I seem to never forget the moment in class when my classmate was asked to stand up and give the definition for a term. I’m sure he was shocked to have been selected among all the other students in the class. He started out by reciting the definition and got stuck about half-way. The next word or term that followed just blew my mind and caused the entire class to die with laughter. What was the word? “Etcetera…” or “etc..”
I’ve never heard such cunning use of the expression before, especially in a situation where one is being held accountable to give the whole answer and not just some of it. Unforgettable moment. Of course, the teacher had him sit back to his chair by then.
We each may have an answer to a problem, but yet neither of those answers may be the answer.
Christ came as the answer, not only to satisfy all of our questions or challenges but also to be tested against every form of tests that any other answer would easily fail.
Someone can come up with various explanations concerning life challenges. They all seem to make sense. The most common one is: “If you do good, God will love you. And if you do evil, God will hate you.”
It seems to make perfect sense. Doesn’t it? It’s very much like the saying that goes, “you reap what you sow.”
But there’s more to life than reaping what we sow. There’s more to life than suffering because we’ve done something wrong. There’s more to life than believing to be loved simply because we’ve been behaving nicely. It’s like coming to realization that the sun doesn’t go around us, but rather we go around the sun. It’s like coming to understanding that the celestial bodies that are seen by the naked eyes are not tiny marbles stuck to the blanket we call the sky.
Christ came to us to teach us that there’s more to life than meet the eyes. He came to tell us and show us that there’s more to life than anything else we’ve ever heard. Christ is more than anything or anyone we’ve ever met or heard or heard about.
Christ Jesus is the answer. Not a band-aid or an update, the whole new creation. Believing in Him is like believing in someone from a distant land where peace, joy and rest reign. You believe in Him, and through you His peace, and joy and rest are made effective even in a world where these things are often short-lived. His influence in your heart establishes His influence to the rest of this world and makes it worth living despite the aches and burdens that are found within this world.
This is why, given that He lives in you, he asserted:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
One of the greatest compliments, I have ever received from another believer at one point, was this: “Seeing you is like seeing Jesus.” He said such without any hesitation, with such a wonderful joy in his smile. I didn’t ask for it. But he couldn’t help it and had to blurt it out like someone who’s overwhelmed with excitements. And his words became engraved in my heart ever since.
One of the greatest lines in one of the Haitian Creole worship songs, is this: “Mwen konnen Bondye nan Jezu Kris”, which means “I’ve come to know God, in Jesus.”
My friends, all the more reason that you ought to rejoice and be happy and content right this minute is that, not only that God loves you, but also that He came down in His Son, to let you know that. I mean, ladies, how did you feel when your spouse came and told you that he loves you? And, gentlemen, how did you feel when you saw the blushing, the never-known-before excitement overwhelms her heart, sparkling eyes, at the hearing of such wonderful words?
It’s just wonderful to be loved by God. It’s just wonderful.
I’ll leave with these words so that, in every situation or circumstance, and when you feel like you’re failing to love God as much as he loved you, you will always find rest in knowing and remembering that:
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
Not that we loved, but that he loved us and got all excited about it to the point of sending His Son, Jesus, to bring us the closest we could ever be to Him: becoming his children.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)
You may want to feel down because the world doesn’t know you. A lot of people don’t even know who you are and what you’ve been through. To top it off, they may not even know that God loves you. But you do. They may not even know that God loves them. But you do. And your job is to help them know as much as Grace, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, is teaching you what and who such love is, day after day.
This is love: to be loved by God.
Believe in him who loves you even to death, and more than that, back to life to tell you more about such love and keep you at peace with joy with such love.
Believe in Him, Jesus, the new covenant, the whole answer to all of life challenges and more.
Believe in Jesus, God’s own love for just for you.