Article in the Kingston Daily Freeman
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Letters to God on a Prodigal Son
Sunday, February 12, 2012
"Jesus Loves Me," Yes Whitney You Were Right
According to one old fashioned preacher, he learned all the doctrine he really needed to know in that one song. It’s really the crux of the gospel. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners and died on a cross for our sins. His love was unconditional. While Whitney was partying, doing drugs, etc., God still loved her. He also loved me while I was living a sinful life, and He loved my son while in the midst of his addiction. The problem was Whitney didn’t fully receive that love. If she had, she could have accessed the power behind that love (God) and applied it to her life, then she would have been able to break free from the bondage of addiction.
But perhaps she had an inkling of Jesus’ love and that spurred her to sing that childhood song in her final days. Perhaps God’s love was breaking though to her, though her life was falling apart and soon to be ended. While I cannot know her heart, only God can judge that, I can pray that others, who are battling powerful addictions, can come to know the power of Jesus’ love. A love so strong that it not only died for us, but forgave our sins: as in the example of the woman who the Jews wanted to stone to death because she was caught in adultery. Jesus was not condoning her actions, but loving her while she was yet chained to her sin. He challenged the crowd, “If any one of you is without sin, cast the first stone at her” (John 8:7). When no one did, her life was saved. Then he challenged her, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Some believe this was Mary Magdalene, who followed Jesus closely, but who she was is not that important. What’s paramount is the Jesus’ love rescued this woman and changed her.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I challenge you (and myself) to think about the true meaning of love. Most Christians consider 1 Corinthians 13, the treatise of love, which it is. But I believe that the life of Jesus is the living example of that love letter, lived out in the flesh. He left heaven, where he was a ruler and creator and came to earth, lived in poverty, was shamed and despised, mentored a group of ignorant fishermen, whom he poured his life into and became his disciples, then he endured one of the most painful ways to die: Roman crucifixion. Finally, and most importantly he arose so that we might have new life in Him… a free gift to all. He did it for us, so that we can be set free! Now that’s love…love that wants to release us from all the chains, bondages and addictions the world, our flesh, and the enemy of our soul, throws our way.
To all the Whitney’s of this world, I pray you come to know the power of God’s love. It’s strong enough to break those bondages in which you are entrapped. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s available to you. To learn more about this read a free sample chapter of Transformed—Inspiring Stories of Freedom and/or Letters to God, on a Prodigal Son—Overcoming Addiction Through Prayer.