I think one of the greatest injustices anyone could ever experience is to not know who Jesus is. In fact, I think it is the greatest injustice.
It’s not necessarily that Jesus died on the cross, although not understanding that is definitely part of the injustice. But simply put, the greatest injustice of all is to not know Him. And I think the church, in some ways, has tainted our view.
When you live like Jesus lived, will you make mistakes? Yes, you will! Human beings are not perfect. We fail. Sometimes we fail a lot. The mystery of God is the church, but the church is part of man. So the church can’t be perfect, and it can’t expect perfection from you. What it can do is help you experience the grace of Jesus.
What is it like to experience His grace? Jesus had turmoil around Him all the time. People tried to kill Him all the time. And yet, even hanging on a cross, He looked over at a guy and said, “Today you’ll be with me in paradise.” He understood what it was to love a human being. He knew the hearts of people and He said, “I love those hearts. And even though they’re bad at times, I still believe in them and I’m going to love on them faithfully and help them change.”
I think Jesus looks at you right now and says, “Look. I’ve redeemed your sin on the cross. I’ve taken sin away. But you’re still going to make mistakes. I know.”
My sons make mistakes. They make mistakes all the time! But they still feel loved. And while they live in my home, they will feel safe. I fear that a lot of people don’t feel safe in their own homes. I think that’s why they don’t understand their purpose in life. Even in their own homes, they don’t feel safe. Living the life of Jesus can change that. There is freedom in Christ Jesus. There is no condemnation in Him.
I believe that’s why the Word says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I know we put that phrase on our hats. We tattoo it on our arms. You see that a lot with athletes. They rely on the strength it delivers. But it means so much more than mere athleticism. It’s not simply, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me physical strength. That’s why I can be a professional athlete.” No, no. It’s a lot more than that. You can do all things in Christ, because you follow Him. Because you are His disciple. Because you live as He lived, the lifestyle of Jesus!
And if you truly lead that lifestyle, you’re strong in all areas. I walk in the lifestyle of Jesus. Things are not always going to go right, but I’m confident that I’m always going to be able to deal with problems. I’m always going to be able to overcome obstacles. I’ll be able to do all things because of who I am in Jesus. I’m in His family. In His family, I’m always safe. Even when bad things happen, Jesus is always going to love me. He’s always going to help me. He’s always going to encourage me to move on, and so I press on. I don’t look back. I look ahead.
Jesus says, “You might experience trials and tribulations, but you belong to my family. Will things go wrong? Yes. Things will go wrong. But because you’re in my family, you are safe. You will feel safe. You will feel joy. You will feel empowered. And when trials come, you can meet them. You can do all things through me. I will strengthen you.”
See you Thursday.