Sunday, April 21, 2019
   
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What difference does Jesus really make in the end?

I was standing in downtown Seattle when a college student came racing up to a man sitting on a mailbox. "Am I first?" he asked. "I just ran 20 blocks to find you." The man reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. The college student whooped with joy. He had heard a radio announcement that this man would be sitting on this mailbox holding tickets to a sold-out rock concert for the first person that found him.

 

The college student had taken the radio ad seriously, run across town, and won the prize. I wondered how many people sitting in the shops close by had listened to the ad and failed to win the prize because they didn't take it seriously. It made a difference to this student, though. He'd be taking a friend to a sold-out concert.

Jesus claimed that we cannot be complete unless we are connected to God. Two thousand years ago, God did everything necessary to bring us fulfillment and purpose. Since Jesus is the one who created us, He is our best advisor on how to live. He promises to love and forgive us, even though He knows our every weakness, mistake, and selfish act. He promises us that His Spirit will live within us, giving us the power to overcome our weaknesses. Every day, He works around us to try and get our attention. But the fruit of God's work comes to us only if we return God's embrace; He forces nothing on us. Unless we surrender to His love, we will never know the comfort, healing and empowerment that it brings.

God has made the announcement; we don't need to run 20 blocks to find Him, because He has been pursuing us in love. But we need to humble ourselves enough to ask for the envelope and receive it from Him. What's inside is much more valuable than a rock concert.