I want more.
Often times that is something to be celebrated as it indicates passion, drive and determination. Like, if you are working out and you want to do more reps, or if you just had a great meal and you want seconds, or you read a book and want to read the sequel. It can be good to want more. Unless you already have everything, and you still want more.
Two bible verse’s stick out and highlight how we have everything we need in Jesus.
1 Peter 1:2-3, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
Rom 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
God has granted to us everything
The Lord, by His power, has given us everything. Everything pertaining to life and godliness. This doesn’t say “everything pertaining to your wish list“…He did not grant me, by His divine power, a newly designed Corvette. He granted me everything pertaining to life and godliness. In other words, I have everything I need in this life to live in a relationship with Him, or to live godly.
The question is…is that enough? Do I want something more than godliness, more than a relationship with the One who has called us by His glory and excellence. Is there something of greater glory, something of greater excellence, which I believe that I need?
It is not just that we become more godly, it is that we become more godly through the grace and peace of learning more about Christ. In other words, Jesus is who this conversation is really about. It is not about what we want, it is about what we want that Jesus can’t satisfy. We want Jesus plus something.
But, as we see in Rom 8:32, God is not withholding anything from us, He freely gave His son. There is nothing more valuable than Christ, and the text goes on to say, “will He not in Him freely give us all things?” Note the “in Him” part. We are freely given everything that we need and want in Christ? You might say, “Yes, in Christ I want a Corvette, and we can drive around in it together?”
There are all kinds of things that we want, it may not be a sports car, but it is something that we believe is lacking in our life that is not sufficiently met by our relationship with Christ. We believe Jesus isn’t enough.
Jesus + ___________
Think about this week and the disappointments and frustrations you experienced. Consider if your spouse didn’t communicate in a kind or thoughtful way, and you feel rejected and hurt so you respond by being distant or hurtful back. Jesus isn’t enough, you wanted Jesus plus your spouse acting in a certain way. Jesus plus respect = happiness. So we fight and claw to get that respect, with whatever tool at our disposal, believing that if we got that respect we would be satisfied.
Consider all the work you have to do, and the feeling of being overwhelmed or incapable of doing it and possibly looking bad in front of your peers. Jesus is not enough, you wanted Jesus and the appreciation of others.
Think about just being tired, and the idea that if I just got a nap, or if I was just able to get away, or if people just recognized they needed to help me more, then I would be happy. There is nothing wrong with comfort, but when we elevate it to the level of what will satisfy us we are saying that Jesus is not enough and that we need to add something to the mix.
Whatever we want to add never seems to be enough. The answer isn’t to find the right thing to add, or the right amount to add, it is to realize what we have been given…that is the true knowledge of Him.
We have been given everything we need, and when we believe that Jesus plus something is better than Jesus alone, well, we are believing a lie and lacking true knowledge.
- Jesus + Respect
- Jesus + Love
- Jesus + Power
- Jesus +Excitement
- Jesus + Entertainment
- Jesus + Pleasure
- Jesus + Comfort (or lack of suffering)
Jesus loves us eternally, we can’t add more love to increase the love of God displayed through the death burial and resurrection of Christ. Jesus is the all powerful uncreated one, there is not a level of authority that one could gain apart from the authority Christ gives to those who follow Him. Jesus is the most exciting person ever, crowds gather, miracles happen, worlds are created. True pleasure and engagement and comfort will only come in and through Christ, and yet we at times act like if we just had a little something more everything would be better.
What we need is not a little something more. What we need is the true knowledge that Jesus + nothing = Everything. There is a book by that same title, and it forces us to ask the question if Jesus is enough. If everything is taken away, if I were thrown in prison, my body was aching, everyone had deserted me, betrayed me or misaligned my character, would Jesus be enough for me to sing songs of rejoicing throughout my prison cell?
When we depart from the true knowledge of Him we begin to invent a whole new kind of math that doesn’t equal satisfaction. God is correcting our faulty assessment of His son on a day to day basis. He sovereignly brings things into our lives, and takes things out of our lives, to help us view his worth rightly.
So when…you don’t get the respect you would like, you don’t have the standard of living you would prefer, you aren’t able to do the things you would like to do, God may be giving you an opportunity to have something much better, a true knowledge of Him.
When you start to hit some bumps this week, say to yourself out loud if necessary, “Jesus Plus” and start to ask yourself the question – if what you are wanting would really add value to Jesus. When you stop and think about it, God will grant you true knowledge and you will have everything you need for life and godliness.