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Have you ever tried to pray when you felt really dirty?  You want to go to God but you just can’t bear to have Him look at you because you’re sure He’ll be angry or, worse yet, turn away in disgust.  Maybe it’d been a while since you prayed or maybe you had some things going on in your life that highlighted just how selfish and rotten you could be.  Have you ever felt like that?  Yeah, me neither…. 

When I start to feel this way, like I’m too dirty for God to even look at, I open the scripture and just start reading through some passage to see what happens.  I did that this morning with the Second letter of Peter to the churches.  It starts out this way…

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:  May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

The part that really caught me was “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Peter was writing to Christians who were being tossed about by questions of the legitimacy of the gospel, the trustworthiness of the scripture, and all sorts of other things, not to mention issues of personal morality.  But, he says that they have obtained a faith of equal standing with his, the apostle who walked with Jesus every day, and was busy preaching the gospel and writing what would come to be known as “scripture.”  These weak, doubting, morally questionable people had obtained a faith of equal standing with the apostle.  But, how?

Peter makes that clear when he says, “…by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  A true faith that “stands” is grounded in the righteousness of Jesus, not in our own righteousness.  Our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, did what we never could; He pleased God everywhere and always.  So, what Jesus did (and all the stuff He didn’t do) is the reason I can stand in faith before God.  And, to stand in faith before God is to be totally loved and radically accepted by Him.

As an old sage once said, “It’s much easier to hug a dirty kid than a stiff kid.” Jesus came to make dirty kids huggable.  Crazy love.

 


Comments

Galyn
04/27/2014 3:55am

I love this. Every time I read it I feel this ache in my chest through the first paragraph (I totally get it) and end up smiling outwardly by the end, like I just got hugged. And I don't get hugs very often so it's especially warm and gratifying, like sousse to a flu-riddled achy body. it's THAT nourishing.

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10/09/2016 11:55am

When I'm feeling really bad I'm thinking how to repair what is wrong. I dont think prayer would help a lot.

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Religion is a good thing to keep your soul and conscience calm.

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10/09/2016 11:58am

I'm crazy in love with our Lord. He gave me a power to live!

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I cherish this. Each time I read it I feel this hurt in my trunk through the main passage (I absolutely get it) and wind up grinning ostensibly by the end, similar to I just got embraced. Furthermore, I don't get embraces all the time so it's particularly warm and satisfying, similar to sousse to an influenza perplexed pain-filled body. it's THAT supporting.

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