Psalm 51:1-5 (NLT) Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
“I am a sinner if it’s not one thing it’s another…caught up in words tangled in lies. You are Savior and You take brokenness aside and make it beautiful.” (Brokenness Aside) I posted the lyrics to this song on social media openly, honestly and transparently. There used to be a time in my life that I would reconsider such an admission of guilt on the basis of what other people might think. The truth is that I am a sinner. I fall short of God’s Glorious Standard of Living every single day that I am alive. I was born with sin. It came as part of my genetic package. I can act like I don’t do anything wrong. I can think that I am always right. I can judge other people according to my moral code and ethical background but in the end there is one thing that can change the outcome of my forever. His Name is Jesus Christ.
I believe that there is a lack of honesty in the church that is killing ministry. The idea that anyone can ever overcome sin completely. It is impossible. Changing one’s appearance, conversation, and habits do not make up for the wrong committed in the human heart every single day. Just because I go to church doesn’t make me a Christian any more than standing in my garage makes me a Cadillac. However, many of us become great pretenders judging and evaluating our life according to our own good intentions but viewing others according to our pious bias. In the Name of Jesus, I want to break this mentality. We are all sinners. The same kind of sinners. Full of sin that God abhors. Jesus Christ provides grace and mercy for us to get through life and step into eternity. The more in my life is Jesus. The good in my life is the Lord. The success that I find comes directly from Him. How can I boast about anything else except I am a sinner who has a beautiful life in Jesus Christ?
Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT) As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
The thought has occurred to me a lot over the last month that it is easy for believers to get caught up in civilian affairs. (2 Timothy 2:4) We become weighted down with burdens and cares not of God in our attempt to somehow earn this righteousness so freely given to us by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. This weight produces a heaviness that keeps us from effectively running the race of faith and welcoming others to join in our journey. We must “strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Jesus invited Matthew to follow Him and be a disciple. What an awesome privilege, right? Well, not really if you think about it. The religious order of the day in the Jewish community were the Pharisees. They were the presiding influence. Most of them lived opulent and affluent lifestyles because of their place in the hierarchy called religion. Matthew was a tax collector. Not well respected, he hung out with disreputable sinners. The Pharisees saw this and asked the other disciples why the Lord would associate with “scum”. Let’s ponder this for a moment… how do I treat other people who don’t look like I do, think like I do, act like I do, believe like I do or sin like I do? Moving on.
“For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” The scripture reference is from Hosea 6:6 which in full context reads, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” When my life begins to get wrapped up on my rightness and not righteousness, I am rebelling against repentance. Every day must begin with the realization that I am a sinner. (Period) Comparison is not only a joy killer but a lie of the enemy being used to destroy God’s Church and the people in it. Hosea 6 begins with a call to repentance. I believe it is resonating through the Body of Christ again as the Lord is drawing His People closer preparing for the revival that will precipitate His Return. It doesn’t matter what you do for the Lord, if you don’t know Him. If you think you are righteous, beware it is knowing that you are a sinner when Jesus is closest.
Romans 3:23-26 (NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
Everyone has sinned. We ALL fall short of God’s Glorious Standard of Living leaving blessings and promises on the table abandoning them for something less, counterfeits and substitutions. God is faithful and His Goodness is constantly pursuing us. What would happen if rather than chasing after God, His People would turn to Him? Chasing is accomplished through my own energy and strength but to turn back to the Lord allows Him to do that which He promised in His Strength and Power because the reality is I can do nothing to achieve His Glorious Standard except to repent and remain in full surrender day after day.
“He makes sinners right in His Sight when they believe in Jesus.” Right in His Sight. Our putrid condition is not changed by the Grace and Glory of God. Just as one takes out household garbage regularly to avoid our home being overcome with trash and debris, sin must be dealt with on an ongoing basis by faith and trusting the Grace of God to live in His Glory on the condition that when we meet Him face to face righteousness can be fully achieve. As long as there is flesh on our body, we will sin. So if the church is full of sinners, why not welcome everyone? Have we become so enamored with our own reflection and the work of Christ in us that we have forgotten to be a True Reflection of Him instead?
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT) But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
Whenever someone turns to the Lord the veil is taken away. Have you turned to the Lord lately? Have you put aside everything you are “doing” in life and for Him long enough to turn back to Jesus? Your eyes will be opened. Your ears will hear. Your heart will break when you choose to look at His Face and realize all those other “things” don’t matter when you truly step into His Presence. Do you want to see your reflection? Or when you look back do you want to see His? There is a difference. The Lord is a Spirit. He produces freedom in our life. Freedom from comparison, compromise, conditions, and cares. There is no need to defend, discredit or disassociate from anyone because in full repentance there is only love so we have nothing to give other than what we have been given. There is always more to know about Jesus. There is always more to see. More to experience in every encounter. There is also brokenness. Without brokenness there can be no repentance. Without sin, what’s the point?
We all have sinned and fallen short of His Glory therefore we are all in the same predicament. God wants to remove the veil of false expectation, half-truth, compromise, pride of life, lies and deception to reveal His Glory in your life. He is whispering to each of us today – just turn around. I am waiting to bring you joy and fullness found in salvation that will set you free forever. Free from doubt and insecurity that keeps you from confidently trusting in the Lord, His Will, His Way and His Word. We are all sinners if it’s not one thing, it’s another. We all have a Savior. There is more to life beyond the walls built to protect our heart and guard our minds. What is God asking of us today?
Micah 6:8 (NLT) No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
As I turn again to Jesus on this another day, I am a sinner. I need Him to be my Savior. I am handing over all this mess so He can make my life beautiful. I don’t need Him to fix my situation. I am not asking for Him to change anything He is doing. Let my life be Your Masterpiece today Lord just like you promised. I will do what you ask. I will strive to do the right thing. I will love mercy and attempt to extend it to everyone I meet today. I will walk humbly with you God according to Your Grace desiring Your Glory knowing I am a sinner just the same. There is more to life than this. There is always more to be found. Such a life is achieved by repentance, brokenness and humility – I intend to find it.
I Timothy 1:14-16 (NLT) Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.