One of the key parts (if not the most important) of my testimony is when I accepted Jesus into my heart at seven years old. Since then I have had many trials and areas of growth in my walk with Christ, and one of those lessons that I have learned along the way is that striving for righteousness is a never-ending journey. The recent lesson that I have been most tangibly learning is to embrace God’s love. When I first heard the idea of letting God love me, no thoughts entered my mind that would lead me to believe that this would be difficult in any way. However, the recent events in my life have not gone the way I expected them to (I’m sure I’m the only person that has ever felt this way… haha) and it has made me question my motives for what I am pursuing in life.
This past Sunday I had one of those experiences where it seemed like the pastor made the sermon just for me. Pastor Eric’s message was about the love of God, and letting God love you. What I have realized is that it is very easy to avoid the full love of God. On the surface, it seems like it would be so easy to embrace the love of God. But the lesson that I have found myself learning the hard way is that while the love of God is immeasurable, if we try to live life by our own means (without God) we will not be able to be filled with God’s love. One of the examples pastor Eric used in his sermon was to remind us of the story of the prodigal son. Before this sermon, my understanding of the prodigal son story was that it is was only a story of forgiveness. After hearing this story again though, I’ve realized that love is such a big part of it as well. More specifically, God’s love is always there for us to embrace even after we reject and turn away from Him.
I have found myself still hanging on to the idea of a “good life” that I have formed in my mind. I had a plan for my life that was made for selfish reasons; however, my plans conflicted with Pastor Eric’s sermon. He explained in detail that we can not fully embrace the love of God if we are seeking our ways instead of His plans. I have the desire to fully let go of my selfish desires and fully trust God’s plan, but it really is so hard. God wants us to embrace His love and He has given every opportunity for us to do so, but it is not easy. It will require constant searching of the scriptures for truth, and the power of prayer. But through God all things are possible.
Pastor Eric’s sermon was based on 1 John 4:7-21.
– James Gardner