Does Jesus Care? (1 Peter 5:7)

Guincho Beach in Portugal (Photo by Mark J. Booth)
Guincho Beach in Portugal (Photo by Mark J. Booth)

Does Jesus care about what is happening in my life? Does He care about me personally? Many believers to whom Peter wrote had these same questions, because they were facing a period of great persecution for their faith. Their safety and well-being were in peril.  Peter understood persecution.  He had endured imprisonment, and misunderstanding. Jesus had clearly prophesied that one day Peter would die a violent for His sake.

Peter encouraged these beleaguered believers with a letter of a great hope in Jesus Christ. Peter reminded the believers that Jesus does know and care about what is happening in their lives.  The words: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) brought great comfort to the readers of Peter’s letter. Today, these same words bring comfort, encouragement and hope to each one of us.

What does it mean “to cast our care upon Jesus”. First of all the word “care” has the idea of a burden, worry, or an anxious thought. There are many causes of “care” in our lives.

  1. We have the “care” for things that are outside of ourselves.  These include natural catastrophes, rejection by others, and political conflict in our nation.  Our news media has a great knack of creating anxiety upon those who are watching or listening to what they have to say. We feel helpless in the midst of a world that seems to be spinning out of control.
  2. We have the “care” for our loved ones. Many a parent lives a life filled with worry because of their children. We worry about their safety, their future, and their health. Perhaps, we have loved ones who have turned aside from the Lord. This also creates anxiety.
  3. We have the “care” concerning our own lives. We have anxiety over our future, our finances, our failures, our sins, and our health.  As we grow older we become anxious about death and leaving our loved ones behind. If a person doesn’t have the assurance of their salvation, there is the worry about life after death.

Peter admits that we have “cares” but he also tells us what to do with these cares.  Our cares are to be “cast” upon Jesus. The word “cast” has the idea of throwing a weight and placing it upon an object that can bear the weight. Perhaps, the idea can be seen by throwing a bale of hay on a wagon. Why carry the bale of hay when the wagon can do the work?

Why do we carry our “cares” with us when Jesus can carry any load that we place upon Him. He wants us to “cast our all of our cares” upon Him because He cares about what happens in our life. He died for us when we were his enemies. Will He not take care of us, now that we belong to Him?

What keeps us from casting all of our cares upon Jesus?  Could it be pride?  Could it be stubbornness? Could it be a lack of faith? Jesus’ arms are open. He is saying: “Give me that “care” that has you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and discouraged. I can handle anything you give me. Will you not trust me today?”

The Preciousness of Christ

Sunset over Lake Michigan (Photo by Mark J Booth)
Sunset over Lake Michigan (Photo by Mark J Booth)

“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.”
(1 Peter 2:7)

The word “precious” means of great value or of high price. It also means to be dear or beloved in the eyes of the beholder. Peter makes it clear that believers in Jesus Christ should naturally have a great passion for Christ. He should be pursued with all of our hearts, because there is nothing more precious than he.

Is Jesus Christ precious in our eyes today? Perhaps, the world no longer sees Christ as being important, because believers have slowly lost sight of the preciousness of Jesus Christ. When Peter wrote the words: “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.”
(1 Peter 2:7), he was writing to believers who were facing great persecution. These believers had a great passion for Christ, in spite of the great persecution they faced. They understood there was nothing of greater value in this life than having Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

The Bible clearly shows us the preciousness of Christ in many ways.

1. Jesus Christ is precious because He is God in the flesh.  The Book of John  shows Christ’s deity in his works, his words, and his holiness. John wrote:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) His Deity means that He has all the attributes of God the Father.  Our worship, our words, our attitudes and actions should reflect our love and submission to Christ, who is God in the flesh.

2. Jesus Christ is precious because He is the only way of salvation. Mankind is under God’s condemnation. We are all born in sin and in rebellion to the Holy, Righteous God. However, God the Son came to earth to satisfy the Father’s justice. He took our sins upon Himself when He died upon the cross. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Jesus is the object of our love because He took the punishment of our sin upon Himself.

3. Jesus Christ is precious because His love never ends. As Jesus was preparing to leave the earth, his disciples felt lonely. Despair had overcome them; yet Christ encourages them with words concerning His eternal love. Christ’s love for us isn’t based upon our performance, it is a love that never ends. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35)

4. Jesus Christ is precious because He is the Good Shepherd. Life presents many challenges. We face important decisions, immovable obstacles, sicknesses, and loneliness. Do people really care? Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:14) Jesus knows our hearts. He leads us in the way we should go. He carries us with tenderness when the path seems impossible. He takes away our fears. He walks with us even in the valley of the shadow of death. “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

5. Jesus Christ is precious because of His great promises. Christ not only gives us promises to encourage and exhort us, but He also keeps all of His promises. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4) Reflect upon His promises and know that Christ is more precious than anything else in this life. Here are just a few samples of His promises.

  • “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” (Psalm 91:15)
  • “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
  • “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
  • “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4)
  • “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

With our finite minds, it is impossible to completely comprehend the preciousness of Christ.  He is precious in all of His attributes, words and deeds. The more we know Him, the more precious He will become to us. When others see how precious Christ is to us, perhaps, they will start to take the claims of Christ seriously in their own lives.

“Dear Lord, I often take you for granted. I know that you are my Lord and Savior; yet, I don’t treasure my relationship with you. You are precious beyond all of my understanding. Help me to gaze upon you and see how precious you are to me. Amen.”

 

If I Loved Jesus, I Would …

Sunset at Guincho Beach (Cascais-Portugal) Photo by: Mark J Booth
Sunset at Guincho Beach (Cascais-Portugal) Photo by: Mark J Booth

“Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?”  (John 21:16) This question addressed to Peter three times, is perhaps the most searching of all questions made by Jesus Christ.  This question also penetrates the deepest recesses of my soul.  Yes, I may say I love Jesus.  Yes, I may think I love Jesus, but do I truly love Him?  He first loved me, but am I loving Him in return?

  • If I loved Jesus, I would believe and trust in His Word..
  • If I loved Jesus, I would repent of my sin and accept Him as my Lord and Savior.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would enjoy walking with Him every day.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would pour out my heart to Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would enjoy opening up His Word and listening to Him every day.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would share His love with my family, friends and others.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would seek to please Him in all that I say, think and do.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would forgive others as He has forgiven me.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would obey Him, no matter the consequences.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would trust him with every area of my life.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would love others as He has loved me.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would serve Him wherever He would call me
  • If I loved Jesus, I would live each day to bring honor and glory to Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would love my wife, as He loves the church.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would raise my children to know Him and love Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would look forward to being with Him in heaven.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would quickly confess my sins unto Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would give him thanks for all of His blessings in my life.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would meditate upon His words, His titles and His attributes.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would be content and not have a complaining spirit.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would love His church, of which He is the Head.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would make him the priority relationship in my life..
  • If I loved Jesus, I would sing praises unto Him because He is worthy.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would seek His guidance in every decision I make.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would find refuge in Him during the trials of my life.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would learn to wait upon Him when I get impatient.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would cast all of my cares upon Him because He does care.

“Dear Lord Jesus, your love is beyond anything I can comprehend.  I don’t deserve to be loved by you. You have been extremely patient and merciful unto me.  As I reflect upon my love for you, I can see that I have fallen far short of loving you with all of my heart, my soul and my mind.  I know that you are easy to love; and yet I find it so difficult to love you as I ought.  My selfishness, my pride, my desires and my lack of faith keep me from pouring out my love to you.  Please forgive me for my lack of love towards you. Thank you for not quitting on me. Thank you for your continued work in my life.  Thank you for the fact that one day when I see you face to face, I will love you as I ought.  Though I know my love is incomplete now, I want to say: “I love you, Lord.”