Just how perfect do you have to be before God walks with you and guides you? How much more cleaning up do you have to do before Jesus wants to hang out with you? What would need to change in your life to get God to listen to you. Gosh, and then imagine how much more you would need to do to get God to not only listen to you, but answer you.
How many times have you tried to get it all together in the past with no success? You’re trying to get all your ducks in a row and girl, your ducks are on a rave. You always seem to be a minute too late and a dollar too short. You are notoriously a mess.
Well let me tell you something, Jesus likes to hang out with people like you!
Luke 15:1-2 “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!”
Back then tax collectors were the scum of the earth. They were greedy, untruthful men that everybody hated. But then there were these other notorious sinners. Not just sinners, but notorious sinners. They were KNOWN for being a sinner. Everybody knew these guys were messed up basically. People who didn’t hide their problems real well and everyone was aware of their struggle. And these were the people Jesus was drawn to. These were the people Jesus chose to hang out with and sit down at a table with.
These are the people that needed Jesus.
Are you someone who needs Jesus? Are you a notorious sinner? We typically fall in one of two categories … either knowing we’re a notorious sinner, or feeling like we always have to share space with notorious sinners who just can’t seem to get it right.
So to the first group – those who know you’re really not getting this thing all right.
Are you notorious for starting and never finishing?
Notorious for running late?
Notorious for over sleeping?
Notorious for being lazy?
Notorious for talking big and not showing up?
Notorious for being in the middle of the drama?
Notorious for stretching the truth?
Notorious for big excuses?
Notorious for playing little?
Notorious for speaking before you think?
Great. Jesus wants to sit down at your table with you. He shows up where he is needed. That little bit of “notorious” in you is like a magnet to Jesus. I don’t know how long you’ve been trying to fix this bad habit or character flaw of yours, but Jesus is not ashamed of you. He’s not turning his back on you. He’s not shaking his head in disgust that once again you’ve failed. He’s not waiting until you clean yourself up before he has a relationship with you. No, he’s drawing in closer to help you.
Where is your notorious mess? Where is your impossible? Where is your continual struggle with yourself?
Introduce your notorious to your Jesus.
Here’s what I really love about Jesus, he can see right through our layers of mistakes and missteps and see the person God created us to be. He sees the REAL YOU. The you that’s been stuck inside, and here he comes to set you free.
You are loved wildly by your creator and his son who died to save you. There’s nothing you have done and nothing you could do to change that fact. Nothing. And there’s nothing too big, too hard, too shameful or too far gone for him to radically change in your life BEGINNING TODAY.
You don’t have to wait until you’ve got a handle on your bad habit or cleaned yourself up for Jesus to show up. He’s drawn to your imperfection. He’s drawn to your struggle. He can’t stop thinking about YOU. And no matter what the rest of the world says about you, he wants to pull up a chair and sit right next to you. YOU ARE THE ONE HE WANTS.
And to the second group. Those of us who us who for some reason feel like we have our life more together, as if our works are better, as if our crap doesn’t stink. Still notorious. Notorious of being judgmental. Notorious for being self-righteous. Oh wait, we’re no better than anyone else. Girl, your sin stinks too. Just because you can finish what you start, just because you wake up on time, just because your pants zip … you’re still a notorious mess in areas of your life. May we remember the people we are judging and talking bad about are the very people Jesus is drawing in close to. We better check ourselves. Those people you think you’re better than … uhhhh yeah, well Jesus is standing right beside them. I don’t think you want to throw around those judgments and insults when he is by their side. Nope, I’m pretty sure we’re going to want to show up with some love knowing Jesus is standing up for them.
Isn’t it funny, we’re either in group 1 beating ourselves up or we’re in group 2 beating someone else up. And somedays we switch groups, depending on the previous days failures and successes. Understand if you could have gotten this thing right on your own, you wouldn’t have needed a savior. Understand your entire life is simply a journey to becoming more of who you were created to be, and today you get to mindfully practice patience with your own journey and patience with the journey of others. Jesus isn’t running from your notorious sin, he’s running right for it!