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Jesus is Worth It

Brandon Leach and his wife Krystle were raised in Wabash County, Illinois. They both grew up in our church and were active in the youth group. Eventually they fell in love and were married. Along with their two young children, Maya and Malachi, they are saying goodbye this week to friends and family. They will leave on Thursday to begin serving as missionaries through Reaching and Teaching ministries in Argentina. Their first planned furlough will be in 2020. As Brandon stood in front of our church family this past Sunday morning, with excitement in his voice, yet tears in his eyes, he said these four words – “Jesus is worth it”. And the church family which has watched Brandon and Krystle grow up in our church said with tears in their own eyes, "Amen". What did he mean by this explanation and why did our church family say “amen”?

Jesus Cannot be Bought, but We Have
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44). Jesus’ point is that the kingdom of heaven is worth everything. But it cannot be bought. In fact, Scripture teaches that believers themselves were bought with a price – and that being the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19). The kingdom of heaven is received by grace through faith. It has no price-tag. It cannot be obtained by man’s efforts. And the price paid is intended to magnify the holiness of the One who paid it, not merely the value of the sinner who was bought.

Knowing Jesus is Eternal Life
Why did Brandon not say “heaven is worth it”? Because heaven is not the end-goal for the believer. For Brandon and Krystle, it is worth leaving family and friends and the comforts of home because Jesus is worth it. And their going magnifies His worth. It is not because they want to go to heaven, nor because they know they are going to heaven. Rather, it is because of Who they already have and know now – Christ. Knowing Christ, Who is God, is eternal life. “And this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). John Piper gets at the crux of the matter with this probing question: “If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?” For the one who loves Christ, the answer must be a resounding "no". Dear reader, do you know Christ this way?

Hallelujah, All I Have is Christ
Jordan Kauflin penned the words of this modern hymn in 2008 which expresses in poetic words Brandon’s explanation to our congregation this past Sunday, “Jesus is worth it”:

I once was lost in darkest night, yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life, had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own, a rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first, I would refuse You still
But as I ran my hell-bound race, indifferent to the cost,
You looked upon my helpless state, and led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed, You suffered in my place,
You bore the wrath reserved for me, now all I know is grace.
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ, Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone, and live so all might see,
The strength to follow Your commands, could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life, in any way You choose.
And let my song forever be, my only boast is You.
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ, Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

 Jesus is Worth It, And One Day We Will Sing About It . . . Forever
I spoke with Brandon’s father-in-law today, Rob Windes, who himself is a pastor in Noble, Illinois. He said he was out to get lunch for he and Brandon and the rest of the family. But Rob does not feel like eating. Tomorrow morning Rob and his wife Darla will say goodbye, for now, to Brandon and their daughter Krystle, as well as their two young grandchildren. Rob is sad. But he is proud. And his family, as well as Brandon’s father Gary and his wife Mandy, know that “Jesus is worth it”. And what topic does Rob intend to address at his church the next time he’s in the pulpit? The sufficiency of Christ. Jesus is worth it and one day they will sing about it, in His very presence, forever. One day, they will join the blood-bought Church of the Living God and will joyfully praise Jesus with these four words “Worthy is the Lamb” (Revelation 5:12).