August 16, 2013

Nothing left to want

According to the Bible, knowing Christ means that I have everything I need. This is because God the Father gave all things to His Son… “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand” (John 3:35).

In case that sounds like an unreal promise or too vague, today’s devotional reading fills in all the blanks. What follows is slightly edited, but incredible. It begins with saying all good things in the world are only shadows of what is in Christ…

Outward riches are a shadow of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Outward life is only a shadow of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life.

Outward liberty is only a shadow of that freedom which is to be had in Christ, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36), meaning that no freedom is freedom indeed and in truth but the freedom He gives.

Outward rest is only a shadow of the rest that is to be had in Him: “Come to me… and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Even the sun in the sky is only a shadow of the Son of righteousness and of His glory.

Rivers and fountains are only shadows of His fullness -- the fountain of living waters.

Plants and trees are only a shadow of the foliage of Him who is the tree of life.

All things that have any excellence are only shadows of Him in whom all worthwhile qualities come to a common center.

All the stars are only shadows of Him who is the bright and morning Star.

If all this is not enough, the devotional reading expands what has been given Christ by describing what He supplies in regard to my needs. The Bible says, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). If He can do that, obviously He has in His possession whatever it takes. Here are a few needs given in Scripture. In my experience, all of them are mine through Christ.

Have I suffered from desertion? He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Have I suffered from corruption and bondage to sin? He promises that, “Sin shall not be your master” (Romans 6:14).

Have I struggled with temptation? He answers that with, “The God of peace will… crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20) and “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Have I felt weak and unable? His promise is a reality, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

I have suffered from inner and outward affliction. He says, “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19).

I have feared calamity, but Jesus gives me peace. I have feared death, but Jesus redeems me from death and His Word rightly says…
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55–57)
I may have left out a few things, but He doesn’t miss anything. He was given all good things so He could give them to His disciples. Amazing!

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