Us girls were were all catching up, about to begin our lifegroup lesson on a Wednesday night as usual. We started with prayer and then the leader passed out paper and asked us to all write down what ‘The Gospel’ meant to us.
I started writing and the thoughts were flying through my mind so quickly, I could hardly write fast enough.
Most times, the Lord shows me things in ways that are relatable, understandable and practical, I can picture myself directly in the middle of the story, the main character if you will.
The following was my ‘version’ of the Gospel.
Imagine sitting in an auditorium, what you would think for a lecture hall in college. Half oval shaped with people in all of the seats, you know no one. At the front of the room, sitting at the desk is a man with a large binder.
In front of you is a piece of paper, on it written everything you’ve ever done wrong. The things that bring you the most shame and guilt, the deepest regrets you have, the things you dare not tell even your closest of friends. Things you bury so deep, hoping somehow they will disappear. That if you don’t acknowledge them they can’t hurt you, or haunt you. Those nasty things, which we all have, whether we are vulnerable enough to admit it or not, are listed out.
In this moment you’re confused and slightly worried seeing all your junk on paper. What is going on here?
You realize the guy at the front with the binder, is reading off everyone’s name. He is calling on people, and as their name is called, they must stand up in front of everyone and read their paper, in its entirety.
Panic starts to set in, as you glance back at your paper full of regrets.
Your name is next, you’re in the hot seat.
As the man at the front opens his mouth saying your name the person next to you stands and simply says HERE, that’s me. This Man slides you His paper and takes your paper and proceeds to read it out loud as though it is Him, who committed all your wrongs.
You realize the paper He slid you is blank.
He continues reading all your wrongs as you sit there, all you can think is that was me. I lied, I looked at porn , I smoked cigarettes, I disgraced my parents, I stole that money, I slept around, and the list goes on and on.
He takes it all, the shame, the guilt, the judging glares from around the room, the mocking and laughing from others.
You get away with a blank piece of paper, and you never even have to stand. You traded your shamed, sin stained paper for a clean white, fresh start, piece of paper.
This is the heart of the Gospel to me, Jesus takes it all, and you receive His perfect blank sheet of paper, to start your story over.You see this is what He does, He takes and washes the old away and gives us a new heart.
‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh’
It’s hard to wrap your head around, but we aren’t supposed to, or it wouldn’t be Faith.
‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God’
Taking His blank sheet of paper and accepting His new heart was by far the best decision I’ve ever made.
It took faith, it grew me, and continues to grow and challenge me everyday. But I wouldn’t pick that tattered, messy, stained piece of paper back up for anything.
Thank you Jesus for taking our sins, our mistakes, the consequences of our selfish decisions and replacing them with a perfect heart from God himself. All because you loved us so much You came to die on the cross, so we could all have a fresh clean piece of paper to write our story on, with You as the Author.