Cover image for Just give me Jesus
Title:
Just give me Jesus
Author:
Lotz, Anne Graham, 1948-
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Publication Information:
Nashville : Word Pub., [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
x, 355 pages ; 25 cm + 1 audio disc (11 min., 12 sec. ; 4 3/4 in.)
General Note:
Accompanied by CD entitled: Just give me Jesus / Anne Graham Lotz, Fernando Ortega.
Language:
English
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ISBN:
9780849916465

9780849963124
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Book

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BS2615.2 .L68 2000 TEXT Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

After two pressure-filled, life-changing years of professional exhaustion and personal turmoil, Anne Graham Lotz found herself with only one heart-cry, "Please, just give me Jesus." In this faith-inspiring book, she stares intently at the realities of life with her Savior. To those needing a fresh start, to those still searching for happiness, to those in need of forgiveness, to the suffering and the self-righteous alike, Jesus was, is, and will always be the answer.


Author Notes

Anne Graham Lotz was born on May 21, 1948 in Montreat, North Carolina. She is the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham and Ruth Graham. Her revival ministry was launched in 2000 and she has spoken in more than twenty foreign countries. She has been awarded six honorary doctorates for her extensive work in the area of Bible study and exposition. Currently she is the president and CEO of AnGeL Ministries.

She is the author of over eleven books. Four of her books received the Gold Medallion Book Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, Just Give me Jesus, The Vision of his Glory, My Heart's Cry and God's Story. Her 2016 New York Times Bestseller is entitled The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter and a noted author and preacher, has written a primer about Jesus. Why, she asks in the introduction, "do we need one more book about Jesus?" Because, Lotz says, most of the available volumes tell readers what the author thinks about Jesus but ignore what Jesus said about himself. Lotz's message is simple: overworked, stressed-out, underloved folks don't need a vacation, a miracle or a massage--they just need Jesus. She takes the Gospel of John as her template, structuring each chapter around a passage from that most poetic and most inscrutable of the Gospels. The fifth chapter of Lotz's book, for example, draws on John 4:1-42 and explains that Jesus offers happiness even to outcasts. Chapter nine (drawing on John 9) teaches that Jesus allows even the most comfortable onlooker to understand suffering. And chapter thirteen (based on John 19 and 20) tells readers that through Jesus, sinners can get to Heaven. Lotz's message is not as distinctive as her introduction would have readers believe--there is little in this book that readers can't already find several times over on the religion shelves at their local bookstore. Yet Lotz's book is a clear winner because her folksy, anecdotal writing is endearing, and her love for Jesus radiates off the page. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER ONE:Jesus Makes God Visible . . . To Me John 1:1-9 Y earsago my mother was invited to a very prestigious dinner party in London,England. The glittering affair included members of the royal family aswell as other aristocrats and leaders from British society. The dinner,softened by candlelight, with the tinkle of silver and the sparkle of crystalaccompanying the sounds of accented conversation, had an ambiance of elegance. The occasion might have been intimidating for someone unaccustomed tosuch a setting, but my mother was as at ease as a queen holding court.Dressed in a simple black gown with a triple strand of pearls around herneck, she looked stylish and sophisticated. Heads turned as people whisperedtheir curious inquiries about who she might be. But my mother was so interested in the other guests at her table shewas oblivious to the small stir she had created. Her expression was notthe duly bored, arrogant look adopted by many of the socially elite. Norwere her words stilted and self-conscious. Instead, her eyes danced withthe joy of life, and her conversation was lively and peppered with questionsas she sought to draw the others at her table into a discussion. As she conversed, Mother discovered that the distinguished-looking oldergentleman seated beside her was the former head of Scotland Yard, GreatBritain's equivalent of the FBI. Fascinated, she respectfully began toprobe him for anecdotes. As he opened up under her genuine interest, herevealed that the departments under his authority had included those forforgery and counterfeiting. When she surmised that he must have spent alot of time studying counterfeit signatures, he corrected her. "On thecontrary, Mrs. Graham. I spent all of my time studying the genuine thing.That way, when I saw a counterfeit, I could immediately detect it." Today, our world is cluttered with lies, deceit, hypocrisy, and fraudat almost every level. From government leaders to salesclerks to airline ticket agents to restaurant maitre d's to business associates to secretaries to friends to neighbors to advertisers, everyone seems to play loose with the truth. This "whatever works is right" attitude has even crept into the Christiancommunity. Too often, we focus on methods instead of missions, programsinstead of prayer, organization instead of inspiration, pragmatism insteadof power. Many preachers preach to be popular, instead of preaching tochange lives. Their sermons are 95 percent their own thoughts and 5 percentGod's truth. And the average church member cannot tell the difference because he or she is biblically illiterate! Sadly, this also tends to twist our perception of Who Jesus is. Whilesome have softened and sentimentalized Him until He is barely recognizable,others have distorted and doubted Him until He is undesirable. My mother's dinner partner had unwittingly touched on a very importantprinciple. If you and I want to be able to detect counterfeit Christs andcounterfeit truth, we need to immerse ourselves in the real thing. We needto saturate ourselves in the truth of the Word of God. This applies toour faith in general, as well as to our understanding of Jesus. Who is Jesus? He lived two thousand years ago, in an obscuretown, in an obscure country, during a relatively dark period in human historythat was dominated by the Roman Empire. Yet He stands unequaled and unparalleledin the phenomenal greatness of His life as well as in the stunning impactHe has had on history. As we turn the corner into a new millennium and gaze back at the lasttwo thousand years, a handful of individuals seem to rise up from our historypages-individuals whose lives or words or accomplishments impacted theentire human race, for good or for bad. Names like Julius Caesar, MartinLuther, Muhammad, Christopher Columbus, Orville and Wilbur Wright, AdolfHitler, Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk, Joseph Stalin, Mahatma Gandhi,Mao Tse-tung, and David Ben-Gurion come readily to mind. Yet I would heartilyagree with Reynolds Price, who in the introduction to his Time magazinecover story on Jesus, wrote, "It would require much exotic calculation. . . to deny that the single most powerful figure-not merely in thesetwo millenniums but in all human history-has been Jesus of Nazareth." Eventoday's date is based on the calculation of the date of His birth. So Who is Jesus? What is there about Him that makes Him socompelling that . . .. . . a Yugoslavian nun would give her life to comfort thedying in Calcutta for His sake? . . . some of the greatest architectural achievements in Europe werebuilt for worship of Him? . . . some of the world's most beautiful art was created to honor Him? . . . some of the world's most glorious music was written to praiseHim? . . . 167 years after Rome crucified Him, He was acknowledged as theonly God in the Roman Empire? . . . Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, rotting in a Siberian work camp, saidthe very thought of Him was enough to keep his sanity? . . . in an outburst of physical pain, frustration, anger, or justdisagreement with the officials at a ball game, His Name-not Buddha's orMuhammad's-is used in cursing? . . . two thousand years after He has been physically removed fromthe world, people from all walks of life say He has saved them from drugs,illness, suicide, depression, and hopelessness? . . . in His Name, people forsake personal gain to feed the hungry,house the homeless, clothe the naked, heal the sick?Who is Jesus? How can we know who He really is? We know by studyingthe truth. The only legitimate source of historical information on Hislife is found in the four New Testament Gospels. This book, Just GiveMe Jesus , focuses on the fourth Gospel, written by John, who witnessedfirsthand the events he recorded. And John's Gospel is the truth. So who is Jesus ? Decide the answer for yourself as you read theapostle John's clear, confident, certain, and compelling biography. Hisstirring account begins by leaving no doubt that Jesus makes God visibleto all, because Jesus is God as Man. Jesus is Bigger Than I ThinkJohn's Gospel begins with a verbal trumpet flourish: "In the beginningwas the Word" (John 1:1). These words immediately take us back to the vastnessof eternity before there was anything at all. They also take us back toGenesis, where God began to reveal Himself to all mankind. In Genesis,the Bible itself opens with the exact same phrase, "In the beginning .. . ," as it introduces perhaps the most dramatic chapter of the entireBook. As the passage unfolds the mysteries of creation, the phrase"And God said" is repeated no fewer than ten times in the first chapter. Thephrase shows God's awesome creative power as He spoke into existence everythingthat is or ever has been or ever will be. We might assume that the "word"He spoke, the "word" by which He called everything into being, was a language of some sort with nouns and verbs and pronouns and adverbs conveying Hiswill to empty space. Not so! John stuns us in the very first verse of his Gospel, which reveals,"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning" (John 1:1-2; emphasis added).How awesome that the "Word" that was in the beginning, by which and throughwhich God created everything, was-and is- a living Person with a mind,will, emotions, and intellect.He Is EternalThe Gospel of John states this living Person was not from the beginning,but that in the beginning of time, space, the universe, eternity,and history, He was already there! He is eternal! John's choice of wording in the Greek language makes his opening declarationastounding. His Greek for "Word," which he emphasized by repeating threetimes in the first verse, is logos , the outward expression of themind and will that rules the universe. Plato, whose writings were popularin John's day, had said he hoped that someday a "logos" might come forthfrom God that would make everything about life clear. John, who had perhapsread Plato, began his Gospel by stating in Greek that a "logos" hadcome from God. And not just a "logos" but the " Living Logos"-anoutward revelation of the heart and mind of God expressed perfectly forus in a living Person. As we meditate on John's words, our sense of awe increases when we realizethat "out of the . . . heart, the mouth speaks." So our conclusionis that the Logos who was in the beginning with God is a living Person. . . but He is more. He is the living expression of what is on God's mind.But He is more . He is the living expression of what is on God'sheart. But He is even more. He is the very heart of the Almighty God ofthe universe laid bare for all to see! Do you want to know what is on the mind of God? Then look at Jesus! Doyou want to know the will of God? Then look at Jesus! Do you want to knowwhat is in the heart of God? Then look at Jesus! Jesus is the exact revelationof what is on the mind and heart and in the will of God! Jesus makes God visible. But that truth does not make Him somehow lessthan God. He is equally supreme with God.He Is EqualEach word John used, including the prepositions, becomes weighty with treasuredtruth: "He was with God in the beginning." Because you really can'tbe with yourself, John implies there were two People, two separatesupreme Beings Who are equal in power, activity, personality, and intelligencein a face-to-face, eye-to-eye existence. One was not more and One was notless. They were and are equally supreme, sharing the glory and splendorof heaven's throne, because "the Word was God ." What a wondrous mystery! Our God is one God, yet at the same time Heis more than one. Throughout the ages people have engaged in an intellectualwrestling match with this astounding truth. But those who do so miss theblessing that comes from simply worshiping an infinite God Who is beyondour finite understanding.He Is Enduringly the SameAs John continued his trumpet flourish, we learn that Jesus, the LivingLogos, is enduringly the same today as He always has been: "The same wasin the beginning with God" (John 1:2 kjv). There was no personality changein this Person from the beginning of time until John's day to our day tothe last day of human history on into eternity. The One Who spoke all things into existence and then transformed PlanetEarth from a formless, empty, dark, water-submerged blob dangling in spaceto a beautiful place that reflected His own image is the same Person Whohas power today to transform your life and mine. The One Who offered all men salvation from the storm of His judgmentif they would come into the ark is the same Person today Who offers salvationfrom His judgment if we would come into Him at the cross. The One Who called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, promising to fullybless him if he would follow Him in a life of faith is the same PersonWho today calls us out of the world and promises to bless us if we followHim in a life of faith. The One Who delivered His children from bondage to slavery in Egyptwith a titanic display of power is the same Person Who was crucified thenrose from the dead to deliver His children today from bondage to sin. The One Who halted the entire invasion of Canaan by the Israelites whileHe extended His grace to one Canaanite prostitute is the same Person todayWho stops to care for and extend His grace to sinners. The One Who elevated David from a shepherd boy to a shepherd king isthe same Person today Who places His people in positions of leadership,honor, and authority. The One Who answered Elijah's prayer and sent down the fire to consumethe sacrifice on Mount Carmel and then sent down the rain to end the three-yeardrought in Israel is the same Person today Who hears and answers prayer. Doyou know Him? If Adam knew Him as a beloved Father, if Eve knew Him as the original Homemaker, if Noah knew Him as the Refuge from the storm, if Abraham knew Him as a Friend, if Moses knew Him as the Redeemer, if Rahab knew Him as the gracious Savior, if David knew Him as his Shepherd, if Elijah knew Him as the Almighty, if Daniel knew Him as the Lion Tamer, if Mary Magdalene knew Him as the Bondage Breaker, if Martha knew Him as the Promise Keeper, if Lazarus knew Him as the Resurrection and the Life, if Bartimaeus knew Him as the Light of the World, if John knew Him as the glorious King upon the throne, Surely you and I can know Him too! The living Person Whom John heard and saw and touched was the same in agespast as He will be in years to come. There is not one God for the Old Testament,another God for the New Testament, another God for today, and still anotherGod for the future. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Heis enduringly the same! Praise God! You and I can know Him! About twenty-five years ago, without a crisis experience but with anunexplainable, intense yearning, I made the decision to seek to know God.Personally. Intimately. Accurately. Experientially. I decided that if eachof these Bible characters could know Him then I could too. If God hasn't changed, if He is enduringly the same, then if they knewHim and I didn't, the fault must lie with me. So I began a pilgrimage toknow God, and that pilgrimage continues to this day. I don't know Him todayas well as I want or should, but I know Him better today than I did twenty-fiveyears ago. I know Him better today than I did one year ago. I am growingin my knowledge of God, and I say without hesitation or qualification thatknowing God is my joy and reason for living. He is… the Wind beneath my wings, the Treasure that I seek, the Foundation on which I build, the Song in my heart, the Object of my desire, the Breath of my life- He is my All in all! Please join with me in this life-changing discovery as, through the Gospel of John, God just gives us Jesus. Although we may have many preconceived ideas of Who Jesus is, John will show us Heis actually bigger than we think and greater than we think. Jesus Is Greater Than I ThinkThe One Who was with God and was God and is the same today as He was inthe beginning is the Creator: "Through him all things were made; withouthim nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:3).He Is the Source of LifeIt can be mind boggling to contemplate the vastness of the universe, fromthe greatest star to the smallest particle. It is so vast that astronomersare now saying that it stretches beyond what we are capable of penetrating,even with sophisticated telescopes like the Hubble. And every bit of itwas created by the Living Word of God, Who, even as He hung the stars inspace, counted them and called them each by name! Not only did He create objects of massive size, but He also createdsuch minute, delicate, intricate things as snowflakes, no two of whichare the same. He created: atoms and angels and ants, crocodiles and chiggers and clouds, elephants and eagles and electrons, orchids and onions and octopuses, frogs and feathers and sea foam, diamonds and dust and dinosaurs, raindrops and sweat drops, dewdrops and blood drops, and me! And you! The greatness of His power to create and design and form and mold and makeand build and arrange defies the limits of our imagination. And since Hecreated everything, there is nothing beyond His power to fix or mend orheal or restore. Years ago, a man was driving his car down the road when the engine coughedand wheezed and sputtered before stalling. Try as he might, the drivercould not restart the engine. Finally, he stood glaring at it, and in frustration,kicked the tire. Just then a long, sleek, polished black limousine pulledup beside him. The chauffeur hastily jumped out and opened the back doorfrom which stepped an elegantly dressed gentleman. The gentleman askedthe driver what the problem seemed to be. The exasperated man replied thathe had no idea; the car had just quit running. The gentleman asked to havea look for himself under the hood of the car. The man scoffed at the ideaof such a finely dressed man having any knowledge of the mechanics of acar's engine, but the gentleman persisted in his offer. Since no one elsehad stopped to help, the driver skeptically accepted the assistance andthrew open the hood. The gentleman leaned over the engine, twisted a few wires, tapped afew cables, and tightened a few plugs. Then he told the driver to try tostart the car once again. This time, the engine responded immediately. As he closed the hood of the car, the driver turned to the gentlemanand thanked him profusely. Then he inquired, "By the way, what's your name?" The gentleman replied simply, "Henry Ford." Henry Ford had made the car, so he had known exactly what was wrongwith it and how to fix it! Jesus Christ is the One by Whom, for Whom, throughWhom everything was made. Therefore, He knows what's wrong in your lifeand how to fix it. Is your heart broken? Does your life need mending? Who or what do youknow that needs "fixing"? Jesus, as the Creator of life, knows how to makeit work. Let Him take charge. Give Him the authority to put it right. Havingbrought everything into existence that exists, He has never become boredwith or distracted from or unconcerned about His creation. The Living Logospersonally hovers over all He has created, giving it His full attention.He Is the Sustainer of LifeWith His unlimited power, the Living Logos of God not only created allthings but even today He still sustains "all things by his powerful word."Who do you know who says he doesn't need God? Think about it for a moment! Our planet is ninety-three million miles away from the sun. If the sun were any closer to earth, we would burn up. If it were anyfarther away from earth, we would freeze. Our planet tilts exactly 23 degrees on its axis, giving us four sea-sonsa year. If it tilted at any other angle, we would have massive continentsof ice. The moon is the exact distance from earth to give us two ocean tidesa day. If it were any greater or lesser distance, the earth wouldbe flooded. The ocean floor is at a depth that gives us oxygen, which sustains humanlife. If the depth were any different, the air we breathe wouldbe poisonous. The atmosphere is the exact density to keep meteors and space objectsfrom hitting us. If it were any thinner, we would be constantlybombarded by objects from outer space. And Who keeps all this in perfect order? Who keeps Earthfrom getting sucked into some gigantic black hole, or planets from spinningout of control, or stars from falling from the sky? Who keeps peopleupright on earth while it turns on its axis? The laws of nature? Gravity?And where did gravity come from? Who established the laws of nature? Who gives people the very breath they breathe? The answer is none other than the Living Logos of Almighty God Who wasin the beginning with God and Who was God and Who is the same today. Heis bigger than we think and greater than we think. Nothing is beyond Hisability, whether it's a problem to solve, a marriage to reconcile, a memory to heal, a guilty conscience to cleanse, a sin to forgive, a business to save, a budget to stretch, another mouth to feed, a body to clothe, a boss to please, a job to find, a habit to break, a captive to free, a prodigal to return, an addiction to overcome, or anything else we could name. All are within His power to "fix." If the Living Logos of God has the powerto create and sustain the universe, how can you think His power is insufficientfor you ? He is more than able to sustain your marriage and your ministry,your faith and your finances, your hope and your health. The smallness of our faith is illustrated by the man who walked intoa car dealership and picked out a Silver Cloud Rolls Royce. He paid $250,000for it and drove it home. He found himself fascinated by the way the carhandled. He opened up the hood to look at the gleaming engine, then beganto poke around, curious as to the horsepower of such a machine. Searchas he did, he could find no indication on the engine or in the owner'smanual regarding the horsepower of his car. So he picked up the phone,dialed the car dealership, and inquired about the horsepower of the carhe had just purchased. The dealer apologized but said Rolls Royce did notdivulge the horsepower of its car engines. For a moment the man was speechless.When he recovered his faculties, he said with astonishment, "You mean Ijust purchased a car from you for $250,000, yet you will not tell me thehorsepower of its engine?" When the dealer affirmed that was correct, thenew owner sputtered, "I demand to know the horsepower of this car!" Hecontinued his tirade until finally the dealer agreed to fax the irate customer'sinquiry to the Rolls Royce headquarters in London. The fax read, "My customer,who just bought a Silver Cloud Rolls Royce for $250,000, demands to knowthe horsepower of the engine under the hood of his motorcar." In a shorttime, the fax machine rang, then began to whir. As a page came slowly throughthe machine, the logo at the top revealed that it was a reply from theCEO of Rolls Royce. But as the sheet continued to come through the fax,it looked blank. Then a one-word answer appeared: "Adequate." If you are questioning the sufficiency of God's power to resolve yourproblems and pressures, your suffering and stress, your crisis and change,His answer is the same. The infinite power of the Living Logos of God isadequate for any need you or I will ever have. We may intellectually grasp the truth that God's power is adequate,but we can never know that by experience if we stay in our comfort zone.If all you ever attempt is what you know you can do yourself, if all yourneeds seem to be met through someone or something other than God, if younever have any difficulties that are greater than you can bear-how willyou know the awesome greatness and personal availability of His infinitepower? It's when the Red Sea is before you, the mountains are on one sideof you, the desert is on the other side, and you feel the Egyptian armyclosing in from behind that you experience His power to open up an escaperoute. Power to do the supernatural, the unthinkable, the impossible.He Is the Significance of LifeAs John progressively leads us to fuller understanding of Jesus as theLiving Word, He says that in Him is "life," and this "life was the lightof men" (John 1:4). In other words, His life is our light-our purpose andmeaning and reason for living. Following creation, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and as a result sin enteredthe human condition. Since that historic and pivotal tragedy, sinhas been passed from one generation to another so thoroughly that everyonewho has ever been born has been born with sin. And the sin withwhich we are born makes us incapable of pleasing God or responding to Godor communicating with God. In fact, the Bible tells us that when we wereborn, we were born physically alive but spiritually dead in our sin. Andif we continue in the spiritually dead state in which we were born untilwe die physically, we will go out into eternity separated from God. Wewill go to hell. However, the wonderful good news of the Gospel was shouted out so clearlyby the apostle Paul that it still resounds today: "The wages of sin isdeath, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Thewages of sin is physical death and spiritual deadness as well. BUT thegift of God is eternal life, spiritual life, abundant life through faithin Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God. What did you think you had to add to your existence in order to experiencereal life? Increasing your investment portfolio? Traveling to more exotic destinations? Possessing the latest car or computer? Achieving public recognition? Reaching your professional goal? Wearing the trendiest fashion? Joining the most coveted club? Establishing a successful career? Marrying the perfect spouse? Raising a model family? I've been to India twice, and both times I met Westerners who had traveledto meet with various gurus, hoping to find spiritual life in a Hindu homily.I visited with a young man who was convinced he would find real spirituallife when he could accurately articulate the difference between the colorsred and black. I sat beside another young man on a plane who was travelingto the Adirondacks to seek life by worshiping the mountains. Where have you been looking for spiritual life? The Westerners in India, the two young men, and you and I could saveourselves a lot of trouble by just seizing the truth John imparted: Spirituallife is found in the Living Word of God ! If you want purpose and meaningand satisfaction and fulfillment and peace and hope and joy and abundantlife that lasts forever, look to Jesus . Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth and the life." His life is our light! Now the verbal trumpet flourish that opened John's eyewitness biographyof Jesus Christ reaches a crescendo: "The light shines in the darkness,but the darkness has not understood it" or overcome it (John 1:5). Lightis John's symbol for truth and godliness and wisdom. Darkness symbolizeseverything that is not light, such as untruth, evil, sin, wrongdoing, injustice,ignorance, and unbelief. When you and I live lives that reflect Jesus, His light in us revealsthe darkness of sin and rebellion and ignorance in the world around us.This may begin to explain why your old friends have rejected you or yourcoworkers avoid you or your neighbors shun you. If they are living in darkness,the light in you makes them uncomfortable. Recently, I went to a movie in a large theater. When I walked from thebright sunlight into the viewing room, I was temporarily blinded. I hadto grope my way down the aisle. But after a few minutes, my eyes adjustedto the darkness and I could see the rows of seats and other patrons withoutdifficulty. When the movie concluded, I returned to the brilliant sunlitday. The light actually caused me to wince and my eyes to water as I quicklyput on sunglasses. After having spent time in the darkness, the light actuallyhurt my eyes. Our world lives in spiritual darkness, separated from God. But peoplehave adjusted and, generally speaking, are comfortable in their "twilightzone." They may not be able to "see" God or others or themselves clearly,but they see well enough to get along in life. When a person who belongs to Jesus Christ lives a life that reflects:His integrity and morality and purity, His holiness and righteousness and truthfulness, His goodness and godliness and grace,the light of his or her life can cause others to react with spontaneousrejection. The Light reveals the darkness of sin and pride and unbeliefand emptiness and meaninglessness. And it "hurts." So the world scurriesfrom the Light or tries to keep it hidden in churches or institutions while"putting it out" in the schools and government and marketplace and evensocial gatherings. But be encouraged! The Light not only reveals the darkness,it also reigns over it. Light is stronger than darkness-darkness cannot"comprehend" or "overcome" it. Imagine yourself in a darkened room with no windows and one solid door,sealed shut so that no light penetrates at all. You are surrounded by inkyblackness. Then imagine lighting one candle. Just a small one with a tinyflame. While that flame would not give off enough light to illuminate alarge room, it would still throw a circle of light around you, enablingyou to see your immediate surroundings. And it could be seen from the farthestcorners of the room. Now imagine snuffing out the candle, then taking a paper bag and fillingit with the darkness of the room. Open the door and step into a brightroom with lamplight and sunshine flooding every nook and cranny. If youopened the bag and let the darkness escape into the lighted room, whatwould happen? Nothing. Darkness cannot overcome light. Light is strongerand more penetrating than darkness. The Light cannot be overcome by the darkness, but it can be hidden byus. That's why the Bible says: "You are the light of the world. A cityon a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it undera bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyonein the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that theymay see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Your light isthe truth of the Gospel message itself as well as your witness as to WhoJesus is and what He has done for you. Don't hide it! Are you so intimidated by the majority of darkness that you are hidingyour Light under a bowl of fear? Fear of being offensive in a pluralisticsociety? Fear of failure or rejection? Are you hiding your Light undera bowl of unbelief-doubting that your neighbors and friends and coworkersand family members are going to hell apart from faith in Christ? Do yousincerely doubt that your one little candle flame of testimony, your onelittle candle flame of a verse of Scripture, will make any real differencein someone else's life? I live in the southern part of the United States. During the warmermonths in particular, if I leave the porch light on at night, all sortsof moths and insects swarm to it. The variety can be fascinating. Everythingfrom large luna moths to beetles to strange green crawly things beat andflutter their way to the light. In fact, I have to be careful when openingan outside door because the little varmints scramble to get inside thehouse. I have never stood at the door and called these insects to comeor set out bait for them. All I have to do is to turn on the light andthey come of their own volition-by the hundreds. Moths, in the midst ofthe darkness, are not attracted to more darkness. They are attracted tothe light. They are hungry for the light. They long to be in the light. People today, living in the midst of "darkness," are not attracted tomore darkness; they are attracted to the Light. So let your Light shine!Lift it high! You don't have to have a clever presentation to your witnessor learn evangelistic formulas or take a course on communicating to postmodernman. For heaven's sake, just turn on the Light! One night when Robert Louis Stevenson was a small boy, his nanny calledhim to come to bed. Oblivious to her summons, he was staring at somethingoutside his nursery window. The nanny walked over, stood at his shoulder,and inquired patiently, "Robert, what are you looking at?" The little boy,without taking his eyes away from the window, exclaimed in wonder as hepointed to the lamplighter who was lighting the streetlamps, "Look, Nanny!That man is putting holes in the darkness!" You and I may not be able to change the world, but surely each of uscan put a hole in the darkness! Turn on the Light! Share what Jesus meansto you and give God's Word to someone else! All through the ages, men and women have done just that! They have turnedon the Light so that a living faith in God has been passed from generationto generation. Not everyone has been attracted to the Light, but one byone people have come to Him for truth, wisdom, hope, salvation, and eternallife. One outstanding torchbearer who made the transition from turningon the Light by faith to actually introducing Him to others face to facewas "a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witnessto testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light" (John1:6-8). The man referred to is not John the Apostle, author of the eyewitnessbiography of Jesus we know as John's Gospel, but John the Baptist. Johnthe Baptist was the first cousin of Jesus who served as His advance man.He was the last of the fiery Old Testament prophets whose assignment wasto prepare God's people to accept and receive God's Messiah. Butthe light he lifted up, the witness he gave, was so clear and powerful,people thought he was the Light. John the Baptist overcame the darkness of religious intolerance andpublic apathy and secular pluralism of his day by boldly proclaiming thetruth of God's Word, applying it to the lives of the people around him.And if we want to overcome the darkness of our day, we must do the same. In a day yet to come, at the very end of human history when the worldreels in the chaos of rebellious blasphemy and profanity and obscenityagainst God and His people, ordinary men and women will faithfully overcomeby lifting up the Light. One last time, in a world of almost total spiritualblackout, they will overcome "him [Satan, the prince of darkness] by theblood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." The world will see friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family memberswho had been in rebellion against God suddenly changed by the power ofthe Light! In the midst of worldwide depression and confusion, in the midst of worldwide war and hate, in the midst of worldwide envy and cruelty, these changed people will have joy! When confronted with rudeness, they will be patient. When confronted with meanness, they will be kind. When confronted with hatefulness, they will be loving. When confronted with thoughtlessness, they will be considerate. And when the evidence of their lives demands a verdict by those who observethem, they will have the thrill of pointing others to the Light of truthin Jesus. Today, in a world where the role models are entertainers, athletes,and politicians, many of whom lack morals, integrity, and even common decency. . . in a world where no one seems to stand for anything unless it isto stand for selfish, self-serving rights . . . in a world where anythingis compromised if it impedes success . . . in a world where pleasure takespriority over principles . . . in a world where we care more about publicopinion than about what God thinks . . . in a world where there are noabsolutes, where what is right is what works or what feels good . . . ina world where character no longer seems to count . . . In such a world,the testimony of one life lived for Christ is powerful! One life cleansed through faith in the blood of Jesus. One life that confesses,"Jesus is Lord." One life that has the courage to stand for godlyconvictions in the midst of moral compromise. One life that tellsthe truth. One life that lives the truth. One life that liftshigh the Light! You can be that one life! John the Baptist was. He was a powerfulwitness because the Light he lifted up was "the true light that gives lightto every man . . . coming into the world" (John 1:9). Have you ever felt intimidated by other religious beliefs or even alittle guilty for sharing your faith, as though you were presumptuous inthinking yours is the truth ? Do you feel somewhat smug and self-righteousand insensitive to others, accepting that what you believe is good foryou and what they believe is good for them? That their religious beliefsare their business and none of yours? That if you are truly loving, youwill tolerate the false and compromise the truth so as not to be offensive?Yet a person who really cares about his or her neighbor, a person who genuinelyloves others, is a person who bears witness to the truth. John the Baptistwas such a person. The stunning climax of this introductory passage is that Jesus Christis the true Light that gives light to every man and woman. The Truth for every man and woman! Think about it for a moment. You may be: Afghan American African Asian Australian Eskimo Ethiopian European Indian or Russian or Mexican Spanish Swedish South American Saudi Arabian South African Cuban Chinese Canadian Israeli or Pakistani or Iraqi You may be Hindu or Hari Krishna, Muslim or Mormon, Jewish or Jehovah'sWitness, Roman Catholic or Protestant, Buddhist or Baha'i, Baptist or Anglican,or animist or atheist . . . it makes no difference! Jesus Christ is the Light for every man and woman! There is no other light! Other religionsand peoples may have some truth, but only Jesus Christ is the truthfor everyone who has ever been born into the human race, regardless ofculture, age, nationality, generation, heri-tage, gender, color, or language.Thereis not a Light for America and a Light for Africa and a Light for Chinaand a Light for Europe and a Light for India-there is only one Light forthe entire world for all time, for every person, and His name is Jesus.That's why John bore witness to the Light. That's why you and I share ourfaith, present the Gospel, and refuse to be intimi-dated by a multicultural,pluralistic world. Who do you know who says we can each have our own religion as long aswe're sincere? Does that person put a guilt trip on you for what he orshe describes as a dogmatic, narrow-minded, intolerant, and exclusive faith?But the Gospel wasn't our idea, was it? Jesus Himself declared, "I am theway and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father exceptthrough me." We must come to God through Him or we don't come at all. TheBible says emphatically that "salvation is found in no one else,for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which wemust be saved." Just the name Jesus. And Who is Jesus? He is God Himself made visible to all. Praise God!You and I are not condemned to live in the darkness because He has turnedon the Light! Praise God for just giving us Jesus! A little boy was pestering his father, who was desperately trying toget some paperwork done. The father thought he would distract his smallson. He handed him a piece of paper and a pencil and told him to draw apicture of a dog. Two minutes later the little boy proudly handed his busyfather the picture-a stick figure of a dog. The father, making an extraeffort to be patient, gave his little nuisance another piece of paper withthe instructions to draw an elephant. Two minutes later, the paper wasdutifully handed back with another stick figure drawn on it. The fathergave the child one piece of paper after another, telling him to draw alion, a frog, a dinosaur. Each time, his son handed back the paper withina matter of minutes. Finally the father felt he had a stroke of genius.He knew something that should occupy the boy for hours. He dramaticallyhanded his son what he informed him would be the last piece of paper andtold him to draw a picture of God. The father smiled smugly to himself,believing he had outwitted the youngster and would now have some uninterruptedwork time. To his astonishment, the little boy began busily drawing andwithin the usual two minutes was prepared to hand back his paper. The fatherexclaimed in exasperation, "No one knows what God looks like!" to whichthe little boy replied with the confidence of youth, "Well, they will now." The little boy's drawing was, of course, a crude rendition of his ownidea. But there was another Father Who told His Son to draw a picture ofwhat God looks like, and the Son did. He drew the picture, not with crayonsand paper, but with His own flesh and blood. And the picture was drawnso perfectly that it was an exact replica of God's image. Thank You, dear Son, for drawing the picture so vividly. So accurately.So personally. And thank You, dear Father, for just giving me Jesus! Excerpted from Just Give Me Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Please...And Thank You!p. vi
Introductionp. viii
Jesus Makes God Visible ...
1. To Mep. 2
2. As Manp. 23
Jesus Makes Change Possible ...
3. When Love Runs Outp. 44
4. When Life Isn't Enoughp. 63
Jesus Makes Happiness Attainable ...
5. For the Outcastp. 92
6. For the Bypassedp. 114
Jesus Makes Resources Ample ...
7. To Mep. 130
8. In Mep. 152
Jesus Makes Suffering Understandable ...
9. To the Observerp. 174
10. To the Suffererp. 198
Jesus Makes Sin Forgivable ...
11. For Anyonep. 228
12. For Everyonep. 262
Jesus Makes Heaven Available ...
13. To the Sinnerp. 286
14. To the Failurep. 314
Notesp. 344