People are inclined to be pretty self-inflated, don’t you think? A while ago, I was listening to an inspirational talk from a big company executive. “Our greatest challenge,” he said, “is understanding how great we are.” Self-inflated?
This is how I think about that comment: I imagine a grasshopper, living happily and successfully with his peers. I picture him now in front of a grasshopper audience, his beady green brow creased with fervency. “Our greatest challenge,” he exclaims, thrusting his grasshopper-fist into the air for emphasis, “is understanding how great we are!”
Do you find the image ridiculous? The little orator would be right, I’m sure, that grasshoppers are great as far as grasshoppers go – but when you consider his claim from your own perspective, doesn’t it begin to look foolish? Couldn’t you step on the proud little beast if you wanted to, squashing him forever beneath your tennis shoe?
With this in mind, think about what the prophet Isaiah wrote in the Bible: “To whom then, will you liken God…? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers” (Isaiah 40:18,22). See what I’m getting at? I’m not sure how you react when you start to understand how small you are in the presence of an infinite, powerful God, and to realize that you are absolutely at His mercy, just like a grasshopper. But when I caught my first glimpse, I became extremely conscious of all the ways in which I had offended Him.
He asked me not to tell lies, but I could recount times when I had been dishonest. He told me to put the interests of others before my own; but there is no question that most of my life had been plain selfish. It was obvious that what the Bible said about everybody was actually true of me: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
So now I not only felt like a grasshopper, but I felt like a guilty wretch of a grasshopper – and the combination made me tremble. I hope you’re starting to wonder about these same things, and to see that your guilt is actually a terrifying problem. In the Bible we learn that the one crucial solution can be found in the Lord Jesus, God’s own Son.
Consider what the Apostle John tells us: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9). So what does it mean – “that we might live through Him”? Why should it be necessary for the Son of God to come into the world, in order for us to live?
The Lord Jesus “bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (1 Peter 2: 24). So this is what God thinks of you: Even with all your self-inflated thoughts, He loves you. He sacrificed His only innocent Son so that your guilt could be taken away. God wants to take away the bug-sized smallness of your own existence, and replace it with something breathtaking and infinite. Amazingly, He wants you to “live through Him.”
I pray that you will humble your heart in view of God’s true greatness, and that you will confess to Him all your smallness and your sin, and accept the awesome offer of life through His own great Son. It’s so much better than a grasshopper world, I promise.
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