Oh, How He Loves You!
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver because he did not understand the value of Jesus. After the deed, he cried out in despair, “I have betrayed innocent blood” (Matt. 27:4 NIV). Then he went out and committed suicide. He rejected the Lord and his guilt drove him to hang himself on a tree. The truth is, he didn’t have to, because Jesus was going to hang on another tree for his sin.
It is sad to see so many people today who, as Judas did, are punishing themselves for their own sins! They live in perpetual guilt and condemnation, punishing themselves and subjecting themselves to self-destructive behavior. They don’t know all that our Lord Jesus has sacrificed on the cross for their forgiveness, deliverance, redemption, and freedom. To anesthetize the voices of accusation in their own consciences, many become bound to alcohol, drugs, and all kinds of debilitating substance abuse. They end up living in a state of constant fear, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, and psychosomatic illnesses.
Let me share with you a really precious testimony I received from Garrett who lives in South Africa. Unable to find a way out of a downward spiral of years of depression, drug and alcohol addiction, and despair, Garrett lost his job, wife, and son. A slave to his situation, he grew to hate himself to the point where he attempted suicide. Be blessed as you read how his encounter with Jesus and His amazing grace completely turned his life around:
I was crying out to God for help and asking, “God, what do You want from me? Where are You? Am I being punished for the way I am . . . do You really exist?” I came home to an empty house, turned on the television, and inadvertently came to your TV broadcast. I immediately tried to change the channel, but the channel got stuck.
Pastor Prince, at that very instant, you looked into the camera and said, “Perhaps your life is right now being tossed by certain winds. Maybe it is a wind of financial turbulence, maybe it is a storm of sickness that has come into your life. Whatever the winds are, whatever the storm is, I am here to tell you, in the midst of the storm, look out for Jesus.”
I felt like I was being hit by a freight train. I stopped in my tracks and I was freaked out because just a few minutes ago I was screaming at God for answers. I was certain that God was pointing me somewhere that moment. My body started to tingle and the light in the room started to get brighter. Even though I am not one for having “religious” moments, I was positive that I was having a moment with Christ. That was how real it was, and totally unexpected.
Your sermon changed my world! I had no idea that God could love a person like me after all I had done. I bought one of your books, and after reading it, I felt a hunger that I never experienced before. My eyes were opened and I wanted more. Through your teachings, I am now able to understand the Word of God like never before. I am applying the Word in my life. I am now free! Free to be loved by God because of the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am free to hope, free to receive, and free to come to Jesus even when I fail.
Pastor Prince, as a result of the knowledge of Jesus and His amazing grace, I now have no drug addictions, no alcohol dependence, and my life of unhappiness and despair is gone. God’s grace has even impacted my relationships and made them better than ever. I am now full of the Holy Spirit and reigning in life. Hallelujah!
Beloved, if you’ve been bogged down in the mire of loneliness, discouragement, and self-destruction, don’t waste another day in this dark place. Instead worship the One—our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—Who gave up everything and allowed Himself to be spat at, brutally beaten, and pierced with heavy nails at the cross for your redemption.
Allow the fragrance of His love and His grace to flood every area of your life. Allow the perfume of His sacrifice to permeate and heal every hurt, every disappointment, and every insecurity. He has already paid the price for you to be whole and restored. He has already paid the price for you to come boldly and freely before His throne of grace. Oh, how He loves you! He loves you! He loves you!
This devotional is taken from the book Glorious Grace—100 Daily Readings from Grace Revolution.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.