I grew up in religion. A religion that would say they were more than that… but under the grace that was offered from God, I was given the impression that I better “be good.” In fact, I would say if my childhood “discipleship” had themes they would be- Ephesians 2:8-9 (King James Version, obviously) -----For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.--- followed quickly by the mantra- “Now, be good.” For years, I have lived under a burden of trying to be good. Here’s the thing- I am not good. I am horrible. Just like the classic experiment--- if you put me in a room with a plate of oreos and told me not to eat them and then left me alone for enough time… I’m gonna eat them. Probably devour them. I may even lie and tell you some alien beamed himself into the room and ate them and it wasn’t me. I’ve got a sin nature that just has no quit in it. So to tell me to “be good” was never going to cut it. I had tons of DIRT in my life. But I knew in my religious training- I wasn’t “allowed” to… What was I to do? Hide it! Cover it up! Lie about it. For all that is actually holy--- pretend you’ve got it together!!! Sunday’s message starting our DIRT series is so powerful because it lays open the TRUTH--- WE ALL HAVE DIRT! Not only that, but it’s no surprise to a holy God. That’s why He sent Jesus to the DIRT of this world. I love that Jesus was born right into our dirt--- from a human woman--- dirt--- into a manger--- seems dirty… When He started his ministry on earth--- He was always in the Dirt- the dirt of people’s lives. That’s the salvation. He came to the DIRT to get us out of it… Romans 8 starts--- “So NOW there is NO CONDEMNATION to those who belong to Christ Jesus…” I lived in condemnation in childhood… or if I thought I was doing okay--- I lived in pride and judgment and condemnation of others… either place is a no good place for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Check out later in Romans 8 where it says--- “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness [Dirt] of our sinful nature. So GOD did what the law could not do!” Hallelujah! I have DIRT! And I don’t have to figure out how to get rid of it! I don’t have to “be good” as I grew up attempting to be. As I continue to let Jesus into the mangers of my own life, He does the cleaning Himself. The work I do is called “surrender.” And that’s enough for me. Welcome to the DIRT series at radius! We’re able to get into the dirt of our lives and the mess in the lives of others because of what Jesus did on Calvary and is still doing for us.