My buddies and I weren’t the brightest dudes back in High School. I lived in the tiny po-dunk city of Grants Pass, Oregon. There wasn’t much to do at night time, so we’d have to make up our own fun.
One of the highlights of my High School career was going to junkyards, taking old tires, driving up to the top of hills, and rolling them down. We would literally watch these tires go down step hills, hop up curbs, smash into fences, bang off of cars, roll through intersections, then fall to the earth.
Another highlight was putting glow in the dark spray paint on my buddy’s nude body, and then watching him run through the park naked.
Mom & family if you’re reading this…I’m sorry and I love you…please don’t stop sending me money for college…
And fellow Christians/ curious about Jesus people, don’t judge okay?
I enjoyed my adolescents, but I made a lot of poor choices. I’ve done a lot of things that I am not proud of. I am blessed and cursed with a rough testimony.
I don’t believe I deserve Jesus’ love. I have messed up too many times. I’ve made too bad decisions.
But check this out. There’s a guy in the Bible who did some pretty nasty things. Saul from the New Testament was a crazy dude. He would seek out Christians just to kill them. He wanted to eliminate all Jesus believers, but God had a different plan in his life. Jesus came to Saul in a bright light and changed his life forever. He even switched his name from Saul to Paul! If you aren’t familiar with this story, look it up in Acts 9:1-19.
So there’s Paul. A thug among thugs during his time. He’s becomes an apostle and missionary for the early church. He also has written 13 of the 27 books in the new testament.
In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul wrote about Jesus’ resurrection. He talked about how Jesus appeared to all these great men like the twelve disciples, his brother James, all of the other apostles, and then He finally appeared to Paul.
Paul goes on to write in verse 9-10, “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.”
This is incredible. Paul is writing straight from his heart. He calls himself unworthy to be an apostle because of his past. He knows he’s messed up. He knows he’s done wrong. But he also understands that Jesus overlooks his past. Jesus wasn’t waiting to chastise Paul for all the crap that He’d done. Jesus forgave Paul even though Paul didn’t deserve it. And because of Jesus’ love and grace Paul changed.
This is what we need to realize. We all have done wrong in our lives. We all have screwed up in one way or another. Jesus isn’t like the dad that comes home from work, takes off his belt, and beats your butt until you can’t sit anymore. No no no…that’s not Jesus at all. When you mess up, He wants you to run to Him.
When you realize Jesus’ compassion and affection towards you, you’ll begin to change.
It’s not you who changes you. It’s Jesus who changes you.
It’s His love for you that changes you. It’s His grace for you that changes you. Then you wont want to mess up anymore. I mean…you still will make mistakes, that’s just human. But when you figure out how much God really loves you, you’ll want to start loving Him back. Your life will start to change. It’ll adjust into something different. You’ll realize that the old broken you is gone. Love will begin to pour out from you. Your friends at work will realize how different you are…in a good way.
I don’t deserve Jesus’ love, but Jesus showed me grace by taking what I deserve and nailing it to the cross. He did it for me, He did it for Paul, and He did it for you.
And I try not to roll tires down hills anymore…or spray paint my friends while they’re butt naked…
Love you dudes, but more importantly, Jesus loves you dudes. Connect with us and join the dudes by emailing us at notofthenorm.gmail.com. Follow us on twitter @notofthenorm, or like and share our facebook page facebook.com/notofthenorm!