For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I have struggled in the past to share the love of Jesus with others because I have worried they might think the things I believe are far fetched. Or I worried I might offend them. It is easy to talk about God’s love and grace. But, it isn’t always easy to talk about God’s justice or to tell someone they are a sinner. No one wants to hear that. We all want to be encouraged and complimented. It just isn’t the comfortable or easy conversation. In thinking it through, I think my focus was misdirected.
It reminds me of a time during my junior year of college I lived off campus and traded housing for babysitting. As the school year came to a close, I thought the arrangement had worked out well and we talked about continuing the next year.
On the last night before I went home for summer break she came into my room and shared she was not happy with the arrangement. She did not feel I had kept my room or bathroom to her standards of clean. It was hard to hear because I was moving out the next day. In my mind, the spaces were sufficiently clean and I had no idea it was bothering her all year. As I tried to go to sleep that night I felt sad and frustrated because there was no opportunity to correct my mistake. There was no opportunity to make things right.
Sin separates us from God
That’s where I think I was off track in sharing Christ. It is hard to talk about justice and falling short of God’s standards. God is a just God. But in God’s grace, the same moment we acknowledge our shortcomings or sins, we come face-to-face with a solution – payment in full. “For the wages of sin is death…BUT the gift of God is eternal life.” (Romans 6:23)
Entrance into heaven isn’t based on our works but on God’s grace.
We sometimes try and balance the good things we do against the bad things, hoping that in the end the good will out weight the bad so we will get into heaven. But, entrance into heaven isn’t based on our works, it’s based on God’s grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 reads, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast”
Jesus bridged the gap
Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. He paid the price we could not. His blood has covered all. What an awful feeling it would be if we realized we were sinners but had no way to fix it?
I wish the woman I lived with would have come to me early on in the school year and spelled out what she expected instead of waiting until the day I was moving out. When I was faced with my mistakes, I would have had a way to fix them. I’m glad that when I acknowledge my sins, the things I have done that have hurt people, myself and God, in that same moment I am provided a plan, a solution, a payment.
Have you received the gift Jesus offers?
One way I like to think about it is A, B, C’s.
A – Admit I can’t do it on my own and I need Jesus
B – Believe Jesus is who He says He is and He has done what He says He has done. (Died and rose to pay the penalty for sin.)
C – Confess – be willing to repent and turn from your sin to God. Through prayer invite Jesus to take control of your life.
God, Thank you for bridging the gap that I could not. I desire the peace and abundant life both now and for eternity. I realize my sin separates me from you and there is nothing I can do on my own to fix that. I believe Jesus is Your Son and in your endless love, you provided a way for restored fellowship with you through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Thank you. I chose you. I trust Jesus as my Savior and I chose to surrender my will and follow Him. In Jesus Name. Amen.