Today is my 45th birthday.
That fact, in some ways, is hardly comprehensible to me. I find it sobering to realize that actuarially I’ve already lived the majority of my mortal life. Where has the time gone?
As my birthday was approaching, I heard an interview with blog writer, Erin Davis, about a post she wrote on her 35th birthday, “35 Things I Wish I’d Known In High School.” Her list caused me to think about my upcoming birthday. I began to brainstorm. What kind of list could I write to honor this day? 45 Things? 45 Blessings? 45 Reasons I Love Jesus. Yes!
So here it is: 45 Reasons I Love Jesus
1. He did not view His equality with God as a thing to be grasped. (Philippians 2:6) I, however, have grasping hands. In my forty-five years, I’ve desired fame, ease, security, and most harmfully—the praise of man. Jesus didn’t grasp a thing. He fully trusted in His Father’s provision. I love Him for that.
2. He is the light that has come into the world. (John 3:19)
3. He is my peace. For most of these forty-five years, I thought that the absence of conflict was the source of peace. But I have found that conflict and chaos can surround me, and I can still have peace in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
4. In Christ there is life. (John 1:4)
5. I love Jesus because He didn’t condemn the woman who was caught in adultery. (John 8)
6. He came not to condemn the world. (John 3:17)
7. He is the Savior of the world. (John 4:42)
8. He delivers us from the wrath to come. I, along with everyone else, was born in sin—sin inherited from the rebellion of the first man, Adam. Because of that original sin, every human has been born under the wrath of God. But Jesus, through His obedient life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection, has provided a way for me to be rescued from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:10, Ephesians 2:3)
9. There is no other name under heaven whereby I can be saved from the condemnation I am born under. It is right to put my hope in Him, for there is salvation in no one else. (John 3:18, Acts 4:12)
10. He is good. When addressed, as “Good Teacher” by a young, rich ruler, He asked and explained, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” This was an invitation to see Him rightly, as The God who is good. Because Jesus is good, I love Him. (Mark 10:18)
11. He came to show us the Father. (John 14:7-11)
12. Through Jesus I can come to the Father. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the only way to the Father. (John 14:6)
13. He is my satisfaction. I’ve spent too many of my forty-five years looking for satisfaction outside of Christ. But I am learning there is no enjoyment apart from God. (Ecclesiastes 2:25)
14. He gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) I needed to be ransomed from death, and he graciously and generously gave Himself for me.
15. He is the baby that my husband Eric, and I really needed. In the early years of our marriage, endometrial cancer claimed my never-used womb. I was filled with grief. Eight weeks after my surgery, we attended a Christmas program that dramatized the nativity. As the scene was being performed, my husband was concerned that I’d feel overwhelming loss, but instead I was struck with the truth that the baby I needed God has already given.
16. Jesus wasn’t a people-pleaser, He was a God-pleaser. I’m so grateful that He frees me from the tyranny of other people’s opinions. (John 4:34)
17. He rescued me from sin and death. (Romans 6:23)
18. He invites those who are weary from their labor under the law and heavy laden from the traditions of man to come to Him. Jesus has given me rest from hopelessly trying to earn favor with God. (Matthew 11:28)
19. He has set me free from the curse of the law. (Galatians 5:1) I was in my early twenties when the truth of my freedom in Christ began to take root in my understanding. I think my mom thought I was a little crazy as I began to dance in her living room, declaring in song, “It was for freedom that Christ has set us free.” It’s still the best reason I know to dance!
20. He gave me His righteousness. (Romans 10:4)
21. He invites us to abide in Him, and He, too, will abide in us. (John 15:4)
22. I have been crucified with Him. (Galatians 2:20)
23. Because I have been united with Him in death, I will surely be united with him in a resurrection like His. I love Him for making this possible. (Romans 6:5)
24. He took a violent persecutor of the church and made him an apostle. (Galatians 1:1 & 13) Through Paul’s letters I see the grace of God.
25. I love Jesus because, through His word, I know that I do not need to fear “those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.” (Matthew 10:28) My soul is safe in Jesus.
26. He is my avenger. As a young girl I was sexually wronged by a man who used deception and manipulation to both enslave me and hide his sin from adults who would have helped me. I have the promise of Scripture that the Lord Jesus is an avenger in all these things. (1 Thessalonians 4:6)
27. I will be glorified in Jesus, according to the grace of God. (2 Thessalonians 1:12)
28. I am an heir of the promises of God because I am in Jesus.(Galatians 3:29)
29. He gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age. (Galatians 1:4)
30. In Christ, I am a son of God, through faith. Because I’m a son, I’m no longer a slave! (Galatians 3:26 & 4:6)
31. He is the mediator between God and man. (I Timothy 2:5) Jesus gave himself as a ransom for all, that whosoever believes in him might be saved. (John 3:16)
32. All things were made through him. (John 1:3)
33. He is the hope of glory. I can have hope because of Him. (Colossians 1:27)
34. He taught Mary and Martha that it was better to listen to Him than to be distracted by much serving. (Luke 10:38-42) That has rescued me from feeling guilty when I don’t serve as others want me to. Thank you, Jesus!
35. He came down from heaven to do the will of His Father, even when obedience meant death. (John 6:38, Philippians 2:8)
36. He humbled Himself. (Philippians 2:8) I’ve wrestled with pride nearly everyday of my life, but Jesus, the creator of the world, became lowly. It amazes me every time I think of it. I should think of it more often.
37. I love Jesus, because He will save me from the coming second death. I will never see the lake of fire, which I deserve, because he has redeemed me. (Revelation 20:6 & 15)
38. He created me for good works in Him. (Ephesians 2:10) I can have confidence in this good purpose.
39. He told me through Scripture that in this world I would have trouble. And he was right! But He also encourages me to take heart for He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
40. He gives all who believe in Him eternal life. (John 6:27)
41. I love Jesus, because in Him there is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
42. He is my blessed hope. (Titus 2:13) This world is not all there is. One day we will see His glorious appearing, and God will wipe every tear from our eyes.
43. He is the author of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
44. He is coming soon. (Revelation 22:20)
45. Because He first loved me. Over the years I’ve wanted Jesus to prove his love for me by giving me good circumstances. But in my forty-five years, I’ve learned that Jesus’ love was shown to me on the cross. If I wonder if Jesus loves me, I look to the cross and remember He loves me more than I’ll ever know.