Monday, August 7, 2017

Jumping Through Hoops

By Andrea Merrell

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and
work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms
of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

My husband and I have always had excellent credit and never an issue with getting a loan. Not so with this particular refinance. With all the new government regulations and requirements, we found ourselves jumping through one hoop after another, only to get tangled up in all the bureaucratic red tape. I received enough paperwork to wallpaper a small mansion, and I gave the bank everything except a blood sample and my firstborn child.

Life itself can be messy and confusing. Sometimes we might wonder why everything can’t be simpler. I have a feeling each generation has struggled with those same thoughts. But even when things are easy, we tend to complicate them, just like salvation.

When I was growing up, all I heard preached were the don’ts—don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t curse, don’t, don’t, don’t. Then when I got a little older, I heard a lot of dos—get up two hours early and spend time with the Lord, read your Bible from cover to cover every year, pray 24/7, give until it hurts, and be ready for the Lord to send you to Africa.

Between all the dos and don’ts, having a relationship with the Lord seemed pretty difficult. There I was, trying to jump through all those hoops in order earn my place in the kingdom. What I finally realized was that God has made the way easy and the path straight. The Bible tells me that to receive from Him, I simply need to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth. And I don’t mean a mentality of “name it and claim it.” It’s a matter of knowing what His Word says, believing it, and making His Words my confession.

Thankfully, God has no hoops for us to jump through, no bureaucratic red tape, and no restrictions when it comes to being part of His family. He simple says “Come.”  When we do, He promises to teach us the unforced rhythms of grace.

Take God at His Word and you will live freely and lightly.

(Photo courtesy of Miles/iosphere)


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