Author: Ron Graham
Jesus Gives You What You Want Most
—7 things Jesus gives
There are things we all want deep down. At a shallower level, there are things that we think we want but the pursuit of them brings no lasting joy. Jesus knows our real and deepest needs, and he gives accordingly.
1 Jesus Gives You Life
"¶ Jesus said to Martha, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Believers in me shall live, even though they die' " (John 11:25-26).
We all want life, not death. Most of us naturally keep putting death out of our minds and focus on living our lives. We know our lives on this earth are painfully short. But we push that knowledge into a dark corner and live as though long life is a given.
This life must end soon. If only there were a life beyond this one, a far far better life, a life where there is no more death. Well there is —if you'll let Jesus give it to you.
"God shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. There shall be no grief, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for what used to be has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
2 Jesus Gives You Love
"In this the love of God was made clear to us —that God has sent his unique Son into the world that we might live through him" (1John 4:9-10). God’s Son loves as his Father loves.
"¶ Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father. He had loved his own who were in the world, and he loved them to the end" (John 13:1).
Jesus still has people in this world whom he calls his own, and he goes on loving them and supporting them. He loves them as his own brothers and sisters. Jesus does himself what he commands us to do: "Love the brotherhood" (1Peter 2:17).
That brotherhood is all of God’s family. If you belong to Jesus, he loves you and grants you all the privileges of being his spiritual siblings.
Though we may deny it, we long to belong and to be loved. Without love we wither on the vine. You may have found love in this world, but even if nobody in this world loves you, Jesus who is in heaven will love you if you will let him.
"¶ Jesus answered him, 'If you love me, you will keep my word, and my Father will love you. My Father and I will come and make our home with you' " (John 14:23).
3 Jesus Gives You a True Sense of Importance
"Jesus has made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen." (Revelation 1:6)
When you become a believer and follower of Jesus, you become part of "a chosen people" (1Peter 2:9). You belong to his kingdom. But you are not just a slave, you are a priest. You have a right to full access to the heavenly throne where you may worship God. This status is granted by Jesus your "Great High Priest" (Hebrews 4:14, 10:19-22).
This knowledge does not make you arrogant, but it does make you feel important. How could it not? None of us wants to be a “nobody”. We all want to be a “somebody” who is special. This world has many important people in high places, but none is nearly as high as heaven. You have a place in heaven if you follow Jesus. Your "citizenship is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20). That makes you a VIP (a Very Important Person).
4 Jesus Gives You a True Goal and Hope
"...We eagerly wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will come from heaven. He will transform our lowly body that it may conform to his glorious body. He is able to do this because he has the power to subject everything to himself" (Philippians 3:20-21).
This is true for all citizens of heaven. As we have noticed already, even though Christ’s followers die, they shall live. For Jesus promises that "An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28).
Everybody needs something to look forward to, a goal to achieve, a confident hope. Without true hope we are miserable. What better hope can you have than the hope Jesus offers you? He gives you the goal to press toward, the hope of resurrection from the dead and everlasting life in heaven. That is unbeatable, and it's yours if you want it. Surely you do.
5 Jesus Gives You Security and Peace
"...I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In all situations, I have learned the secret of being well fed and hungry, of abundance and need" (Philippians 4:11-12)
Those who follow Jesus don't always have an easy life. But they can always say, "The Lord is my helper. I shall not fear. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6). Translating direct from the original psalm gives an even stronger sense of security: "The Lord is on my side..." (Psalm 118:6).
Every hardship and trouble we suffer is "a messenger of Satan to buffet" (2Corinthians 12:7). But we are secure in Christ and he will give us protection and peace within. When all around us is chaos, he gives “peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin”.
In the jigsaw puzzle of life, Jesus ensures that there will be no missing peace. That's not just a pun, its the truth. Deep down you long for the peace, contentment, and security that you need —and that Jesus will give you if you let him.
6 Jesus Gives You Someone to Worship
When the first disciples of Jesus met Jesus after his resurrection, "they held him by the feet and worshipped him" (Matthew 28:9).
Peter didn't let Cornelius do that. "Peter arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet and worshipped him. But Peter made him get up. 'Stand up,' he said, 'I am only a man myself.' "(Acts 10:24-27).
Even an angel would not accept such worship. "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, 'Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!' " (Revelation 22:8-9).
The same thing happened earlier to John. "I fell at the angel’s feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'Don't do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brethren who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship only God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus' " (Revelation 19:10).
Jesus accepted the worship which others refused. Yet the command is "worship only God". Jesus did not say, ‘Stand up for I am but a man like you’. Jesus is worshipped not as a mere man, however important, and not even as an angel. It is wrong to worship such. But Jesus is worshipped as God.
You need someone to worship. Worship Jesus, the Son of the Heavenly Father, and worship the Father through him (Hebrews 10:19-22 again).
7 Jesus Gives You a Clear Conscience
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and his ascension to the throne of heaven, marked a new beginning. This was symbolised by the salvation of those in Noah’s ark. In explaining this, Peter says the flood was a figure of "baptism which now saves us, not the cleansing of filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ who is gone into Heaven" (1Peter 3:18-21).
The thing you most need is “a good conscience toward God”. You can have that because Jesus died for you and rose for you. If you believe in him and repent of your sins, you can be baptised "for the forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:38-39). Your conscience will be clean and clear, and, with the Holy Spirit to help, you will be able to keep it that way.
"If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness... We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he himself is the atonement for our sins, and not for ours only, but for those of the whole world" (1John 1:9, 2:1-2).
I first preached the above lesson in 1978 at Newnham Tasmania. I also presented the lesson in Melbourne at Heidelberg West and Boronia.