To see the video at Worship House Media, go here: http://hlt.me/QBrXfI.
We normally think of baggage as bad stuff… stuff that weighs us down and gets in our way. And while it's true that most of us have negative baggage, there is another kind of baggage that gets in our way as well: good baggage!
Good baggage is the stuff that we use to make us feel better about ourselves, stuff that makes us feel superior to others and gives us a sense of importance and identity. Good baggage can be trophies we've won — if you are like me, you remember packing all those trophies up in a box and throwing them away at some point in later life, when in your younger life they meant everything to you. Good baggage can be degrees we've completed, cars we drive, neighborhoods where we live, the people who are our friends, the size of our bank accounts, where we vacation, or buildings with our names on them. Good baggage can be the places we shop, the kind of phone we carry, or the brand name on our jeans. But, it's all still nothing more than baggage: stuff that weighs us down and gets in our way. None of it gets us to God and to life that truly matters and to life that lasts in the face of death and decay.
So if our baggage, whether good or bad, doesn't really matter, then what does matter? What gets us to life that lasts? What opens the doorway to God? What, in the end of things, really matters?
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6 NIV).
That's a very exclusive claim in a time and a world that doesn't want exclusive claims. But then, the claim that there are no absolutes, that there can be no exclusive claims, is a blind bias and an exceedingly exclusive claim against absolutes in a world full of inescapable absolutes — try to ignore gravity or live without air or defy death or a deny host of other absolutes we take for granted. The real issue is that the world, the culture of humanity that wants to have no allegiance to God or to a higher call than the individual, personal, internal voice, doesn't want absolutes for fear that it is wrong and might waste life and miss what matters.
Here is the bottom line.
And each of us, somewhere down deep in our soul, finds something that resonates with this truth — I can't find life on my own, in myself, and there is something, or better yet, Someone, who I need to explain life and bring life or I will miss it. I need Jesus!
The more miles we travel down the road of life, the more we realize that the accolades and the messes, the trophies and the scandals, are all about as important as last year's newspaper — yellowed, forgotten, and antiquated as a way to deliver truth, news, and what matters in the moment. In the end, it all goes in the box to be burned or buried.
The only way to God, the only way to lasting life, is to…
- not hide the bad stuff.
- not claim the good stuff.
- but to recognize the One who is not just stuff.
In the end, the only credential that matters is what we've decided and done with Jesus.