It’s Good Friday. Normally this is where I’d share details from the week, but I recently – unexpectedly – received the following text from someone I’m just getting to know:
As I mentioned yesterday, my relationship with Jesus permeates my life. But too often I hold back in sharing with others because, quite honestly, I’m conscious of how I might be (negatively) perceived. So when someone reached out to say that a song about sharing one’s faith reminded them of…me!?…I chose to see that as divine encouragement to tell you more about “my” Jesus.
As a launch point, I can’t put it more succinctly than C. S. Lewis, who wrote:
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
I believe the following truths are of infinite importance:
I believe every human is of infinite value, created by a God who loves us and longs to have a relationship with us. The message of Easter is how Jesus’ sacrifice provided a way for us to enter into an eternal relationship with Him.
On a personal level, I believe I am saved by the grace of God by acknowledging I am in need of salvation due to my personal sin. Sin is anything and everything (in word, thought, or action) that separates me from a Holy God. Salvation is the restoration of that broken relationship. I cannot earn God’s favour, and only a perfect Saviour can redeem and restore that relationship, by doing so on my behalf. It requires trusting in the sacrifice that Jesus made – death on a cross despite His blamelessness – to cover all my sin, past, present, and future (that’s right – it continues).
His perfection was accepted in place of my imperfection. His pleasure in me is not based on my performance; it is based on my acceptance of that which I couldn’t do for myself. And my first response to this grace is to love and cherish this Saviour – my Jesus – and “to enjoy Him forever.” My next response is to love my neighbour (everyone around me in this world).
Depending on where you are in your spiritual journey this could sound radical (most world religions suggest there is a scale or balance – that we earn rewards, on our own merit) or like something out of a fanciful myth where things like “sin” and “eternity” and “salvation” have no basis in reality.
Sadly, some may also see “grace” as the rationale behind horrific abuses that have been carried out at the hands of so-called Christians. This is wrong – these people are not following the Jesus of the Bible.
Wherever you are in your faith journey today:
- I’m not here to convince you to love and follow Jesus; that’s between you and Him. But I do want to share the Good News that impacts my everyday life.
- I don’t have all the answers (and be wary of anyone who says they do). I’m just a simple girl trying to live out her faith to God’s glory. Being a Jesus follower doesn’t mean I get everything right or that I’m promised or expect health and prosperity. It does mean I view the world, the people in it, and my purpose on this Earth with a God-shaped lens for now and eternity.
- It can be easy to get lost in the weeds – in arguments over denominations and church politics or to focus on the countless atrocities carried out under the banner of faith. But at the heart of the matter is that simple message that I have been saved by Grace alone (absolutely nothing I’ve done – or could ever do -would be enough to “earn” this), am loved and secure with a current hope and an eternal future. All the rest can quickly become noise distracting me from the heart of the message.
- I don’t want you to think God asks us to check our questions and doubts at the door. When I wrestle with God it’s a full-contact sport and I believe it is always better to engage with Him honestly than to ignore Him completely. God meets me where I am – weary and broken, fighting and reluctant, joyful and assured.
And that brings us back to the words of C.S. Lewis. You, the reader, are entitled to think I’m wrong or silly or misled – to believe Christianity is false and of no importance.
But I hope we can all agree the message of Easter can’t be moderately true.
His love is strong and His grace is free
And the good news is I know that He
Can do for you what He’s done for me
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus
And let my Jesus change your life. (My Jesus – Annie Wilson/Crowder)
I respect and appreciate the diversity of faith groups represented in this space but if you have questions or want to know more about “my” Jesus (who wants to be “your” Jesus) feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org