Recently I was asked a question by a youth pastor. The question isn’t new or revolutionary, in fact I have heard it many times and I have asked it several times while teaching both youth and adults. He asked me, “Does your life make people want Jesus?” I thought about that question for a moment and did not respond the way I thought I would. The answer to the question I think… is no. Looking at my life, I am not sure there is much of my life people would want. In fact there isn’t much of any other life I would want either. So I responded back, “Whose life does make you want Jesus?” and “Whose life would you want?”
Pick A Life
If I was going to pick someone’s life to have it would be a professional athlete. Are you kidding me, 6’7″, 195 pounds, a 4.4 40, 325 lb. bench press, a .325 batting average and a contract of $20 million for 4 years… any day of the week! But there is much of even that life I don’t want. If we turn to the Bible for a life that someone would want, I’m not really sure we find one. Do you want Abraham’s life, cause being 100 years old with a baby and no home doesn’t really sound that attractive. How about Noah, talk about lonely. Isaiah, that’s what we all want to be responsible for – telling everyone of the coming doom. So how about Daniel? Don’t forget he was an exile and if the outcome was good or not, he was thrown to the lions! David, the man after God’s own heart, surely his life we would want. Don’t forget he ran for his life, lost his best friend and then for the on top of it all would you want to be the example of infidelity for thousands of years? Peter, though I can relate to both his denial of knowing Jesus and bold proclamation of Jesus and all that he saw, I’m still not sure his life makes me want Jesus… Oh’ yeah, crucified upside down. Paul? because 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 is exactly what we want for our lives!
“but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” – 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 (ESV)
Only One Life
Truth is there is only one life that makes us want Jesus. That’s Jesus! (Exclamation Mark) And His earthly life, pretty sure we don’t want.
Jesus’ life makes us want Jesus.
However, when we look to Jesus on the cross we see God’s Mercy, God’s Grace, God’s Love, God’s Wrath, God’s Forgiveness, God’s Patience, God’s Sovereignty, God’s… We could go one here and all we did was look at Jesus on the cross. We can see this time and time again in Jesus. For the rest of the lives in the Bible, they are desperately waiting and in need of Jesus or pointing to Jesus as the treasure of life. As far as our lives, do they make people want Jesus? Though nothing wrong with the original question, there may be a better question. Does your life tell other’ about Jesus? Do your words point people to Jesus? We have to remember that we can’t save anyone, we can only point to Jesus.
1 Prayer We Need To Be Praying
So this whole post was about a prayer right? All of the above goes into this prayer. This youth pastor I was talking to has a very dedicated prayer life. He is the guy that when he says that he is going to pray for you, you have no doubts that he is praying fervently for you. He said, “It all comes down to one thing. Do you want Jesus?” For our lives to boldly proclaim Jesus, we must want Jesus in the first place.
“It all comes down to one thing. Do you want Jesus?”
Recently I have been dealing with some normal but difficult issues and have gotten to the place in my prayers where I didn’t know how to pray any further. My prayer simply became, “Jesus I need You.” What I really needed, what we really need is Jesus. The answer to our prayers is Jesus. If comfort is what we are looking for, God responds by sending us Himself. When our prayer is for a miracle to save someone form cancer, God responds by giving us Himself. When we run out of words to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and gives us Himself.
I hope Jesus revealing Himself in my life makes you want Jesus.
Our lives have to mirror Jesus and so what we need is Jesus. We need for Jesus to give us Himself. No, my life doesn’t make you want Jesus. I hope Jesus revealing Himself in my life makes you want Jesus. Only Jesus makes others want Jesus. Make praying for Jesus to give Him more of Himself a regular, if not daily prayer.
***Shout out to Dusty Fowler, youth pastor at Willowbrook Baptist Church, a roommate, a friend, and a brother, Keep it up Duck!
© Jonathan Haley Uhrig 2014