Today, we are surrounded by messages of “need”. TV commercials consistently say we “need” something… a new car, a new set of clothes, or a new computer. Our government would like us to think that we “need” all of it’s programs and spending; without them we would fall off the face of the planet, we are told.
But the classic example of the message of need is presented to us in the song by America entitled “I Need You” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk-7n1hdK3M). Speaking of one person’s need for another, the song says it is “like the flowers (that) need the rain”. Sounds serious to me, flowers can’t live without rain, you know.
As a young man, my father used to consistently remind me that there was a difference between a “need” and a “want”. Sorry to say, I didn’t see the wisdom in his words back then… it was only as I moved away from home that I began to see what he really meant. In many instances, what we have is a tendency to say something is a “need”, when in actuality it is only a “want”.
But what is even more perplexing is that we have one true need that is often overlooked or devalued.
It is as if our attention is drawn to these other false “needs”, causing us to ignore the most important need of our life…. The Lord Jesus Christ….
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
(Psalms 68:19 kjv)
In the preceding verse we are given two very important reasons why we need Christ in our lives…. “He daily loadeth us with benefits” and “our salvation”.
First, let’s look at his “daily benefits” He gives to us. I can only speak for myself, but in my case, I am CONSTANTLY forgetting all that my Lord does for me on a daily basis. The food I have to eat, the roof over my head, my strength and health, my wonderful wife, even the very breath that I take comes from my Lord. How quickly do I forget these things. In the middle of my day, when I am wrapped up with the daily grind, how easy it is to forget His constant flow of blessings to me.
I may be busy at work and have to eat a late lunch and grumble about it. Next time, I should thank Him that I have food to eat and an appetite which allows me to enjoy the food. Or, how about when I am tired and cranky; I take my frustration out on my poor wife… I’m certainly not appreciating the Lord, or her, like I should be. As our verse said… He is daily LOADING us with His benefits (blessings). Thank you, Lord for all you do for me on a daily basis!
But there is another blessing He gives to us mentioned in our verse…. His salvation. “Salvation from what?”, you may ask. This is a very fair question. To help us answer this question, we need to understand what is meant by the term “salvation”. In this Psalm, the Hebrew word translated “salvation” simply means “to deliver from or to give the victory over”. Here, we are told that our Lord is the One who gives us deliverance from something. That “something” is sin.
Over the years, I have heard more definitions for sin than I can count (or remember). To me, the easy way I understand the meaning of “sin”, and it’s effect on our life, is by thinking of a blind man who stops to ask for directions. He is given a roadmap to guide him…. only one problem, he cannot begin to understand, read, or even see the map. He is in a horrible predicament. He has a set of instructions guiding him on the path he should take, but he cannot begin to follow those directions. Such is the sinfulness of man.
Because we are sinners from conception, we all are unable to please God of our own ability. Just like the blind man, we are in a terrible situation. God has given us His Word which contains His desires for our life, but without His grace, we cannot begin to follow them. For further study on our condition as sinners before God please study (Isa 64:6-7). To sum it up… apart from the Lord we are in horrible straits.
Does this mean we are in a hopeless situation? ABSOLUTELY NOT. This is where faith in our Lord Jesus Christ comes in. Once we understand our inability, our next step is to turn to Him and realize we are totally dependant upon Him to deliver us (or give us the victory over) our sinful condition. In other words WE NEED HIM to save us from our sins. By turning to Him, and trusting in Him, we receive the forgiveness of our sins and the ability to please Him with our lives.
Why is Christ the One we must turn to and place our faith in? It is because He is the One who died for us, taking our sin upon Himself that we might be saved. (please see Roms 4:24-5:2 for more info)
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
Yep, “just like the flowers need the rain”, we truly need Him, not only for our physical well-being, but for our spiritual salvation as well. We can all agree with these words: “Without me (Christ) ye can do nothing”… but… “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (John 15:5, Phil 4:13). Let’s turn to Him and receive His salvation and forgiveness and then, every day, be thankful and praise Him for all He has done for us!
May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”