One of the most important messages you will ever believe is that God loves you. That means that you are enough. That unconditional acceptance is the basis for a strong Christian faith. When that becomes the greatest common “denominator” you’ll never have to figure out another “math” problem for as long as you shall live. When YHWH spoke from the heavens about Jesus right after his baptism by John the Baptist he said, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection brought us together with Jesus in being honored by a perfect Father. He sees all seven billion of us because he created every last one of us. We are not pure or saved because of anything we do, rather we are pleasing to him when we put our faith in the death, burial and resurrection.
I remember some song lyrics in the past that said, “Some trust in chariots. We trust in the name of the LORD our God. Some trust in horses. We trust in the name of the LORD our God.” I trust in many things that aren’t God. I trust in money. I trust that every human being I cross paths with will be nice. I trust that my wife will love and like me. I trust that my daughter will respect me. All of those things happen and don’t happen, but my ultimate aim is trust in the Father who knit me together in my mother’s womb. As my friend Ty placed his faith in Scripture when he was here, “My heart and my flesh may fail,” but he will never fail. My trust fails. Thoughts that I am enough fail everyday. Money runs out. I have conflict with my wife and daughter. At some point I will breath my last, and my heart will stop, but my soul will enter into the presence of the one who defeated death. I don’t know when that day will be, for it could be tomorrow or the middle of the night, but I don’t live in fear of that day because his power that is at work in me will continue in others.
My friend Terry and his wife Teri are soon to leave our city, and we will miss them, but the work they did here will not be missed because the same God who is carrying them into a different state will continue on his work in their absence. We will walk the paths they walked, drive the roads they drove, and we will shed tears because we love them, but the God of all comfort will dry our eyes, put his Ruach in us, and we will soar on wings like eagles just like Isaiah said. I may fight depression and extreme sadness here, but even in the midst of that I can trust that my Father never forsakes me. He is closer than the blood in my veins, and the breath in my lungs is the very breath of God.
God does not compare two human beings. He wants every human being to seek him through Jesus and the Holy Spirit as described in the Old and New Testaments. He knows we are not going to be sinless, and that is why the blood of Christ was shed. It was the ultimate sacrifice to pay for past, present and future sins. That’s what baptism represents. That’s why we choose to put Christ on in baptism because we are making a public confession that Jesus Christ is the way unto salvation. Once you receive that salvation it cannot be taken away. Everything else in this life can be taken away, but our place at the right hand of God will not. Think about all the people you have said goodbye to. When you sat listening to the pastor preach their funeral did they read that person’s portfolio? Did they read their resume or every dollar they gave to charity? They didn’t did they? They talked about family and friends. They shared memories about ballgames, vacations, breaking bread and the way they loved those left behind. They described the times when that loved one felt like giving up but didn’t.
Don’t give up precious one. God loves you just the way you are right now. Breath that in. Read that sentence over and over until you believe it. Cry a river if you need to because when you inhale his love those tears will dry up. The pain is great, but his grace is greater.