Most people trust in humans that abuse them, stories with no proof, some have gods that mistreat them, and other things that change or fail over time. These things come and go. Entire nations built on them came and went. Today, the popular, value systems have more people placating themselves with fantasy and/or on prescription drugs than ever before. We were lied to. We are still being lied to. Fortunately, our God loves us and has something better.
"For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
"so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11)
In His Word, God promises to render to each based on their works. Since all have sinned, that means a just God must give us the wrath we deserve. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would rather they turn and live. Before He even punished us, He prophesied that He'd send a Messiah who would wipe away every tear from every eye. Jesus fulfilled every prophecy. He gave a message that will save us, give us eternal life, and transform us to be our best in this life. His Word helps us do it by speaking to our hearts as we read it and pray to Him.
But, what does it teach us about who Jesus is and what He did for us? Why is Jesus so great?
Let's look at that through a Gospel lens:
We all rebelled against God and His goodness. He should've tossed the entire, human race. Instead, God promised He'd rescue us back in Gen. 3:15 before punishing the human race. His steadfast love for us outweighs His wrath. He also said so. He later promises to bring all peoples back to Him in a new Heaven and Earth. A perfect one. He's promised us a beautiful future.
God With Us
God says all the nations together are like a drop in the bucket to Him.
Compared to their Creator, they're less than nothing or vanity. So, what
are we individuals that God would even have a thought for us? God's Word
says He predestined a plan for our lives. He knitted us together in the
womb. We each matter to Him.
Best Friend We Could Have
We deserved God's judgement and wrath for our sins, burning in His Hell. Instead, God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to save us. God put our sins and the punishment on the only innocent, perfect man: Jesus. While we were sinners (God's enemies), Christ died for us. Horribly. He served our sentence for us. By His stripes, we are healed. The greatest love is laying down your life for a friend. Jesus loves us like that at our worst. He's the best friend we'll ever have.
He Understands Our Struggles
Many of our rulers today are far away or pretend to empathize with us. Whereas, God stepped out of heaven to take on flesh to live as we do. Jesus was born in poverty with animals, worked with His hands, had family struggles, served others down to washing their dirty feet, was an outcast, was constantly slandered, faced exhaustion in His journeys, and was publicly humiliated and tortured to death. Although tempted like us, He had no sin. Imagine what it took to pull that off. Jesus understands what we're going through because He faced it Himself. He said to have no fear "for I have overcome the world." Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.
He Never Changes or Stops Loving Us
People might get tired of and turn on you. Someone might take what you have on Earth, even your life. Human regimes change from friendly to enemy in one election or coup. God says "For I the LORD do not change." Every good and perfect gift is from above with no variation or shadow of change. His perfect character is inherent to His good nature. Being God, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Christ will never throw His friends away or turn on them. He's committed to us forever. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. He promised nobody can snatch you from His hand.God Makes Us Part of His Story
People share their experiences on social media. They want to win the lottery, meet famous people, or be in world-changing events. They'd be telling people what happened everywhere they go for the rest of their lives.
Try this one: God personally lived a lifetime for us as Jesus Christ, died for us, was raised three days later, and went back to heaven to send His Spirit down to dwell in us. He saved us when we believed His Gospel and surrendered to Him. For each of us, the Most High God of All Creation overcame the horrors of the world just to keep us close to Him. Unlike the world's exclusives, God made it an experience for every individual that puts faith in Him. That's so much more awesome than stories people are sharing. We need to get more people in on it!
Makes Us New People
Many people want to be the best version of themselves. Every improvement has a positive effect on others around them, too. Yet, we are still so sinful that trying to be fully good people according to His Law is hopeless. God could judge us on our merits after coming to Christ. Scary thought! Instead, God through His Word and Spirit transforms us daily to be more like Christ. He'll finish the good work He started in us. He'll present us blameless to His Father if we just trust and follow Him.
Gives Us All We Need
God gave us a future and a mission to bear God's image in this life. Yet, we are still often selfish, lazy, or ineffective. We'd never be able to do all that He wants. God said He also gave us Scripture and the Spirit to equip us for the good works He created us to do. We're like apprentices learning from the master, Jesus Christ, with some special abilities (spiritual gifts) supernaturally granted to us. God gives us purpose and the ability to carry it out. God also says He'll bless us for every sacrifice we make out of love for Him and others. He'll reward work He helped us do in the first place!
People have a hard time motivating themselves to go to work, take care of their homes, etc. People want what they do to be meaningful. In Christ, everything done in a worshipful attitude pleases God with eternal consequences. God may work through those activities in this life, too. Everything we do has meaning every day. So long as we do it all to the glory of God our Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Helps Us Suffer Well
We're in a world full of injustice, suffering, and death. We're likely to lose faith or quit when it gets too hard. God told us in His Word that He's sovereignly in control of everything that happens. He never tempts us beyond our ability, every test we can withstand with His help, His discipline is to improve us, and our suffering builds our character. It also brings us closer to Christ who had to suffer for righteousness sake. God says we don't even have to understand it all: just trust Him taking it a day at a time, obey His Word, and love others. He'll do the rest. Others are suffering now or will later on their own. That's so much worse. Let's help them face it with Him.
Let's summarize. We are selfish, rebellious, foolish, ineffective, often weak, and ultimately disposable. Yet, God loves us collectively and individually. God's love leads Him to pursue us, shape the whole world to facilitate saving us, run into it enduring its horrors, forgive us, give us peace, give us purpose, stick with us, train us, console us, and eventually keep us with Him forever in a paradise. These are collectively the love of God for each of us. Being incredible, God also executes a sovereign plan across all of time impacting every nation in the world.
Words should not be able to describe our appreciation for His majesty, His undeserved love, and the amazing adventure of a life He's given us. We should be so overwhelmed by it all that we're falling on our faces begging to do anything He asks in this life. This life which is just a blink of an eye but decides how our eternity plays out based on what we do in it. Based on how much we love, surrender to, and serve Him, and love others as God does.
Time is short. You could die any day. Nothing on this Earth is worth burning alive forever over. Whereas, nothing on this Earth compares to the heaven Jesus is preparing for us. God set it up so that you have everything to gain by choosing Jesus. I hope you now know that Jesus Christ is better than anything the world has to offer. He never changes either. Repent and put your trust totally in Jesus today. Receive eternal life and start living in spiritual abundance.
(Read the Gospel, see proof
it's true, or learn to live it.)