What do we really need Jesus for?

I don’t know exactly when it was that I became a Christian.  I remember when I was growing up, having a “salvation envy” for those people who could tell you their “born again birthdate” – the day they accepted Jesus into their hearts.  I couldn’t tell anyone what that day was for me.  I always said that I was raised in a Christian home, by Christian parents, and I could not point to a specific date that I made the decision to follow Jesus.  Don’t get me wrong, although I was raised to believe in Christ, I still had to make the conscious decision on my own to invite Jesus into my heart and to be Lord of my life.

All my life, I had attended church at the “First Church of the Pharisee,” or something like that. I learned a lot of religious rules, but was not taught much about Grace. Instead, there was a philosophy that permeated the teachings, although it was never stated outright. The best I can summarize this philosophy, as I perceived it, was that:

  • We serve a loving God
  • God hates sin
  • Sin will send us to hell
  • Jesus paid the price for our sin
  • Once we “get saved” we must hold tightly to that salvation
  • Every sin we commit puts us back in danger of hell once again
  • Every time we sin, we must go through the “salvation process” all over again

With that philosophy hanging over my head, I was asking Jesus into my heart every day, sometimes several times a day.

As an adult, I have gone back and read through the literature that my denomination has concerning salvation, sanctification, grace and so on. I was shocked to find out that this was never the official teaching of our national church body, yet it is what I learned from the affiliated church bodies nationwide. I had a skewed view of what a God of Grace and Love is all about.

I opened this up by saying that I didn’t know exactly when I became a Christian. The problem is, when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, as your Master and King, then a transformation has to take place in your life. If you are not able to see that a transformation has taken place, or is taking place, then there is something seriously wrong and you need to start asking yourself the hard questions such as “Am I really a Christian?”

I’m not trying to accuse anyone of living a lie, or of “false Christianity,” I’m just saying that if you have given your life to Jesus, but you are still living the same way you always have, then nothing has changed. If nothing is going to change, then what is the point in becoming a Christian? Look at it this way, if you are adopted, but do not move out of you former parents’ house and into your new parents’ house, and if you don’t even change your name, then how can you say you are adopted? A change has to happen.

2 Cor. 5:17 says:

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (NASB).

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT).

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].” (AMP).

This change needs to take place on a personal level. Everyone is different, and has a different approach to life. The struggles I have are different from anything anyone else has. However, we all need to turn to the same Lord. What we turn from is personal to us, but Who we turn to applies to everyone!

Lately, my prayers have simply been “I need you, Jesus!” That may seem like a very elemental, foundational line of thinking, but it hasn’t always been so.

As a “Christian” I have always said that I trust in Jesus for everything, but it is so much easier to trust in Him when disaster hits than when everything is going right. Let me explain. When everything in life seems to be rolling along without a hitch or hiccup, it is so easy to rely on my own strength, and not recognize that it is by the provision of God that I am in my comfortable place. But then, when it seems that the roof is caving in and my world is crumbling around me, it is time to call on God for help.

King Manasseh of Judah is a perfect example of this. The Bible talks about how much evil he brought to Judah. The Lord spoke to him about it, but he ignored the Lord (never a good idea). Assyria invaded Judah, captured and imprisoned Manasseh. Then, Manasseh realized how bad off he was, and humbled himself and cried out to God asking for help. God was moved with compassion, and had him returned to Jerusalem. Then in 2 Chr. 33:13b, this evil king finally comes to his senses, “Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” (NASB).

I have come to a realization that I don’t need the Lord to heal me. I don’t need the Lord to provide financial security. I don’t need the lord to provide…whatever. I just need the Lord. I need Him at all times and for everything. I don’t need Him because I messed up or am messed up, I just need Him because I am His child.  When I say I need Him to heal me, I am really saying that I need the healing. The emphasis is on me. When I stop with just saying I need the Lord, the emphasis is on Him. That is the way it should be.

That is the change that needs to happen when we are saved. We change our emphasis. Instead of looking to ourselves, we look at Jesus.

For the last 14 years, I have felt like I have needed to be healed of MS. Now, I need to look at that through a fresh perspective. It certainly would be nice to be healed of MS. But is it a need? Absolutely not. My need is to serve Jesus no matter what state of health this world puts me through. I need Jesus more than any state of physical health.

I Need You More
                                                                       by Jesus Culture
I need You more,
more than yesterday
I need You more
More than words can say
I need You more
Than ever before
I need You Lord,
I need You Lord

More than the air I breathe
More than the song I sing
More than the next heartbeat
More than anything, and Lord as time goes by
I’ll be by Your side
Cause I never want to go back to my old life

We give you the highest praise
We give you the highest praise
We give you the highest praise

More than the air I breathe
More than the song I sing
More than anything
I need You more

 

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4 thoughts on “What do we really need Jesus for?

  1. Todd, this really touched me. We need the Lord, He gives us what we need. So often what we want or think we want is not what is needed in our life at all. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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