Have you ever watched a 2-year-old struggle to lift something that is much too heavy? If you offer to help, she might yell, “No! I can do it myself!”
This is often how we relate to the God of the universe. He invites us to come to Him for grace and we yell that we are doing just fine.
He designed us to live in humble dependence on Him, yet we try to do life all by ourselves. The Scriptures are clear that we cannot make ourselves whole by human effort. We desperately need the forgiving and sustaining grace of Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-9 describes it this way, “By grace you have been saved through faith. This is not your doing; it is the gift of God. It is not a result of works, so that no one can boast.”
Have you come to the place of realizing your need of the grace of God? Or are you still telling God, “No! I can do it myself!”?
Even after we have come to the point of personally recognizing our need for Jesus, we can drift. We can find ourselves in a dutiful, yet independent lifestyle that draws strength more from our accomplishments than from a prayerful dependence on God.
This is the kind of life the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were living, and Jesus often invited them to examine their hypocrisy and flimsy self-sufficiency. “Happy are the spiritually bankrupt, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be filled up!” (Matthew 5)
Jesus invites us to come to Him for living water (John 4&7). What would it look like for you to accept Jesus’ invitation to come to Him for life?
One of the things that often marks people who come to Jesus for life, is they invite others along. Have you ever talked to a friend about Jesus? Do you invite other people to your church?
Did you know that Easter Sunday is the most highly attended church day of the year? Some have called it the Super Bowl Sunday of the church world. It’s the time of year that marks the anniversary of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. His sacrificial death as our Passover lamb is what pays for our debt of sin. His resurrection from death is what vindicates Him as Lord of the Universe and guarantees that we also can conquer death.
The resurrection is the reality that Christians live by every day. It is also why we worship on Sundays, the day of his resurrection. Easter is the annual celebration of our resurrection life.
Have you ever noticed more people at church on Easter Sunday? Have you invited any of them? Forty-seven percent of un-churched people say they would attend church if someone invited them!
People are waiting for you to invite them. Are you going to invite anyone to church this week? If not, why not? Is your church a place where people can meet Jesus? What can you do to make it that kind of church?
First of all, start living every day as the kind of person who honestly confesses your need for Jesus to forgive and sustain you by His grace. As you refocus yourself on his goodness and grace, this is the daily process of worship that pushes competing loyalties out of our hearts.
This process of answering Jesus’ invitation to follow is what sets us free from the sin and selfishness that constantly plagues us.
Easter is coming in a week. Pray for the churches of our world to clearly and boldly lift up Jesus. Then invite the people around you to come to a church where they can meet Jesus.
We are all carrying heavy loads in life, but Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Dave McMurry is pastor of Grace Bible Church in Killeen.