I’m making this post for 2 reasons, to give a shout out to some good friends, and at the same time, offer a Gospel centered reality I am rediscovering…..again
This summer has not been a money making summer, but I have retained my lifestyle of hanging out with friends as much as possible, and using money to transport and connect with them. Now I personally do not like taking people’s money, and I do enjoy heavily being able to provide for people when and if I can, with no sort of “you need to pay me back mentality”. However because I myself am in need of money, rides, and other things to be with friends, I am placed in the situation where I am being provided for. I want to first take the time to truly thank Philip Yeung, Darson Darakananda, and Joe McNally. These three guys have been constantly spotting me, driving me, and extending themselves to me all summer, if I did not have these guys in my life, I would be having the lamest summer ever. And the best part of it is, THEY want to see me, hangout with me, bond with me, and that’s why they are willing to do all these things…it’s a great feeling of being made much of, and I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart, for supporting and helping me.
Unfortunately, after a few spots here, a few free meals there, add up to become A LOT of spots and free meals. This is the point where I start to feel bad and in my mind I’ve become just a life leeching friend who at any moment could become the bad guy of a conversation and everyone is all like “Dan never pays, he just takes takes takes”. This is when I start to take the resources around me and try to become self sustaining and pretend I don’t need their money and try to even pay for them once and awhile, but because I cannot even support myself the one time the I try to “pay them back” doesn’t not even quantify to the amount of times they have, and will continue to support me.
And I think this is very similar to how we treat Christ. After receiving the gift of salvation, the heaps of blessings, the freeness of mercy, and the timeless reliance on God’s grace, we try to become self-sufficient. We fall into the catalyst of religion and try to earn our Gospel. We try to do better without the help of God, become a “better person” without the “crutch” of God, so we can then present something back to Him, in some pseudo “pay-back” method. Truth is, you can’t….ever…. Don’t you know “You are not your own; you were bought at a price”? For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, and that all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. You can never do anything to pay back God for all that he has done for you, and will do for you. And you can never take too much that he will stop. You are a child of God, bought with the blood of Christ, the only payment required was already taken care of for you in full!
The Gospel story is a truth like no other, a reality so different from the one fed into our minds. It’s the good news that God loves us, and though we spat, mocked, and rejected his love He sent His beloved Son, to die in place for us. The Maker of the Universe, died in place for a person (You and I) who are not only unworthy, but could never pay him back. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. And no matter what we have to offer or show at the end of our lives, it is trumped by the work of Christ.
So stop trying to hard…stop working without the help of God, don’t try to become better for God, let God make you better. Become obedient to grace, or to word it differently, submit yourselves to grace, submit yourselves to Christ.
Back to my buddies, thank you so much for taking care of me and showing me love, I want to let you know I am grateful and appreciative of the things you do for me. But rather thank you God for using my friends to show me a greater Gospel message, and the constant re-learning of profound truths that can be seen through life as we live it. And even more praise, honor, thanksgiving to You God, for all you have accomplished through your Son Jesus.