Résumés. Think about how many thousands of years the human race existed without the need of these minions! And yet, in our day, they have become a necessary evil. If you've ever had to write one, or go through an endless stack of them, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
I wonder, given the opportunity before God, what you might want to put on your spiritual résumé.
Like, if you were applying for acceptance into heaven, what kind of qualifications do you have to get there?
Perhaps God is looking for someone with some experience in doing good deeds? Or maybe He prefers a person who hasn't had too many mess ups? Is your education enough? Or does your lack of education disqualify you? Do you have enough volunteer hours?
I wonder if God gave an entrance exam, if you could pass it?
I wonder if God gave an entrance exam, if you could pass it?
What if I told you the only résumés accepted in heaven are those that contain just one word? Follow with me here for a moment.
There are only 3 kinds of people really when it comes to our hypothetical spiritual résumés. There are those who write their résumé with all of the sin and wickedness they've done, knowing that when God sees it, He will place it in the discard pile. Their guilt and shame permeates every page, and frankly, if they were honest enough, there wouldn't be enough paper in the world to write out all their sin. Then there are those who think they've got a lot of things to merit God's favor: Their good works, their gifts to charity, their kind attitude. Sure, they know they're not perfect, but they've got a lot of good stuff on the résumé that outweighs the bad. Maybe if they don't put it in print, God won't remember about some of the sins of their youth, or how sometimes they like to indulge in their secret sins every now and then. Of course, they don't realize that God places those résumés in the discard pile as well.
The third group of people are the ones who think along the lines of the Apostle Paul:
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:4b-14)
The third group of people have only that one word on their résumés: Christ.
- All my evil deeds, all my wicked thoughts, all my breaking of God's Holy Law, all my lack of kindness toward my wife, all of my hateful words, all of my sin, and shame, and sorrow: It has been dealt with on the cross. For these sins and countless others I can put just one word: Christ
- All of my 'good' deeds, all of my church attendance, all of my financial contributions, all of my bible reading and knowledge, all of my leadership of my family: I am only enabled to do these things because of Christ's mercy, and even in them my motivations are not quite pure enough, my zeal isn't fervent enough, my love isn't lovely enough, my worship isn't honoring enough, and yet, in all of this, just one word: Christ.
The worst that I am isn't beyond the blood of Jesus. The best that I am isn't beyond the blood of Jesus. All I have to claim before God is the work of His Son on my behalf. Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! And He is enough.
No, really. All I have to claim on my spiritual résumé is Christ. And that is precisely what (Who!) God joyfully accepts. I am accepted by God in Christ.
Is there any better news in the Universe!?
When I wake up tomorrow and don't feel like a pastor, God accepts me in Christ. When I am not the parent I need to be, God accepts me in Christ. When I 'hit a home-run' sermon, God doesn't love me more. When I strike out, or hit into a double play, God doesn't love me less. When I read the Bible hungry for more of God, I am holy loved and loved wholly. When I read the Bible fearful of its conviction, I am holy loved and loved wholly. I am accepted in Christ, clothed in His righteousness (http://goo.gl/BLfmGY).
My spiritual résumé is almost blank. No work experience. No volunteer hours. No education. No awards. No accolades. No letters behind my name. But just because it is almost blank doesn’t mean it’s empty. That one word speaks eternally for me. All I have is Christ. All I have is Christ.
If you are a Believer, let this sink in this very moment. All you have is Christ, and that's the most glorious news in the universe. You have Him. He looks at you and says 'Mine!' 'MINE!' 'A blood bought rebel washed in My blood and clothed in My righteousness!' Believer, you have a spotless resume, an impeccable work experience, and not an ounce of sin to pay for - you have been forgiven in Jesus and cleansed. Be who you are Sister! Be who you are Brother! All you have is Christ!
If you are not a Believer, you too can have Christ. The question is not can you or can you not have Him, but do you want Him? No one who wants Christ is turned away from Him. But will you come to Him in faith? Will you trust His atoning blood as the only payment possible for your sin? Will you, by faith, trust that His righteousness is the only thing that can fit you for a perfect eternity in the presence of God and His people forever? Will you repent, turning in your heart from your love of sin, and come to Christ in faith as your only suitable and all sufficient Savior?
All I have is Christ. He is all satisfying. And He is enough.