Everyday, messages bombard us, trying to define our reality.
You need to look this way or be like them to really be successful.
You don’t fit in with the cool kids.
You deserve more because you are better than them.
You’ll never have all you need to succeed.
You’ll never be happy if you’re stuck with her.
If you really want to be happy, you need this product/look/relationship/out of this relationship.
In order to drown out these pervasive lies, we need to let powerful truth soak in.
Here are three truths Jesus wants you to remember today, from when you get up in the morning to when you lay down at night.
Truth #1. “I am with you.” When Jesus was born, he was called “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.” Jesus’ last words to his disciples in Matthew 28 was the personal guarantee of his presence in our lives: “And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Jesus promised to never leave or forsake us, so whatever is going on in your life, however lonely you feel or overwhelmed life gets, Jesus wants you to hold on tight to his guarantee: I am with you.
Truth #2. “I love you.” Held up at every sports event for cameras to see, we read the cryptic reference: John 3:16. Why? Because this little verse captures the heart of God for his broken and precious world, a world he loved so much that he sent Jesus to rescue us from slavery and bring us back home. There is no greater reality than the fact of God’s love for us. We receive a lot of messaging during a day about how “unlovely” we are, from images of the “ideal” woman to the illusions of how much more popular we would be if we only bought __________ (you fill in the blank). And we are swayed by that, longing to be loved or received or admired or popular or simply happy. Jesus’ message to us today is simple: I love you. And when you let his love become the defining reality of your life, that’s all you need.
Truth #3. “I am leading you.” Jesus’ guaranteed presence and love means we are able to trust him fully with our lives. There is no hidden agenda, no sudden turning of his heart away from us. Jesus is faithful, and his loving presence defines our past, present and future. What does that mean? Jesus can lead us now. This third truth is a challenging one, because we know we can resist his leadership in our lives. The statement “I am leading you” requires our daily affirmation: “Yes, Jesus, and I am following.” Or perhaps more fully, “Yes, Jesus, I know you are with me and that your love never fails. Lead on.” The promise of Jesus’ presence is connected directly to his leadership in our lives (see Matthew 28:18-20, as well as Hebrews 13:5-6 quoted above–both are connected to living faithfully under Jesus’ leadership). Furthermore, his love for us changes our lives, so that we are able to live responsively to him, obedient to his vision for us.
Jesus wants you to cement these three truths into your heart and mind today: I am with you, I love you, and I am leading you. With these three truths locked in, we can stand strong whatever comes.