I Love Jesus, But…
Yesterday as I drove our daughter to school in fog thick as pea soup, someone zoomed past me.
A bit startled (he came out of nowhere), I looked to my left just in time to see a small white truck barreling down the two-lane road, and I caught a glimpse of the license plate.
That’s what it said.
No time to take a picture, I sorta smiled, thinking, Maybe he loves Jesus, BUT he also loves to speed.
My self-righteous attitude came to a screeching halt, however, when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “BUT so do you.”
Hmm. Jesus didn’t call Him the Counselor for nothing. He was right… again!
And it’s true. I do too often drive a bit faster that I should–breaking the speed limit law. By God’s grace and mercy, I’ve only been hit with a ticket once in nearly 37 years of being behind the wheel, and that I blame on a friend. (But that’s another story!)
Still, the conviction stung and got me thinking, particularly about this little pillow I have decorating an upstairs bedroom. Among other throw pillows and stuffed animals, there it is–a gift from someone who knows me too well and loves me, despite my imperfections.
In black script, it says–
I love Jesus, but I __________….
It was meant to be endearing, I know. But, it also brings a bit of conviction–makes me stop and think, ask the question–
“Does that please you, Jesus?”
Because, let’s be honest, anything that isn’t pleasing to Him is really sin. Right?
And we can each fill in the blank with that one (or more) thing we do–that choice we make that probably doesn’t please our Savior.
I love Jesus, BUT I…
- Struggle with gluttony.
- Act selfishly.
- Occasionally swear.
- Use course speech.
- Have impure thoughts.
- Battle an addiction.
- Struggle with jealousy.
- Demonstrate uncontrolled anger.
- Am impatient.
It doesn’t have to be anything big, nor something that directly affects another. If it’s simply displeasing to God, it’s sin, and He gives us plenty of passages which speak to what’s right and what’s wrong.
As it’s been said–
Sin is rejection of God and ultimately brings separation from Him.
Well-known theologian and prolific writer, John Piper, describes sin in this manner–
- The glory of God not honored.
- The holiness of God not reverenced.
- The greatness of God not admired.
- The power of God not praised.
- The truth of God not sought.
- The wisdom of God not esteemed.
- The beauty of God not treasured.
- The goodness of God not savored.
- The faithfulness of God not trusted.
- The promises of God not believed.
- The commandments of God not obeyed.
- The justice of God not respected.
- The wrath of God not feared.
- The grace of God not cherished.
- The presence of God not prized.
- The person of God not loved.”
(Taken from John Piper’s, “What is Sin? The Essence and Root of all Sinning.”)
Thankfully, by God’s mercy and grace–because of the death and resurrection of Jesus–there is always forgiveness for the one who confesses.
As it’s written–
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2 NIV).
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. BUT if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:1-2 NIV, emphasis added).
Yes, even if one’s greatest sin is speeding.
Ponder for a moment the area(s) in your life that isn’t pleasing to your Savior. Name it, then confess. Finally, walk in the freedom found in forgiveness!
Dear Jesus, thank you for setting us free from the law of sin and death. Help us walk in that freedom, but also remind us when we’ve sinned so we can confess. Better yet, even before we sin, help us hear the Holy Spirit–our Counselor and Guide–as He whispers to us, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21)! Amen.