Life At Its Best: The right information
The world is full of information. It's easy to find facts about people, places and activities. When accurate, it's greatly beneficial, but when distorted, it can cause us to miss out on things we later wished we'd experienced.
This happened to me a few years ago. Growing up, I was taught that coffee stunted your growth. Coming from two parents of below average height, I knew my chances for being tall were already pretty slim. So in an attempt to increase my future growth, I wouldn't drink it.
I kept this vow for more than 40 years, when one day, my wife convinced me to try it. To my surprise, it was delicious. I loved the bold flavor and the sudden energy kick. I couldn't believe what I'd been missing out on. My distorted idea of coffee had kept me from experiencing its benefits for more than four decades.
It sounds funny, but many of us have had a similar experience in our relationship with Jesus. Throughout life, we've heard things about Him from various sources. Some accurate, and some - not so much. That inaccurate information causes us to hold a false perspective. This can, as I learned, cause us to forfeit something - or in this case, someone incredible.
Our perspective of Jesus plays out in both our life on Earth and for eternity. How we view Him greatly impacts every aspect of life. So it's not enough to simply know what others have said; We must each seek to understand who Jesus truly is for ourselves.
Doing that starts with understanding His gift. This is described in John 3:16, which says, "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have the gift of salvation. This gift isn't one that's only available to those who have lived good lives or made right decisions. The verse makes it clear that it's for everyone. It doesn't matter how old we are or what sins we've committed. It's never too late to receive His salvation.
Knowing Jesus also requires understanding His guarantee. When we receive His salvation, the Bible says that we "will never thirst again." We'll never have to search for a relationship, career or achievement to satisfy us. We won't have to constantly hope or wish for a new beginning in life. Instead, we'll experience the satisfaction of living in His love and grace every day.
Lastly, really knowing Jesus requires understanding His goal. When we read the Bible, we see that Jesus was never content just to give salvation and guarantee a satisfied life.
His goal was to make disciples. The same is true today. He desires for each of us to be devoted followers of Him. That happens when we truly understand the gift, guarantee and goal of Christ.
So get to know Jesus for who He really is. Don't miss out on the most important and fulfilling relationship of your life.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit faithfamilyvictoria.com.