“My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23 ESV).

J. C. Ryle once said, “There is something, even in the hearts of the most eminent saints, that will never be fully satisfied as long as they are on earth and Christ is in heaven. So long as they dwell in a body of corruption, and see through a glass darkly—so long as they behold creation groaning under the power of sin, and all things not put under Christ–so long their happiness and peace [are] incomplete.” In fact, this great desire to depart and be with Jesus is the key difference between a Christian and a non-Christian.

John Piper once put it like this, “The most basic and essential difference between Christians and non-Christians is not godly decisions, good deeds, or genuine doctrines, but glad delights in the glory of God.” And as Hebrews 1:3 tells us, Jesus “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (ESV). The glory of God is the display of who God is in all of His beauty and majesty. And as Paul tells us, in Jesus “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:19 ESV). Or as John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth . . . . No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:1, 14, 18 ESV). Jesus makes God known, Jesus makes the glory of God known because He is the Son of God, He is the Son who is God in the flesh… Therefore He is the glory of God in the flesh. And therefore, He is the true delight of every Christian… He’s who we were made for…

Perhaps the greatest sin of humanity, even the greatest sin of Christians, perhaps the sin behind all sins is that we underestimate God. We underestimate how big and glorious He is, and thus how good He is, and how much He is to be desired. Paul said his chief desire was to be with Jesus; which is only right, given who Jesus is… And the same should be said of us… And though Satan, the world, and our flesh may tell us that we are missing out, fear not, God’s Word promises us that Jesus is better.

I am nothing; Christ is all!

Pastor Nick