It’s really pretty simple. God wants you. God wants you to experience how much God loves you. God wants you to dive into a relationship with Jesus that changes everything about how you see yourself, others, your life and God. God wants you to be touched by the Holy Spirit so deeply that you see things you’ve never seen, feel things you’ve never felt, understand things you’ve never understood, act in ways you’ve never acted, love in ways you’ve never loved, are filled with joy in ways you’ve never been filled with joy and serve in ways you’ve never served. And God wants you to have all of this – and so much more – beginning right now.
Some days your longing to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ who has been changed by his grace runs smack dab into the realities of how you act. And that’s hard. And painful. Because not only do you have to deal with the pain you’ve inflicted on another, it causes you to question the integrity of your faith. And that’s hard. And painful. But in the midst of it all, God’s grace will prevail. And it, indeed, will change everything.
You can try and make a difference in a broken world because of Jesus. That’s a worthy goal. You can try and change things for Jesus. That, too, is highly admirable. But the only way to bring about true transformation – in you, those you love, your church, your community or the world – is to work with Jesus. After all, he willingly died on the cross as an act of sacrificial love to reconcile the world to God. And that does what nothing else ever can.
As a Christian who has embraced Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are called to step up and deal with issues like Covid-19, racial injustice, children dying from hunger, an epidemic of domestic violence and systemic poverty. There is no escaping this responsibility. But as a Christian who has embraced Jesus as Lord and Savior, you cannot get so caught up in issues that you neglect nurturing your relationship with Jesus, living a Matthew 5 life and following him in everything you do. And if you ever begin to think this pales in comparison to action, remember that it’s people who are passionately in love with Jesus who will truly transform the world.
You couldn’t go to the church building for a long time when the Covid-19 pandemic began. Yet your church quickly found ways to come to you through live streaming, Facetime, YouTube, phone calls and doorstep visits. This was reality for several months for everyone, and still is for many congregations that have not yet again begun in-person activities. Your church doesn’t do this just to keep you happy. It does it because this is a reflection of how God works. Simply stated, God takes the initiative to seek you out in the most personal, profound and powerful way imaginable in Jesus for a very simple reason – this is how much God loves you.