This article is the third in a series entitled ” The Traps of Christianity “. In this series the various authors explain the common inconsistencies that Christians or people who wish to be Christians often encounter in their experience. These “traps” are found in certain passages of the book Steps to Jesus in which the author explains the struggles that “many” face. The quote for the current article is: “How many are there who think they are not good enough to come to Jesus.” SC 31. — Publisher.
A broken hearted girl with cuts and scars in her arms — not good enough. A young runaway, he spends all his money on parties and drugs — not good enough. A person who has struggled with his health all his life, an obstacle that prevented him from pursuing his dreams — not good enough.
Have you ever thought you were not good enough? Not good enough in your family, friends, society, school, or perhaps not good enough at your job. These symptoms can be related or unrelated to an even worse condition: Not feeling good enough for God!
The heart is deceptive
“How many are there who think they are not good enough to come to Jesus”. Steps towards Jesus , 31. It is true that “the heart is deceitful more than anything else and incurably sick”. Jer 17: 9.
“We all like sheep were wandering, each of us followed his own way”. Isa 53: 6. We are all in this together. We have all turned away from the Shepherd, we have left the path of justice to look for the missing piece of true happiness somewhere else. However, Isaiah 53: 6 does not end with this note. The verse continues: “And the Lord has made the iniquity of us all fall upon Him .” As we choose the path of destruction, Jesus takes upon himself the sins of us all!
You might say that it doesn’t apply to you, because you have sunk so deep into difficulties that you are not yet good enough for Jesus and that there is no hope for you. But let’s see what else Scripture says.
“My sin is too great”!
Some feel that they have sinned so much that they can no longer return to God. Perhaps you are afraid that you have committed the unforgivable sin (sin against the Holy Spirit), filled with regret for bad decisions made in your life. But this in itself serves as proof that the Spirit is working in you and that God has not forsaken you. You see, the Spirit was sent to “convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.” John 16: 8.
Look at Paul — a blasphemous person, a persecutor and a murderer. He confidently declared: “This word is sure and worth accepting, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of which I am the first.” 1 Tim 1:15. Paul repented and God used him to bring the gospel to the world.
What is your value
Imagine that I have a 100 Euro note in my hand, and that I wish to give it to you. Do you want it? Naturally! Let’s say that I crease it in order to make it ugly. Do you still want it? I’m sure! Now I put it on the ground and step on it, and it’s full of dust. Why would you want it? Because it has the same value! No matter how crumpled and dusty it is, it is still a 100 Euro note.
How much is your worth? 1000 euros? 100 000 Euro? You have the value for which the son of God has renounced the glory and honor of heaven for you, to come to this dark and sinful land, dying for you. What immense value! Furthermore, Heavenly Father let his son go to risk everything to save humanity. As the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine sheep to search for a lost sheep, Jesus would have died even if he were only for you. “In fact, God did not send his own Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world may be saved through him”. John 3:17. We were already condemned before he even came, because of our sin.
What to do?
Mary Magdalene was a woman of bad reputation, from whom Jesus cast out seven evil spirits. Some commentators believe that she is the woman caught in adultery in John ch. 8. Jesus forgave her sins, and she wanted to show him her gratitude. She had heard him talk about her death. So she bought a very expensive perfume and started greasing it. She fell crying at her feet, washed her feet and dried them with her long hair.
Likewise, when you are in trouble the best place is at Jesus’ feet. Recall this promise: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all iniquity .” 1 John 1: 9. No matter how sinful you may feel, “where sin abounds, his grace abounds much more.” Rom 5:20. “Because, if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and he knows everything”. 1 John 3:20.
The poor tax collector prayed, “O God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Luke 18:13. He considered himself a bad man and the others viewed him in the same way. In himself he felt nothing good enough, yet he felt a certain need and took his only chance of him. With the weight of sin and with shame he came to God to ask for his mercy. What a great contrast to the proud Pharisee, and his presumptuous prayer!
Consider this interesting quote from Ellen White:
“There are some lessons that can only be learned through failure. Peter became a better man after his fall. The Lord allows his children to fall; and then, if they regret their mistakes, He helps them to their feet. ”- Ellen White, Review and Herald , December 16, 1902.
There was hope for the poor tax collector, for Paul, Peter and Mary Magdalene, and there is certainly hope for you, my friends, whatever your situation, whatever your sin.
If you realize your sinful condition, don’t wait to get better. We can never improve with our own efforts. Only God can help us with his grace. Go to Jesus as you are, confess your sins, give your life fully to Him every day, and He will certainly receive you and lead you on the path of life.
Biblical texts from the New Bible .
Christian Hjortland is director and speaker for Empower Missions .