I once heard a story about a pastor who was the guest minister at a church. As he stood at the entrance to the church with one of the elders, he noticed a beat-up car park and a frazzled lady get out. The guest minister could tell by the look on her face that she was having a difficult day and possibly a difficult life. She was a mess.
As she approached the front door, the elder said, “Miss, we dress up for God here.” The woman looked at him, burst into tears, got in her car, and drove off. The guest pastor stood there with his jaw on the ground, asking himself if that really just happened.
For whatever reason, this church member missed the words of Jesus when he said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Sadly, some people think going to church is about how you look on the outside when the inside is where the real need is. I think sometimes we get confused about what God really wants from us.
Do you know what God wants from you? He wants your best. What if your best doesn’t meet up to someone else’s standard or the standard you’ve created in your mind? The answer to that is more straightforward than you think. Your best doesn’t mean a better performance. Your best means you, just as you are. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you are the best version of yourself. So the best you could ever give God is yourself.
This Sunday, we will celebrate God giving his best to us. His Son, Jesus Christ. He didn’t come to look good. He came to die on the cross for your sins and rise from the dead so that you might have a new life in him. God gave us his best when he gave us a risen savior.
Could you imagine if God gave us his Son who died and stayed dead? No! Because a dead savior is really no savior at all. And because God gave us his best, a risen Christ, he expects the best from us. Our hearts, our lives!
You see, it’s Christ’s resurrection from the grave that takes us from our worst and makes us our best. Scripture says, “If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!” (Romans 5:9)
Christ wants to change us from our Sunday worst to our Sunday best not with a clothes change, but with a heart change. All we have to do is give him our hearts and let him make the changes we so desperately need.