People are inclined to be prettyÂ self-inflated, donâ€™t you think? A whileÂ ago, I was listening to an inspirationalÂ talk from a big company executive.Â â€œOur greatest challenge,â€ he said, â€œisÂ understanding how great we are.â€ Self-inflated?
This is how I think about thatÂ comment: I imagine a grasshopper,Â living happily and successfully withÂ his peers. I picture him now in frontÂ of a grasshopper audience, his beadyÂ green brow creased with fervency.Â â€œOur greatest challenge,â€ he exclaims,Â thrusting his grasshopper-fist into theÂ air for emphasis, â€œis understandingÂ how great we are!â€
Do you find the image ridiculous?Â The little orator would be right, Iâ€™mÂ sure, that grasshoppers are great asÂ far as grasshoppers go â€“ but whenÂ you consider his claim from your ownÂ perspective, doesnâ€™t it begin to lookÂ foolish? Couldnâ€™t you step on theÂ proud little beast if you wanted to,Â squashing him forever beneath yourÂ tennis shoe?
With this in mind, think about whatÂ the prophet Isaiah wrote in the Bible:Â â€œTo whom then, will you liken Godâ€¦?Â He sits enthroned above the circle of theÂ earth, and its people are like grasshoppersâ€Â (Isaiah 40:18,22). See what Iâ€™m gettingÂ at? Iâ€™m not sure how you react whenÂ you start to understand how smallÂ you are in the presence of an infinite,Â powerful God, and to realize thatÂ you are absolutely at His mercy, justÂ like a grasshopper. But when I caughtÂ my first glimpse, I became extremelyÂ conscious of all the ways in which IÂ had offended Him.
He asked me not to tell lies, but IÂ could recount times when I had beenÂ dishonest. He told me to put theÂ interests of others before my own; Â but there is no question that most ofÂ my life had been plain selfish. It wasÂ obvious that what the Bible said aboutÂ everybody was actually true of me:Â â€œAll have sinned, and come short of theÂ glory of Godâ€ (Romans 3:23).
So now I not only felt like aÂ grasshopper, but I felt like a guiltyÂ wretch of a grasshopper â€“ and theÂ combination made me tremble. I hopeÂ youâ€™re starting to wonder about theseÂ same things, and to see that your guiltÂ is actually a terrifying problem. InÂ the Bible we learn that the one crucialÂ solution can be found in the LordÂ Jesus, Godâ€™s own Son.
Consider what the Apostle John tellsÂ us: â€œIn this was manifested the love ofÂ God toward us, because that God sent HisÂ only begotten Son into the world, that weÂ might live through Himâ€ (1 John 4:9).Â So what does it mean â€“ â€œthat we mightÂ live through Himâ€? Why should it beÂ necessary for the Son of God to comeÂ into the world, in order for us to live?
The Lord Jesus â€œbore our sins in HisÂ own body on the tree, that we, being deadÂ to sins, should live unto righteousnessâ€ (1Â Peter 2: 24). So this is what God thinksÂ of you: Even with all your self-inflatedÂ thoughts, He loves you. He sacrificedÂ His only innocent Son so that yourÂ guilt could be taken away. God wantsÂ to take away the bug-sized smallnessÂ of your own existence, and replaceÂ it with something breathtaking andÂ infinite. Amazingly, He wants you toÂ â€œlive through Him.â€
I pray that you will humble yourÂ heart in view of Godâ€™s true greatness,Â and that you will confess to Him allÂ your smallness and your sin, and acceptÂ the awesome offer of life through Â His own great Son. Itâ€™s so much betterÂ than a grasshopper world, I promise.
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