If you want a scholarship for college, you have to make good grades in high school, do well on the SAT and be at least marginally involved in your community. If you want to join the military you have to be able to pass a physical exam. If you are going to be a nurse you have to take a mind-blowing test before you can be licensed.

That’s how life works…work hard, prepare, be dedicated and you will go somewhere. It’s not how God works.

David wrote in Psalm 25: Good and upright is the Lord, therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble his way. (Psalm 25:8-9, ESV). We really expect this to say: good and upright is the Lord, therefore you’d better be good and upright to get his attention. Be honest. That’s our attitude. “If I don’t measure up God won’t show up.”

Only the ignorant need to be taught. Only sinners need to be saved.

God teaches sinners. I love the old hymn, “Come ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore…” The Pharisees, zealously religious people in Jesus’ day, accused Jesus of being a “friend of sinners.”

Jesus befriended sinners.

If you’ve blown it, come to Jesus. If your mistakes loom larger than your successes, come to Jesus. If you’ve failed, come to Jesus. The old hymn continues, “Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, love and power.”

Calling all sinners. Come to Jesus.