Friday, July 21, 2017

A Tidy Little Mess

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17

I was reading the book She Reads Truth this morning, and one of the authors had written a few paragraphs of her theology of the gospel as a young adult. As I read it, I felt like she had been spying on me my entire life. I must share an excerpt from this book which is an excerpt from the pages of my life.

‘I was driven to be good. Determined to find myself approved by anyone and everyone who knew me. And I pulled it off pretty well…I worked hard for approval and succeeded, trusting my goodness to save me. I had nailed it and thoroughly missed it all at once, all the while living in complete and devastating darkness. I was a tidy little mess…I was living and breathing and putting all my eggs in the basket of an almost-gospel. A watered-down, diminished gospel that was really no gospel at all…At some point I asked myself would I really spend the rest of my life making up for where the cross of Jesus left off? I finally realized that Christ died for me…Plus nothing. Moving forward…with a heart of gratitude, I walked in the fullness of a gospel that invited me instead of needed me.’ She Reads Truth, p. 64-68.

I feel busted and exposed by her words! She gave expression to the hidden parts of my heart and mind, of which I wasn't even aware. She validated how my previous performance based pursuit of God’s acceptance was an ‘almost-true-watered-down-messy-little-gospel.’ It has been a challenging journey to dismantle my belief that I must earn love…jockey for my position in His family…sing for my supper to keep God’s favor. None of this is based on the cross. There is nothing we can add to the work to maintain fellowship with God. We do not have to spend the rest of our lives trying to pick up where the cross left off. There is no more work to do – it was done in the dark a couple thousand years ago. It was a decision whispered through the prayers of a Lamb who was spotless and a Lion who was determined to save us. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to our salvation. The price was paid, the Lamb was slain and eternity is ours with Christ. As we walk, let us walk in freedom and understanding that everything required has been fulfilled. We cannot alter it, lose it or get more of it – we have it all in Jesus.

When Jesus had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’” John 19:30.

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