Tuesday, March 29, 2016

As he is


We might come to Jesus "as we are", but we don't remain the same for very long!  The car resale industry might post an "as is" sign on the auto for sale on the lot when they don't want to make any guarantee in the integrity of the "working parts" of the vehicle.  I think most of us come with "as is" signs clearly posted in our lives - not wanting to make any guarantee about the working parts of our character!  The most we can bring is "damaged goods" - at best.  The most we gain is a renewed spirit, whole heart, and mind set right again! Seems like a pretty "uneven trade" to me, but I am so grateful God isn't expecting an "even trade"!


Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God, according to Your generous love.  According to Your great compassion, wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes. Thoroughly wash me, inside and out, of all my crooked deeds. Cleanse me from my sins.  For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong, and my guilt is there, staring me in the face.  It was against You, only You, that I sinned, for I have done what You say is wrong, right before Your eyes. So when You speak, You are in the right. When You judge, Your judgments are pure and true.  For I was guilty from the day I was born, a sinner from the time my mother became pregnant with me.  (Psalm 51:1-5 VOICE)

Guilt has a way of "being there", as our writer puts it, "staring us in the face".  We bring a mess of "not-so-well-functioning" pieces to God as we come, but he doesn't look upon us as rejects, or as too much of a "fixer-upper" that he rejects us. In fact, he has a special running on "clunkers"!  All clunkers are welcome!  No questions asked - no guarantees need be made on our part - just come "as we are" and he will do the rest. According to Autotrader's website, when we purchase an automobile from the dealer or seller with an "as is" designation, the buyer is assuming the risk of whatever the condition of that vehicle is at the time of the purchase.  God did the same for us - he purchased us with the blood of his Son, Jesus, in an "as is" condition.  He knows fully well we are not "well-maintained".  In fact, he knows we have been driven in some tough conditions which have put pressure on us, are marred by the dents and dings left by those things we collided with or that collided with us, and we don't know where half of the scratches which take away the "surface appeal" have come from.  Yet, he welcomes us "as is".

Oscar Wilde once said, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."  We all find ourselves in that "as is" condition - no exceptions.  What we choose to do when we realize the "best" we have to offer is "as is" makes the difference, though.  God isn't afraid of the "risk" he takes in welcoming each of us into his family.  In fact, the "as is" condition of our hearts, minds, and souls is something which kind of tugs at his heart!  He wants not only to restore us to our "former condition", but to help us realize what we never even knew was possible.  In terms of car restoration, the one who purchases an old vehicle might have a great deal of work to make it run "like new" again, but at best he only removes the rust, fixes the dings, and puts the working parts in order again.  The parts are pretty much the same, they just get a little overhaul.  With God, the parts actually are transformed. The heart of stone is made flesh.  The mind is renewed, but it is also made new because it becomes the mind of Christ.  The spirit which was vacant and unattended now becomes filled with the very presence of God himself.  "As is" need not be the way we see ourselves any longer - for we are now "as he is"!

"As he is" suggests more than an outward polish or new paint job.  Indeed, it means every part has been thoroughly inspected, made new, and realigned as it should be - no part left untouched.  When God takes an "as is" like you and me, making us into the "as he is" condition only he can do, he isn't "done" until all is made as he is!  Just sayin!

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