Reading a book by Barbara Broncroft today, these words captured my heart:
“Being graciously received when we bring our sin to Christ strengthens our faith in the efficacy of the cross. We experience its powerful effects each time God welcomes us; we trust more deeply each time he responds with mercy and grace. As we experience his gracious welcome, we can hear Christ’s words to us without fear:
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:19–20).
Welcome… Grace… Trust… Mercy… These are often the things that come first to mind when we realize we’ve messed up or are holding onto hurt and pain. If you’re anything like me, at the first hint of darkness or sin, my default is to either ignore the feeling or try to justify it. We do this either by distracting ourselves or by looking at all the “truly evil” things around us in the news and world and “comfort” ourselves with the lie that “I’m not really that bad.” But the reality for all of us is that we are MESSED UP! A speaker I heard the other day said it this way:
“The problem of evil isn’t that it is so pervasive ‘out there’ but that it’s so deep in our hearts as well.” – Ravi Zacharias
Going back to the Scripture in the first quote, I’m pretty sure I had heard both of those verses before, but never thought about them in connection with each other. The zealous repentance of verse 19 isn’t just there to make us feel awful about ourselves. No, it’s an invitation into the deep, beautiful relationship with Jesus of verse 20. The author of the Bol I was reading continued:
The Spirit’s work to show us our sin and need for Christ is born out of love. He urges us to be zealous when our sin is revealed. In the vernacular, the Spirit urges us to hard-core repenting. He wants us to get busy so that when Christ knocks, we will be quick to open our doors to him instead of hiding in the closet. Jesus knocks on our doors because he desires to come in and sit with us for a meal—a most friendly, intimate, and satisfying encounter. Jesus offers us himself—he wants a relationship with us.” – Barbara Bancroft
As hard as it is to let pain, hurt, and sin be revealed in the Light of Christ, I don’t want to be found hiding in the closet.
Jesus, come in, let’s have dinner.