My parents live on acres of heavenly marsh. That’s kind of an inside joke amongst me and my sisters because we have a love/hate relationship with this piece of property. We made so many wonderful memories here throughout our lifetimes and, of course, there’s nothing like coming home to Mom and Dad’s for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but when we were outside AT ALL growing up, we were pretty much in need of a hazmat suit to escape the mosquito apocalypse, water moccasins’ dating hook-up location, or mold production. 😂
All of that said, today, walking this path and talking with God, I passed some of the swamp that has collected trash that the passers-by have tossed out their windows. I wondered why I had even noticed it at first because it has been this way since we grew up here. They toss it, and, as kids, we’d fish it out with a rake.
However, today, as I gazed at it, the Lord reminded me of someone I recently spoke to about Jesus. They said, “Jesus loves me just the way I am, and if He doesn’t, then I don’t need Him.”
My heart broke because just like the bottles and cans caught in the yuck of the swamp, that person didn’t want to realize they are caught in the yuck of their own poor choices, their own sin. They didn’t recognize they DO need Him. I know this because there was a time when I thought the same.
Now, Please don’t get me wrong. Jesus DOES love every person right WHERE they are, but He never intended for you to stay HOW you are, so in the same way that we as kids fished the bottles and cans out of the yuck, God has called us Followers of Christ to be fishers of men, and then, once we fish them, we lead them to the One who recycles them into greatness.
Jesus died for each of us, and it is our choice to accept the gift and allow Him to make us something more beautiful than we ever imagined or to reject it and stay stuck in the yuck. He loves us, so he gave us the gift, but He also loves us enough to give us the choice to choose it or reject it.
I explain it to my children like this:
When we truly ask Jesus into our hearts…when we accept His gift, we transform to become more like Him. He does NOT transform to become more like us.
We need Jesus to make us more like Him. He selfLESSly came to die for all mankind to get NOTHING out of the deal, but we struggle selfISHly to give up our sin because we like the feeling it gives us. Trust me in this: When you truly get to know Jesus, you discover who you were created to be all along, and the “feelings” that the sin once gave you is now recognized as a counterfeit for the presence of God. What you’ve desired all along is completeness, and you’ll never find that apart from your Creator. He’s the ONLY KEY tht fits in that keyhole.
It’s a good exchange. A prefect exchange. There is NO better exchange, but you’ll never know if you don’t pluck up the courage to give up the swamp for His love.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV