Jesus is Everything to Me

“Christ is all in all.”
(Col 3:11)

In Thomas Brooks’ Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices I came upon the following:

We have all things in Christ.  Christ is all things to a Christian.  If we are sick, Jesus is a physician.  If we thirst, Jesus is a fountain.  If our sins trouble us, Jesus is our righteousness.  If we stand in need of help, Jesus is mighty to save.  If we fear death, Jesus is life.  If we are in darkness, Jesus is light.  If we are weak, Jesus is strength. If we are in poverty, Jesus is plenty.  If we desire heaven, Jesus is the way.  The soul cannot say, “this I would have, and that I would have.”  But having, Jesus, he has all he needs – eminently, perfectly, eternally.

I read this, and I say, “Amen.”  But the more I think about it, I wonder, “Is this really the case for Christians today?  Is this true even of me?”

Think about it:

    • When we’re sick, we call the doctor.
    • When we’ve got aches and pains, we reach for the aspirin.
    • When we are thirsty, we have a class of water.
    • When our conscience is troubled, we find a stronger drink, a better pill, a listening ear, a credit card to buy back our happiness.
    • When we need help, when we are afraid for our own future, we put our trust in the power of government, our stockpile of gold, the wisdom of man.
    • When we are weak, we put on a mask of strength.

How often do we turn to Jesus?  When do we come to him as our “all in all”?

For many of us, we may talk about the greatness of knowing Jesus, when in reality Jesus is just one more “thing” we’ve added to our already crowded life.  It’s not that we believe in Jesus and all the other things in life; rather, it’s a matter of all the other things in life, with just a little Jesus added in.

Is Jesus at the center of your life?  Would you be satisfied if you lost everything else, but still had Jesus?  Would you be content with Him and nothing else?

    • If you lost your home, your car, your employment, but still had Jesus, would you feel safe and secure?
    • If, like Job, you lost your family, your health, your friends, but you still had Jesus, would you look to heaven confident in God’s provision and love?
    • If, because of the convictions of your faith, you lost your status in the community, were ridiculed, scorned, and even attacked because of your beliefs, but still had Jesus, would you rejoice in your sufferings as did the saints of old?

Upon what does your faith, your contentment, your hope in life depend?  Upon Christ alone, or upon Christ plus X?

Let me end with one more quote from Brooks:

Though honor is not, and riches are not, and health is not, and friends are not – it is enough that Christ is, that he reigns, conquers, and triumphs.  Christ is the pot of manna, the cruse of oil, a bottomless ocean of all comfort, contentment, and satisfaction.  He who has him lacks nothing: he who lacks him enjoys nothing.  In having nothing I have all things, because I have Christ; having therefore all things in him, I seek no other reward, for his is all in all.

SDG

The Gospel According to Mephibosheth

“And David said to him, “do not fear, for I will show you kindness
for the sake of your father Jonathon… and you shall eat at my table always.”
(2 Sam 9:7)

One of my absolute favorite stories in the Old Testament is a one chapter side note about a guy name Mephibosheth.  We first read about this young man in chapter 4 of 2 Samuel, and his story begins with tragedy.  Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathon, the grandson of King Saul, a potential heir to the throne of Israel.  He was only 5 years old when Jonathon and Saul were killed in battle, and with their death “all of Israel was dismayed” and panic set in throughout the land.  Fearing that the only surviving heir to the throne would be targeted for assassination, Mephibosheth was carried off by his nurse, but she fell in her haste, and he became lame.

The story of Mephibosheth picks up again in 2 Samuel chapter 9.  The civil war within Israel had ended, and David was anointed as King.  Mephibosheth is hiding in a place called Lo-Debar, which literally means “nowhere”, about as far away from Jerusalem as he could get.  He was hiding, hoping to keep out of David’s reach – hoping never to be seen as a threat to the throne.

Amazingly, one of David’s first acts as King was to search for any survivors of Jonathon’s family, not to eliminate any potential threat, but to show kindness to him.  Ziba, a servant from the house of Saul was there, and he told David about Jonathon’s son, Mephibosheth, and was immediately sent out to bring him before King David.

Can you imagine what must have been going through Mephibosheth’s head when Ziba came to his door?  His family was gone, his claim to the throne lost., his life was forfeit to the king, and he was a cripple.  What could he offer, what claim could he make before the king that would possibly bring him salvation?  Imagine the uncertainty, the fear that would have coursed through his veins as he stumbled before the throne and knelt before this king.

I said before that this story is marked with tragedy; but it does not end in tragedy.  David shows kindness to Mephibosheth in the midst of his misery – David shows him grace.  David is gracious to Mephibosheth, not because of anything he has done, but because of David’s love for Jonathon.  David restores this broken, terrified man to everything he had lost.  All that belonged to Saul was restored to him, and he was given a permanent place at David’s table, like one of the king’s own sons.

What a picture of grace.  You’d be hard-pressed to find another story in the Old Testament that so succinctly tells the gospel in such a beautiful way.

You see, I am Mephibosheth.  In my sin, I have fallen from grace, and I am broken, lame, and unable to stand before the Lord.  In my shame, I run from God, I hide myself from His gaze, I fear His judgment.

While I am far off from God, His Spirit comes to me, like the faithful servant Ziba, and brings me before His throne, and while I ought to be condemned, God shows me His undeserved kindness.  God shows me grace, not because of anything I have done, not because of any potential He sees in me, but because of His beloved, Jesus Christ, who has died in my place.  God credits to me the righteousness of another, He secures for me an everlasting inheritance, He sets me at His table as one of His sons.

This is the Gospel According to Mephibosheth.  Praise be to God for His amazing grace!

SDG