Why aren’t the spiritual things in our life more important? I don’t think it happens intentionally. I don’t think you and I wake up and think to ourselves, “I’m really going to worship something other than God.” We really don’t do that. But we act like that. And it happens not because we consider God unimportant, but because we place God as second important. “Oh yes, church is important! Oh yes, God is important.” But something else edges all of that out for number one. God’s a very close second. Perhaps even by an inch. But he’s still second.
And if he’s second, then we’re fishing for the wrong things. Things that won’t satisfy our soul. Things that will leave us disappointed. This helps explain why you may feel lost or disappointed in life. These things will ultimately leave us condemned. God must be number one.
And Jesus gets him there for us. Imagine fishing and always catching your limit and the fish always tasting great. Imagine finding true satisfaction in your life no matter what happens. Your soul is crying out for the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God satisfies the longing of the human heart, the longing to be loved unconditionally.
Each of us wants to be loved. Even when we sin, even when we are ashamed, we crave the love and favor of others. What hurts us most of all is when someone withdraws their love for us. This is what crushes people. And when your human soul depends on the love of other people for its satisfaction, imagine how unreliable that is! Imagine how quickly your sense of self worth, your sense of security, your ability to trust, laugh or just have fun—imagine how all of that can be gone in an instant! Your greatest need is to be loved. But by whom?
That’s what the kingdom of God is all about. The kingdom of God is nothing more than God’s unending favor toward you through Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God is the message that you have been pardoned for your sins; forgiven for seeking things of this world to satisfy the soul; forgiven for nudging God into second place. The kingdom of God is the message that you are declared not guilty no matter how horrific, terrible or shameful your deeds are. The kingdom of God is knowing that God smiles upon you every day. It is being free from guilt forever. Why? Because Jesus came and purchased that kingdom for you with his blood on the cross. He was pierced for our transgressions. The punishment that was upon him has brought us peace. He was wounded, we are healed. Jesus earned your pardon.
One day, Jesus went fishing on the cross, and he earned the one thing that would satisfy your soul forever. He found the kingdom of God: God’s unending favor toward you. The greatest catch of all time.
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