Sometimes we think we need to be perfect before God can use us. We try to hide our imperfections or paint over our brokenness. We think if our lives were flawless, we would attract people to God. But that’s not how it works. It’s not about us. It’s about the light in us. And that’s what attracts people to God.
The fact that we don’t have to be perfect in order to be accepted by Christ. The fact that the Spirit of God works in and through our weak human nature. The fact that the power of God is not hindered by our weaknesses. Nothing but God can take our mess and create a message out of it.
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[a] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. (2 Cor. 4:5-7, NLT,*)
We don’t need to be perfect in order to do God’s work. Because it’s not about us. It’s about this amazing treasure God has prepared for all of us: we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. And that is not just a dogma. It works. It shines light in our hearts. It changes us from inside out.
So relax. You can just be yourself. That’s the way God created you to be. That’s the way God shines through you. If it were on your shoulders to attract people to God, you’d be just advertising for self-help. Salvation by self-help does not work. Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus works time after time.
So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it! (Hebrews 6:1-3, MSG,*)
Only God gives new spiritual life.
Nobody else can do that, no matter how perfect they are.
Only Jesus saves us.
Nobody else can do that, no matter how flawless they look.
Only the Holy Spirit revives us.
Nobody else can do that, no matter what they promise.
But this treasure in us, this wild God in us, this bright light in us. This is the real deal. Our job is to let it shine through our messes.
Be praised forever and ever.
Thank you for this treasure you’ve prepared for us.
Thank you for saving us by grace through faith in Jesus.
Thank you for shining through our messes.
Change what needs to be changed
but enable us to live boldly for you already now.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How has the light in you changed you over the years? What is possible in your life because of the light in you?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you share the treasure in you with people around you!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]