After Team Night this week I had it on my heart to write something biblically encouraging; something that I believe we don’t really talk much about, yet is so profound it has changed the way I approach God.
Have you ever thought of yourself in a particular negative way, and as a result you won’t dare to approach God? Maybe you think you’re not good enough, or you’ve screwed something up so bad that God doesn’t delight in you. Maybe it’s not that you did anything bad, but you haven’t done anything particularly good this week and you think, “I haven’t done enough good stuff to go to God.” Or maybe there are problems that aren’t necessarily sinful or wrong, but they’re just things in life that you feel you need to focus on first before you can go to God.
But could it be that we have a God who wants us to run to Him, no matter how bad we think we are, or what we’ve done? 2 Corinthians 5:21 says,
“God made [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
This is quite possibly one of the most ridiculous trades. Jesus decides to embody sin and die on a cross, and the end result is that we become the righteousness of God. Yes, you are a new creation and you are no longer a slave, but a child of the living, eternal God! Now, are you actually perfect? No, but God doesn’t see you and judge you that way at all. He clothes you with righteousness and invites you into his family, which to me sounds a lot like the very words of Jesus in the prodigal son story.
The father says in Luke 15:22-24, “Hurry up, get that suit I only wear to weddings, that ring that has the royal family emblem engraved on it, those fresh Nike kicks for his feet, and cook up some medium rare steaks! My son is back, and we havin’ a party!” My paraphrase, of course… But there is literally nothing but celebration, love and joy. Despite the lingering smell of the pigs, the filth, the disease and the lack of having a shower for months, the father runs out to his son, embraces him and brings him into his family straight away, with no delay (rhyme not intended, but I’ll keep it).
So I guess my point to ponder is, how do you approach God? Do you avoid Him, thinking He hates you and He judges you? Well maybe they are valid thoughts, but guess what? He already judged you, and it’s called the cross. There’s nothing but love and acceptance for you because of Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected, clearing you of your debt and crediting to you His infinite righteousness.
So instead of running away, run to Him, because He wants you in spite of everything! Despite what you think, He clothes you with the righteousness of the eternal and perfect Christ. It’s yours. Right now. Not later, not after you’ve done enough to earn it, not after you give up certain bad habits… Now! Just accept it and run to Christ. As 2 Corinthians 5:20 and the start of chapter 6 says, “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God… do not receive God’s grace in vain… now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.”
Pretty awesome news.
See you in church tomorrow!