“And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”
-Acts 15:19, NLT
The chances are high that if we feel like we must jump through hoops to get to Jesus, we are going to project that same mentality onto others. If we feel we must measure up to get into God’s good graces, we will also expect other people should have to, as well.
And yet, this is exactly the opposite of what God wants for His Church. If He doesn’t want to make it difficult to come to Him, we shouldn’t want to make it difficult either. Jesus did the hardest work already. His broken body on the cross paved a path that is free and clear. It leads directly to God with exactly zero hoops through which we have to jump. All we have to do is walk. One foot in front of the other.
If we take a moment to think about the beautiful simplicity of this, what freedom does this give us as we relate to others and as we lead them down this same road? Our message is not about rules and regulations and perfection, but of grace, truth and love. Because of God’s great love for us, He sent Jesus to make it easy for us to have peace with God. The road has been laid, the obstacles removed that had once been in place all those years ago.
Not only are we truly free to walk (or run!) on this road to peace with God, we get to grab our neighbor’s hand and say, “Just come with! Come and see for yourself.” This isn’t an invitation to a black-tie affair where you have to meet guidelines, be a part of a special segment of society, or give a certain amount of money. This is a “come as you are” event for you and the ones you love...and even the ones you don’t.
Have I made it hard for others to come to know Jesus? Where have I cast judgment on others? Who is in my life now that could use a hand finding the road Jesus laid that leads to peace with God?
Jesus, show me how I can live out loud the simplicity of finding peace with God so that others will know that this is also available to them, as well. Amen.