Come as you are

I have heard the same line many times, "I can't go to church until I get my life straightened up," or "if I go into a church I will be struck by lightning," as if God is the real version of Zeus waiting to punish people who aren't perfect. This is not the case and is quite contrary to who Jesus really is.

One description that people gave Jesus was a "friend of sinners" because he loved them, he cared for them, he encouraged them, and he ate with them. In fact, many of Jesus's harshest words were not for the "sinners" but for those who thought that they could get themselves right before God. Jesus called these men whitewashed tombs, blinds guides, a brood of vipers, hypocrites, and many other terms that showed the foolishness of trying to get right before a holy and perfect God. We are unable to do that. You and I can never get right before God by our own actions. 

God demands perfection. Imperfection cannot be around a perfect God. Paul wrote in the letter to the Romans that the wages of sin is death and that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. This doesn't sound too promising until you keep reading that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Great news is found in Psalm 103 that says God knows our frame and remembers that we are dust. There is nothing that we can do to get right before God. There is nothing that we can do to make God happy with us. There is nothing that we can do to earn his favor, we're dust. That's why Jesus came to earth. Jesus lived the life that we cannot live and he died the death that we deserve to die. God loves us and because of that, he tells us to come as we are.