A few weeks ago, Mia asked, “Does so-and-so know Jesus?” That’s a hard question to answer, especially in five-year-old terms, and honestly, I don’t know. I fully believe based on Scripture that it’s not my job to judge others, “...for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart” (1 Samuel 16: 7). So I thought about it for a second and responded, “I’m not sure, but you could ask her, and if she doesn’t, you can tell her about how much He loves her.” And that’s where I left it.
I was reminded of this conversation today, when Arie, our four-year-old, was explaining to the van full of people that in order to get to heaven, “You only need to know and love Jesus. It doesn’t matter what you do or if you’re good or bad. You just need to love Jesus with your heart,” He proclaimed boldly from his carseat.
My mama heart of course swelled because that is my prayer over their life. Of course I want them to be successful and happy and kind and loving. But over everything, I pray they know Jesus.
As I laid in bed with my kiddos tonight, I thought about the two occurrences. And it hit me: It really is that simple. It’s not about being a good or a bad person. It’s not about pretending to be put together. It’s not about following “the law.” It’s not even about *my* truth.
It’s all about the only real Truth out there:
I’m a sinner. Jesus died for me.
I cheated on my husband or wife. Jesus saved me.
I struggle with anger or rage. Jesus still loves me.
I have intrusive or dark thoughts. Jesus values me.
I struggle with mental illness or depression. Jesus sees me.
I struggle with addiction. Jesus shed His blood for me.
I gossip. Jesus chose the cross.
I struggle with my faith or believing. Jesus knows struggle.
I’ve done things I can’t even talk about. Jesus knows me.
I’m addicted to pornography or have lustful behaviors. Jesus loves me.
I’ve murdered something or someone. Jesus defeated death for me.
I identify within LGBTQ+. I am His.
I lie. Jesus’ death covers me.
I’m prideful. Jesus desires me.
I steal. Jesus paid the ultimate price for me.
I’m not worthy. Jesus says I Am.
Wherever we fall on that list, we are not alone. Jesus is there with us, in it. He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). He knew all the labels we’d be given and the choices we’d be tempted with, and yet He still chose death for each and every one of us. In return, He desires our love. As humans, we tend to over complicate things, but friends, it really is that simple.
Jesus, God as man, was born. He walked the earth. He felt every temptation and emotion we’ve ever had. He was perfect in every way. He was accused, taunted, beaten, and executed by the people, for the people. He died. He was buried in a tomb. On the third day, He rose, defeating death. Seated at the right hand of God, He will remain. When we ask Him into our lives, He joins us, regardless of what we've done or are doing, and He saves us.
So whatever dark label you have yourself trapped under, free yourself, by trusting in Jesus. When you misstep and fall back into old habits or ways (we all do), acknowledge it, apologize, and walk in the freedom you’ve been given. Because YOU are loved, treasured, adored, and bought. You were paid for in full, not on a credit card or a payment plan. The price was high, but Jesus paid it all.
I pray you find yourself filled with hope and peace this week. Have a great week, friends!