but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
Most of us can remember a time as children when our parents told us to clean up before dinner. We may have been having company over or simply too dirty from playing to sit at a clean table! But this idea that we need to be presentable gets engrained in us as we grow up, and continues to sink its roots deeper within us.
Some high schoolers spend hours in the morning picking out the perfect outfits, applying make-up and straightening hair, or making sure their hats are tilted just like Justin Bieber’s.
We work so hard to present ourselves with a certain image, and it often becomes an obsession.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t end in high school or even college. In fact, as we age it frequently gets worse. We move into buying homes, cars and jet skis that we can’t afford simply to impress our neighbors and ourselves.
Even though we may appear put together on the outside, many of our hearts are a mess. But God doesn’t come into our lives and demand we clean ourselves up before we approach him.
He loves us when we’re messy, then he makes us clean. God didn’t simply say the words, “I love you.” He proved his love through Jesus giving his life for us on the cross.
God doesn’t love us because we fix ourselves, he loves us even in our sin, and invites us into Jesus’ righteousness.
Do you live with the idea that God requires us to “clean up” before he’ll accept us? Or do you understand that he calls us while we are “still sinners”, inviting us to come and be made new?