I grew up in church. We faithfully attended Sunday School and church, and it wasn’t until I went away to school that my church attendance waned.
I served in church- from a young age. Youth choir, Junior Missionary, Youth Usher Board were among the few areas where I was involved. I enjoyed it, which is good; but I also didn’t have a choice. I served because I saw other people serving, and because I was taught that I should serve.
But in all that, which WAS good, I was never completely sold on Jesus. I had the basic knowledge, meaning I could tell you about John 3:16, and I knew that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that He rose on the 3rd day, but no one really pushed me to understand what that meant.
I was never sold on the gospel- the good news of Jesus Christ. I was never sold on the power of the cross and His resurrection. I was never taught to really understand that I serve a risen Savior. I was never taught to understand how because of Christ, I didn’t have to live in fear, or shame; that I was redeemed, that I was WORTHY of His love. I was never taught to understand the magnitude of God’s love for me. And as a result of all of these things that I didn’t understand and that I wasn’t taught, I had a distorted view of church and the gospel.
When I coupled that with the fact that I saw people in church week in (day in) and week out (day out) whose lives never seemed to be changed, I was even more confused. Because, in my mind, if there is a God who loves us, and has this power to change us from the inside out, why is EVERYONE the same?
I wish someone had sold me on Jesus.
I wish someone had sold me on Jesus because then I may have begun to understand that both salvation and sanctification are a process. I wish someone had sold me on Jesus because then I would understand that serving doesn’t get me salvation; that I can’t work myself to death for a Kingdom that I have not professed to believe in. If I had been sold on Jesus, I would have been more equipped to demonstrate the love of Him to others. I would have been able to handle the discrepancies that I saw in people–between who they were and where they desired to be–without leaving the church because “people are hypocrites”. I would have understood the need to be gracious and forgiving to others, because Christ has done the same for me.
Here’s my plea: sell people on Jesus. Tell your testimony- how your life has been changed because of the work that He has done in you and through you. Church is awesome, and we absolutely need community and accountability to help us grow into who we are called to be…but most of all, we need Jesus.