Welcome! It’s such a privilege to share with you. Of course, we haven’t met, but you’ve heard of me. “Once ready to die for Charles Manson, now living a new life for Christ.” Forty Years ago, I came to understand that God loved me. Up to that point in life, I thought He was angry at me, but He wasn’t. He was only waiting for me to respond to His love and grace. “For whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 1
A Praise Report…
“I recently read your book and anything else I could find on you. I am interested in your life and choose not to dwell on the past as I can see you have moved on from that dark place. Praise God for the journey you have travelled thus far.
I am a Christian (I guess). I try with everything in me to believe and live the way people tell me God wants me to. I fail every day. I want to become this person who feels the joy I am told a relationship with God can give me. I tend to be somewhat narcissistic, but I am on the other hand a good person.
Do you have any words that can help me? Someone who has turned their self around as wonderfully as you seem to have would be an inspiration to me. I don’t care what you did in your past. I admire you for what you have done since then and continue to do. You help people! I hope you realize that.
Please help me find the God you serve! I hope to hear from you soon. I will be honored if you answer. Thank you, Jennifer.”
Responding to God’s Love…
Jennifer is simply responding to the testimony of God’s love and grace. My only part is to willingly share what God has done in my life. I owe it all to the finished work of Jesus Christ, Who suffered and died for us all. For this reason, I do what I do. “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all His wondrous works.” 2
Unlike self-help, my new life is a result of God’s wondrous love, not mine. I fell down and couldn’t get up by my own strength. All I could do is respond to God’s love as He gently picked me up. It’s this God kind of love that caused me to respond, like a child responding to a loving parent.
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.” 3
As we respond to God’s love, the need for self-love diminishes. His love becomes enough, fulfilling our every need. This love regenerates our spirit, transforms our soul and heals our body. As a result, our countenance radiates beams of light, life and love into all of our relationships.
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” 4
Experiencing God’s Love…
Like Jennifer, I was somewhat narcissistic until I experienced God’s love. In the 60s, life was all about trying to find love in people, places and things. I didn’t know it then, but I was looking for unconditional love. I wanted to know a love that didn’t judge my every move. I searched without success far and wide.
Finally, I heard someone quote John 3:16, which I had memorized in vacation Bible school years earlier. Unlike as a child, it clicked that God loved me, because he placed His Son on the cross to die for my sin. He was punished in my place. He took all my judgment for sin upon Himself. His sacrifice became a reality in my heart and so did His love. “We love because He first loved us.” 5
For all these years, I’ve kept my faith built up in God’s love. This takes a constant reminder from God’s Word that He loved me at the cross 2000 years ago. As a result, His love reigns in my heart.
“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” 6
Resting in God’s Love…
Our past does not define us when we rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The revelation of His love, grace, faith, righteousness, peace and joy declare who we are today. Guilt, shame and inferiority no longer hold us in bondage. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” 7
This Good News of God’s love and grace isn’t a fairy tale. It’s God’s plan for mankind recorded in the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It’s a love story of a loving Heavenly Father rescuing His wayward children to they can rest in His love and mercy forever.
Once you rest in God’s love and grace, your life will never be the same. There will continue to be trials and tribulations, but you’ll be able to overcome them by faith in God, instead of solely trusting in yourself. You’ll have a companion, comforter, counselor and friend to rely upon. One that will never fail, leave or forsake you. His Word contains thousands of promises that you can hold on to for victory.
“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” 8
A Prayer for You…
Dear God, I don’t want to live this way anymore. Today, I release all my failings, sins and mistakes into Your loving hands. And I receive Your forgiveness right now into my heart. Thank You for Your precious blood that washes me whiter than snow. Right now I stand in Your righteousness, favor, joy and peace. Your forgiveness and Your perfect love are raining all over me because of Your Son’s finished work in my life. Take away every lingering sense of guilt, ugliness and condemnation in me. I believe with all my heart that right now when You look at me, You see me in Christ Jesus. I am clothed in Your robe of righteousness, favor and blessing. Thank You for this joy, confidence, fulfilment and freedom that I’ve been looking for all my life. Thank You for Your abundance of grace and Your gift of righteousness in my life. Through Jesus, I will reign in this life over every sin, addiction and failure. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Scripture References (NLT):
1) Rom. 10:13
2) Psa. 26:7
3)1 John 3:1
4) Rom. 5:5
5) 1 John 4:19
6) Heb. 13:15,16
7) Rom. 8:1
8) 1 John 5:4,5