Just take this picture in for a bit. What do you think? Can you relate to it? Does it stir up feelings of excitement inside about a momentous experience from your life? Does it just look like a picture to you?
The truth is, most people will probably look at this and all have some unique thoughts as well as many people will share similar thoughts on it.
As the title states, you may have an inkling as to where I am headed with this. I have been slowly reading through the gospel of John and just kind of letting it all sink in each word, sentence and verse at a time. The first chapter is something that I have unfortunately had the outlook on at times of “yeah, I’ve heard that so many times, I get it”. Let me save you some trouble: if you ever feel that way about God or the Bible, you probably should dig more deeply into that part of your spiritual life because God is way bigger than we can fathom, so His depth is a lot deeper than we can even know 🙂 Silly me for thinking that, right!?
So, John 1:9 stood out to me a lot so far:
John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
This picture is a good representation of where every man, woman and child is without the relationship with our loving Savior Jesus. In darkness.
After a while of being in darkness, our eyes adjust and we think “we can make our away around now”. And then we stub our toe, knock something on the floor, etc…
Apply this to our spiritual lives: many of us don’t recognize the things we need, the things we are without, or the things we have that we really would be better off without because we are living in that darkness. When that is the path we are taking, we don’t see the whole picture, we don’t recognize the greater need there is for our life, the greater purpose.
NOW: If I were to just stop here, that would be pretty depressing, wouldn’t it? I would expect all kinds of lash outs stating how ridiculous of a thing to say. And you would be RIGHT. This would be a very negative call out. I would essentially just be saying “everyone who doesn’t believe like I do is just a terrible wretched person, the end.” Don’t worry, there’s more 🙂
Here’s the deal though: I’m not casting any stones. I’m not in any way saying I am better than you, because I’m not. Same struggles, same problems, same selfish tendencies, you name it. I am an imperfect human in need of God’s great grace, love, and direction.
Enter Jesus: Look at that verse again. Jesus is the true light that came to earth to enlighten EVERY man.
So… What does that mean? It means Jesus knows us. Picture a child. Say the power goes out when the child is sleeping and gets up to a pitch black house. The child would need help, direction.
What would be most useful in this situation? A light could be helpful, right?
Suddenly that child could see and get to where he or she needs to be: safety, to a place where they can see and know what they need and also stay away from that which would be dangerous to them. In the dark, as mentioned already, one can stumble, trip, run into something, etc… If the situation is enlightened, suddenly the dangers of the darkness are brought into the light and they are seen for exactly what they are. No more luring in the darkness waiting to trap us, we can see them, we know exactly what they are and can successfully navigate without them affecting us because we can SEE!
So what’s my point in all of this? As a Christ follower, I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord, than He is the Savior of the world, that He is the Son of God. That He came to this world to give His life for us. He looked down on us and saw that we were living in darkness and knew that the only way to once and for all atone for the sins of mankind was to take those sins upon Himself: the sinless son of God.
My point here isn’t to say “man you are all terrible”. Its to say hey, there’s nothing to hide! Run towards Jesus, into the light, recognize sin for what it is and realize that Jesus is there ready to embrace you!
I think we often ( I am a culprit of this way more than I would like to admit) think that God is a God who is just waiting to rub it in all of the sins we have committed, every where we have failed, every where we have made mistakes. But that is SO NOT THE TRUTH!
As I was writing this, I was thinking about how we are justified. This is a concept that is continually hard for me to wrap my head around because it doesn’t make “practical” sense. Don’t get me wrong, it is very real and I am VERY thankful for it, but its hard for us as imperfect people to completely grasp how all of that imperfection and sin could be wiped clean and God looks at us in the way we were originally created to be: holy and justified.
A visual came to me as I was writing this. Here’s a visual:
. Imagine reading
. that was
. the place
. like this.
Its strange, isn’t it? We wouldn’t know what line we are on as easily, we would lose our place, we would get jumbled around, not know where to start, pick up, or stop. It is confusing. This is a small scale example but imagine a 300 page book written in an “unjustified way” like this. It would be TOUGH!
The deal is that this is us without Christ. It was me without Him. It was every Christ follower you know before they knew Christ. We are kind of, well, a MESS!
I’m here to share good news though, not to tell you that you are a mess without hope, we are messes with GREAT HOPE!
See, here’s what happens to us because of what Christ did for us. Before, we are jumbled mess. But when we see the light that Jesus shines upon our lives and our surroundings and we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are justified! He helps put the pieces of our life in the right place!
Imagine reading a a paper that was written like this. All in one place, justified on the same line, just like this. We can make sense of it, we can see where it is going and successfully get to where we need to go in reading it now.
That is what Jesus has done for us. He took our place in sin and in death and MADE A WAY FOR US to be made right with Him. He doesn’t look down on us and say “you guys just messed up too much, sorry!”
Nope, He says, I am here to help make things right, just follow me!
I know this ended up being a little bit longer than my typical blog posts, but I felt it fitting to end with this passage from the book of Romans chapter 5:
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Regardless of what you have heard about God, thought about God, or about Christians, hear his: Jesus loves you, I love you. I am not here to act like I am better than you, I am not. I am here to let you know that God’s love for you goes deeper than you could have ever imagined! Run to Jesus. He’s there for you, you can drop all of that baggage that has been weighing you down and live a great life of purpose because of Jesus Christ.
If anyone wants to talk about this more or wants prayer in regards to something written here, comment here or shoot me a message, I’d love to talk it out more!