that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(NKJV)
At some point, hopefully, every Christian will figure out
that Jesus Christ is the absolute CENTER of life.
He is the center of history, the center of eternity, the center of all great answers:
- Why did God create us?
- What is my purpose in life?
- What does the future hold?
- Is life worth living?
- Does anyone care?
- Is there more to life than this?
For all the “big” questions of life, start with Jesus. The answer will inevitably be found in discovering His purpose, His life, His person and His character. Everything of importance, everything eternal, everything that matters… revolves around Jesus Christ. He is the central truth of Christianity, and indeed of all creation.
So far we’ve learned that the name of Jesus Christ is:
The Most Understanding & Compassionate – Jesus is the caring Shepherd and He protects and cares for His sheep (Isa 40.11); Jesus is uniquely qualified to understand and respond to our deepest needs and hurts because He is both absolutely Divine, and absolutely human (Heb 4.15-16)
The Most Meaningful and Purposeful – the name of Jesus is filled with infinite meaning and purpose; why He lived; why He died; why He taught; why He loves us; what He accomplished… it is an inexhaustible well of study and discovery.
- The Most Rewarding – trusting in the name of Jesus results in the greatest rewards available to humankind. We get to live eternally in His presence (Phil 1.23; Rev 22.5); we receive an incorruptible crown of glory (1Pet5.4); we become a member of God’s family and co-heir with Christ (Rom 8.17); we get a home built just for us (John 14.1-4;2Cor 5.1); and we get to live in the “fullness of joy” for all eternity (Psalms 16.11)…. just to name a few “rewards”.
- The Most Powerful – the name of Jesus is the power of salvation, sufficient to save every person who believes (John 3.15). Jesus has the power to deliver us from the evil power of this world (Gal 1.3-4) and free us from the fear of Satan and death (Heb 2.14-15; Rev 1.18). The name of Jesus is the promise of resurrection for all those that belong to Him (Rom 6.5).
- The Most Selfless – Jesus knew from eternity past that He would create us, we would sin, crucify Him and then most would reject His free offer of salvation… and yet He still chose to create us anyway. He endured our punishment (Rom 6.23); He paid our ransom to free us from captivity (Mark 10.45); He saved us from God’s wrath and will return to get us (Heb 9.28).
The Most Affirming and Validating Name I Know
Every person has God-created needs to be worthwhile, valuable, purposeful, loved, accepted and confirmed. I’m not talking about the modern trend of “self-centric” psychology that seeks to teach us to “esteem” ourselves, to cultivate self-love and self-adulation. Those ideas are foreign and contrary to the Bible which teaches us self-sacrifice, self-denial and self-evaluation.
I’m talking about find our fulfilling our God-created need to be loved and accepted unconditionally; to receive affirmation of our value (in God’s eyes) and to have our very existence validated (through God’s purpose for each of us).
Affirmation and validation are only possible
because Jesus has reconciled us with our Creator.
The life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to be reinstated into our relationship with God in whom we derive our sense of value and purpose in life. Most people, including Christians, seek affirmation and a sense of worthiness in two ways: performance and opinions of others.
We build up our value and worthiness through performance which proves how “good” we are. This is accomplished in various ways such as being always saying “yes” to anyone who asks something of us; by controlling every situation thereby assuring our successful performance; by avoiding any situation that might lead to a less than successful performance; or by shifting blame off ourselves anytime our performance doesn’t measure up.
When performance is accomplished, it results in a favorable opinion from others about us individually. It is from this favorable opinion and perceived “approval” that most people gain their sense of worthiness, value and purpose RATHER than deriving it from the truths that God through Christ has revealed to us.
Let’s look at some of those truths that affirm our value and importance in God’s eyes – truths made possible and secured through and by Jesus Christ (emphasis mine):
- You are so valuable to God that He will never allow you to be separated from His love.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)
- Your sins are completely forgiven and removed, never to be “used” against you again
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (NKJV)
- You are so important to God that He sacrificed His only Son to save you
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJ)
- God values you so much that He will protect you and never let anyone take you from Him
John 10:28-29 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. (NKJV)
- God considers us so important and worthy of His love that He has adopted us into His very own family
Ephesians 1:5-6 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (NKJV)
- Our life sense of purpose and meaning is so important that He gives us the Holy Spirit for guidance, correction and teaching
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (NKJV)
Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (NKJV)
- You are so valued by God that He has made provision for every true need you will ever have
Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (NKJV)
- Your life is so important to God that remains aware of every single detail without fail
Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (NKJV)
God saves us, provides for us, adopts us, teaches us, guides us and knows every detail of our life better than we do. Are those types of things done for someone who is not valuable, purposeful or worthy? Of course not! But our worth is found in Christ, not in ourselves.
Could any opinion or approval of man be more affirming than what God has done for us through Christ? The answer is obvious (NO!) and yet this truth rarely descends from our brains to our hearts. We still run around seeking validation through the opinions of men.
Jesus Christ affirms our value to God as demonstrated by His love and willingness to redeem us to the Father. His life, His death, His love and His resurrection are evidence (for those who have turned to Christ) that we are loved unconditionally by God; we are important to God; we are valuable to God and worthy of His care. Jesus made sure of that!
Gracious God, Help us to learn to find our worthiness through Your opinion of us made possible by the sacrifice of Your Beloved Son. In the Sweetest Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you seek the following from other people or God: a sense of purpose? Approval? Value as a person? Acceptance? Affirmation? Unconditional love?
Application: Let me again emphasize that I am not speaking about or promoting the destructive version of “self esteem” that has invaded both society and Christianity. The idea of self-love, self-focus, self-admiration, self-elevation is utterly opposed to Scripture. For Christians, “self” is crucified in Christ and our worthiness/value now stem from what GOD HAS DECLARED about us because of Jesus. It does not originate in us; it originates with God by Christ. We are valuable… because of Christ. We are worthy… because of Christ. We are important… because of Christ. Because of Jesus, because of Jesus, because of Jesus. Like I said, Jesus is the CENTER of our universe.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today? What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?