Does Jesus Make a Difference?

The question I want to ask us this morning is:  Does Jesus make a difference?  When you think about the activities of your life, Does Jesus make a difference? The majority of us would answer that question quickly and confidently and say: Yes.  Now I want to ask it a little differently, Did Jesus make a difference this morning, yesterday, this week?  Did the fact that you know and love Jesus change anything about your week?  Did Jesus impact how you steward your money, your time, what goals you are working towards?  Did Jesus impact the state of your heart, your anxiety, your fear, or your joy? When we ask the question this way, the honest answer may be: Not very much. 

But Jesus’ payment for us on the cross changes us, and renews us.  This doesn’t mean everything is happy all the team, we still weep, mourn, and long for desires to be met that currently are not, but His love for us impacts our attitude, our motivation, and our actions. Proverbs 28:1 describes one of the impacts of God’s love towards us.  It says: “The righteous are as bold as a lion”. 

The order here matters.  The bold are not righteous, but the righteous will be bold.  Many people are bold but are not righteous.  They boast in their sin, they justify their deeds, or are actually bold in their self-righteousness.  

But God’s righteous ones are not arrogant or proud, but have a boldness of heart and Spirit, a rock solid confidence and stability in their God and what he thinks of them, and what he has promised to them. The peace of Christ rules in their hearts, as God’s word dwell richly in them.

This boldness looks like:

  1. Peter and John, when they were charged not to teach or speak in the name of Jesus, they replied: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

  2. Or the women in proverbs of whom it is said: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”

  3. Or it often looks like the Psalmist who said “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Are we bold in heart? or are we more ruled by anxious and fear, and doubt?
Do we flex in the wind, but still stand, or do we just fold under any kind of pressure? Do we run to him, or in an instance, do we run in all kind of directions looking for material comfort, or an escape. 

Often, Jesus wants more for us than we want for ourselves. The Spirit is willing, but our flesh and our faith are weak.  But despite this, there’s still room for us, Jesus is real and is for us.  He is the good shepherd who instills confidence in his sheep. And he grants us boldness and strength to keep fighting the fight of faith.  Pray with me…

Father we confess we are that we are often ruled by fear, anxiety or doubt, and we are quick to run to other things besides you.  When things get tough, we doubt your presence, or your goodness, or both. 

But because you do not leave us, because there is still room for us in your love, and in your family, we now confess our individual sins to you silently.