Feb 23, 2012

What Jesus' Holy Sacrifice on the Cross means to this new believer

CHAPTER FOUR
FROM UNDESERVING
TO GRATEFUL;
MY APOLOGY TO GOD
__________________________________

2 Chronicles 7:14. If my people, who are called
by My name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face, and turn from their
wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and heal their land
(NKJV).
I have written this book to admit my sins and as my prayer to God asking forgiveness. I hope to demonstrate my desire to continually seek God and to express my longing to turn from my past sinful behavior. I am also writing to worship God and praise Him. I wish to thank God for the many changes He has made in me and for the opportunities He has given me to surrender my life to Him. When I speak to God now through a repentant and humble heart, I say “I am truly sorry it took me so long to devote my life to Your will God, please forgive me! Thank You for sacrificing Your only Son for me. I love you!”  

The night I was arrested, and a few months after, I found myself complaining about my life. I told others, “I didn’t deserve what happened to me!” I felt sorry for myself and whined a lot. I grumbled about the handcuffs which had dug into my wrists and how I couldn’t feel my thumbs for about two weeks. I talked about a painful seven inch bruise across my lower back. I told others I was embarrassed to be charged with a felony by the court system. In many conversations, I looked to others for sympathy. However, since then, I have developed a completely different perspective regarding my arrest. These days, I stand in awe of God’s faithfulness. I wonder why our God, creator of heaven and earth, gave me another opportunity to change my life. I still cannot grasp why He loves me so much.  

Before celebrating Easter in 2009, I enrolled in a class called, An Introduction to the New Testament. Reading the Word was still very new to me. Continuously I picked up the bible, read a few verses, then put it down again. I was surprised at how much effort and time it was taking to understand the meaning of a few verses. I had a lot to learn! As I read, I was troubled. It would be Easter and something was stirring my heart to understand Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yet, as many times as I read the words, the meaning seemed to fall on deaf ears. I didn’t understand! In the past, I had successfully learned information by watching movies. So, I decided to rent a movie I hoped would portray the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection. Three years prior, the movie, The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson was released. Despite its popularity, I had not yet seen the movie, so I rented the movie from the library. However, after only one scene, I was wet with tears. I quickly turned the DVD player off and placed the movie back in its sleeve. I just couldn’t watch Jesus suffer.  I was solemn for weeks.  

When I returned to my assigned reading, I struggled again and I prayed for God’s help. My youngest son interrupted my studies and asked me if he could watch a movie. Being a single mom at the time, I often sat him down to watch television so I could study. I browsed his DVD collection and found a cartoon video called Worthy is the Lamb by NEST Family Entertainment. Together we watched The Passion of the Christ in a simple cartoon format. I was starting to understand Christ’s final hours and the blessing of his resurrection. I thought about the worst day of my life weighed against the worst day of the life of Jesus Christ. I compared each aspect and felt heaviness in my chest.
  • The night Jesus was arrested he was abandoned by His friends. In His agony, He was left alone.
  • The night I was arrested, God rushed family and friends to my side to console me.
  • Jesus suffered accusation by a whole multitude. My husband stood alone in his accusation against me.
  • Jesus’ trial was travesty. My case never even made it to trial. Instead, the charges were quickly with a lawyer who advocated for my innocence.
  • Jesus suffered humiliation from others who spat on Him and mocked Him. I was shown great compassion by a jail officer who sweetly said, “You are going to get through this.”
  • Jesus’ back was marred with lashings, while I only felt one bruise on my back.
  • From the large, ugly Roman nails, Jesus suffered permanent wounds to His hands, while I simply felt numbness in my thumbs for a couple of weeks.
  • Soldiers divided Jesus’ garments and cast lots, while I was offered blankets to warm me.
  • Jesus carried the emotional weight of all of my sins on his shoulders. I didn’t even recognize I was a sinner before my arrest. In His innocence, Jesus suffered. In my guilt, I was shown great mercy!
My Son's Drawing
I am amazed at how much God loves me! One day, I began to think, “Why was I forgiven when Jesus was condemned? I am the sinner. I am nothing. Why does God even love me at all?” I had known about the choice to accept God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, into my heart from an early age and I was too proud to receive this gift. Sadly, it took a great fall for me to finally reach up for help. Even so, God was there to pick me up and offer the gift of His Son once again. The feeling of gratitude towards God in sparing me the consequences I truly deserved overwhelms me. Yet, He continually affirms His love for me. One day, while sitting in church, I drew a happy face on my five-year-old son’s hand. Under the happy face, I wrote, “Hi.” When I was finished, he smiled. He asked to use my pen. He then placed my hand in his lap and began to draw on the top of my hand. I glanced down and noticed my son was drawing a similar happy face. I figured he would write, “Hi mommy,” on my hand. However, under the picture of the happy face, were the words, “God loves you.” My eyes filled with tears. I said under my breath, “I love you too, God!”

God’s love is Amazing! I have never experienced the intense love I have in my heart for God through any earthly relationship. Every day, I am excited and have a growing sense of completeness as I know Him more. I pour my heart out to God and He returns my love. A simple apology doesn’t seem enough. I am grateful for the gift of His son, Jesus. Thank you God for your Amazing Love. I am sorry I didn’t return your love sooner. I deeply and sorrowfully apologize for the wasted years I spent making my life about everything but You. Please forgive me God!


Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! 
To read my entire testimony please go to: http://dlouyoung.blogspot.com/p/store.html
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