What is Essential? Really?

We can get by without a great many things that we consider ‘essential’; just ask anyone who was born several decades ago. Some people still remember when electricity was first installed into their homesteads; they jokingly tell of out houses, milking cows, and the ice man delivering a large block of ice to make ‘refrigeration’.

I remember when the first cell phones became common, only business owners were known to have such. Regular people didn’t seem to have a just cause to even entertain the thought of needing a telephone with them at all times.  Our first cellular phone was the size of a small handbag housed in a zippered case; we thought we had arrived! Now even many elementary aged children sport the latest in telephone technology. Yes, times have changed.

Be it known, I wouldn’t trade my vehicle in for the fastest horse drawn wagon; neither do I wish to give up the internet, television, electric washer and dryer, nor my fancy microwave oven. A lot of the modern day luxuries we enjoy are incredible time savers no doubt; but all that said, a century ago men and women forged a life without them. It was in many regards a simpler time.
 
When I consider what is essential, I am reminded of this verse: Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” We have been created to respect God, to follow Him in reverent obedience.
 
Not only does God desire that each of us would follow Him in this way, but He created us to have a friendship with Him that goes deeper than simply naming the name of Christ as Lord. “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” I John 5:20.
 
The most important, the non-negotiable, the essential is my relationship with Christ. When I relegate it to later, some day in the future when I’m too old and too tired to do anything else, I miss the entire point of why I am even here on this earth in the first place. No amount of money, prestige, or homes and land are meant to take His place.
 
Nothing I have given up to follow Christ has equaled the peace I have received in exchange. Every single cent I have invested in His kingdom has never left me in want. In contrast, the tobacco that I paid money for, would have cost me my health. The alcohol I consumed turned against me and my behavior cost me self respect; I inflicted pain on those I cared for.
 
In consideration of all that I have experienced, why would I question this essential?  All of my joy has been doubled by knowing Christ and all of my sorrows lightened by walking with Him. My prayer today is simply that you would fulfill the purpose for which you were created: to know God and follow Him in reverent obedience.
 
If this message sums up how you feel about your relationship with Christ, pass it on to a friend. All of us need to be reminded of what is really essential.