The answer is always Jesus

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are,  so that no one may boast before him.  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
I Corinthians 1:27-31

I often joke with the congregation that I have the privilege of leading (New Hope Free Methodist Church in Rochester, NY), that in nearly all the important questions of faith, the answer is almost always Jesus.  Jesus is simultaneously the mode, the manner, the message, and the model of God's purposes in creation.  He is central to God's action from beginning (Colossians 1:15-20) to the end (Revelation 22:12-16).  You can not escape this fundamental revelation of Scripture, without emptying the Word of its power.

According to Bible, this centrality of Jesus either powerfully enlivens us, or becomes a stumbling block to receiving the wisdom of God (I Corinthians 1:18-25).  Therefore, in the Christian faith, our understanding of the nature of Jesus and His purposes literally has life and death consequences.  It is of ultimate importance.

The interesting thing is that Jesus is not just a concept to be understood, nor a theological principle to be applied, but literally our living hope.  He is literally described as the wisdom (applied knowledge of truth) of God (see opening scripture).  That wisdom provides three things that we desparately seek:

1. Jesus provides righteousness:  Righteousness is not defined as doing the "right things" as much as being in a right relationship with God.  We have a standing or significance precisely because of what Jesus did, and not because of ourselves.  The Bible tells us that our own attempts to be in a right relationship with God is inadequate and even hostile to God (Isaiah 64:6-7, Romans 8:7).  We literally receive this relational standing through putting our trust in the person and work of Jesus (Romans 3:22)

2. Jesus provides holiness: Holiness is not a magical status for a few super saints, but the state of being set apart for the purposes of God.  This gives us purpose.  One of our spiritual quests is to know that our lives have purpose.  We long to know that our lives have meaning and contribute to something real in our lives.  Literally, followers of Jesus, find their purposes in him. 

3. Jesus provides redemption: Redemption means to "purchase back".  This is the Bible's term for the forgiveness of our wrongdoing and its consequences.  The forgiveness in redemption is described as mercy: to not receive what we deserve.  The restoration to right relationship with God (righteousness) and being set apart for the purposes of God (Holiness) are described as acts of grace: Receiving what we did not deserve.  God's redemption through Jesus demonstrates his mercy and grace towards us.

All of this can be theological babbling and stale religious jargon except, that God's wisdom is to be experienced.  This relationship with Jesus is to provide our significance, our purposes, and our acceptance in life.  Think about this.  Our relationship with Jesus is the key to overcoming insignificance, insecurity, and every form of rejection.  Because of this, we know that the only things we can truly boast about, is God.

Whatever you may be facing today, the answer is Jesus.  No matter how many messages you receive that seek to define your life as insignificant, meaningless, and without value, Jesus gives us an alternative to live life according to His spirit, His purposes, and His power.

I challenge you today to consider what gives your life significance, purpose, and acceptance. Jobs fail, health comes and goes, relationships change over time, but we are promised that Jesus, is the same yesterday, today, and for eternity (Hebrews 13:8).  What are you building your life upon: the foolishness of worldly standards or the way, the truth, and life.

May God bless you,

Pastor M Traylor
Dr. M TraylorComment