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"All I Have Is Christ" Devotion

Hey everyone, Landry here!

This song “All I Have is Christ” has been my anthem throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives have been completely changed by something we cannot see. Uncertainty seems to be the most certain thing. Many of us have lost jobs and loved ones and we are wondering when can we get back to some kind of “normal”. My hope and prayer for me and for YOU is that we can use this crisis to grow deeper and move of us closer to a place where we can say if I lose everything, I still have Christ. Singing “All I have is Christ! isn’t to sing a song of lack! It’s a declaring of abundance! I have all I need in Jesus!  

Surpassing Worth of Knowing Him

The apostle Paul knew what it was like to have everything here on earth — success, power, wealth, esteem. And he knew what it was like to have everything ripped away — cast out of cities, estranged from those he loved, thrown into prison, beaten and stoned, almost to death — and yet gain everything. He would have loved to sing, 

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ

Hallelujah! Jesus is my life 

Despite all he used to have and all he had now lost while following Jesus, Paul could say,“Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7–8). Knowing Christ could not be measured or eclipsed. Many of the things he enjoyed before Jesus were still good, but next to him, they were now as nothing, as less than nothing (Philippians 3:8).

And yet there was a day, for each and every one of us, when knowing him did not seem supremely valuable, or even necessary. We lived in the dark, and we loved the darkness (John 3:19).

All We Thought We Had

Why were the poor and despised in Jesus’s day the most likely to receive him? Jesus himself explained why:“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). How many of us, deep down, thought ourselves well — secure, loved, happy, good — and therefore had no need for Jesus? We may have gone through the motions of Christianity, but the cross was really just our insurance policy against hell, not the new anchor and fountain of our life. Christ was our forgiveness, but not our life because we still loved the darkness.

We were lost in the darkest night. When it came to the most essential dimensions of life, we couldn’t see the hand we held in front of our faces. And yet we thought we knew the way. Even while we were blind and deaf to reality — to how sinful we really were, to how satisfying Jesus really is, to how desperately we needed grace and mercy — we trusted our senses anyway. We kept running, in every direction but God’s.

And we thought ourselves rich. We probably never thought in these terms, but sin promised us joy and life. And we believed. The devil“is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44), twisting iniquity into beauty, slavery into freedom, the smoke of hell into a harmless fog. Satan preys on the dullness of our hearts and the vibrancy of our imaginations to make life in the dark seem lovely.

All We Found in Him

And if God had left us to ourselves, we would still and always refuse him. But God reached into death and ripped away all our refusals of him. We looked at all we thought we had, and knew we needed so much more. Jesus tells the story, our story:“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44). We had run and run from the only field that could satisfy us, and then the field ran to find us. Now, all we know is grace.

Now, because Jesus is our life, our life is for Jesus. We want someone else to finally leave the darkness because they saw the light in us. Again, Jesus says, “Whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:21). We want others to see that the strength, and wisdom, and joy that we need to obey God could never come from inside of us.

So if I can close with a question. In the secret of your heart, how does Jesus stand up to your other loves? Does every other good, every other talent, every other relationship bow before him? Or does he often get lost in the weeds of other, worldly pleasures? Would you be happy to have Christ if you could have nothing but him?

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