What We Need; July 20, 2018

John 11:25-27 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

Martha essentially asked for her brother’s life to be returned (verses 21-22), so Jesus is here telling her that what she, and her brother, really need is He Himself. When she affirmed that she did indeed receive Him in faith, He was then able to go on and give her her brother back, as she had asked. This actually is directly in line with Jesus’ famous teaching on material provision: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) We often miss out on what we really need because we seek secondary or tertiary things instead of what is primary, and that is God Himself. There is a very simple chorus that we sang this past Sunday that just says, “He’s all I need.” That seems simplistic to the point of ridiculousness, but it’s nonetheless true. We let the world and our physical appetites tell us what we need, instead of listening to the One who created us and so really knows what we need. Another chorus that comes to mind goes, “I want more of Jesus: more and more and more. I want more of Jesus than I ever had before. I want more of His great love, so rich and full and free; I want more of Jesus, and He wants more of me.” That was still new when my father sang it back in 1973 or so, but his prayer partner told me he changed the words slightly to say at the end, “So I’ll give Him more of me.” Receiving Christ in totality indeed involves giving Him ourselves in totality.

I am deeply grateful to have had an earthly father who understood this, but that doesn’t guarantee I live it out in my own life. There was a time when I thought my pedigree bought me a privileged place in God’s kingdom. That was a major part of the pride that blocked me from Christ, even though I didn’t recognize it until God tapped me on the shoulder and showed me a mirror. At this point I do seek a number of things, but thankfully they are increasingly related to God’s kingdom and His righteousness. The difficult point at times is distinguishing between what is God and what is merely good. I’ve got to remember the words of David: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) If my desire, my delight, is Christ and His kingdom, then my heavenly Father will be delighted to give it to me. (Luke 12:32)

Father, thank You for this reminder. I get so distracted so often! Help me indeed focus on You and Your kingdom and let everything else fall into place, so that I too may fit into Your plan for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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