“The fact is that sin is a bigger disaster than we think it is and grace is more amazing than we seem to be able to grasp that it is. No one who really understands what Scripture has to say about the comprehensive, every-aspect-of-your-personhood altering nature of sin would ever think that anyone could muster enough motivation and strength to rise to God’s standard of perfection. The thought that any fallen human being would be able to perform his or her way into acceptance with God has to be the most insane of all delusions. Yet we all tend to think that we are more righteous than we are, and when we think this, we have taken the first step to embracing the delusion that maybe we’re not so bad in God’s eyes after all.” Paul Tripp
You better pray everyday
You better read your Bible every day.
You better join the choir, teach Sunday school, be a missionary, or do some kind of ministry.
You better tithe.
You better be at Church every time the door was open. (This one was easy because my Dad was a Pastor.)
So, if you are out there trying to earn your way into relationship with God it is a burden that you need not carry and when you realize this Truth it is actually a relief. Then you can start to actually do and say the things that please God by letting His Spirit live in you.
It can be a rough ride and not a pretty sight, but Jesus did not come and die for us because it was comfortable or pretty. He did it because he understood and still understands that it is HE who brings life from sin and death, and it is Jesus in you that will produce “good works and fruit.”
Your behavior will change because Jesus transforms our hearts and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, the hands serve, and the love overflows. I know, because I spent years trying to be good enough and failed and then as I lay all of that down I began to change.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
…all civilizations, and ages both on earth and heaven hinges on them …they profoundly transform those who hear, say, and believe them …they annihilate shame, guilt, burden, loneliness,depression, and death …they provide supernatural joy, freedom, and hope …they expose and destroy all lies, suffering, and evil …they hold all the mysteries of creation, time, and purpose …they drag “lies” kicking and screaming into the light and banish darkness …they wreak havoc on all evil authority and authenticity …they redefine success and sincerity and sacrifice …they are immediately understood and leave their mark when spoken …they hold in their meaning all beginnings and endings Three words… “He is Risen”
There is nothing folded or any pockets left to hide anything. There are no possessions, no promise to keep, and no clever things to say. There are no lies to tell, no more pressure of failure or success. There is no need to pursue happiness and accolades. There are no more bills to pay or money to spend. There is nothing clever to be said.
This man and I are alone in his hospital room. We are humans here together. I am the last person he saw. I am the last one to hold this hand that is already losing its warmth. This hand that held his sweetheart, his children, and grandchildren. This hand that worked diligently at a job and perhaps lost touch on his journey.
In this moment I feel his joys and sorrows as one human to another. I have the privilege to hold for just a brief moment the connection of the mystery that we both have lived, and dreamed in both the laughing and the weeping.
I am the one who will gently wash away the smell of sickness. I will tenderly prepare this human body for final rest as if he were my loved one because the Truth is we are brother and sister in the family of “us.” All of us who are called humans. I will make sure he looks his best for his loved ones who are on their way here in mourning, and just for ” the blink of an eye” I will hold this other human’s unknown secrets, dreams, and love for the cherished treasures they are. I will be a better person having done so.
I whisper a prayer to The One who gives life and who defeated death and give thanks that two complete strangers can be so completely united for a single moment.