In today’s Bible reading, John says that our relationship with God doesn’t exist in a vacuum. How we live affects our relationship with God. And how we live with others affects our relationship with God.
Coming into a relationship with God is a free offer. There are no demands on us. We don’t have to (as if we could!) clean up before we come to Christ. God’s offer is to come as we are!
So we come as we are. But God doesn’t want us to stay as we are!
God wants to transform us from the inside-out, in ways we can’t change ourselves — ways that run far deeper than mere behavior change. But behavior change is part of the change He wants to work into our lives. And behavior change demonstrates the deeper, inward change. One of those behavior changes is the way we relate to other people.
How do you feel about other people? Is there anyone who you do everything you can to avoid being around? It’s understandable to want to avoid someone who has mistreated you. But I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about avoiding someone simply because of the way they look, the way they smell, the way they behave, where they live, their job (or their lack of a job), the language they speak, or the country they’re from. Is there anyone you wouldn’t want to spend eternity in heaven with? Anyone?
You are no more deserving of eternity in heaven than anyone else who ever walked on this planet. Anyone. Ever.
And no one is less deserving of spending eternity in heaven than you are. No one. We all come based on Jesus’ atoning sacrifice … alone.
If that’s true, why would you not want to tell someone — anyone — about the greatest news ever heard?
This devotional was originally published on September 28, 2019.