Rushing headlong toward Easter in the middle of a book launch creates a roller coaster of emotions—how are the book stats? rapidly followed by Jesus, thank you! I make it too complicated. As Paul reminded Timothy, there’s only one important thing.

“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8).

That’s it. Simple. Paul wrote this from a dungeon as he awaited execution. He had been imprisoned by a madman, the Emperor Nero, a weighty trial indeed.

The gospel is what eradicates fear. This is what gives us hope now and beyond the grave. This is what holds us together.

A corpse got up of its own accord. The body came alive again with wounds visible. The Spirit re-inhabited the body, and the living, breathing Person walked out of the tomb, appeared in unexpected locations—even locked rooms, and rose bodily into heaven. This was witnessed by over five hundred people. This happened.

David was a man of blood. He had sex with another man’s wife. Then he had her husband murdered. This initial seed sown died as a consequence. David repented. Then they conceived Solomon, who became the ancestor of Christ as foretold. Prophesy was fulfilled.

God used the seed of David and the ovum of a fallen woman to produce his coming Son’s human lineage. God used seed that included even people like you and me—liars, murderers, adulterers, gossips, fornicators, thieves, swindlers, cheats, and rebels.

God is with us in our brokenness, even our obsessing over book stats.

What happens when Jesus is foremost in our minds?

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).

Jesus fulfilled every prophesy about his Person, his mission, and his lineage. He came as the Suffering Servant to pay for our sins and to make us his own. As surely as he came the first time, he will come again as the Conquering King.

His coming proved God’s Word is true. It can be trusted.

If this One can make himself alive, he can make us alive. No matter what happens to me, Paul says, he can make me alive. He promised. He will give us new glorified bodies. It doesn’t matter what they do to our bodies down here. It doesn’t matter what happens with the book stats, up or down.

We belong to God because of Christ. This is the life-altering fact. With gratitude and love, we keep Jesus foremost in our minds. Christ’s gospel is the one important thing.

If Jesus can handle life and death, he can certainly handle the stats.

How does focusing on the One Thing keep you in balance?