Think about a time you felt you were too far gone. A time you were filled with shame. A time you were broken down by fear. A time the lies of the world were all you could hear.
Maybe it was in the past.
Maybe it is in the present.
Maybe it is becoming resurfaced just as you read this.
A lot of the time our encounters with rejection, faults, failures, and sin taint our belief on how God sees us. If imperfect man can reject us, if imperfect self sees worthlessness, and an imperfect past keeps you in bondage — how can we truly be accepted by an infinitely perfect God?
I had an encounter with a homeless man that perfectly depicted how we allow our fear of unworthiness and rejection to hinder gracious acceptance.
On the evening of October 21, 2018, I was in downtown Fort Worth when this man approached me. I had offered this man a ride to his shelter because he would have been walking the entire night to get there. As I approached my car, I realized it was a complete mess because it was filled with dog hair everywhere on the back seat. I immediately tried to clean off the seat as best as I could. I knew how much I hated my dogs shedding, and I surely didn’t want him to have to deal with it as well. While I was scraping the hair off the seat, he looked at me with the most sincere, yet defeated eyes, held out his hands, and faintly said,
“you don’t have to do that, I’m already dirty.”
My heart sank. I told him, “you deserve to sit in a clean seat, and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.”
Isn’t that the exact same response Jesus gives to us? We tell Jesus, “I’m already dirty, and I don’t deserve to be clean”. Now let me clear the air, and tell you the bold and honest truth:
It doesn’t matter how rejected, outcast, or dirty you’ve been, all He’s pleading with you to do is come and let His redemption begin.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation was come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
It ultimately comes down to our struggle to comprehend and accept grace. Grace doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense because there was and is absolutely nothing we could do to earn or lose it. It doesn’t make sense because it was a complete sacrificial gift to sinners who genuinely do not deserve it. But that’s the point — It doesn’t have to, because it was lovingly lavished upon you by a God who longs to heal and free you.
“They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:23
Grace is powerful.
Grace defies the odds.
Grace boldly proclaims, “I see you as a child of God.”
You have an open invitation to come before the throne…yes 100% dirty…to in turn graciously accept your gift of becoming clean, renewed, and redeemed.
“Let us then approach God’ throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Instead of living in shame of once, or currently, feeling dirty, freely embrace the truth that Jesus deems you worthy.
“But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power if made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9