Recently I haven’t felt like I am the one qualified to be talking and posting about how we need to love God and other people more and how we need to pursue Him farther and harder and deeper.
Because I’m the one that has been falling short. I haven’t had my devotions every day or spent extended times in prayer pursuing the face of God recently. I struggled with this 24/7 for the past few weeks wondering why the passion has grown so dim.
I felt like I lost my wonder and gratefulness of the cross and the mercy and grace of God. I’ve realized this, and was so mad at myself and discouraged for feeling this way, and I did nothing about it. Until this morning when I was reading 1 John 1.
Verses 1 through 4 say,
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”
As I thought about that, I realized that I have no right to not believe or not thank the Lord for all He has done in my life…..no matter if I feel like He’s been working lately or not. He has done amazing things in me. Even though I might not have a testimony of being addicted to bad habits or bad influences, I was saved from facing the wrath of God.
Jesus took the axe for me. I should have been the one to die, but He took it on Himself instead.
Maybe I am the only one, but I think that it’s easy to lose our wonder of the gospel when we have grown up in a church and have heard it every Sunday for years and years. We quickly throw out that we were saved when we were 6 and we know that Jesus died for us on the cross and took away our sins without giving any thought to what that actually means to us. But these things we have known since the beginning – we have heard these things and seen these things and known these things. We are the ones who have the hope!
And for an example of the way that God loves to reinforce things when He wants to show us something, I walked into a college class a few minutes after journaling about 1 John 1, and I found out the topic that day was the Gospel, and how we need to have the FIRE instead of just going through the motions.
The professor was a local senior pastor and some of the first words he spoke hit home.
“Every testimony, no matter how ‘normal’, is a story of amazing grace.”
When we begin to realize this, our whole outlook changes. We will walk and live differently. God chose us to be ALIVE in Him. No longer a people who will face Him in terror on Judgement Day, but a people made holy by the cross. He no longer looks on us and sees our sin, but He only sees the cross that covers our sin and ugliness.
And if we as Christians back off on telling people about this life-giving hope that we have, what hope does the world have??
I want this urgency to talk about Jesus to burn like a fire in my heart. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish that I had given Jesus more. I don’t want to wish I had laid down more for Him or wish that I hadn’t just gone through the motions but had pursued Him and loved Him and followed Him in the deepest parts of my soul.
God chose me, so I want to choose Him. Even when I feel like a royal mess and I don’t feel qualified to talk about following Him because I haven’t been doing the best at following Him.
I don’t want to ever stop talking about Him because I don’t want to ever stop being amazed at the grace He has shown me.