April 11, 2017

Jesus is all, and Jesus is enough!

In our church, more than thirty ethnic groups are represented. One of the women has the same first name as mine and tells others that we are twins, except she “was left longer in the oven.” Color, race, situation in life, age, and occupation make no difference to fellowship in Christ. It is as the New Testament says it should be . . .

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11)

Today’s devotional focuses on “Christ is all” and affirms that He is all we need: “We are sin; Christ is righteousness. We are filthiness; Christ is cleansing. We are naked; Christ is clothing. We are ignorance; Christ is wisdom. We are guilty; Christ is pardon. We are blind; Christ is healing. We are dead; Christ is life.” The author concludes that no matter what we need, it is found in Christ.

This is good news to many, yet for the self-sufficient, it is of no interest and can even be repulsive. In my pride, I can remember my early response to the following passage of Scripture, particularly the part that asks me to consider my calling . . .

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’ Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:18–31)

I didn’t want to think of myself as foolish, weak, low, a human nothing. I stumbled over this description and spent much time and energy trying to make it not so. I wanted to boast in me, to accomplish things, to be a noble and powerful person in the kingdom of God.

Of course, this does not glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Me being all that I need? How quickly God began to show me that without Christ, I am truly unable to do anything that pleases Him, or anything that has any value to His glory, the needs of His people, or even to my own life. Christ is indeed all in all.

He is certainly all to God the Father, the only One that is accepted for our justification and our sanctification. Apart from Him, we can do nothing — of course we cannot save ourselves or be accepted before God. We need the righteousness of Jesus Christ given freely to all who believe, not to those who qualify!

Jesus, You are also all to Your Body, the church. You are precious, beautiful, my hope in whom I have placed my trust, love, worship, and my destiny. I worship You, my greatest joy, my peace with God, my assurance of God’s love, my comforter in sorrow and my helper in everything. You are all in life and in death, all for eternity, all that I desire. Because I have You, I have all that I need, and that is enough.

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