Enough

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. It’s hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone, but it has. Now it is full steam ahead for many people to New Year’s Eve, and then New Year’s Day. As my family and I went through the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day, a word just kept coming to my mind. That word is the title of this post, enough. There are several definitions for the word, enough, but in this instance I am thinking of it in the context of satisfaction or making one feel complete. Specifically, the word kept coming to my mind in a question. That question was, is Jesus enough? I remember a few weeks back in the course of a sermon using the same question. Then I made the statement, if Jesus alone isn’t enough for you, then no one and no other thing will ever be enough for you either. That may seem or sound like a harsh statement, but I believe that that Jesus’ words and the rest of the New Testament bear proof of this statement.

In the Gospels, we see Jesus make statements such as, “He who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of Me” (Mt. 10:37-38). Jesus would also say, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Mt. 10:39). We see later when Jesus is talking to a rich ruler, Jesus gives him the specific command to sell all that he has, give it to the poor, and follow Him. The result was, the rich man walked away from Jesus sad. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said, “the greatest among you will be your servant.” In Matthew we read, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The second greatest command according to Jesus is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:39). Later in the New Testament, the apostle Paul says that we are to put the needs, wants, and wishes of others ahead of our own, if we are going to live out the mind of Christ (see Phil. 2:2-8). The whole point is that we are to live a Jesus-centered life. He is to be the greatest love of our life. Jesus is to be our greatest treasure. He is to be our everything, every time.

It’s easy to say these things, but something entirely different to live them out at times. We live in a man-centered world that teaches and feeds into our own ego of “me first.” Many leaders surround themselves with “yes” people. We constantly check our smart phones to see how many likes, comments, replies, or retweets we get on our social media posts. We crave the approval of people. People-pleasing has been the downfall of many leaders, pastors, and churches. Maybe you are wondering, what this has to do with Christmas time? In a way, nothing, but in another way it has everything to do with Christmas. Often times, we spend a lot of time trying to pick out the perfect gift for those closest to us, but find something in the back of our closet, that was most likely gifted to us last year, and take it to give to someone else who doesn’t mean as much to us. We define our love for our spouse or our children by the what we can buy them or give them. We often feel loved or scorned based on who gives us gifts, and what they gave us. Even on the day in which we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we are drawn into the prideful trap of pleasing people and being affirmed by them. Which brings me back to my question, is Jesus enough? If there was no one to pat us on the back, if there were no presents under the tree for you, if you couldn’t afford to buy a single present for someone else; would you still feel loved and valuable? Would you be confident in your identity? Praise fades and is quickly followed by criticism, gifts break, get lost, or lose their appeal; people forget who gave them what last Christmas. But who Jesus is, and who He says we are remains forever. Is Jesus enough?

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