Don’t Invite Jesus Into Your Life!

canstockphoto7936061Growing up in a Baptist church I was always taught the importance of inviting Jesus into your life. Sin had messed up our lives, and we each needed to ask Jesus to come into our lives and save us from the mess that sin had caused.

Truth be told, however, my life wasn’t all that messed up.

Seriously, the situation into which I was born was a leg up on that of many others in the world. Both parents were college educated, and while we weren’t rich we weren’t poor either.

Mom stayed home take care of me and my brothers. They sent us to school, took us to church, taught us right from wrong and then disciplined us with the right balance of love and severity. We took family vacations,

Dad spent time with us, and they modeled for us a happy, healthy marriage.

A mess it was not.

Even for a fairly compliant kid, however, I still did things wrong. I fell short. I wasn’t perfect, which was all that was needed, apparently, for me to go to Hell.

Unless I asked Jesus into my heart. Accepted him as Lord and Savior.

Invited him into my life.

So I did. The baptismal certificate says it was when I was ten, but I did it when I was eight. I didn’t walk down the aisle during the invitation or anything, but still, I did it.

My parents thought it would be better if I waited until I was older and understood things a little better, which is why I didn’t do the aisle-walking baptism thing until I was ten.

But I understood at eight what I confessed at ten—that God loved me, I wasn’t perfect, Jesus died to save me, and I much preferred living in heaven than burning in hell.

And then I continued living my messed-up-but-not-really life. Nothing much really changed.

Inviting Jesus into my life? I was in church as an infant and from that point on went every single week. People all around me talked about Jesus before I knew what they were talking about.

I honestly can’t think of a time when Jesus wasn’t in my life, so things pretty much carried on as before.

History may have a B.C., but I never did.

But whatever, I prayed the prayer and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

As if he’s not that already. Asking doesn’t make it so—he already is, by virtue of his Sonship, his obedience to the cross, his resurrection, his sitting at the right hand of God the Father as Ruler of heaven and earth.

When you put it that way, asking the Ruler of heaven and earth into your life seems kind of small, like asking Michelangelo to paint a stick-figure painting for your living room and hiring a guy to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel white.

Jesus didn’t go around asking to be part of people’s lives. He went around proclaiming that God was doing something new and world-changing and inviting people to become a part of that.

He asked people to drop their fishing nets, walk away from their profitable businesses, even sell all their possessions and follow him.

He didn’t ask them to invite him into their lives, he invited them to leave their lives behind.

He invited them into his life.

The reason that I needed Jesus when I was eight was not that my life was messed up and needed fixing. I’m sure there are some people, even at that age, whose lives are a mess, either because of what they’ve done or what has been done to them, and they certainly need someone who can make right what is so terribly wrong.

But that wasn’t me. Still isn’t.

The problem I faced—and still do—is not that my life is messed up, but that it’s too small, spent on far too many things that won’t matter next week, much less for eternity.

Jesus invites me—invites you, invites us—to join him in a movement that is much bigger than any of our lives.

He is setting the world to rights, renewing all creation, and we get to be his disciples as it gets done.

While my individual contribution may be small, it’s part of something big.

And that is how my life—and yours—means something.

© Can Stock Photo / alexskopje

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