“For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” (Hebrews 11:40 NLT)
When I was in school my best subject was math. Perhaps that’s why my ears perked up when I heard this equation in a recent sermon by Pastor Robbie Symons (https://hopeoakville.ca/glory-story-robbie-symons/): “Jesus plus nothing equals EVERYTHING!” What does that mean?
We often have the mistaken belief, especially if we think we’re lacking something we deem valuable or important, that if we just had “THAT,” whatever “THAT” is, life would be perfect. “THAT” raise! “THAT” new job! “THAT” new car! “THAT” new house! “THAT” new relationship! “THAT” healing touch from God! “THAT” positive pregnancy test! “THAT” negative Covid test! However “THAT” translates in your life. But the truth is, it doesn’t work that way.
Material and/or physical things can never fill the void, the God-shaped vacuum, that can only be filled with a meaningful relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. You see, there’s another equation that’s equally important to learn: “Every material possession imaginable, even perfect health minus Jesus equals NOTHING of eternal value!
God’s platform for perfection isn’t material/physical, it’s spiritual. And in a very real sense, it has very little to do with you and me and everything to do with Jesus.
In the last verse of Hebrews 11 (see above), the writer is referring to all the people of faith about whom he wrote in chapter 11. And the perfection that they would not reach without us, had to do with the fact that none of them had experienced what we now have the privilege to experience in our lives: a deep, abiding relationship with the Jewish Messiah, who has become our Savior – Jesus!
God had promised the Jews that He would send a Messiah. But their expectation was for a literal earthly kingdom, with a king who would build an army to overthrow their enemies and give them peace and prosperity on this earth, which, in their minds, would be “perfection.” The irony is, that’s exactly what Jesus brought, but most of the Jews missed it because they were looking outward, not within.
God’s platform for perfection is our heart. And the perfection, at least initially, isn’t ours, but His. Because Jesus is perfect in the best sense of the term, He plus nothing from us, equals EVERYTHING we could ever dream or hope to receive.
In what is commonly referred to as The Lord’s Prayer (See Luke 11:2-4), Jesus instructed us to ask our Heavenly Father to: “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Luke 11:3 KJV). In our haste, we fly over that, believing Jesus’ intention was for God, our Father, to give us enough to eat for any given day. And that’s good that He does, but something about that troubles me. I believe we get the wrong idea that God is only interested in meeting our physical needs, when in reality, what He’s essentially wanting to supply is “EVERTHING WE NEED TO BE EVERYTHING HE DESIRES FOR US TO BE!” Not just literal food, but food for our soul, that will fill and empower us to be everything we can be, not only for ourselves, but for those with whom we’ll have contact on any given day. And THAT food only comes from God’s Word, the Bible.
We’ll not reach perfection until we receive our new bodies in heaven, but in the meantime, we’re to pursue being the best we can possibly be by laying our heart, mind, soul, and strength (physical body) on the altar of obedient surrender to the Holy Spirit every day. Loving Jesus supremely and trusting that He will accomplish His perfect purposes in and through us to His honor and fame.
My desire is: “Jesus plus me equals glory, honor, praise, adoration, and worship pointing to Jesus alone.”
Blessings, Ed 😊