I love old, run-down houses. When I was in high school I would often drive by an abandoned, blue, barn. I would dream of someday buying the barn with the small amount of money I didn't have, so I could fix the barn up and call it home.
I explained this to my husband recently and he said something that reminded me of how wonderful our God is.
That is what Jesus does with us.
We are all old, run-down, blue, abandoned barns and Jesus loves us. He doesn't see a building that should be bull-dozed because it's too far gone. He chose to purchase us with His blood and He makes our hearts a home for His Spirit. Patiently, He fixes us up so we may look more and more like Him, and what a blessing that is.
There are some people who feel that if they entered church they would be struck by lightening (and I'm sure they are only joking).
Unfortunately, a lot of these people know that they are sinners and they feel they must clean themselves up before coming to Jesus. But that is not what God asks.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
"...where sin abounded, grace abounded much more" (Romans 5:20).
Luke 5 describes an exchange between Jesus and Levi, a tax collector. "In that day, tax collectors were despised as traitors and extortioners" (Guzik), and were even excommunicated from the synagogue. This does not seem like the sort of man Jesus, the Son of God, would talk to, and I can only imagine Levi felt the same way.
However, Jesus did not think so. It says that Jesus "...went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, 'follow Me.' So he left all, rose up, and followed Him" (Luke 5:27-28).
That's it. All Jesus wanted was for Levi to follow Him. Nothing more, nothing less.
And that's all God asks of us as well.
If you tarry till you're better,
You will never come at all.
Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
(Come, Ye Sinners)
Guzik, David. "David Guzik Study Guides (2017): Study Guide for Luke 5". Blue Letter Bible, 2013, URL. Accessed 10 October 2017.