Does the title surprise you, coming from a church? Have you been made to think that to go “to church” you have to have your act all together? Of even worse, you think that to get anywhere close to God you better clean your act up first?
Well, we’ve got good news! According to Jesus’ follower John, who tells us about the light Jesus brings to our world, Jesus’ own people didn’t receive Him. However, John goes on to say: “Yet to all who did receive
Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Did you catch the order of things? First just receive Him, say “yes” to His open invitation – just the way you are. Then begin to believe, begin to trust Him, the things He’s done for you and all the promises He holds out. THEN, HE helps us become more and more like Him. We don’t clean ourselves up first – we can’t on our own! He’s the One who helps us with that part – if we’d just let Him.
For far too long too many outside the Church, and even inside, have heard that “you need to change your behavior”, “you’re not good enough” or “You can’t go to church looking like that!” and that’s just flat out wrong! Jesus says to come as you are and so do we at Hope Church. If you’ve given up on church, or God, come as you are. Check it out. You don’t have look a certain
way, vote a certain way or wear anything special – God looks right past all that stuff and even right through our attempts to hide our shame or circumstances. He looks at our hearts. Don’t let that frighten you! With more love than you could ever imagine, He tells us He doesn’t
want a sacrifice, or an offering, or to go through the motions. Shattered pride, a heart that is truly sorry is what gets His attention – true story – Psalm 51 in the Bible, check it out! Come as you are and gather and grow with a bunch of other people who are checking it out, learning to trust and to let the Creator of the Universe help each of us become His kids!