THIS IS MY CONFIDENCE. PERIOD.
SO DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE; IT WILL BE RICHLY REWARDED.
Okay, okay. I want to share something scandalous, something unbelievable, something completely life-changing. Here it is:
Jesus loves sinners.
Not just people who were sinners, but current sinners—right now, in the thick of it, thumbing their noses at him, and chasing every selfish desire.
Can you even believe it!?!? I know. It sounds heretical. But before you burn me at the stake, hear this, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “Still sinners.” You hear that? Sinners, steeped in sin—those sinners are precisely the people Jesus loved enough to die for. But did you notice the pronouns? Did you see “us” in there? “We” are those sinners.
And I’m the worst.
You might want me to say, I WAS the worst sinner—like before Jesus stepped in and saved me I was pretty awful (which would be true). But the full truth is this: when I take a good, hard look at my life, I see sin all over the place, dripping from every corner, staining the whole picture, like right this very minute. And of all the sinners in the whole world (from the liars to the murderers), I know me the best. Therefore, I can say without pause or cheek that I’m the worst sinner I know (1 Timothy 1:15), ‘cause my sin is always before me. But here’s the crazy thing: unlike my before-Christ years, when I didn’t understand the price Jesus paid for my sin, I totally get it now. Yet, I still sin!!! I just can’t NOT sin, none of us can. Just knowing that I turn my back on Jesus day by day, hour by hour, could leave me completely undone, without hope or confidence, defeated by my constant waywardness. Except for that mind-boggling truth we just unearthed: Jesus loves sinners, sinners steeped in sin, right now—even me. Right smack dab in the middle of my own stinking mess, Jesus is here. Spotless. Beautiful. But instead of my sin making him dirty, his perfect goodness makes me clean. He’s not here to condemn me, but to love and save me, along with every single other sinner who would believe in him (John 3:17). So, this is the overarching theme of my life:
Jesus loves sinners—even me—the worst sinner I know.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
THIS IS THE BEST NEWS! THIS is my confidence! THIS is my hope, the fullness of my joy and wonder! Jesus loves me. He forgives me. He is with me and for me. He doesn’t lose patience and leave me in my sin. No, he dusts me off and even empowers me to have victory the next time around. Jesus endures my shame in order to display the “incomparable riches of [God’s] grace, expressed in his kindness toward us…” (Ephesians 2:7). And so, my heart is his, because his heart is mine. He gave it to me along with his life. Who can understand it? Surely, it is too good.
But I’m not making this stuff up.
I know my story is true, because it’s the same story we read in Hebrews. The author of Hebrews goes to great lengths to plumb the depths of Jesus' love for sinners. He says “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus” and can now “draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings” (Hebrews 10:19, 22). This is the love of Jesus on full display, laying down his life for sinners. And do you see what’s on offer there? Not just escape from punishment, not just forgiveness and “off with you,” but an invitation to stay. Jesus gives us access into God’s inner circle as a part of the family. We can draw near to God with confidence that our sin no longer counts against us. This is the confidence our verse encourages us not to throw away! And, surely, it’s what we all long for, isn’t it? To be seen fully, in all our mess and still be loved, to draw near and find forgiveness and acceptance—who could’ve imagined? This is the radical, scandalous love of Jesus for sinners.
Because Jesus loves sinners, we can have hearts filled with confidence.
This is not just confidence for “those sinners” way back then, but this is our confidence too! We don’t have to rely on our goodness or perfection to give us confidence (whew!). Our confidence in life and death, before God and man is this: Jesus loves sinners, even us. So, the next time we look in the mirror and feel like a fraud or a failure, we can remind ourselves of our true confidence: Jesus. He loves us, just as we are. That’s not to say he’s gonna leave us that way. No, he’s committed to actually transforming us into his own image. (Read “God Help Me Change!” for more on what that looks like.) Jesus has stepped into our mess, and he is making it beautiful, like only he can. Nothing and no one can take that away from us. We are fully known and still beloved, forgiven and empowered. So, let this be our confidence today: Jesus loves sinners, even us.
HOW IS YOUR SIN INCREASINGLY UGLY TO YOU?
HOW IS JESUS INCREASINGLY BEAUTIFUL TO YOU BECAUSE OF HIS PATIENT, CONSTANT GRACE?
HOW DOES JESUS'S LOVE FOR SINNERS (EVEN YOU) GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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