A friend of mine, Maurice Hicks has created some shirts with the statement “Without Jesus I Suck”. I love the message behind these shirts and the way they get people’s attention.
We need to know that without Jesus we all suck.
Isaiah 59:2 says “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” (NIV)
Romans 6:23 reminds us that “the wages of sin is death”. (NIV)
Without Jesus we simply have no hope. All we have is “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (Hebrews 10:26)
So if we have no hope outside of Jesus, what should one do?
The following are some practical steps to not suck anymore.
1. Humble yourself before the Lord.
James 4:6 says “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”.(NIV)
To function before God with any attitude of self-reliance or pride is total foolishness. It is to be in a position where God is opposed to you. Do you really want to have the creator of heaven and earth opposed to you? To live in that place is insanity! It is much like riding your bicycle down railroad tracks and playing chicken with an oncoming train. Trust me, God isn’t going to be the one to blink. If you are opposing God you will eventually be destroyed.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says “it is by grace that you have been saved through faith, not by works so that no one can boast.” (NIV)
Humbling yourself before the Lord means that you also have to admit and embrace the truth that you are not good enough to ever be saved or enter into God’s Kingdom by your own conduct or merit. The only way that you can ever be saved is through trust in Jesus alone. If you could work your way in by good deeds, Jesus would have never needed to go to the cross for your sins. He paid for it because you never could.
2. Stop doing the things God hates. (Repent.)
Romans 10:9-10 says “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Verse 9 above says “If …” . Forgiveness is not automatic. It is contingent upon a response. Moreover, the response is not merely giving lip-service to God. Rather it must be something from the heart, and it must include accepting Jesus as “Lord” (the one who calls the shots and who has authority to direct your life and decision-making.)
3. Love God
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
To a large extent, the way that you conduct your life reveals the validity of any prior faith in Jesus and the reality of their love for Jesus. If I were to say that I loved my wife but then went out and were to commit adultery the authenticity of my love would be seriously called into question. (And rightly so.) In the same way, if you say that you love God but regularly enjoy and participate in things that God hates your love for him is questionable.
I Peter 1:8 “ Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”
Our love is not to be confused with mere duty. Love of God is from the heart, not heartless obligation. There should be a joy in the life of a Christian that is at times inexpressible and even incomprehensible to unbelievers. This wellspring of love should urge us from within to bring others to the one who has loved us and changed us.
Where do you see yourself in all of this? Are you still at some level trusting in your own perceived “goodness” or can you say, “Without Jesus I Suck”?
What are you going to do about it?