FROM UNDESERVING TO GRATEFUL;
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
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 dismissed through a hearing held in an official court- room with a lawyer who advocated for my innocence. Jesus suffered humiliation from others who spat on Him and mocked Him. I was shown great com- passion 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!
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!”
On another occasion, when I was thinking about how much God loves me, I came across a love letter called “Father’s love letter.” The letter was signed, “Love, Your Dad, Almighty God.” I began to read the letter.
You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139:2). I am familiar with all your ways (Psalm 139:3). Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:29-31). For you were made in my image (Genesis 1:27). In me you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28). For you are my offspring (Acts 17:28). I knew you even before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5). I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11- 12). You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:15-16). I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). You are fearfully and wonder- fully made (Psalm 139:14). I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). And brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71:6). I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me (John 8:41-44). I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16). And it is my desire to lavish my love on you (1 John 3:10). Simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1 John 3:1). I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11). For I am the perfect father. (Matthew 5:48). Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17). For I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31- 33). My plan for your future has always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalms 139:17-18). And I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). I will never stop doing good for you (Jeremiah 32:40). For you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19:5). I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 32:41). And I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3). If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4:29). Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). For it is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2:13). I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20). For I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3- 4). When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18). As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11). One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:3-4). And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4). I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17:23). For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John 17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31). And to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18- 19). His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10). I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32). If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23). And nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-39). Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15:7) I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15). My question is…Will you be my child (John 1:12-13)? I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32).
Love, Your Dad Almighty God
Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications Copyright 1999-2010 www.FathersLoveLetter.com
I never knew how much God loved me until I surrendered my life to Him. In that moment, with my head hung low, He poured out His love for me. He did everything He said He would do. God kept His promises to me. He knew me before I was born and waited patiently for me to accept His love. I have written a letter to God in return.
Holy and Forgiving Father,
I may not know everything about You, but I am trying to learn. I am becoming familiar with Your ways. Thank You for creating me in Your image. Thank You for writing my name in Your book. I am sorry that I misrepresented You because I didn’t know You. I know now, You are the complete expression of love and it is my only desire to worship You. Thank You for every gift You have provided to me from Your own hand. I know now You will meet all of my needs and Your plan for my future is filled with hope. I stand in awe of Your countless thoughts toward me. I think of You continuously too! I praise You with singing.
Thank You for calling me Your treasured child. With all my heart and all my soul, I desire to establish a relationship with Your only Son, Jesus Christ. I want to make You proud. I adore You with all my heart and have found delight in You. You have done more for me than I could possibly imagine and have been my greatest encourager. You have comforted me in all my troubles. When I was brokenhearted, You drew me near. You dried the tears from my eyes and healed my pain.
Thank you Father for loving me as You love Your son, Jesus. Thank You for not counting my sins. I would give up everything as I return Your love. I have received the gift of Your son Jesus- nothing will ever separate me from Your love again. I wait in joyful hope of going home to You. I love you God!
Love, Your daughter, Donna
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!
To read how I first surrendered my heart to Christ, please click here: http://dlouyoung.blogspot.com/p/store.html