Cleanin’ Up The Teeth (Before Going To The Dentist…)

I hate going to the dentist. To clarify, I don’t hate my dentist – he’s a great person :). But, going to the dentist is NOT my favorite thing; getting the plaque scraped viciously off of my enamel, the saliva pooling up in the back of my throat trying to choke the life out of me and the hygienist trying to have a conversation with you to which you can only reply mmmhmm or uh-uh while all this is going on – HA!

When I have a dentist appointment coming up, I usually start flossing.   This past time between appointments I actually did floss sometimes between then and now, but the few weeks prior to my appointment I stepped up my flossing game (not the dance, y’all ;)).  I guess I wanted my teeth to be kind of clean, with a little less plaque and be ready to meet the dentist and hygienist.

Isn’t that how it goes? We want to clean up a little, before going to the one who is going to clean and take care of us.

We can view God the same way.

Sometimes we think we have to clean ourselves up before coming to God.  We think we’re too dirty, we’ve made too many mistakes, or we have too many issues.  So, we quit the bad habits (drinking/drugs/sex/drugs/rock-n-roll…. lying/cheating/gossiping/bad language… you get the point) and maybe even start some good ones (serve the community, go to church, or give money towards a worthy cause).

But, here’s the thing – we do NOT need to clean ourselves up before coming to Jesus. And nothing we DO can earn His love.

Jesus says in his red letters, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick DO need one” (Mark 2:17).  In other words, those who have perfect teeth (no plaque, no bleeding gums, no cavities) do not need to go to the dentist.   There is NO ONE with perfect teeth – thus the need to go to the dentist.  Likewise, there is NO one who is good enough to come to Jesus.  Paul says in Romans 3 that we are “all under sin, as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one” (vs. 10).  Later in that chapter he says we all have dirty teeth – – not really – – he says, “For ALL (emphasis mine) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (vs. 23). We all have DIRTY TEETH.  We are all in need of the GREAT PHYSICIAN (or dentist ;)).  The second part of that verse (Mark 2:17) Jesus is saying, “I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

You don’t need to clean up before coming to Jesus.  In fact, you CAN’T clean yourself up. And that’s ok.  Jesus accepts you and me how we are – dirty, plaque-laden, gingivitis, halitosis and all.  John 6:37 says that whoever “comes to Me (Jesus) I will never cast out.”  In fact, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” HE does the cleansing.  In fact, when the Lord cleans us up, we can “be clean… whiter than snow” (Psa. 51:7).

Psalm 46:10 says to “stop your striving and know that I am God.” Stop striving to clean yourself up and let Him do it.  Come to Jesus as you are, confess your sin and surrender to Him.  Accept what HE has already done for you. He will clean you (forgive you, sustain you, strengthen you, give you hope).

Advertisements

Someone Should Tell Him

Taking a quick pit stop from marriage talk to follow up on the “Frozen Post” (previous marriage post). This time we’re talking Olaf. – – – What do you mean you haven’t seen Frozen yet??? — Rent it now :).

olafIn case you’re not familiar with the story, Olaf is the adorable and comical snowman in the movie “Frozen”. When he first comes to the scene, Kristof tells Olaf that they need Elsa to bring back summer. Olaf replies, “Oh, I’ve always loved the idea of summerrrr. And suuuuun. And all things hotttttt.“ olafsand

At which point he goes into a song dreaming about summer.  My favorite line from the song:

Winter’s a great time to stay in and cuddle.

Put me in summer and I’ll be a…

HAPPY SNOWMAN!

olafpuddle

Just before the song, though, Kristof says, “Someone should tell him.” See Olaf has this grandiose idea of what summer is like, that he’ll be sniffing flowers and tanning and feeling a summer breeze…   When he’s done with his song, Kristof reiterates, “Somebody’s gotta tell him!” The reality is if Olaf was in summer, he’d be a goner – melted away with the salty air of the hot beach. Sad face.

I think that is how some people think of heaven.   They have an idea, maybe even partly from the bible – sun, beautiful – crystal sea, lovely music and a bright light – God.  And they think they’re going. When someone passes away you always hear the phrase, “They’re in a better place.” We comfort one another with those words.   And while there is a better place, the best place even, there’s also a not-so-better place – the worst place even. And the truth is somebody should tell them. Somebody should tell them there is a wonderful place called heaven – but there is also the stark reality of hell. And when we die, we go to one of those two places. No cushy in-between. No whimsical, make-believe dreamland for good people or nice people or people who haven’t killed anyone.  And, there’s only one-way to the best place and that’s through Jesus. He IS the way, the truth and the life – no one comes to the Father except through Him. John 14:6

There’s a lot of talk right now that Heaven is For Real. And it is. Not because a little boy can tell us about it, but because of a Book that gives us glimpses of it – and a roadmap to it.

You can see God’s work and glory all over the earth, so we have not excuse not to acknowledge He exists. – Romans 1:20

And He does want you in heaven; He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. He’s patient and loves you. 2 Peter 3:9

None of us are “good enough” for heaven. We all mess up. We all “sin”. Romans 3:23

That’s why Christ died for you and me! Romans 5:8   1 Cor 15

So if you believe in Jesus Romans 10:9 and repent (turn away from sin) Acts 3:19 and choose to FOLLOW Jesus in this life Luke 9:23

…then Heaven will be FOR REAL for you. The crystal sea. The GLORY of God. No more pain, sorrows, sickness, tears. Spending eternity worshipping Him who made it even possible.

If this is a new concept to you or something you’ve never thought about, click on those verses. Check them out. Feel free to message me if you’d like to talk further.

olafsummer

When life gets rough, I like to hold on to my dream

Relaxing in the summer sun, just lettin’ off steam

Oh the sky would be blue, and you guys’ll be there too

When I finally do what frozen things do in summerrrrrrr!