Matthew 15:21-39

Matthew 15:21-39

What is it that God desires from us? That we live our lives in such a way that those that encounter us praise God in heaven.There is no such thing as a “good Christian.” There are only those who believe in God’s Word, trust in God’s Word, and receive Jesus into their life because God’s Word tells us to. That’s what makes you Christian. Not the good things you do. And consequently, by the way, the bad things you do aren’t going to send you to hell. And I tell people all the time, and some people are shocked to hear it, but you know what? Good people don’t go to heaven, and bad people don’t go to hell. It is a fallacy. It is one of those myths we make up… And we try to tell people, “If you’re good, God will love you. And if you’re bad, how can God love you?” But it’s not about our goodness or our badness, because according to God’s Word, we’re all bad and we’re all deserving of hell. Guess what? Good people don’t go to heaven. Those who love Jesus Christ and have received Him into their life go to heaven. Bad people go to heaven, and I am very grateful that bad people go to heaven, otherwise I would not be welcome there…

It’s not what you take in externally that makes you unclean. It’s what’s already internal that’s making you unclean, and the only way to deal with the uncleanness is to understand what’s inside of you. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What has driven you to it? Why do you cuss, smoke, drink, and carouse? Why do you do those things? Those things are just the external signs that you have a problem inside that needs to be dealt with, and the only way to deal with them is to go to Jesus, to ask Him, to allow Him to work inside to do the cleaning that needs to be done because you know what? There’s not one thing inside of me that I have the ability to clean. It all comes through the power of God’s love and His forgiveness. You know how I scrub the inside? I say, “God, I’ve noticed that there’s this problem in my life. It’s called sin. Please forgive me,” and then He scrubs the inside…

This, also, I see, is a problem within Christendom today. We live and act as though we’re worthy to sit at the table. We approach Jesus using language that we have no business using because that is not who we are. We try to prove how religious we are so that God will be impressed with us and give us all those things that we desire. And yet, really all we need are some crumbs. I can’t imagine how much better my life would be if I collected the crumbs that fell from God’s table. So often, though, we stick our nose up to the crumbs, and I see this in society. People will say, “If I can’t have my way, if God will not do it my way, I want none of it.” Well, fine…

I hear Christians say it all the time, “God, what more do You expect of me? What more do You want from me?”

“Well, I want you to deal with this issue of sin in your life, and I want you to deal with this hardness in your heart, and I would really like you to approach Me because you love Me and would like to know Me better, not approach Me because I’m some religious icon.”

Do you have needs today? Real, serious needs? You know what? You’re not going to see those needs met by bargaining with God. You’re not going to see those needs met by going to church. You’re not going to see those needs met by knowing the right language, being very flowery in how you pray. Just be humble, and tell God the truth. Approach Him for who you are and what you know about yourself…

What is it that God desires from us? That we live our lives in such a way that those that encounter us praise God in heaven. You know what? It’s not my responsibility to save you. It’s not my responsibility to make enter into heaven, but I do have a responsibility to live my life in such a way that when you look at me, you at least see a relationship between a man and God. And part of that means, if you look long enough, you’ll see me in the mud, you’ll see me struggling, you’ll see those faults…but hopefully what you’ll also see is when I’m in the mud, I get up and I say, “God, I’m filthy. Please turn on the shower. I’m in need of cleaning again. I’ve blown it again.” And so I pray what people see…are people who interact with God because of the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us, because we know Jesus Who died for us and saved us…

I have to ask a question. Are you available? Part of the problem why we don’t see God using us is because we do not make ourself available. If you make yourself available, God will use you and He will do mighty things.

Pastor Dave Elkins