The Lift of Love

Recently, I shared my testimony with a visiting team and was surprised to find myself reduced to tears thinking about God’s great love for me. Still reverberating in my soul is the deep truth that the great and good God loves me. As the son of a Southern Baptist pastor, I had memorized 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sin he will forgive us and cleanse our sin.” “But what if I forget to confess?” I thought. Or what about the sins I don’t even know about? Never settle for one sentence from God; always keep reading to see all that he has said. Please do, because what he kept saying in 1 John set me free and still stirs my soul to praise: John says he’s writing “so that you may not sin,” but if and when anyone does sin “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one,” and His very body is the sacrificial exchange for our sins; not just for our sins but for the whole world (1 John 2:1-2). I knew as soon as I read it that I was free because of Jesus. And this has made all the difference.

I took another path starting that day that has led me to surprising ministry in Madagascar and many other good gifts, not least of which is a wonderful wife in Tessa. Yet, every single good thing in my life is from Jesus. I am not who I once was, but only because he changed my life trajectory. Any good that is part of my life or good things I have done all have their root in Jesus. “I have no good besides You,” (Ps 16:2). He is my good.

This morning, I again teared up as I suddenly began meditating on the hymn Love Lifted Me: 

I was sinking deep in sin,
Far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within,
Sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea
Heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me,
Now safe am I.

Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.

When he lifted me, I was slowly sinking beneath the weight of failure. I had failed the SAT scores several times, failed at love, and was sinking deep in the sin of pornography. I didn’t know it then, and I forget it now, but what my soul was screaming for was love. And Jesus, my Savior, heard that despairing cry from my soul that no one–not even I–could hear. His love lifted me.

I know He will never let me down. His love will continue to lift me and he will continue to be my song–the fuel and inspiration driving me onward. Surely good will come of this, because He is a good God and works all things–confusing, hard, uncomfortable, nerve-wracking, and down right sad as they may be–for our good.

Thank you all for praying for us. I have been drawn back to my first love again this morning (Rev. 2:4). His love, once again, has lifted me

One thought on “The Lift of Love

  1. That is powerful good stuff, Nathan. I’m often overpowered by disgust and frustration over my sins. I need to also be overwhelmed by His incredible love! Thank you for sharing that. God bless you and your family and your team. I pray for you often. Love Brian

    Sent from my iPhone



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