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 eighth story is by protege member Holly Von Lanken:
I have seen evidence of God’s grace and love throughout my life. I probably didn’t realize it at the time, but the fact that God gave me loving parents, allowed me to be born in the United States, and kept me from many hardships throughout my childhood shows me how He has protected me. This is not to say that my life has been perfect, because it is far from that, but that I’ve been able to see God’s grace in my life before I even knew how blessed I really was.
God has shown faithfulness and has blessed me in so many ways and I don’t deserve it. One night during my sophomore year (Spring Semester 2009) I was really upset about something and cried out to the Lord. I prayed that night and asked God for pure joy that comes only from him - Joy that wasn’t dependent upon anything – only him. The next day it snowed 6 ½ inches in Athens, GA. God gave me snow! In March. A week before Spring Break. If you know me, snow makes me really happy. It’s beautiful and you can play in it and ski on it and just enjoy God’s creation. I also think it’s an excellent depiction of the gospel. Our world is dirty and nasty and then snow comes and its lays a beautiful clean, white blanket over the ground. It’s pure and new. Even though snow doesn’t last, Christ’s love does. He takes our dirty, filthy lives and transforms them into something clean and beautiful and He will not take that away. He promises in Revelation 21:5 that he will make all things new. This one small event in my life showed me that the satisfaction and joy available to us through Christ will always last even when the things of life fail us. No matter how wonderful something may seem, it cannot compare to the unsurpassable love of Christ.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall become like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18 ESV)