The Story We Should Never Stop Telling
“But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8, HCSB)
For some of you guys this morning, this might be the 100th time you’ve heard the gospel, but for others, this might be the first time you discover it for what it truly is. For the ones that have heard this story 100 times, I pray that this 101st time reawakens your passion and love for what Jesus has done. I feel like many people wonder– what’s so great about this Jesus guy that He started this whole revolution of followers and miracles? The answer is simple. The legacy He left is undeniable and it’s beautiful to see how He continues to change lives with the power of His compassion and love, which just as strong today as it was in the days he walked this earth.
This story, authored by God, all began at the beginning of time when God created man, Adam, and woman, Eve. God took dust from very the earth He spoke into existence and handcrafted Adam, before shaping Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. But God wasn’t done lovingly creating people after the
first two; He handcrafted you and made you completely unique, giving you attributes and features that don’t identify with anyone but you. You were made by the Maker of the universe on purpose. That fact alone gives you a greater role in His story than you could ever imagine.
After he made Adam and Eve, He told them they were free to do whatever they wanted, except eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is where Eve gets tempted by Satan, just like we still do today. The enemy pulled on her desires and curiosity and led her to eat of the tree. After she ate, she convinced Adam to eat as well. Then they saw just why God had told them not to eat of the tree. All at once, sin entered the world. They noticed their nakedness and were embarrassed. They covered their bodies in fig leaves and tried to hide from God. They realized that God told them to stay away from the tree to protect them, not to keep them from pursuing excitement.
But it was too late. Sin had already separated man from God’s beautiful love. You’d think God would be heartbroken after seeing this happen. He watched His creation suffer, struggle, and be separated Him. From that moment on, God could have said, “I’m done. If you don’t want me, then you can’t have me.” But that wasn’t His response. His response was love.
Generations passed, and God came to earth in human form, lived a perfect life, and was persecuted and shamed. He carried a cross, had his body nailed to it, and suffered a brutal death so that you and I could have a relationship with Him. He was nailed to a cross for your imperfections and mine. He was beaten and bled for every selfish moment you had yet to live– for each mistake you have already made. He got up on that cross so that you didn’t have to define yourself by your shortcomings. He died a brutal death so that you could have the opportunity to build your identity on the fact that He loves you that much.
See, here is what it all comes down to: You are wanted. You are loved, and you– yes, you!– have a vital purpose on this earth right now. The story of Jesus isn’t something we keep and repeat as a tall tale to remind ourselves what it looks like to be courageous and loving. It is the defining moment that determined our lives before we ever breathed a breath.
God might feel distant in your life right now. Maybe He has never felt close to you, But maybe the start of you feeling his closeness in your heart starts with really let His reality sink in.
Hebrews 7:25 says “Therefore He is able also to save forever (completely, perfectly, for eternity) those who come to God through Him since He always lives to intercede and intervene on their behalf [with God]” (AMP).
The life of Jesus and his journey here on earth isn’t just a beautiful story or accident. His whole life was for one purpose: to save you. God performed countless miracles just to prove His great love for us. His son was born of a virgin. He calmed the wind and waves with a word. He brought the dead to life and radically changed the hearts of murderers, prostitutes, and thieves. It is all just as true today as it was in the days of the disciples. Jesus gave every part of himself to give you a gift that can never be bought– the gift of a direct line to your Maker, the one that cares for you the most.
Dear God, I pray for anyone today that doesn’t know you and for those that desire to know you more. I pray that you would soften their hearts so that they would feel just how much you love them and how much they actually matter. I thank you for sending your Son to die on a cross for a sinner like me, who fails to love you the way I should. I thank you for your love that can heal any broken heart and comfort any broken situation. I thank you for giving the most valuable gift this world has ever seen to the most undeserving people. God, I pray that we wouldn’t fail to continue to live in awe of the fact that you love us despite all the times we mistreat you and take you for granted. I pray that today would be a start for each of us to get to know your heart more and fall deeply in love with all you are. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen “Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:12-14 (HCSB)
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