In Christ: You Have Been Brought Near to God

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

If I were to ask you to name the TV show you watched more than any other as a child, there’s a good chance you would say Sesame Street. It’s been on the air since the 1960s, and broadcasted in more than 120 countries, so odds are you’re familiar with it even if you grew up outside of the United States.

I don’t remember a whole lot from the show, but one segment has remained cemented in my mind for over 30 years now: the one where the furry blue Grover monster was determined to teach us the difference between near and far.

The sketch begins with Grover standing right in front of the camera. “Near!” he proclaims boldly. He then proceeds to run quite a few paces backwards, muppet arms flailing about humorously as he yells “FAR!” loud enough for us to still hear him. This shtick goes back and forth a dozen or so times as Grover becomes more and more exhausted trying to communicate his point. As a finale, he collapses in dramatic fashion, which of course is pure comedy gold to a four-year-old.

Yes, this may just be a silly sketch meant to teach children about “near” and “far,” but it’s also a good illustration of how we as believers can burn ourselves out trying to get closer to God through our own self-effort.

Remember, every one of us was born separated from God because of our sin. In other words, we were “far” away from Him. Many of us, myself included, tried to close this distance by being a good person, trying really hard to please God, and relying on our own abilities to run closer to Him. But our unification with God was never meant to work that way, so no matter how hard any of us tried, we could never get closer to God through human striving. The only thing our efforts could produce was exhaustion.

But now that you are in Christ, that devastating reality no longer applies to you! You may have come into this world far from God, but He wanted you close to Him. That’s why He sent Jesus to cover the penalty for your sin with His blood. It was Christ who brought you near to God.

You could have spent your entire life running, trying to save yourself, but it never would have brought you any closer to God. But now, you finally get to stop running, because you’re already where you’re supposed to be.

This post is an excerpt from my new book, 52 Amazing Things That Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ. If you enjoyed what you read here, be sure to check out the book for 51 more awesome truths about how God sees you!

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