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 first post is by protege member Rachael Mirabella:
One day in 2008 I was sitting in my bedroom in Athens shortly after I got back home from a summer mission trip in Peru. I was really wrestling with how to hear the Lord’s voice. I heard Christians I knew talk about it often. They would say, “The Lord told me to do this” or “The Lord told me to go talk to that person.” How in the world did they know that? How could I be sure it wasn’t just my voice talking in my own head? And if we were going to get all hyper-spiritual, how could I be sure it wasn’t the devil talking? Maybe I just wasn’t giving Him the chance to speak?
So I decided to sit down with the Lord and have a chat. I sat on my bed and talked for a while. I told Him all about my fears, insecurities, dreams, hopes, likes, dislikes - just like I would a friend. Then I told Him it was His turn. “Please speak if you have anything to say!” All of a sudden the reference John 20:15 popped in my head. Now I’ve tried the whole flip-open-the-Bible-to-a-random-page-and-see-if-a-verse-applies-to-this-situation trick before. It hadn’t worked. But I decided to skeptically open my Bible and see what John 20:15 had to say. This is what I read: 15 “ ‘Dear woman, why are you crying?’ Jesus asked her. ‘Who are you looking for?’ She thought he was the gardener. ‘Sir,’ she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’ “ I quickly realized I was reading a verse from when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to find Jesus and could not find him. Then I read the line before verse 15: “It was Jesus, but she did not recognize him.”
I couldn’t believe it. The Lord had spoken directly to me through a verse. And more than that, He had spoken into my mind. I felt so known, so understood, so loved. ”Okay, Jesus, You’re telling me You are here with me and I just don’t recognize you. Help me to recognize your voice,” I asked. The next day I had a conversation with a believer friend of mine who said, “I usually just assume that if something good, something pure, something servant-minded, or something loving pops into my head - that thought probably did not come from my sinful nature self.” So now that’s how I operate. If I feel drawn towards a certain person in a crowd, I go with it. If the thought pops into my mind to serve my roommate by making her bed, I go with it. That’s the Holy Spirit living inside of me directing my steps and changing my heart to be more like His. And if He lives inside of me, I am known. If He lives inside of me, I am His. And the Bible promises that if I am His, I am loved. That moment was such a defining one for me that my Creator and Savior knows and loves me.