Perfection not required: What God is looking for in His followers

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

"Dear God,

I'm doing the best I can.

Frank"

(Children's Letters To God, by David Heller)


Do you ever feel like this?

Just trying to make it through the day without totally messing up?


Somehow we have gotten this whole "Coming to God" thing wrong.


"What landed Jesus on the cross was the preposterous idea that common, ordinary, broken, screwed-up people could be godly!"

(Messy Spirituality, Michael Yaconelli)


Wait - What?

My coming to God doesn't depend on my level of goodness or the depth of my sinfulness?

No - it doesn't -

One of the Bible’s greatest truths is that God accepts us just as we are when we give our lives to Jesus. We don’t have to work at cleaning our messy lives up before we come to Him; He invites us just as we are, as we bring Him all of our sins and guilt and weakness.


Romans 5:8 - "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."


You see, "since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:2-5


There is a very popular idea that has been going around for a long some time now when it comes approaching God. Even many Christians will use this saying when trying to encourage or help others - and this saying is not even found in the Bible - yet they use it as if it were.

"God helps those who help themselves"

Ben Franklin (quoted this from a man by the name of, Algernon Sydney, an article titled Discourses Concerning Government) in Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1757.

Yet the Bible teaches the exact opposite - God helps the helpless!

Isaiah 25:4 shows us this, "You (God) have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat..."


What people are most likely trying to say is, if you don't ask God for help, He won't help.

But that's not entirely true - as Romans 5:8 clearly shows us.

Some believe that God would never accept them in the midst of their messy and sinful life - but that is what the cross is all about. God knows we can't clean ourselves up.


So...

What keeps people from coming to God?

-Is it apathy, or the fear of God's judgement and not accepting them, pride, or maybe it's that many have trust issues. It could be any number of things..


I have heard many people say, "There's no way God would accept me now after all I've done."

So, they choose to continue with the life they are living without even asking God if He will forgive, restore and receive them.

When I have these conversations with individuals, it breaks my heart because either they have not heard the gospel or that they do not understand the gospel, or are simply indifferent to it because they love their sin more than God's forgiveness.


There is another modern day "Christian" ideology that I have heard more and more "Christians" tell others that, "God loves you the way you are."

Yes- but no -

This is a very dangerous "feel good" thing to say to someone, because it is not found in scripture anywhere.

Yes, God will meet you at the point of your need and where you are at - He will climb in your mess and get His hands dirty with you, to pull you out - He will not leave you there.

The Gospel is about Jesus, the Savior, coming and pulling you out of the "muck and mire" and if you are wanting to stay where you are, then they are not truly wanting God, only a free pass into heaven.

The Gospel is about God's Saving from our sin - not telling us, "It's ok, it's fine, I forgive you, now just keep on sinning."

No- It is a radical gift of His Son dying in our place - paying our punishment - because He knew we would never be "clean" enough to pay for our own sin.

Christianity is the only religion where we find a God who suffers. Every other religion tells us that it us up to us to earn our way into God's favor.


"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2: 4-10


Jesus is not shocked nor is He put off by us and our mess, no matter how "messy" a person's life is.


God's invitation is for all to come-

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


I pray this song will be a blessing to all who read and ponder the goodness of God's love for them as you consider surrendering your life to Jesus - just as you are.


Song by David Crowder: Come as You Are

Come out of sadness

From wherever you've been

Come broken hearted

Let rescue begin

Come find your mercy

Oh sinner come kneel

Earth has no sorrow

That heaven can't heal

Earth has no sorrow

That heaven can't heal


So lay down your burdens

Lay down your shame

All who are broken

Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home

You're not too far

So lay down your hurt

Lay down your heart

Come as you are


There's hope for the hopeless

And all those who've strayed

Come sit at the table

Come taste the grace

There's rest for the weary

Rest that endures

Earth has no sorrow

That heaven can't cure


So lay down your burdens

Lay down your shame

All who are broken

Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home

You're not too far

So lay down your hurt

Lay down your heart

Come as you are

Come as you are

Fall in his arms

Come as you are


There's joy for the morning

Oh sinner be still

Earth has no sorrow

That heaven can't heal

Earth has no sorrow

That heaven can't heal

So lay down your burdens

Lay down your shame

All who are broken

Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home

You're not too far

So lay down your hurt

Lay down your heart

Come as you are


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQx22xwWvoU



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