peter of his pride the most. In Luke’s Gospel we read that upon seeing Jesus in that moment, Peter went out and wept bitterly; in the Greek it literally means, “He wept violently.”
When I was young and playing on the streets of Brooklyn, New York during the 1960’s, it was a common occurrence to hear a car roar down the street. One day I heard the loud roar of an engine, tires squealing, and the sound of a car racing just one block over, which was followed by a long screech and a loud thud. I ran between the houses, jumped the fence, and as I came out the driveway I saw a young man, maybe 17, leaning on a car with his head down, and the body of an elderly woman laying on the ground. Another woman maybe in her fifties came out a door from across the street, and she screamed, (even now it brings tears to my eyes) “You killed my mother.” She ran toward the young man, he was in such a state I don’t think he could have defended himself, but two men arriving on the scene grabbed her and stopped her as she lunged toward him. Her scream was the violent cry of a woman who had lost the dearest person in her life – forever. It was the hopeless cry of eternal loss!
During the hours of Christ’s deepest need Peter denied Him and then lost Him to death. Peter’s sin of denial had the impact of a sledge hammer upon his heart; there was no one dearer to Peter than our Lord, because there was no one more dear. Peter was given the gift to look into his own soul and see the selfishness that resided there, and at that, in stark contrast to our Lord’s greatest sacrifice. After going out from the presence of that horrid scene Peter’s words must have rang out in his head, “I do not know the man,” and possibly an ear shot from His Lord, who turned to look at him. His mind could not possibly process how he could deny the greatest man who ever lived, but in the depths of his soul he knew it to be true. Jesus’ words must have crossed Peter’s mind, “the hand of the one who betrays me is on the table,” and then his own words, “Lord is it I?” Maybe he was able to distinguish between Judas’ betrayal and his own denial, but either way his emotions must have ran deep and crushed him.
It is during the times of our greatest trials that Jesus’ words hold the greatest comfort for us.”
I have been told, and I partly believe it to be true, that in America we read largely to consume, because as a society we behave that way. I did not intend my book to be read quickly, but slowly, meditatively, so that it might be internalized. It takes more than speed reading to learn how a person interacts with others – it takes reflection and empathy. I could hope that every worthwhile book about Jesus would be read in the same way. Moreover, I hope as you read the excerpt you receive more from it than just a greater understanding of my writing, but a greater personalization of Jesus Christ the man.
2nd EXCERPT FROM "THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW"
2. JESUS NEVER ABUSED HIS DIVINE POWER
“And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.” Luke 2:40
In the 1960’s an episode of the TWILIGHT ZONE aired on television, in which a 12 year old child terrorized a small town. Imagine a child with the power to do whatever he wanted to people; if he wanted to cripple a person he could. Now Imagine a vindictive and childish little brat that had to have his own way, but instead of having a temper tantrum by banging his feet on the floor and crying, he could do whatever he wanted with people at will. Scary, isn’t it?
Jesus never acted like an average child; He never had fits of rage, fought with His siblings, or was even unkind to anyone. At the same time Jesus possessed infinite power. The one who possesses infinite power does not experience consequences for his actions because there is no power greater than his. Jesus could have done whatever He wanted in response to any evil He saw done to Himself or others, and there would have been plenty of abuse in Roman occupied Israel in the time of Christ. However, there is no mention of any such action, either in the Bible or in the writings of any secular historian of that day. And you can believe if there were any uprising by Jesus it would have been recorded. Since Jesus possessed infinite power He could have done away with Roman rule all together, made Israel a conquering nation, and placed Himself upon the throne. However, that is exactly the opposite of what took place. At a time when the multitudes were prepared to put Jesus on the throne because of His ability to heal and feed multitudes, we read of Him,
“And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” John 12:23-25
Jesus never abused His divine power and neither did He side step the Father’s will for His own comfort or prestige as a man. Furthermore, and what is even more incredible, He never abused His power as a boy. Think of it, what were you like at the age of 6, what were your siblings or your friends like? Did you or your friends ever lose your temper, get angry enough to fight or hurt one another? Do I even need to ask? Now, what would you or they have been like with infinite power? From what we know of the history of the world, what might a child do who possessed limitless power? I think it fair to say that the best among us when given enough authority can become mean when he or she is in a bad mood. We all have known young children who were bratty and obnoxious when spoiled sufficiently. Now think about a young child who lives in a land occupied by a foreign country, where the soldiers were brutal and prejudice, and when given any opportunity would abuse their power.
The 1ST 35 people to donate $100 or more will receive a signed copy of “The Jesus You Need to Know.”
The 1ST 30 people to donate between $75 and $99 will receive a voucher redeemable for one free eBook of “The Jesus You Need to Know.”
The 1ST 100 people to donate between $25 and $49 will receive a limited edition bookmark with a signed thank you for their generosity.
I would greatly appreciate your prayers for God to use this book to build His kingdom in His time. My wife and I will appreciate you taking the time to pray whether you donate or not. It is our desire to publish this book with your financial support, but only if it’s God’s will for you to donate.
THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Desirable Character of God’s Love
JESUS: THE SERVANT GOD
The Servitude of God’s Love
JESUS: A RULER THAT CAN BE TRUSTED
The Trustworthiness of God’s Love
JESUS: THE SON OF MAN
The Penetrating Truth of God’s Love
JESUS: THE SELFLESS COMFORTER
The Comfort of God’s Love
JESUS’ DEFINING HOUR
The Definition of God’s Love
JESUS’ SACRIFICIAL DEATH
The Cost of God’s Love
JESUS’ DEFINING UNION
The Ultimate Goal of God’s Love
JESUS’ ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD
The Duration of God’s Love
JESUS DOES ALL THINGS WELL
The Perfection of God’s Love
JESUS’ COMING KINGDOM
The Integrity of God’s Love
JESUS’ TRANSCENDENT GLORY
The Transcendent Glory of God’s Love
If you have contributed to THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW, you have to be wondering why the book has not come out yet. The simple answer, I am having to do the marketing myself, and in one sense it's not my place because marketing and salesmanship is not my thing. However, no one has a greater passion for the book than me.
Furthermore, the book was not written to say I wrote a book, but because of a compulsion to do so. My labors were meant to help build the Church, and encourage Christians to make Jesus known. It therefore, has been my prayer that God would bless this book by putting it in the hands of numerous people.
In addition, there is much more for me to say and I am three quarters of the way through another book. The words and thoughts continue to flow, and the one sure way to publish in the future will be to become an accepted author now. Is that God's will? Maybe! Something is certainly compelling me to step out in faith, and thereby do all that is possible to see that come to pass.
This past week three manuscripts were sent out with the hope of some very important endorsements. If Jesus spoke the truth, which He only and always does, then prayer spoken in faith and the will of God can move a mountain. If any endorsements are given that would be God moving a mountain. Will you believe with me?
The book will come out no later than June, I will fulfill my promise to those who generously gave to the cause and God will be honored. Please understand that sometimes slow is the will of God. If you don't believe that, ask Moses.
Just today someone asked me how my book was coming along. I told her it has been finished for some time, I'm still waiting for endorsements. This is actually giving me some time to set up for marketing once the book is published.
Please pray that I will do everything necessary to market my book well. I didn't write the book so I could say I wrote a book, but so that people can come to Christ. That will only happen if I can get it in the hands of people, or trust God to. I just want to do my part.
Lord bless and thanks for making this possible.
However, there continues to be a passion within me to look to the Lord in faith, to provide the endorsements I seek. This is no time for a lack of patience or faith. No matter how busy the men are that I would love to see endorse this book, the real issue is trust in a God, who often does exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think.
I may be going out on a limb here, and that is a good thing, but I am going to wait on God. But I need your prayer. Please continue to pray that this book will touch the lives of many within the church, here on our shores and around the world. If I am going to ask, I'd might as well ask big. Pray that many will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by receiving Him, so that they might come to know Him better. Please pray that Jesus would be pleased, and God would get all the glory. Please pray that the endorsement I seek, and seem to be very far off, would be sent, so that God would get the praise do His name. He is (Elohim) faithful.