O sirs! There is in a crucified Jesus – something proportionate to all the straits, needs, necessities, and desires of His poor people. He is bread to nourish them, a garment to cover and adorn them, a physician to heal them, a counselor to advise them, a captain to defend them, a prince to rule them, a prophet to teach them, a priest to make atonement for them; a husband to protect them, a father to provide for them, a brother to relieve them, a foundation to support them, a head to guide them, a treasure to enrich them, a sun to enlighten them, and a fountain to cleanse them! What more can any Christian desire – to satisfy him and save him; and to make him holy and happy – in time and eternity?
I also know that there is only one place where that angry, reactive, overwhelmed self can be transformed – the same place that Mary chose – the feet of Jesus… When I get into His presence, the whole world looks different. When I draw close to His heart, I find mercy when I know I deserve judgment; I find forgiveness for all my petty, selfish ways; I find grace for all my inadequacies; I find peace for my troubled heart; I find perspective for my distorted views. In Him, I find an eye in the midst of the storm. Oh the storm around me may not immediately subside; but the storm within me is made calm.
I have taken all of my bad deeds and put them on a heap, and I have taken my good deeds as well, and I have put them on the same heap. And I have run away from that heap into the arms of Jesus. I die in peace.
The whole of the Christian life is centered on Jesus Christ. Like Paul the contemporary Christian can say: “To me to live is Christ.” But often, in Christian experience, we are tempted to look elsewhere for direction, example, counsel and guidance. We lose sight of the fact that everything we need to live the Christian life is to be found exclusively in Christ. For this reason when we begin thinking about spiritual growth we must think first of all about Christ.
As Christians, we find complete sufficiency in Christ and His provisions for our needs. There’s no such thing as an incomplete or deficient Christian. Our Savior’s divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness. Human wisdom offers nothing to augment that. Every Christian receives all he and she needs at the moment of salvation. Each one must grow and mature, but no necessary resource is missing. There’s no need to search for something more.
Where can we get reliable answers for life’s hardest questions? Our all-sufficient Savior has not left us without ample spiritual resources. His perfect wisdom is available through His Word. Comfort, assurance, understanding, and power are ours through the ministry of His indwelling Spirit. All of that is amplified by loving ministry from gifted people who operate in the community of believers. And it all works together to assure that each believer has perfect “abundance for every good deed” (2 Cor. 9:8).
There are basically only two kinds of religion in the world: those based on human achievement and those based on divine accomplishment. One says you can earn your way to heaven; the other says you must trust in Jesus Christ alone.
In Christ, as a great storehouse, lie all the riches of spiritual wisdom, the massive ingots of solid gold which when coined into creeds and doctrines are the wealth of the Church. All which we can know concerning God and man, concerning sin and righteousness and duty, concerning another life, is in Him Who is the home and deep mine where truth is stored… The central fact of the universe and the perfect encyclopedia of all moral and spiritual truth is in Christ, the Incarnate Word, the Lamb slain, the ascended King.
In Jesus are riches – if you are poor; Honor – if you are despised; Friendship – if you are forsaken; Help – if you are injured; Mercy – if you are miserable; Joy – if you are disconsolate; Protection – if you are in danger; Deliverance – if you are a captive; Life – if you are mortal; and all things – if you have nothing at all (James Meikle).
The great mistake made by most of the Lord’s people is in hoping to discover in themselves that which is to be found in Christ alone.
He bears the keys – to Him we must go for admission into heaven. He is the door – through Him we must enter. He is the Shepherd – we must hear His voice, and follow Him, if we would not perish in the wilderness. He is the Physician – we must apply to Him, if we would be healed of the plague of sin. He is the bread of life – we must feed on Him, if we would have our souls satisfied. He is the light – we must walk after Him, if we would not wander in darkness. He is the fountain – we must wash in His blood, if we would be cleansed, and made ready for the great day of account.
It is a destructive addition to add anything to Christ.
Do not tell me that there is no rest for us till we get to heaven. We who have believed in Jesus enter into rest even now. Why should we not do so? Our salvation is complete. The robe of righteousness in which we are clad is finished. The atonement for our sins is fully made. We are reconciled to God, beloved of the Father, preserved by His grace, and supplied by His providence with all that we need. We carry all our burdens to Him and leave them at His feet. We spend our lives in His service, and we find His ways to be ways of pleasantness, and His paths to be paths of peace. Oh, yes, we have found rest unto our souls! I recollect the first day that I ever rested in Christ, and I did rest that day. And so will all of you who trust in Jesus as I trusted in Him.
Your main and principal motive as a Christian should always be to live for Christ. To live for glory? Yes, but for his glory. To live for comfort? Yes, but be all your consolation in him. To live for pleasure? Yes, but when you are merry, sing psalms, and make melody in your hearts to the Lord. To live for wealth? Yes, but to be rich in faith. You may lay up treasure, but lay it up in heaven.
I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.
To encounter Christ is to touch reality and experience transcendence. He gives us a sense of self-worth or personal significance, because He assures us of God’s love for us. He sets us free from guilt because He died for us…and from paralyzing fear because He reigns…He gives meaning to marriage and home, work and leisure, personhood and citizenship.
In Christ we have a love that can never be fathomed; a life that can never die; a righteousness that can never be tarnished; a peace that can never be understood; a rest that can never be disturbed; a joy that can never be diminished; a hope that can never be disappointed; a glory that can never be clouded; a light that can never be darkened; a happiness that can never be interrupted; a strength that can never be enfeebled; a purity that can never be defiled; a beauty that can never be marred; a wisdom that can never be baffled; and resources that can never be exhausted.
This explains why Christ is sometimes not enough for us. If I stand before him as a cup waiting to be filled with psychological satisfaction, I will never feel quite full. Why? First, because my lusts are boundless; by their very nature, they can’t be filled. Second, because Jesus does not intend to satisfy my selfish desires. Instead, he intends to break the cup of psychological need (lusts), not fill it.