Back to our Gospel Facets series...
Longing for Peace
I was really surprised at just how nervous I was. I was in a hotel room in Minneapolis on the final day of a church planting assessment center. As LeAnn and I sat in the hotel room, the "assessors" were back at the church building where they had been assessing all of the church planting candidates for the past three days. These assessors were planning to talk late into the night about each candidate and his/her spouse and whether or not they were going to recommend each of us for church planting.
I knew God had called me to plant a church. I had already spent two years praying about it, then spent a year fundraising. I also spent a year in Kansas City working at a church to learn more about church planting. And LeAnn and I had already selected Waverly, Iowa as the location where we felt God calling us to plant.
And yet, I was still nervous that a group of men and women might render a verdict of "no" to my calling of church planting after all I had been through.
Ever been there? It probably wasn't at a church planting assessment center, but perhaps you were nervous that she might say no to your marriage proposal, or nervous that he wouldn't call back after the first date, or nervous that someone else was going to get the job.
If you are like me, you didn't revel in that nervous feeling. (Anxiousness isn't exactly an emotion I enjoy!) In the midst of your nervousness, what you longed for was peace.
Peace in the Gospel
I think humans around the globe and throughout time have longed for peace not just in their careers, or marriages, or spiritual callings. I think we also have a spiritual longing for peace.
But so many humans don't have peace about their spiritual standing before the Divine. They know they have done some bad things in life, so they seek to make it up to God through good works.
But there is a problem with building a relationship with God based upon your efforts to do right. The problem is how do you know when you have done enough good to offset your bad?
If this is your mindset, I have some bad news for you. Nothing you can do will repay the spiritual debt you owe God. The debt of your sin is death. So you can help thousands of little old ladies safely cross a busy intersection, but that won't pay off your death penalty.
But there is some good news in all of this. While YOU can't find peace with God through your good works, Jesus did the one and only good work that could pay off your spiritual debt. Jesus died on the cross in your place, fulfilling the demand for justice. Even though He had never sinned, Jesus died in the sinner's place, so that sinner's could be freed and made into saints.
This is the gospel! And this truth should bring you peace, giving you an assurance of God's love for you and His ability to remove your sin.
So if you find yourself questioning whether or not God loves you, look to the cross and empty tomb to find peace! Be assured that when you placed your faith in Jesus, He was able and just to forgive you of your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
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