“There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Jesus is the greatest Friend we can have.
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land;
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced Hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy Name.
Jesus is God’s “unsurpassable, inexpressible, indescribable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15) A Friend for ever, and because He is a Gift, all we have to do is receive Him into our lives, as we turn from sin and trust ourselves to Him for time and eternity.
The Holy Bible
What about other treasures? Isn’t the Bible “The most valuable thing this world affords,” as the Moderator of the Church of Scotland says when he presents a copy to the king or queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland during their Coronation service.
Yes, indeed, on this earth the Holy Bible, the library of 66 books of Scripture is the written word of God, His means of communicating with us through the printed page since printing was invented over 500 years ago. But Jesus Christ is its main subject, with Old Testament history and prophecies leading up to their fulfilment in Jesus, Who is the Prophet Moses foretold, the Suffering Servant Isaiah described, and the Messiah, the Christ, God’s Anointed King, that Jewish people looked for and longed for, for so long. Jesus is the Living Word, Who offers heaven itself to all Who trust and follow Him.
Jesus is the Living Word, communicating God’s love and grace and purposes for us, and He is the means of reaching us and dealing with our need, as well as the message, because there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
In the western world, which also so much influences the rest of the world, our present culture does not encourage commitment. People are free to shop around for whatever they want or need to buy in ever increasing impersonal supermarkets, mega markets, and hyper markets.
With half of all marriages in Britain as well as in America now ending in divorce, commitment in marriage, certainly amongst those who are not Christians, is a thing of the past. Whatever people’s commitments or lack of commitment in today’s culture, Jesus Christ committed His life to the will of God, and endured the Cross, despising (scorning NIV) the shame, for us. (Hebrews 12:2).
“He loved us and gave Himself for us”, (Galatians 2:20) because love gives, and remains faithful. And He called people to take up THEIR crosses and follow Him, a lifelong commitment that for the first 300 years of Christian history could lead to persecution, imprisonment and even death.
He said, “If anyone would come after Me. he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34, 35) That is no Prosperity Gospel in terms of this world’s wealth. It is the very opposite, and has prompted countless Christians through the ages to spend their lives for Christ and for others, acting as the salt of the earth and the lights of the world. As C. S. Lewis once wrote, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”
To be continued……………………………….
Pastor Bryan Pinches
Ventnor, Isle of Wight