“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)
There are all kinds of “Christians” out there: Strong, weak, loving, hating, lukewarm, part-timers, “closet Christians,” grumpy Christians, and those who take their eternal salvation for granted and just want to be able to pull the alarm in case of a fire.
Many fall under the umbrella title of hypocritical.
I know, because I am one of them.
Like that Volkswagen commercial, I am, “far from perfect.” And I can also be a hypocrite in the eyes of God.
Quick to anger, complaining, gossiping, tempting God’s wrath by consciously sinning, and basically doing what’s best for me and not others, and, occasionally, not acknowledging, praising or thanking Jesus daily for bringing purpose to my life.
On that day where I give a dismal account of myself as a Christian, Jesus has to lean over and whisper in my ear, “Ani, I’m right here and I hear everything you say and see everything you do. Is this how you witness for the Father?”
That hurts. But, then, God chastises those He loves (Proverbs 3:12).
Which Brings Us to the Topic at Hand: Who is Jesus to You?
Is He just fire insurance to keep you from going to Hell?
Is He some miraculous shopping mall Santa Claus or a genie in a bottle whose job is to only grant your wishes and desires?
Is He a part-time Messiah you pull off the shelf when you need a prayer answered?
Do you only call on His name when your car dies on some lonely street, or you finally cry out “Jesus, help Me!” when your child is sick?
Do you wait for a calamity to strike before pulling Jesus out of a bag?
Have you fallen into sin once again and find yourself begging Jesus for mercy and forgiveness?
Does it take a critical “come to Jesus” moment in your life to acknowledge Him as Lord?
More to the point, are you playing Jesus as your “Get Out of Jail Free Card,” as if your relationship with the Lord is some kind of spiritual Monopoly game?
I know, because I’ve done that. I’ve been where you are now.
Is your relationship with Jesus such that when you have a problem you can hear Him say, “Fear not, lean on Me.”
“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” (Psalm 3:3)
Or when you are paying the bills and come up short, do you hear your Savior saying, “Fear not, we will get through this, lean on Me.”
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Or you are worried, headed for a job interview where a written exam awaits you … do you hear your Lord say, “Fear not, be anxious for nothing, lean on Me.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
And on those days you feel all alone, abandoned and unloved, can you hear Jesus saying:
“Fear not, I am holding you, my child, with the same love from my Father that held me to the Cross. Lean on Me.”
“Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.” (Psalm 32:10)
When Jesus says “Lean on Me”, He means 100 percent of the time, the kind of trust that comes with a living, breathing relationship with the Savior.
Yes, we live imperfect, often troubled lives, but we have a perfect God who loves us more than we can ever imagine. Tweet
That means you can run to Jesus 24/7 because you have a relationship with the Father.
Jesus is no “Get Out of Jail Free” card. He is our Lord. He is our Savior.
His love for us is more powerful than ALL of our sins that crushed Him on the cross.
That love broke chains around the world, setting the captives free as He rose from death victorious to have a relationship with every one of us.
That’s how much He loves us.
That’s our God…so that none may perish and all come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).
Next Time When You Pray
Keep God’s magnificent love in mind the next time you pray.
Is it just a one-way conversation with Jesus, where you go on your way after you are through praying?
Or do you quietly sit still and listen to what God has to say to you?
We rush, rush, rush in a busy world, but God wants us to be still, still, still, so He can talk to us, give us a peace and direction in life. Tweet
There is nothing wrong with asking God for help.
In fact, He says we have not because we ask not. Prayers are always welcome. It’s 24/7.
Matthew 7:7 tells us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
But remember also James 4:3: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
God created us to Fellowship with Him. As His children, we can always go to Him.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Why would you want to put this kind of relationship on the shelf?
Why wouldn’t you want to experience this relationship every day of your life?
Why wouldn’t you want this kind of magnificent love in your life?
To know Jesus is to acknowledge Him as the reason for your being.
Anything else … then Jesus is little more than a “get out of jail free” card.