so I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not good enough…
I stuff up, stumble, fall, trip over the same stupid stuff, can’t talk good, shy, self conscious, doubt when i should have faith…
This is one of the reasons why I love the Bible – it’s full of people who are not good enough… yet God still loved them, used them to do mighty things and change the world and blessed them.
People like Adam, Noah, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, Thomas, are all great examples of the grace of God.
Let’s look at Adam and Eve.
Many of us know the story of Adam and Eve. The original sin. They were given one rule in the garden, and they broke it. They ate the fruit. Let’s have a look at
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Adam and Eve sinned – felt shame and tried to cover it with fig leaves.
God knowing what they had done, says. “Where are you?”
They reply “hiding cos we are naked.”
God says, “who told you that you are naked?”
In verse 21, It says that God made them clothes from animal skins. These clothes would have covered them much better than fig leaves.
As Christians we believe that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we may be forgiven. We find it fairly basic to our beliefs that God can forgive anyone and welcome them into the body of Christ.
But how often do we forget that this grace is not only for the not-yet-saved, but also for us? Jesus can cover us a lot better than animal skin.
How often are we like Adam and Eve and we look down on ourselves and what we have done and rather than running to God to seek forgiveness, we run the other way to try and hid our shame with fig leaves.
My favourite passage of scripture is in Luke 15 verse 11 – 31 – the parable of the prodigal son.
I love it because it gives me a picture of God.
Most of us would know the story.
Then he said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’
“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and over indulged, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He had no food or money so he started looking for a job. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. – he rehearsed a speech… he was scared that because he had turned his back on his father and shut him out that his father wouldn’t help him.
“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’
“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a robe and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a big fat cow and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—I thought he was dead but he is now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.
The Son never got to finish his speech.. he said “’Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ – but he never go to the part about asking to be hired help…
When we come to God for forgiveness – we aren’t a second rate Christian…
While the son was still a long way off – the father ran out to him – the closest we can get without grace is still a long way off’
One last point we can take from this story – The father covered the son with a robe. – we can only imagine how filthy the son would’ve been – working with pigs – he had no food so obviously no shower – he then walked a long way home… so by the time he got to his father he would have been rather dirty… the father placed the robe on him – this robe covered all his dirt.
Jesus is better than any robe.
Another example of someone who was not good enough is Moses. Moses thought this too. When God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, God gave him lots of instructions.. he told him exactly what to say and do… Then Moses says in Exodus 4:1 “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
So God turns his staff into a snake, gives him leporasy and then heals him and tells him if they still don’t listen, don’t worry, I’ll turn the water to blood.
But Moses looks at himself, and says in verse 10 “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
When God tells us to do something, rather than looking at how big God is, how often do we look at ourselves and doubt.
It’s like for a moment we forget who made us. We forget that we are clothed in Jesus. We look at our sin and our failed attempts to cover our shame rather than looking at Jesus, who God gave us to cover us.
So, yes – I’m not good enough – but that’s ok… God already solved that problem.. He gave me Jesus… Jesus is always more than good enough…