Friday, March 04, 2011

Your Greatest Need in Life

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What is Your Greatest Need in Life? In our culture today, we are frequently exhorted to obtain what is necessary in order to achieve success and happiness in this life. We can’t seem to escape the regular onslaught of billboard ads, radio, and TV infomercials that enthusiastically claim to offer exactly what we need in order to have a more fulfilling life. In fact, I am often amazed at the ingenuity of marketing strategists who labor so earnestly at convincing us that our next choice of a car, health product or household cleaner can somehow transform our lives. It is important to remember that the strategy of modern marketing is to redefine our emotional desires as true needs. When we accept such thinking, we become deceived, believing that life is about owning things, but the Bible calls this slavery (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Even within the church there is an ongoing temptation and risk of adopting this kind of a marketing strategy in order to define the true needs of a worshipper. Many paradigms of contemporary worship aim to serve what are often called the “felt needs” of church attendees. A worship service is then considered successful only if those who are in attendance receive the experience that they wanted. But like those models of secular marketing, such strategies actually begin with a faulty premise.

These strategies assume that humanity can find true joy and peace through the pursuit of emotional desires and felt needs. This is a very dangerous form of prognostication. This would be like a patient who sees his doctor for the symptoms of heartburn.Such a patient would be content to receive medication for what he believes is some form of indigestion, however, he does not know that he has advanced coronary artery disease and will die without immediate intervention. In order to live, he must come to an understanding of his real and true need, rather than what he feels he needs. Spiritually, we are like this patient. We have many erroneous assumptions about what we truly need in life. Our only hope is to consult the Great Physician and Creator who made us, if we are to comprehend our true need. What is the Lord’s diagnosis of humanity? The Bible clearly teaches that all men are sinners for “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23,Genesis 6:5, 8:21, Jeremiah 17:9-10). This condition of sin is not a mere illness, rather all men are “…dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1-5). Being spiritually dead, it is said of humanity: “…there is none righteous, not even one…there is none who seeks for God…there is none who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12). Worse yet, the only future that men have in light of their sinfulness is eternal death (Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:11-15). These difficult truths lead us back to our original question: “What is your greatest need in life?” Answer: Your greatest need in life is that, in Christ, you would be forgiven of your sin. After all is said and done in this life, and when this world passes away, only two classes of people will appear before the judgment seat of the Lord: Those who are forgiven and those who are un-forgiven. This eternal division of humanity is so often expressed in that very familiar passage in John chapter 3, which says: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). One of the most precious truths in the entire Bible is that the Great Physician, Jesus Christ the Son of God, has provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sin. What a joy it is to know that spiritually dead men can be brought to life through Jesus Christ our risen Savior and perfect sacrifice (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 8:3, Ephesians 2:1-9). I pray that you too would have your true needs met in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ.