It is always exciting to hear that you look forward to each month's view. I pray that God may always be glorified, and not myself, because of what He has done in my life. Jesus made it quite clear that "...apart from Him, we can do nothing."1
Sharing God's Grace
As a follower of Jesus, my purpose is to share God's grace, which is His favor and ability working through me to do what I can't. The apostle Paul provides an example: "...whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His special favor on me--and not without results. For I worked harder than all the other apostles, yet it was not I, but God who was working through me by His grace."2
You may wonder how God could possibly use you to share His grace. In a recent view, I suggested that you tell a friend or foe about the testimony of Jesus. The following is a praise report from a Christian sister named Carol who wrote:
" I hope you don't mind, but I wrote about you in one of my Weight Watcher's blogs. We write one each day about people who inspire us to do better. I wrote about your story and how you have changed your life around and what you are doing to help so many other people. Everyone was very positive about it. They all said how wonderful it was that I hated the sin, but still loved the sinner. No one was judgmental, and they all thought that your aboundinglove.org was a truly great thing.
Many of them visited your web site and wrote to me about what they got out of it. A lot of positive energy. You have many, many more people praying for you now. You do know that what you have done has impacted a lot of lives. I know what happened so long ago was done by another Charles...but maybe you were destined to go down this path.
Maybe as awful a path that it has been, God wanted to use you as His disciple in prison to spread His word. Maybe if this never happened, you would not have ever truly found God. He does work in mysterious ways. Of that I am sure. I would never have found you if you were not where you were at. And my life would be so much less without you as a part of it.
I wrote in my blog that Charles Watson was my friend, and I was proud to be able to say this with all the confidence in my heart. You are my friend, Charles, and I will never take that for granted, and I will always cherish it. You give me hope. Hope that this messed up world we live in really can have a shiny lining. Hope that there is another life waiting for me after this one. Hope that one day I may be like you and make a change for the better in someone else."
Carol's hopes are coming true, especially her hope to "...make a change for the better in someone else." Her praise report reflects that all those on her Weight Watcher's blog were touched by God's grace. You too can make a difference in the life of someone else by reaching out to those who you are in daily contact. Act now by sharing God's grace!
A Word to the Victims
Though my sins against God and society took place many decades ago, their affect still reverberates through the lives of so many. I am so very sorry for the continuing pain.
I made the choice to enter that corrupt lifestyle and to commit the crimes. I am fully responsible. I've never considered myself a victim by blaming Manson. Today, I see myself as a victor, only because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, He has given me this vision of God's abounding love that is set before you.
I'm reminded of the Scripture, "But where sin increased, grace all the more."3 And, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."4
One thing I know, God has forgiven me for my sin, when many others have not. For the ones who have, it is God's grace working through them. They tell me that it was for their healing and not necessarily for mine. I am so thankful for God's amazing grace. All I can do is continue to grow in grace and help others to see that healing is possible for all who will believe and receive.
It has helped me to identify with the words of the apostle Paul, "Although I am less than the least of God's people, this grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."5 I realize I really don't deserve to be in the Christian ministry, but I'm doing so by the grace of God--by His free, unmerited, unearned, and undeserved favor.
It is Possible...
I dare to say that -- IT IS POSSIBLE for those who are willing to reckon on the power of the Lord for victory; to lead a life in which His promises are taken as they are written and are found to be True.
IT IS POSSIBLE to cast all our care upon Him daily and to enjoy deep peace in doing so.
IT IS POSSIBLE to have the thoughts and imaginations of our hearts purified in the deepest meaning of the word, through faith.
IT IS POSSIBLE, by taking refuge in divine power, to become strong through and through. Where previously our weakness upset all our resolve to be patient or pure or humble, we are now empowered with His ability to have victory over sin and its consequences. Jesus Christ, Who loved us, works in us by His power and His presence to make us an instrument of His will. He makes sin powerless in us, so we can be used to provide a witness of the victory to others. This is the great commission; to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all creation.6
These things are DIVINE POSSIBILITIES, and because they are His work, the true experience of them will always cause us to bow lower at His feet and to learn to thirst and long for more! We cannot possibly be satisfied with anything less than each day, each hour, each moment, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit--TO WALK WITH GOD!
A Prayer For You ...
Holy Father, we sing a new song: one of the marvelous things Your have done. Your right hand and holy arm have gained Your Son the victory. Jesus has made know Your salvation. His righteousness has been revealed to all nations. You have remembered us in Your Mercy and faithfulness. You have used us to proclaim to all the world, the salvation of our God.
We sing joyfully of the forgiveness You have freely given us. The healing it provides is priceless. As we have been forgiven, empower us to forgive and thereby receive the peace which exceeds all understanding. We pray this in the Name of Him who redeems us, Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 John 15:5
2 1 Cor. 15:10
3 Rom. 5:20
4 2 Cor. 12:9a
5 Eph. 3:8
6 Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8
Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!