“Just one more bite.”
“Just a little white lie.” “Just a bit of fun.”
The list of “justs” is endless. A very easy way to deceive ourselves, to appease our conscience or to simply justify our actions. We can so quickly excuse the smaller things – like that extra cookie – that it becomes easy, and almost natural, to do the same with much graver things…such as sin. But God does not accept our “just”-ifactions and allow sin to be overlooked or made light of.
However, I do think there are some “justs” that Christ does accept. These came to mind with today’s Five Minute Friday prompt. I will try and put my thoughts together. In five minutes.
GO – The feeding of five thousand is a miracle well-known by any Bible reader. After preaching, healing and ministering to the huge crowd that had gathered, the disciples think the crowd should leave in order to get a meal. However, Jesus tells the disciples the crowd can stay and be fed there. He asks if there is any food? They answer Him, “just five loaves and two fishes.” (yes, my paraphrase). But what a miracle Jesus did with “just” those loaves and fishes!
The crowd was not fed because of the disciples’ great planning or even their faith – they were skeptics – but because a young boy was willing to step out from the crowd and willing to offer whatever he had. It didn’t matter if it seemed small – or if he seemed to small – but he had the heart to offer it to Jesus.
Whatever I might have to offer Christ – talent, treasure, or otherwise – is, no doubt small and woefully inadequate to meet great needs; however, I only need to be willing. Willing to step out from the crowd. Willing to live boldly. Willing to sacrifice – to give without holding back for myself. It is then that Jesus can do more than I can imagine with “just” what I offer.
When I read the prompt, the hymn “Only A Sinner” immediately began in my heart. There is also the popular southern gospel song, “Sinner Saved by Grace” that expresses similar thoughts. I had a friend once tell me how she was offended by these lyrics (I’m not sure if it was the song or the older hymn that she really did not like) but, in her mind, the idea of “just a sinner” cheapened what salvation meant to her. I tend to disagree. Indeed, much has been gifted to me since I became a Christian but there is wisdom in remembering that whoever I am, whatever I have to offer or whatever might be done with my little loaves and fishes is all because of Christ. It is not me or about me. I’m just a sinner saved by grace.
STOP – Here are some good lyrics to take with you today!
Naught have I gotten but what I received; Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed. Boasting excluded, pride I abase; I’m only a sinner saved by grace!
Only a sinner saved by grace! Only a sinner saved by grace! This is my story, to God be the glory, I’m only a sinner saved by grace!