In a sermon from Luke 7:36-50 by Matt Adair a few weeks ago, he made this statement:
‘The greatest power to set you free from the addictions, afflictions and assorted troubles of this world is the felt love of Jesus.”
I think we can all say we know the difference between believing we are loved and then feeling loved by someone. We have asked members of our church to share stories of a time when they really felt loved by Jesus. There is so much power in the stories of believers, so we hope you are encouraged by these.
Our fifth story is by member Ryan Schulze:
I love when God decides to impress me with his love. His love is steadfast always but sometimes He really opens my eyes to it just to wow me and get me to fall more deeply in love with Him. In the past couple months He has done this a few times but one particular time stands out to me—a moment when I was completely doubting His power and ability to work.
It was Monday and I was eating lunch with my good friend Thorn “T-Dog” Winkler and we were talking about a Bible study that we were hoping to start amongst some freshmen guys. You see, at the beginning of the semester, Thorn, Coleman Collins, and I had started a flag football team with some guys we met in Creswell (a UGA dorm). The season was over now and we had hopes of starting a Bible study with the guys to tell them about Christ and to really investigate what the Bible says. Some of the guys on the team are Christians but some are not.
So there’s a little back-story…now back to lunch. Thorn and I were talking about the Bible study and how we were going to get the guys on the team to come to it. After about an hour of talking, we came to the conclusion that there was no way we were going to get all these guys to come talk about the Bible and Jesus for an hour one night of the week. Doubt filled the air.
When these doubts were creeping in, I had two particular guys in mind that I knew would be hard to convince to come. One of the guys was really hard to get in contact with and hardly ever hung out with us outside of football. He was a long shot. And by he was a “long shot,” I mean that on my own strength and power it would be impossible for me to convince him to come. But the great thing about our God is that the term “long shot” isn’t in his vocabulary. There is nothing too big or too small for Him to accomplish. I say this confidently now because at the exact same time Thorn and I were eating lunch together doubting the power of God, God was working in power through Coleman who was having lunch with the very guy we were talking about on the other side of campus. Coleman was sharing his faith with him and inviting him to come to the Bible study. And guess what happened? That guy has come to every single Bible study we have had.
So to update you on the score: God – 1 My doubts – 0
The other guy that I doubted would come to the Bible study was a whole different ballgame. This guy is up for doing anything at any time. I could call him whenever and he would be willing to hang with me. But the reason I thought he would never come to the Bible study was because he grew up in a Hindu home. His parents are devout Hindus. In my mind, it was impossible for this guy to come to Bible study. But luckily, God does not know “impossible.” For him there is no impossible. Two days after Thorn and I had our doubt fest, I got to grab lunch with this guy. He told me all about Hinduism, and then I talked to him about Christ and why I believed. And guess what happened? That guy has also come to every single Bible study we have had.
God – 2 My doubts – 0
I want to make one thing really clear before I wrap up this story. This story is NOT about Thorn, Coleman, and I and our ability to start a Bible study. It’s about Thorn, Coleman, and I’s inability to start a Bible study, how we completely doubted in God’s ability to do it, and how God in His glorious grace absolutely trounced our doubts and did some serious work in spite of us. This story is evidence of 2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” We are nothing but jars of clay, not impressive in it of ourselves. But our real worth and identity is in the treasure that we have inside of us, Jesus Christ. He overcomes and answers all doubts and loves to wow us with His love.