Many times I have had a sit down talk with Jackson; made him look into my eyes and said, “God still loves you, buddy. He will never, ever stop loving you.”
This boy of mine has a hard time remembering this. His sin is ever before him – that thorn in his side that has the potential to be his greatest gift when it’s channeled God’s way. But man, that fine line. Sometimes it only takes a split second for his passions to get derailed and take him down a road that he wishes he didn’t travel.
Me too, boy. Me too.
But oh, how he loves Jesus. He’s the same one I found crying in the middle of the night – not sick or scared – but weeping because he couldn’t get over the cross and what Jesus had done for him. Jesus gave for him, the one who loves so much and lives so passionately, but feels like he gets it wrong so often.
You need to know that I get it, Jack. It’s not just you…
He needs to hear that God isn’t looking for perfection. He’s looking for a heart fully surrendered. Jesus came not just for the murderers and thieves. He came for the proud, the gossip, the money lover, and for every last hidden thought and motive that makes us cringe at the thought of exposure. He came for the ones who thought they only needed Him from afar; for the ones who thought that with enough striving they could get by on their own.
You can stop striving, son.
Instead… abide.Remember that it’s not about the perfect cover up. It’s about exposing our need to His perfect solution. We can search and try and look in a million other places, but nothing else will ever satisfy like Jesus. He loves like no other, He forgives like no other, He provides peace and hope and joy and freedom like no other. No more exhaustion on your own strength, boy. Lean in close and rest in the embrace of the One who has already done it all.
Listen, you’re not too far gone.
Don’t you dare listen to those lies. Jesus’s mercy transforms what the world calls too broken. His grace overflows, smoothing the rough edges and channeling our thorns into great purpose and humble service for Him… if we’ll only let Him. His power equips the weak and strengthens the weary for the task. God uses the most unlikely because our stories reveal His glory.
So son, turn your pride into praise.
It’ll never be about performance. Instead, let your life be marked by worship for the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Worthy is that Lamb – Friend to sinners; the One who rescued you and refines you; the One who never, ever changes. Embrace His amazing grace, and then make Him the hero of your story.
“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 1:12-14
Girl, now it’s your turn.
You’re not too far gone. Oh, no. In fact, you’re just getting started…