Here you are. Here. Right now. Alive. Existing.
You're here, somewhere on Earth, and you want something. Success. Happiness. Recognition. Wealth. Knowledge. Fame. Experience. Peace. You're working towards attaining something, anything. Perhaps you get it. You get the job, the relationship, the thing. You run the marathon, win the lottery, finish the diet.
How do you feel? Satisfied? Or is there an itch? Maybe that thing wasn't as rewarding as you thought it was going to be. You want something else. You want more.
You're certain that there's more to be had, but you're not sure what it is.
You're searching for that elusive thing - that moment in the future when you'll finally have everything you've wanted and have achieved every goal you've set. You're hoping that it comes soon so that you can get on with being entirely fulfilled and completely happy.
What if it never comes? You feel like you're getting closer and closer but it's always just over the horizon. You cannot escape the feeling that something is missing. The feeling that there must be something more to be taken from life. Surely this isn't all there is? Surely this isn't it?
You keep it to yourself.
You don't want to risk asking the question for fear of the response. For fear of the damage to your reputation, the potential for rejection by everyone else. You don't want to rock the boat. But maybe they've got the same itch as you. Maybe they have the same thoughts as you, the same doubts, the same fears.
Perhaps everyone is under a shared silence, filling every second with entertainment and experience, looking to the future for happiness and fulfilment, hungry for more and more but never full. Desperately trying to ignore the emptiness, never stopping to just think.
Just stop, stop everything, and think.
Our deepest needs and longings can't be fulfilled by attaining something temporary - physically, emotionally or experientially.
They can't be satisfied by accumulating more possessions, relationships, or achievements. They can't be satisfied by anything with an expiry date. That itch you feel when you're alone and quiet and thinking about life, that hunger for purpose and identity is evidence that deep down you know that something temporary will never be enough. You know that there must be something bigger than you, something more to live for.
To find true fulfilment and identity we need to be in relationship with the person who designed us - intentionally, lovingly and purposefully.
We need to know God.
Jesus Christ, God on Earth as a man, changed everything.
He lived a life without fault, and then He gave it up. He was more than just a good person, a good teacher, a moral man. He said Himself that He was the only way to God. No other path, no other way. There is no greater message to be heard than the message He brings.
But there is a problem, one that I cannot ignore; God is perfect and I am not. At the end of my life, I’m going to stand before this perfect God and try to be acceptable to Him after the life that I’ve lived, or through the life that someone else has lived for me. Someone who chose me, gave His perfection to me, took my mess from me, died because of it instead of me, and conquered death forever for me.
This person who can transform a grey, self-centred, hopeless existence into one which bursts with rich meaning, purpose and colour.
There is only one person who has ever lived that could present a perfect life acceptable to God. That person was Jesus Christ. He came, He lived it, and He died to give it up for those who ask for it. So that instead of having to stand and present their imperfect life, Jesus stands in their place. This is love.
The extraordinary news is that Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for those who put their trust in Him. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. He lived that life of perfect obedience, and then He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the requirements of God.
God isn't a wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son.
The Bible makes it clear that we are not made right by our works, not by our efforts, not by our performance, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared pure by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven.
It is why we love Him. It is why we want to know and follow Him. It is why we want you to know Him too. Because He first loved us and gave Himself for us.
He doesn't just offer secret tips for you to live a more fulfilling life. He doesn't offer to improve your circumstances or make you more efficient at achieving your own ends. He changes your ends. He changes what you're about.
He changes your purpose.
Know Him and wake up into life.