daily devotional

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 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. This week, I haven’t necessarily liked my tax collector either. 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. 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?

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 sitting it out?

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 may those of us who for some reason feel like we have our life more together as if our crap doesn’t stink … 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. 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.