Hurricane Irene battered eastern NC for well over 12 hours a few days ago. While only a CAT 1 hurricane, Irene was plenty powerful enough to send thousands of trees to the ground, some landing on top of cars, some crushing people’s houses, and some crushing human beings.
Because of the wind, the flooding, and the downed trees, there were some things we were without for varying amounts of time: lights, A/C, phone service, internet, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and TV. More than once during the hurricane, I found myself thinking, I need electricity. I need to connect to my social media outlets. I need Internet service. I need to charge my computer battery.
But I really don’t NEED any of those things. They’re nice. I enjoy them. They make my life more convenient and enjoyable. But, they don’t belong on my “greatest needs list,” not according to the Bible! A quick survey of God’s Word reveals some of our greatest needs to be the need for…
- Righteousness – Christ’s righteousness imputed to my spiritual account (Romans 4.1-5, 23-25; 2 Corinthians 5.21). A Christian is saved by grace through faith because of Christ’s redeeming work at Calvary allowing God to be just and the justifier of all who believe in Him as Savior and Lord (Romans 3.23-26). Romans 3.27 then asks an appropriate question in response to salvation being such an incredible work of grace: “Where is boasting then?” The answer: It’s excluded! And that leads to a second NEED…
- Humbleness – Acknowledging others as better than yourself and demonstrating a Christlike humility (Philippians 2.3-8). Believers have no basis for pride…none! We owe everything to Him…everything! Go ahead and ask yourself, “What do I have that I did not receive?” An honest answer has to be, “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” Then why do we often boast as if that were not the case? That’s what Paul wanted to know in 1 Corinthians 4.7.
- Repentance – If humility is missing and pride is present, what should a believer do? Repent! Repentance is always what a believer NEEDS to do with his sin. Repent means to change one’s mind and to stop committing the sin. Repentance is what the Lord Jesus repeatedly required when addressing the early churches: Revelation 2.4-5 and 3.19. Proverbs 28.13 teaches that mercy comes to the one who confesses and forsakes his sin.
- Forgiveness – We NEED to embrace AND extend forgiveness. That’s exactly what Ephesians 4.32 teaches: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another [that’s extending forgiveness], as God in Christ forgave you [that’s embracing forgiveness].” Having been the recipient of God’s gracious forgiveness of our sins, we as believers are to manifest a forgiving spirit toward others. Christ takes this reciprocal forgiveness so seriously that He will withhold forgiveness from the one who withholds it from someone else: Matthew 6.14-15.
Talk about NEEDS! These are some of our greatest: righteousness, humbleness, repentance, and forgiveness. How do you measure up?