Somehow we humans want to be better than we are. We’d like to be perfect. But we are not. There’s no one without fault. “There’s not one totally good person on earth, Not one who is truly pure and sinless.” (Ecc. 7:20, MSG) God knows this. That’s why he sent Christ to the world. So we would have a way back to him. Because we could never make it on our own.
Why is then that we’d like to fake it or pretend that somehow we were not sinners anymore? That suddenly we had everything together and there was not a trace of bitterness, jealousy left in us? That miraculously we had become so holy that there was no need for Christ any more?
God loves truth. That’s why we are not to fake anything. Or pretend to be what we are not. Also, there is no need to fake it. God knows everything. God knows the condition of our hearts. He knows what is going on in our lives. Yet, he welcomes us with open arms.
As C.S. Lewis has said “We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be within us”. God is the ultimate Healer. We are sick and we need healing. We are sinners and we need forgiveness.
When we come to Jesus and lay before him what really is in us, we will be transformed. It is the Holy Spirit in us who creates what ought to be within us. It is the Holy Spirit that lives the Christian life in us. Our part is to come to Jesus, stick to Jesus, to be authentic and love God with everything we’ve got. God takes care of the rest.
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (Eph. 2: 7-10, MSG)
Even when we have been made saints by grace and the Holy Spirit is continually working in us, we are still (forgiven) sinners. We Christians are not under the dominion of the sin any more but as long as we are living and breathing, we are still (forgiven) sinners. Our only hope is to stick to Jesus. But what hope that is! Grace washes us clean day in, day out.
The more we stick to Jesus, the less sin sticks to us. And, yet, we still are sinners in need of God’s grace every single day of our lives on this earth. But help is near. We don’t need to come up with excuses before we come to Jesus. We can come as we are. And we will be wrapped in God’s powerful, healing, restoring grace.
And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives. (1 John 2: 28, MSG)
Forgive us for taking your grace granted.
Forgive us for taking credit for your grace.
Forgive us for finding all kinds of excuses for our behavior.
We do need you. We are sinners. Please, forgive us!
Restore us! Heal us! Renew us!
Pour out grace upon grace on us!
Enable us to be authentic, faithful, and truthful.
We want to stick to you,
don’t let sin stick to us.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Are you ever tempted to pretend before God? Is it hard to admit that you are a (forgiven) sinner?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace authentic living in Christ!
Giving thanks today for
#121 God not wanting excuses
#122 God loving truth
#123 God’s inclusive invitation
#124 God loving us as we are
#125 Saving being God’s idea and God’s work
#126 the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in us
#127 not needing to pretend or fake it
#128 grace being totally free
#129 its’ all about God, not about me
#130 freedom in Christ