I saw a post today online about the infamous invite-a-friend to church day. It got me thinking about the recent invitations I have extended and the invitations that seem to get excuse after excuse. There are some people I have been inviting to church for years. I get a lot of excuses but the one that goes through me is “I’ll come when I get my life together.” So I guess the idea is that you cannot go to church until you have yourself cleaned up, fixed, repaired, looking good, feeling good, or whatever.
Jesus said He came for who? For the perfect? NO! Firstly, we all have fallen short so no one but Christ alone is perfect (Romans 3:23). Second, Jesus came for the sinners. Luke 5:32 says, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent” (NLT). Remember, it’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick (see Mark 2).
I don’t care what you have done or how dirty your hands are right now—Jesus can make anyone white as snow. See it doesn’t rest on what you have done or how you appear or where you are at in life. It rests upon the blood of Jesus Christ. His blood is enough. He has paid the FULL PRICE. By His righteousness, we are welcome before the throne of God. So yeah, perhaps you have a sporting event to attend or you must work. But don’t use the excuse of getting your life together first. The only way to get your life together is through Jesus Christ. Therefore the BEST place to be is in His presence and with His people. Come to church. Today. Tomorrow. Come. I have some good news to share with you.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” – 1 John 1:9 [NLT]
I have two crosses that I wear daily. The one cross I was given as a birthday gift by my dear friend and mentor; the other cross I received from my church when I finished the discipleship program and became an official disciple of the church. One day a fellow saw that I was wearing two crosses and he asked if I could give him one. As we continued to converse, I found that he wasn’t teasing for me to give him one since I had two, but that he felt that I had twice the blessing and protection of God while he was cross-less.
I told him that we each have our own cross to bear but I did not forget the encounter. Later in the day I thought about this man and his request for one of my crosses. He felt it would bring him protection and blessing. He felt it would help him to have one of mine. It was a firm reminder that we cannot save another person—we cannot give someone something that will provide them salvation, we cannot accept Jesus for someone, we cannot save someone.
Remember this truth as you go about your day today. Your unsaved friends and family, you may be the only one who can bring them the Gospel. Those of you who went to church all your life but never independently accepted Christ, stated your belief or have not been baptized, cannot depend on the faith of your family. You personally need to declare that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. Salvation is a beautiful gift, a gift only available from God through Christ Jesus. Do not miss out on this gift. Do not miss out on what God has offered you. It is not about wearing two crosses around your neck—it is about the life you can have through Jesus.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9 [NIV]
As I said before, I recently moved. It has been quite an adventure. What I’ve found to be most interesting is the kitchen sink. The sink has a lot of great features. One can adjust the faucet to either run water or to sprinkle the water. There’s also a built in, removable cutting board. The issue I’ve been having involves the sink faucet dripping when I turn it off. I will finish dishes and walk away. Drip, drip, drip. I will get some water for coffee and hear it again. Drip, drip, drip. If I do not get it perfectly right, it drips. I have tried to learn exactly how this is done, but I’ve learned that I won’t always get it right. One has to slowly turn it off and center it just perfectly in the middle of the apparatus.
God is more understanding than my new faucet. He understands that we are not going to always get it right. He knows that we need a little grace, because we are sinners who fall short. The dripping of the faucet is irritating. Hearing it reminds me again and again that I turned the sink off wrong, that I wasn’t good enough. God doesn’t remind us of our faults. He does not tell us months down the road that we messed up while making a decision at work, or that we should have followed His plan instead of thinking we could do things our way.
God doesn’t tell us that we are not good enough. To God, we are the apple of His eye. We are His children, His inheritance, His friend. We are citizens of heaven. We are hidden with Christ in God. We are saints. We are the workmanship of God. We are a temple of God. He looks at us with love, showers us with love, and He wants nothing but the very best for us.
We all have bad habits of not showing ourselves grace. We are taught by society to see the flaws, and people are usually quick to help us notice them by pointing them out. The devil does his best to constantly whisper to us the long list as well. We end up upset, irritated, depressed, tired, rundown, bitter, sad, angry, and hurt all because we are not “good enough.” Today, show yourself some grace. Understand that you are a work in progress and God is with you every step of the way. You are not always going to do it right, but God loves you. The only dripping you will hear is from the devil and society. Keep pressing forward, allowing His Spirit to guide you, and rest in His love, where there is no sound of dripping.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
– Ephesians 2:8-10 [NASB]