Jesus Is Enough
The longer I live, the older I get, the clearer it becomes to me that Jesus truly is all I need to be completely happy. He is the great I AM. Since gaining this clarity I have developed an increasing passion for helping people find their identity in Jesus. For too many years I sought to find my identity in so many other things; my relationships—a boyfriend, a husband, my son, fitness, and my position in life, and that really messed me up. I want to help others avoid making the same mistakes I made. To read my full story called 'The Problem Was Me' go to my website, www.marapetro.com.
Since finding fulfillment in Jesus Christ, I’ve made it my mission to help others do the same. I’m fascinated with asking people specific questions to draw out of them what their identity is tied to.
Who is Jesus to you? Is He enough? Is He better than anything life can give you, and better than anything death can take away?
A friend of mine named Teresa recently answered these questions for herself. After she shared her faith story with our small group, I asked her who Jesus was to her because something was missing in her story. She had shared the typical Sunday school version of Jesus being God’s son, dying on the cross for our sins, and rising from the dead. Which is all true and necessary for salvation, but there was something missing from her story, it lacked conviction and persuasion that comes from a personal revelation of Jesus Christ. So, I said to her, "That's all true, but who is Jesus to you, Teresa?" She looked puzzled, then looked down, sighed and bit her lip to hold back tears, but the tears still came when she said, “He’s hope. He’s hope that everything will be okay, that I will be okay.” That statement showed us who Jesus is to Teresa. That’s when Teresa discovered who Jesus is to her. Jesus is hope to Teresa. Jesus is our only hope. Teresa had been struggling because of her divorce, but through her relationship with the Lord, fellowship in the church, and Bible study, she came to realize that her identity is in Jesus, not in anyone else. Shortly after our small group ended Teresa got baptized to publicly declare her faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, and her Hope that all is well with her soul.
Who is Jesus to you? Is He enough? Is He better than anything life can give you, and better than anything death can take away?
Do you trust God when things don’t go your way?
Do you believe God is good when you’re in pain? Or, when your child is in pain?
Are you captivated by God’s love more than anyone else’s?
Or are you preferring the affection of someone other than Jesus?
At some point in time life is going to knock you on your back, if it hasn’t already. When that happens will you still be able to say God is good? Will Jesus be enough?
When you don’t get that promotion or the job you wanted, is God still good?
When you lost your job… is God still good?
When you're sick or when a loved one is sick, and dying, or dead… is God still good?
Will you still praise Him and give Him thanks?
Do you love Jesus more than anyone or anything else? Is He better than anything life can give you or death can take away?
For those not yet convinced that you need Jesus:
How is what you believe or where you have put your hope working for you?
How is what you trust in providing for you and your family?
How is it protecting you, and securing your future?
What does your eternity look like?
Can that career, education, or money save you?
Does that man or that woman complete you?
Where is your security? - Where is your hope? - Can it be taken away?
By the time you finish reading this, I want you to be certain that there is nothing or no one that you need more than Jesus. He is enough. I want your identity to be in Christ alone. God wants your identity to be in Him alone.But you must want that for yourself. You need to be convinced.
Psalm 27:4 says: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”
This verse speaks to a singular purpose: To be in God’s presence more than anyone or anything else.
Is God your one desire? What's your one thing?
Psalm 73:25-28 says: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.”
This verse speaks to a singular focus: To love God more than anyone or anything else.
Is God your first love? Who do you love most?
Followers of Jesus... Do we have this kind of passion for God? Is seeking God and knowing Him our primary purpose and focus? If not, it could mean that we don’t really believe Jesus is enough or that God is always good. There was a time in my life that I professed Christ, but I didn't live for Him or love Him the most.
Do you want the security and confidence that Jesus brings? Give Him your life. Surrender to Him. Seek Him and His will for your life. How? Read God’s Word. Fellowship with other followers of Jesus who are reading, studying, and obeying God's word. Repeat daily.
It’s not enough to just say we believe.
James 2:19 says, even the demons believe and tremble.
You don't become a Christian by just believing a bunch of facts about Jesus. You become a Christian by identifying with and being transformed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. The devil and his demons believe in all the facts about Jesus but they're not Christians. They don’t worship God. They hate Him, and they’re going to hell. Being a Christian means that Christ is your life. That you realize you’re a sinner deserving of death and hell and that you need a savior to rescue you. Then after being saved, you are compelled by the love of Christ to live passionately for Him.
It’s not enough to just go to church and do things in the name of Jesus.
In Matthew 7 Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven; but only those who do the will of My Father. And those people will say to Him, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and do many wonders in Your name?’ And He will say to them depart from Me, for I never knew you."
Ouch. Those are strong words. Once again, there was a time in my life that I professed Christ, but I didn't obey His word.
To be a true Christian means that we do the will of the Father. What is that you ask? Let's open His word and find out.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says:
“Here oh Israel (I like to insert my name Mara in the place of whomever God is addressing so I take it personally), the Lord our God, the Lord is one!”
(Like the two Psalms we read previously: He is the One we have in heaven. He is the One we should desire more than anyone on earth.)
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”
(Jesus reminds us of this commandment in gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Notice He says ALL our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Do we really love God?
(In the Bible: “Love the Lord” occurs 166 x, and “Love God” occurs 145 x). It's key to a happy life.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart, you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
That's like all the time. All day, every day. Intense focus on God. Imagine how transformative that would be to us and our relationships if we actually did it?
Are we pouring God’s word into our family?
My son Zach has known the Lord from his youth. (2 Timothy 3:15). His story is also shared on my website. I dedicated Zach to the Lord as Hannah did with Samuel (1 Samuel 1:27-28 “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”) I too had prayed for a child for five years and God heard my prayers and gave us a son. We named him Zachary, which is from Zechariah, and it means “Yahweh Remembers” or God Remembers. From the time Zach was in my womb I prayed for him to know the Lord and walk with Him all the days of his life. (Deuteronomy 17:19 & Psalm 23:6) I also prayed that Zach would grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52) I took literally the command in Deuteronomy that says to “teach them (God’s word) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.“ I read the Bible to Zach while he was in my womb and every day after he was born. I taught him to read and write from the Bible. Zach asked to receive Christ when he was five and asked to be baptized when he was six. God has answered every prayer of mine regarding Zach and I believe it’s because God desires godly offspring. (Malachi 2:15) I took God’s word literally then and I still do today. I believe His word to be the only foundation of truth to build our life on. And it’s proving true in my son’s life. Today, Zach is serving in ministry, proclaiming the gospel, and teaching the Bible to others. He is truly everything I prayed to God he would be. A man after God’s own heart. (1 Samuel 13:14 & Acts 13:22) To God be the glory!
Now back to Deuteronomy.
“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Where are we displaying His word?
Note: it says to TEACH Gods word, TALK about Gods word, and WRITE out God’s word.
Psalm 1 says: “…his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law, he meditates (ponders - talks to himself) day and night.”
How often are we pondering God’s word, teaching God’s word, talking about God’s word, and writing about God’s word, and His love, and His works?
I have been persuaded and I am convinced that this passion for Jesus and God’s word is the key to abundant life. The key to real lasting joy, to peace that passes understanding, to contentment in all circumstances. It is the cure for anxiety, fear, and worry. It is the key to finding our identity in Christ so much so that we don’t lose our identity in anyone or anything else.
What’s one thing in your life that if taken away would devastate you?
Is Jesus better than anything life can give you and better than anything death can take away? Who is Jesus to you? Is He enough?
In the Bible, God, who is Jesus, refers to Himself as "I AM." It means that He is everything we need. He say's repeatedly; I AM your Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Purpose, Hope, Joy, Strength, Confidence, Healer, Redeemer, Savior, Lord, and Love. He says, I AM all you need to be complete. All the other people and things in our life are expressions of His love and grace, but they cannot complete us.
When your identity is in Jesus, you’re always safe and secure. With Jesus as your hope, as your confidence, as your security, you have nothing to worry about, and nothing to fear. Nothing can devastate you. Nothing can separate from His love, because He’s got you and you have Him, and He is better than anything or anyone else in life.
Jesus is enough. You don’t need anything or anyone more than Him.
Friends of mine, Bill, and Shelly are beautiful examples of Jesus being enough. Shelly battled cancer for several years. It never stole her joy though. Right up until the end of her life here on earth, she was smiling, sharing the gospel, praising Jesus, and loving and serving her family, even while carting around an oxygen tank. Her husband Bill, now grieving the loss of his beautiful wife of thirty years, is still praising Jesus. Even in mourning, Bill knows God is still good, Shelly is with Jesus, feeling no more pain or sorrow, and Bill knows his pain will come to an end too and he will see his Shelly again when it's his time to go home. When Christ is your life, you understand that death is a glorious gain, not a dreadful end.
Do you want this kind of security and confidence? I do.
Here’s four things you can do to help keep your eyes on Jesus and keep your identity in Him.
Draw near to God by reading His word and praying to Him.
Trust in Christ alone, no one else.
TEACH Gods word, TALK about Gods word, and WRITE out God’s word.
Tell everyone what Jesus has done for you!
Abundant Life Ministry