Jesus wants to know you!
If I were to tell you to close your eyes and think of someone you believe is a Christian, you probably would choose someone based on two things. The first would be by their appearance and the second would be by the way they treated you. The reason this concept is so important to address is because Christian’s should not look a certain way and they should not all have the exact same personality. The thing they should have in common is the way that they love like Jesus loves.
The Gospel does not sound appealing when you hear how much of a sinner you are, how God doesn’t want you to be doing the things that you’re currently doing, or that you need to completely change who you are as a person. The appealing part of the Gospel is that you have hope, identity, assurance, and faith in something greater than yourself. This isn’t to say that your walk with God will not start to change things in your life, but you have to know that the change starts to take place based on your understanding of God’s love. The better we understand God’s love the more we will start to desire what he desires, love what he loves, and put away things in the world that will never satisfy us like he will.
Take a second and stop comparing yourself to the Christian you thought of when you closed your eyes. Whether or not that person hurt, loved, or makes you think you have to be like them to be a Christian is wrong. That’s the glory of the gospel, God makes it unique to you. The Greatest Commandment that Jesus gave us was to love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind. God is love and growing in his love is what the world needs. This type of love will transform us into the best version of ourselves ever imaginable. This type of love will help us move beyond separation and bring us into peace and understanding.
The truth about sin is that we’ve all messed up and fall short of God’s glory every single day. That’s the reason Jesus saved us! This doesn’t mean you need to try and be the most holy person on Earth now that you know Jesus. God tells us that when sin entered the world we were separated from God. This separation is why the teaching of the bible seems so foreign to us. It is completely different from the way society tells us to live. The thing is, that’s not relatable. When we think of Christians as the most holy, innocent, prude, and righteous people we know we are categorizing what we should be like. Every single person in the bible that Jesus used for his kingdom was a sinner. Judas was motivated by greed to exploit his weakness of money, Matthew was a dishonest tax collector, Samson became arrogant due to his physical prowess and began drifting from God’s laws and slept with a prostitute, when Christ was arrested Peter denied Jesus out of cowardice, Rahab was a prostitute and slept with married men, Paul was relentlessly persecuting Christians and the list goes on. These people made terrible mistakes but that is what grew them and helped more people understand what it means to be responsible, redeemed, brave, and do your part for charity within the world.
God doesn’t want to steal your happiness. You need to know that the world will bring happiness in many forms and even though everything we do that makes us happy isn’t always perfect to God that’s okay. We are not perfect human beings and God doesn’t want us to think that doing more righteous things will make us perfect. He sees us where we are as enough, worthy, and loved in his eyes. It is true that sin only brings us temporary happiness compared to the Glory of God, but it is still happiness in the moment and until people learn about God’s love they won’t see for themselves that the passions they are desiring in the world won’t fulfill them forever. If we try to cut out every single sin and become “righteous” too quickly we can lose sight of how God intends this journey with him to be enjoyable. That’s why Jesus saves us and meets us where we are. He wants us to be content and take the process at a pace that we are comfortable handling. It will physically and emotionally break you if you think that becoming a new creation suddenly means you have to give up every little thing that has ever brought you joy in your life outside of God. It’s not going to happen and if you slip up you don’t want to feel so guilty that it eats you alive. The process takes time and slowly but surely God will convict you, but the conviction he gives us isn’t meant to be terrifying.
The most important thing is that salvation is real! Going to heaven or hell is a real thing. In Romans 10:9-10 it says “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” The reason people throw Christianity at you is because they want you in heaven, yet by trying to be so righteous themselves they’re not that relatable. The Greatest Commission according to Jesus is to tell the world about the resurrected Jesus Christ and for all who believe to share the gospel. The beauty of being who you are is knowing that God made you and all of you for a reason and that reason is to BE RELATABLE so others can walk this life with each other and have hope! It’s time that the body of Christ would confess their mistakes and share how God has helped them see that their mistakes weren’t as fulfilling as they thought. It’s not realistic to share a story of how you went from one person to this whole new being in a year or two. That’s why in God’s eyes nobody is more righteous than his neighbor, the process of sanctification is happening in all who believe every single day. The moral of the story is to lighten up! invite God into your sin, invite God into your sexuality, invite God into everything you do and ask him how to behave in these ways of life. He hears and he will listen.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in Hope.