Allow me to share another devotional I wrote for camp. Happy Wednesday!
Message of Truth: Matthew 9:12-13, Matt. 11:28, Romans 3:12
I spent a couple weeks in L.A. once, living in an apartment complex in the roughest part of town. My neighbors were drug addicts, drug dealers, and gang members. One man shared with me how he had dropped out of school in 4th grade to take care of his Meth-addicted mother (who also happened to be a prostitute). He himself got addicted to Meth by the time he was 16, causing his life to quickly spiral out of control.
He told me he desperately wanted to have a strong relationship with God but he didn’t feel like he could go to church because he was still struggling with a lot of sin. He didn’t feel like he could pray because he was too “bad” to talk to God. He was trying to “fix” his life on his own so he could be worthy of calling himself a Christ-follower.
Can you relate to that guy? Have you ever felt like you can’t even approach God because there is too much sin in your life and He can’t possibly want to have anything to do with you.
Let me assure you…who you are at this very moment is exactly who the Lord wants to draw near to Him.
Look again at Matthew 9:12-13. Earlier in this section of scripture (starting at verse 9) we learn that Jesus is sitting, sharing a meal with a bunch of tax collectors and sinners. It would be like if we saw Jesus today, and he was hanging out in the super sketchy parts of L.A. with all the people struggling in their addictions, instead of spending his time at church. Some might not understand why he would do this.
The truth is Jesus isn’t looking for the people who think they can handle life all on their own, or the people who are “perfect”. He came to comfort the hurting, heal the sick, and call the broken to himself so they can be restored.
Notice in Matthew 11:28 Jesus doesn’t say, “come to me all who are perfect and have no fault”. No! He calls the ones who are tired and hurting, so that He can give them rest.
Says that there is no one who does good, not even one. We ALL need a savior. We are ALL broken people. There will NEVER be a time in our lives when we can say to God, “Ok, now I’m good enough to be with you. Now I’m holy enough to follow you”. If we wait until we’re “better” to go to God, we never will.
Probably the most humbling thing we will ever do in this life is recognize the depth of our sin…and then acknowledge that we need someone else to redeem us from it. We need Christ to redeem us from it.
As you go about your days, try to think of yourself as one whom God loves, as opposed to one whom God is ashamed of. Think of your sin, and everything that’s ugly in your life, and pray like this:
There is none like you. There is no one who is good. No one who can stand before you and call themselves righteous. Thank you that you love me NOW, in all my wretchedness, and you won’t stop…EVER. I pray that you would teach me how to receive your grace. Help me to humbly come to you so that you can restore me, you can revive me, and you can make something beautiful out of my messiness. You are Good and you are faithful. Praise your holy name.