Musings on NEXT Conference 2009   Leave a comment

“It’s incredible what He calls us to do. He says, ‘Build your life on Me. Base all of your hopes and dreams and plans and everything that you are on Me–on the truth of who I am and My words.’ And when He called people to follow Him, He didn’t soft-sell anything. He said, ‘If you want to be my disciple, then you’re going to have to die to this world. You’re going to have to be ready to turn your back on every allegiance and every relationship and any person or thing in this world. Ih ave to the place, the person, of first importance. I have to be preeminent.’ Following Jesus Christ–making Him the preeminent One in your life–means being willing to say ‘no’ and ‘goodbye’ to anyone else in this world… When Jesus is preeminent, He pushes everything aside and demands first place. And do you realize that that demand is the greatest expression of love that He could have for you?… You can’t enjoy anything in this world. You can’t truly benefit from anything in this world until Jesus is the only One you worship and live for. We don’t lose anything when we make Jesus preeminent. We gain everything. We gain eternal life. We gain Him–and that’s enough.” — Joshua Harris, senior pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD

Although I haven’t attended any of the sessions, I am benefitting from the truth taught in those sessions through the grace of sermon downloads. (Praise God for that!)

Harris’ first session of 2009 was a sermon on the preeminence of Christ. Near the end of his sermon, Harris gave a wonderful summarization of the preeminence of Christ and the underlying root issue of it. In doing so, he indirectly exposited one of my favorite passages in Scripture, Matthew 16:24-28.

The thing that I appreciated about Harris’ sermon wasn’t necessarily his call for all believers to forsake all for Christ–to leave mother, father, spouse, child and friend. Because such a statement only touches the surface of what Jesus is trying to get at. He’s not a cruel and hateful God who wants to test His followers to see if they’re really on His side–He doesn’t tell us to leave everything and leave it at that. Rather, He makes us a wonderful promise and a beautiful persuasion that Harris hit on perfectly. “We gain [Jesus Christ]–and that’s enough.” That is the thrust of Matthew 16. It’s not that we are to forsake everything–denying ourselves and taking on the burden of a cross–to follow Christ. It’s that He gives us ample reason to WANT to do that. If we place Jesus as Lord above all other things… we get Jesus.

That’s the beauty of the message of Jesus Christ. It’s not a harsh command, but a loving persuasion to give us what is truly best for us. He doesn’t tell us to abstain from lust and sex before marriage, but He promises us that saving your body and your heart for marriage will bring you the most satisfaction and joy in marriage. He doesn’t tell us to share the gospel as one of our spiritual chores, but He promises fruit to bear in us through it and promises that others will come to know saving faith.

Thanks, Josh, for the wonderful words… We get Jesus– and that’s enough.


Posted June 1, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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