“It’s a great read,” I said as he approached me with two quarters in hand.
“Yeah?” He responded quietly, thumbing through pages and rubbing the cover softly with his worn hands. “I find myself asking that question a lot lately.” He pointed at the front of the book. The words stared back at me boldly.
The Purpose Driven Life: What on earth am I here for?
“I think you’ll really enjoy it! It’ll make you think and question and so many things,” I replied, wanting to suck the words back as soon as I said them. Here was a man searching for the meaning of his life and all I could say was a cute ‘you’ll really enjoy it’?! I should have said “take the book! It’s free! Here are your two quarters back! God promises when we seek him we’ll find him so I’ll pray that God will meet you in your search for him. He’s been waiting for you!” Okay, that might be kinda corny, but you know what?
The man bought another book and then got in his car. I prayed as I watched him drive away and wondered what would become of his search. For a moment I wondered if this garage sale was solely so this man could buy a book and begin his journey to find the truth.
I found out last week that my grandma, who will be 88 in a couple months, has a valve in her heart that is getting stuck. The doctors want to operate and she is now talking about dying. Through her broken yet beautiful English, I could detect an uneasiness in her tone. She’s never talked about dying before. She always talks about how strong and healthy she is for her age, how she can still drive on freeways and how she weighs the same as when she got married; how she doesn’t overeat and how long she walks every day. But now she is realizing that she, too, has to acknowledge that it will happen one day. I wondered as we chatted if she thinks, “what on earth am I here for?”
I wanted to interrupt our conversation and ask if she knew Jesus. Not some random higher power, not Buddha, not did she have faith. What will she do with Jesus? I wondered if this broken valve might be what may really save her life.
What will we do with Jesus?
At our lifegroup a couple weeks ago we discussed this question and why his name causes cringing. Why is it that the words faith, god, spirit(ual), higher power, Lord or father don’t elicit this kind of response?
What will you do with Jesus?
No matter what you believe, you must do something with him. He claimed to be the son of God, the savior of the world, the way, the truth, and the life. He said the only way to the father is through him. What will you do with him?
I love the question my sister-in-law asked my baby sister when she started dating. “Does he love Jesus?” She didn’t ask if he had faith, if he believed in a god or if spirituality was important to him. Essentially the question begged what this young man would do with him. With Jesus.
If you’ve never dealt with Jesus before, let me warn you. There is undeserved grace. Second chances. Redemption. Restoration. Peace, clarity, power, healing and forgiveness. He provides a way out of discontentment, destruction and despair and gives a way in to hope, satisfaction and fulfillment. He overwhelms with love where condemnation should make its home and covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) because he IS love (1 John 4:16).
But he isn’t content just being one of the important spiritual higher powers that live in the clouds of our minds. He wants to be Lord of All (Acts 10:36) and the one and only through which we are made right (Romans 5:17). This may be offensive to many, causing cringing by going against our culture of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’. But this man who claimed to be God claims to save us (Luke 19:10). What will we do with him?
What will you do with Jesus?
If you’ve never asked yourself this before, or don’t know what you think, I encourage you to seek. Ask questions. Read books (the book of John in the bible is a good place to start!). Talk to people– people who believe in him and people who don’t. Pray, even if you’re unsure what to say or who you’re talking to. When it’s all said and done– do something with him. The man claims to save the sins of the world– he’s either crazy, a complete liar, or speaking the truth. What will you do with him?
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” ~Matthew 16:13-15