It’s not about me…

CemetaryA couple of weeks ago I attended my 25th class reunion. I saw wonderful classmates that I hadn’t seen in years. Some of them I hadn’t seen since high school graduation, some since the 10th reunion I attended, some I saw more regularly. It was fun catching up and hearing about their children, their jobs, their lives.

A couple of days ago, one of the members of my class passed away suddenly. It was shocking! I had kept in touch with this friend only on Facebook for years as she lived in another country. My son asked if I knew her well. I quickly answered, “We went to school together from kindergarten to graduation, 13 years together. Yeah, I knew her pretty well.” But do we really ever know when people are going to die? About a year ago, my husband’s grandfather passed away at the age of 89. He had lived a long life and death was long in coming. It doesn’t make it easier, but we understand it better when someone is older and dies. We feel they had a long, complete life.

It makes you think when someone suddenly passes away…starts your mind on dying and living or end of life situations. It starts you thinking about your family and your death and life right now. It also starts that natural tendency we have as humans to start “weighing” our lives. You know judging ourselves against the lives of others, our dreams of the past, the non-reality of perfection we try to attain.

We start thinking about our losses, our failures, our brokenness, our sin. We don’t need the Bible to tell us that we aren’t good enough. I know this when I huffed at something my husband was doing at lunch today or yelled at a son who wasn’t listening after 142 times of my giving the same directions this morning. I knew I had sinned when I had those thoughts last week about wanting his car, her life, or that house, coveting…We know it! We don’t need scripture to tell us we are sinners.

But it does, just in case we are feeling too important or proud or right or self-sacrificing one day. Romans 3:23 is right there to tell us that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” I am less than perfect, less than Him. Less than His standard. I fail, I sin, I lose.

But, this isn’t about me. It is about Him. God Almighty, the maker of Heaven and Earth, the creator of man and woman, the King, the Lord, the only one true God has a standard. We don’t have to like that. We don’t meet that standard (His glory) and I am betting we don’t really like that either. He has a consequence for our failure, sin, pride, hate of Him, and it is death. Death is the wage we earn from our inherited sin from Adam, the first man. “Well, that’s NOT FAIR” you might yell (…or maybe you just think it sometimes.) But we certain earn that wage as well with our daily…okay, sometimes hourly sins.

Romans 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death” and it is. We will die. All of us will die one day. Some will die today, some tomorrow, some not for years and years. But, we will all die. We don’t need the Bible to tell us that everyone dies.

But it does. Hebrews 9:27 tells us, “…it is appointed unto men once to die, after this the judgment.” It’s going to happen. We just don’t know when. We need to be ready, though, for death. Our own deaths are coming. Death around us makes us realize our own mortality. But it also makes us realize again that we aren’t enough.

Are you ready?

Weighing, all that weighing of self comes back to us. Have I done enough?  Have I done anything good? Oh, yeah, that one thing–that one time when I –well, you know what I am talking about!? 🙂   But, I know in my heart, the answer will always be no. I haven’t done enough, no matter how much I do. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be about me. And, you know what? It isn’t. I WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH. There, I yelled it for the world to hear and read and see. I will never be enough. But, the good news is, God doesn’t ask me to be. He doesn’t ask me to be enough. He knows that I can’t be enough.

Instead, He is enough. He came to Earth. He paid the price, the wage for sin,  which we know is death. He shed His precious blood so that we could be enough through Him. He died in my place. He took on my sins. He loved me enough.

I don’t want to be flippant about Jesus dying on the cross, being buried and raising again. I think sometime people say that or hear it so much that they don’t remember the terribleness or wonderfulness of those statements. Jesus Christ was tortured, beard and fingernails pulled out, beaten, mocked, and left alone. He then suffered one of the worst kinds of death ever–suffication, drowning in your own fluids– through cruxification. God the Father turned His back causing darkness over the whole Earth for 3 hours. The Father could not look at the sin. Jesus was left alone to pay the price for MY sins. Then Jesus gave up the ghost, He died. He left His earthly body. A soldier cut Him open and then left his body hanging on the cross. Jesus was put in a borrowed tomb and left. Three days later, Jesus Christ arose from the dead. He conquered death. He is alive again. We can be alive with Him forever too.

Yes, we still have to die a physical death, but friend, we don’t have to have eternal death. We can have eternal life through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8 & 9 says.

Don’t brush me off. Don’t push this away. It is real. It is real, Friend. Life will end and we will be judged. No matter how much good you do, sin will keep you from eternal life without Jesus Christ. But, it is FREE! You don’t have to work. You don’t have to DO anything except just believe it. It is a gift. Just take it.

You know, I have had people tell me that I had to do A or B or C or 10000D but how would I know that I did it right? Did I do it enough? What if I didn’t do it right? well enough? long enough? exactly right? It wouldn’t be enough. There is NOTHING that I can do. Besides, we don’t work for a gift. This is a gift of God.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Romans, the people of Rome, and they must have needed God badly for Paul told them how to know God. They must have also been really prideful because more than one time he told them they were sinners. The first verse I used was from Romans but earlier in that same letter, Paul tells those folks for three verses in the Bible that all of us are really no good:

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3: 10-12

We don’t understand it. We do not seek Him. We don’t do enough. Trust Him. Believe Him. Know that He is enough. Take the gift.

So, it’s really not about me. He died so that I could have eternal life and there is nothing that I can do to get it except just believe that He took care of it. I just take the gift.

When I die, I know there will be stories shared and pictures brought out and dusted off to show others. Most likely and friends and family will gather to remember me. I don’t want statements like, “Oh she did… she was…she gave…she whatever.” I want it to be about Him. Christ Jesus died that I might live.

He died so that when I die, I will have eternal life. I don’t have a question about “being good enough” because I know the answer is no. I know that I deserve eternal death, hell, eternity away from God. I know it. But it isn’t about me. It isn’t my pride that tells me I have eternal life with God. Because, while the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ my Lord. I have taken it and believed that precious, perfect blood is enough. Will you take it?

Please don’t wait, sweet Friend. Please think about it. Please accept what He did for you. We’ll never be enough but this isn’t really about us. It is about Him and what He did for us. We never know when death will come, but we can be ready. It will be a graduation for me. Will you please join me? 🙂

If your children don’t know the Lord, tell them. Share God’s word and God’s love. They need this just like you and I do. Love your kids, share the truth.