A few years back Darrah and I had some friends who blessed us with a couple of tickets to go to the Atlanta Braves stadium in the off-season. We got a free lunch, play catch on the actual field, tour the club house, and I even got to hit in a major league baseball park. It was basically a dream come true. We got the MVP treatment for one of our favorite things in the entire world. There was a question that we kept telling one another throughout the entire day. It was, “Are you sure we can be doing this?” It was so abnormal to be allowed on the field and in the clubhouse because if you go during an actual game day, there is no way you would be allowed to do all the things we got to do.
What I have learned in life is that there is no better feeling than the feeling of being “in” something that you do not feel good enough to be “in”. For many of us, we probably know the feeling that I felt at the Atlanta Braves stadium that day in November. However, if I had to guess just from my own life experiences we have all probably felt the feeling of left out as well. Some of us may have felt this with friends when they forgot to invite you to the latest Starbucks hang. Maybe you have felt it with your family when your parents take one of your siblings out. The feeling of being left out is never fun and if we are honest with ourselves it takes a high toll on us emotionally.
Something that is worse than feeling left out with friends or family is when you feel like you are left out with God. I have spoken with a lot of people in my life where they feel like God has forgotten them and their situation. I have had someone ask me, “why does God seem to remember everyone but me?” It is usually followed up with them asking me if God left them because they are not perfect. The problem with that mindset is that none of us are perfect.
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The word sin in the verse above can make us nervous because we may not completely understand what sin truly is. Sin is choosing to do, think, or say something that doesn’t go along with God’s plan for our lives. Sometimes we choose to do these things on purpose and then sometimes they are just honest mistakes because after all, we are human. However, sin causes us to miss out on God’s best for our lives. We miss out because sin separates us from God. That is the nature of sin… it always separates. Just like when we talk negatively about one of our friends behind their back, it causes distance in the friendship. The same is true with God. Sin creates distance in our relationship with God.
What I love is that the story does not end with us separated from God. The writer of Hebrews, a book in the Bible addressed the issue about sin separating us from God. The writer illustrates what it is like to be separated from God, but also what God did to get closer to us. Check this out…
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22 NIV
“The Most Holy Place” or “Holy of Holies” was the inner room within the Judaism temple. It was a place where only the high priest could enter into once a year. Everything about “The Most Holy Place” is designed to keep people out. Everything changed when Jesus showed up on the scene. It is through Him that we have full access to God because of what He did on the cross. He took on all of our sin, shame, and ugliness so that we have the ability to enter into a relationship with God. It is because of Jesus that we no longer have to worry about perfection, because when God sees us He sees Jesus. Jesus tore down all the barriers because we mean that much to Him.
The beauty of the Gospel is that it is a free gift for you and I to take with no hidden agenda. God’s love for us is so strong that even after we sinned and left Him, He created a way for us to enter a relationship with Him. It was the plan from the very beginning. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus died for you and I before we even decided or decide to accept Him. That is the true definition of grace.
We have full access to God and everything He promises us. There is no amount of sins that will keep us out of his presence as long as we accept Him into our hearts. While we may worry about getting left out from being invited to the movies, latest Starbucks hang, or that late-night Chick-fil-a run with our friends. We do not have to worry about being left out of a relationship with God. He hears you, believes in you, and gives you full access to Him today.