Some of you have heard this story before.
It goes like this: “Sin (big and small) has separated us from God. We need someone to make it right. God sent Jesus to fix the problem and make us right with God. Jesus died on the cross to absorb God’s anger at our sin. Believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. Problem fixed!”
For a number of reasons, this story of redemption resonates deeply with you. But you can’t seem to bring yourself to vacate the throne of your life and let Jesus be king. Instead, You’ve put Jesus in the waiting room. Each day He knocks and asks, “Today?” and each day you have a different excuse.
I’ve had my fair share of excuses. But then one day, Jesus decided to chat through the door. When we were done, I not only flung the door wide open, but I begged for someone to help me take the hinges off the door so I could never shut it.
So it had me thinking. What are some excuses we give for making Jesus wait? Three came to mind.
EXCUSE #1: “DUDE, I DON’T THINK JESUS IS LOOKING FOR MY TYPE. I’VE DONE SOME CRAP YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE.”
But here’s the reality. Though you feel like it, (and could very well be a terrible person), you’re not the worst of the bunch, and certainly not the chief of sinners. Someone else already has that title. Seriously. Check 1 Timothy 1:15. His name was Paul, and before becoming a disciple/apostle of Jesus, he had murder and torture listed on his resume. But guess what? He died many years ago and Jesus let him into heaven.
But you insist that you are really an awful person?
Come on! You cannot possibly be viler than the chief of sinners. At best, you’re second worst, but definitely not chief! But supposing you are the chief. Is that not all the more reason why you should come running to Christ? The worse a man or woman is, the more reason he or she should hurry off to the hospital, right?
Simply put, the worse you are, the more Jesus welcomes you. So join the list of crappy sinners, who are now, (by saving grace) crappy followers of Jesus Christ!
EXCUSE #2 – “I’M WORKING ON GETTING MY LIFE TOGETHER, THEN I’LL TURN TO GOD.”
How much effort have you actually put into this? Cos it’s hard! Besides, how do you even know when you’re ‘ready’ enough to present yourself to God? At what point do you go, “Okay... nice-person-meter? Check! Prayed this morning? Check! Didn’t cuss off my coworkers when they were being jerks to me today? Check! Yup. I’m good to go! Let’s do this, God!”
Listen, the longer you stay away from God, the worse you’ll grow. In fact, the more you try to get better apart from God, the worse you’ll look before God because you’re choosing to come to Him on your own terms. God doesn’t like when people come to Him on their own terms. He’s God.
Come my friend! Stop shadow boxing. Were it not better that you bring your account current with God on His terms, than to show up in His presence only to realize you still have a great debt hanging over your head?
EXCUSE #3 – “IT’S JUST NOT A CONVENIENT TIME.”
I feel you on this. But let’s be frank, when will it ever be a convenient time?
Will it be in the first minute after your last breath in this world when you’re being escorted into God’s presence by angels? Too late then. Will it come when you’re on your dying bed and the death throttle is in your throat? Might be too late then too.
Perhaps you want to wait till you’ve been to ‘that’ place, and have experienced ‘that’ thing, or finally had the chance to ‘do’ that guy or girl? Will it be convenient then? What if that ‘thing’ ends up drawing you further away from God than you ever intended for it to?
No sir. Hear me on this. Today is the most convenient time you will ever have to trust in Jesus Christ.
You may have rejected a thousand invitations in the past, don’t make this one thousand and one. Delay no longer. Reading this article might not be a coincidence, but a last invite and warning before you have to settle your debt with God.
Jesus Himself is throwing the doors wide open for you to walk through today. He says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” - Matthew 11:28-30
Here’s the best part. You need not clean up your act before you can come! All you simply need to do is, “confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, (and) you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Boom! Problem fixed.
May this be your prayer today; “O Spirit of the living God, melt my heart for it has never been melted, and compel me to come in to you through saving faith in the finished worked of your son Jesus Christ.”
(adapted from several quotes in sermons by Charles Spurgeon)
→ → TALKBACK: Have you ever given an excuse for not following through on something you sensed God wanted you to act on? What are you DONE making excuses for?
Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.