“And this is the way to have eternal life – to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one You sent to earth.” (John 17:3 NLT)
Driving home from church I was listening to SiriusXM The Message when the announcer asked: “What is life’s greatest tragedy?” Then he said: “To me the greatest tragedy is for God to not answer a prayer that was never asked.” For a lost person to remain lost because they never asked for forgiveness is tragic, so I’ve been pondering his question.
Each morning as I walk the streets of my neighborhood, the thought that haunts me most as I’m speaking with the Lord is: “How will they know? How will those who don’t know You learn that You love them and are for them? That You, Lord Jesus, sacrificed Your sinless life to pay the penalty for their sin? How will they know?”
And the question He offers in reply is: “How did you learn? How did you come to know Me?” And the thought that immediately comes to mind is: “Someone introduced You to me!” So, I pray every morning that the Lord would send someone to each person in each household that they would listen to and allow to tell them about Jesus.
Of course, the Lord knows my heart and if He wants me to be that one for my neighbors, I’m willing. But the best avenue of sharing is built and opened through relationship. So, how do we develop friendships with our neighbors? One person at a time! That’s what I’m seeking to do and would encourage you to do as well. Why would I make that effort? Why should you?
Paul writes in Colossians 1:16: “Everything was created through Him (Jesus) and for Him.” Couple that with what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:11: “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” What’s my point?
God’s plan and desire is that everyone have a relationship with Him. He loves us and desires for us to love Him in return. But because of sin, we’re separated from Him, giving rise to Satanic influence which draws us ever further away and builds a barrier of resistance in our heart because of our selfishness and increasing desire to satisfy ourselves.
When we’re lost, separated from God because of our sin, we’re blinded to the Truth. We seek to content our conscience through “religion” or being “nice” or “respectable.” We want to become “good people” who can be worthy, because from somewhere deep within us our heart is forever crying for more! This – this earth, this lifestyle, this exaggerated sense of self, this house, this car, this ever-expanding desire for more – can’t be all there is!
And, as followers of Jesus, we know what that “More” is. He has a name – Jesus!
So, where am I going with all of this? For me, as I understand the message of Scripture; the wickedness and vileness of my own heart; and in contrast, the beauty, majesty, purity, and holiness of my Savior’s life – the greatest tragedy in life isn’t missing heaven, it’s missing Jesus!
There is no heaven without Jesus. There is no life, hope, contentment, wholeness, purpose, meaning, joy, happiness, there is nothing without Him!
Why is this so vital to understand? We’ll look at this more closely in tomorrow’s post.
Blessings, Ed 😊