All of us, whether you have been a believer a long time, or never entered into a relationship with Jesus, all of us have wondered if we are good enough for God? Most of the time, it is because we consider Christians good people, and we are under the false impression that we have to clean up our act before we can be loved by God.
Else we are deeply aware of our past sin, or even our continued sinfulness. We know who we are and recognize that “goodness” is not a word that would describe us. We feel and believe that we deserve to be rejected by God. We consider ourselves unworthy, unlovable and unimportant. Even the world around us, tells us we are not good enough. Life and experience in relationships has convinced us that we are not good enough for God.
There is a difference in how the world and we look at ourselves and how God looks at us. God does not look at us with the eyes of the world around us and judge us according to world standards. He looks at us with a Father’s love. Not a father of the world, but a Father of Heaven, a perfect father, a good father. His love motivates before His judgement.
In Matt 9:9-13 Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees, as to why he hangs out with tax collectors and sinners (considered the scum of the earth by the righteous, rule abiding Pharisees). Jesus replies:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus makes it very clear that He did not come for those who are religious performers, but instead came for people who are sin-filled, to give them a new heart, by faith accepting His mercy and becoming dedicated to Him. He wanted mercy for those who did not deserve His mercy in the first place. In fact…
…not being good enough is exactly what qualifies you for His mercy.
We are all not good enough to varying degrees. The bible says that not one is righteous or deserving of His love (Romans 3:9-12) and that all of us are by nature “not good enough” (Eph 2:1-10). But Jesus death on cross changes our status from “not good enough” to good: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”(2 Cor 5:21)
We accept this goodness that we have now, by faith, because ultimately there is nothing in our flesh that will qualify us for His love. “Oh, but you don’t know what I have done!” you may say.
“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10)
None of us are “too far gone for God,” our sin, can never “out-sin” the grace of God, the favor in which God looks upon us.
“… But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21)
Looking at the rules in the bible and the rules of Christian living, it may feel like a ladder that we need to climb to get up to God. It takes effort and discipline to climb and we fall off the ladder often. The ladder may seem very long, or overwhelming and some of us have given up climbing that ladder to God. But mercy is really like Jesus on top of that ladder reaching down in open arms to lift us up into the very presence of God.
Now we are free to obey because we love Him, not out of necessity, but in God’s power not our own. When we stumble, we don’t fall back to the ground and have to start all over again. No, we fall into the arms of Jesus and are caught every time, we are still in His presence, His love is still focused on us and His desire for us it to stay in our relationship with Him.
Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Christin Hoover, in her book ‘Good to Grace’ writes: “Don’t be ashamed. Don’t try to cover yourself, don’t try to make yourself or your life look more presentable, because you cannot. Look into His eyes and see that he looks at you differently that the crowd does. This is the look of One who knows you intimately, because he created you… receive that wild, extravagant, joyful love.”
Those of us who have been forgiven much, are very aware of what Jesus blood covers. Very aware and very appreciative of that forgiveness. Much like the woman who had been forgiven much, Jesus had this to say about her: (Luke 7:47)
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
It is precisely because we do not feel good enough, that we qualify for the love of God. It is better to know how much you need His forgiveness, than to not fully understand how far His grace and mercy does extend.
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7)
Thank you, Lord, that I am not good enough, but that your love and forgiveness is what makes me good enough. Thank you that I do not have to become good enough, but that your mercy and grace makes me good enough. Thank you that: because I have placed my faith in the forgiveness of sin, I may experience a personal relationship with You Lord, because You have made me good enough. Thank you that because of your love, I will always be good enough. You will catch me always, and keep me in Your Presence because, despite what the world says, to You, I am good enough.
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