I just watched this holiday Lexus commercial on TV. There was this guy who was doing nice things for people….buying a coffee for the Salvation Army bell-ringer and even stitching Santa’s clothes or something. The commercial then ended with this dude mysteriously finding a set of keys to a Lexus. You know, a reward for being a good guy and doing nice things for people. He was on the “nice” list. He earned the car.
Maybe, if I’m good enough, I can get a Lexus. That would be cool. Hey God, hook a brother up!
The same goes with life and the afterlife for that matter…..I’ve heard it said many times that, “I’ve lived a good life. I’ve been a good person. God’s ok with me, I’ve earned His approval.” It’s a common thing to think this way and I get it. It’s how our culture has programmed us to think. It’s how religion has programmed us to think for that matter.
Don’t get me wrong. God wants us to be good people. He wants us to love others, to be selfless, to help the widows, to save the orphans, to feed the hungry and to give our stuff away. He wants us to do these things under the umbrella of our belief in Jesus though.
I’m about to get really culturally unpopular here…..You could be the most talented, selfless person. You could be honest, caring and upright. You could be the most amazing human being who has ever lived….BUT, when you die and you don’t know or believe in Jesus, your place in Heaven is not reserved. It’s not secure.
The only way to Heaven is through Jesus. He’s the gate. He’s the object of our belief, our affection and our joy.
This upsets a lot of people. We are not a black and white society. We’re multi-colored actually. There are multiple ways to achieve anything. There are multiple gods to worship and multiple ways to reach Heaven. It’s all about us and the ever-popular options that we love.
We are ALL called to do the opposite of what the culture is teaching us. We’re called to take the narrow road. We’re called to trust in Jesus who is unseen. We are called to put aside ourselves and dive into a relationship with our Creator out of faith. Trusting that Heaven awaits. All this is not by our own effort, but by God’s calling.
I’ll say it again; it’s not by our own effort, but by God’s calling. You can’t earn it….it’s a gift. Our only job is to believe and receive.
The stuff on this earth rusts. People’s approval fades. Our bodies decay. The only thing worth investing in is our relationship with Jesus. He provides the life that lasts.
Let’s trade in our earned Lexus’s for a relationship with a God that loves us. What do you say?