The only requirement for becoming a Christian is to be a sinner! What? Yes, only sinners need a savior. So, a sign at a church could be “Sinners wanted, Inquire within”.
Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it:
There’s nobody living right, not even one,
nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.
No one’s living right;
I can’t find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
their tongues slick as mudslides.
Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
They open their mouths and pollute the air.
They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
Don’t know the first thing about living with others.
They never give God the time of day.
This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin. (Romans 3:9-20, MSG)
Okay, we are all sinners whether we admit it or not. But what to do? Let’s keep on reading:
But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:21-24, MSG)
God’s grace is all-powerful and amazing. There isn’t a sinner God can’t love. There isn’t a sinner God can’t forgive. There isn’t a sinner that God would not be calling home. But what to do?
We need to repent like Job:
“My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”(Job 42: 5-6, NIV)
In some ways, the Icelandic volcanic ashes reminds the whole world of God’s call for repentance. We need to turn around and get back to God. We need to repent and ask for forgiveness.
Forgive us our sins:
things we’ve done or left undone.
Forgive us our selfishness.
Forgive us putting us first and you second.
Guide us back to life.
Guide us back to live life according to your will.
Guide us to live in your grace.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you think the Icelandic Ashes is a call for repentance?
Blessings to you as you renew your commitment to God!