Come to Me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
In my past, I could never accept the old song “Just as I am without one plea”. I always felt that I needed to clean up and then come to Jesus. That never happened because in order to be cleaned up, we must first come to Jesus. Every time I wanted to run to Jesus, there where people watching and judging what I was wearing, how I talked, what my mannerisms were like, so I just didn’t want to be hurt anymore. I rebelled against the church and all its hypocrisies and I paid a price for my rebellion, but God turned it all around for the good. I now know Him in a way that those who ridiculed me do not.
Jesus never said to clean up and turn to God, He said to turn to God and God will clean you up. God’s word does tell us to repent, and that we absolutely should, however, repentance doesn’t mean we got cleaned up. Repentance means we turned our back on our sin. After repentance is when the cleaning up starts. The mending of the soul, the removal of the residue of past lifestyles, the ties we had to people in our sinful lifestyles and so on. A fish isn’t cleaned and then caught. On the other hand, once we come to Jesus and have the Holy Spirit, we will be conformed to be like Jesus.
Sin had to be addressed in my life in order for me to be used by God in the way He wanted to use me and also to repel darkness. The enemy is attracted to sin and also attaches himself to sin in ones life. If you want someone in the Kingdom, don’t tell them what needs to change, tell them that Jesus loves them unchanged and that as the relationship grows with Him, that change will come. Many times we have to remember where we came from and the patience He has shown us in order for us to show the same love and patience to others. When reaching out to the world, let them know that it’s,”Just as I am without one plea”.
Make an effort today to reach out to all you come in contact with in love. Smile bigger, compliment and seek out the good in others and pay attention to those who are hurting. Someone needs you today, they need to see Jesus through you.
Pastor Michael Cannatello