As a Christian, what do you regard as the greatest good for you? Is it living a comfortable Christian life with regular church attendance and serving a little bit here and there? Is the greatest good for you experiencing financial freedom and the ability to purchase anything you see at the store without ever looking at the price tag? Is it arriving at the station in life where you are free to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it? Is it the vacation of your dreams, with family and friends to experience it with you?
To be sure, there are a lot of good things in this world. But make no mistake; the greatest good is not a thing. It is a person, and His name is Jesus Christ. There are many good gifts we receive when we are in Christ. We receive the forgiveness of our sins. We receive adoption into the family of faith. We receive the promise of eternal life. We receive the guarantee that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. These magnificent gifts are reserved only for the child of God. But there is something even better than all of this. Jesus is the greatest good!
To have Jesus is to have everything. As my friend and pastor Tullian Tchividjian often reminds us, “Jesus plus nothing equals everything!” With Jesus you have all the approval you crave. With Jesus you have all the affection you desire. With Jesus you have all the acceptance you pursue. With Jesus you have all the love you need. The absolutely greatest good is Jesus . . . period!
Steve Brown, who spoke to our men’s retreat last fall, likes to say, “You can’t love until you have been loved, and you can only love to the extent to which you have been loved.” Well, if that’s true (and it is), the question we must ask ourselves is: “How well have I been loving?” His love is unconditional; is our love unconditional? His love is sacrificial; is our love sacrificial? Our love for Him and others should always flow out of His love for us and His love for us is always flowing over, under, around, and through us.
Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. (Ephesians 1:18)
The greatest good for every saint is not the good gifts He gives us, but the giving of Himself! Paul tells us we are His inheritance. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us . . . so much so that He was willing to be nailed to that dirty tree and even to be separated from His Father in heaven so that we could be His glorious inheritance. Marinate on this truth for a while and see if it doesn’t begin to change the way you look at everything else in life. Jesus is everything and everything else is nothing!
It’s almost too glorious to believe; it seems beyond the ability of our finite minds to comprehend. Perfect, complete, needing nothing in Himself, Jesus came down from heaven to do for us what we could never do for ourselves, so that we could be with Him forever. This greatest good would be too good to be true . . . if it wasn’t Truth Himself who told us it is so.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!