SEARCHING FOR WORTHWHILE LOVE
Jesus Did It!
By: Robert (Bob) Perron
There is something in each of us that wants to be accepted and loved unconditionally by others. God made us that way. He wants us to feel loved and accepted, but there is only one way in which He imparts it to us. You'll hear about it, as I share my testimony.
On October 6, 2002, I found “worthwhile love.” That was the day I became spiritually born again. I want to tell the world about this love - this acceptance - that I have come to know in God, in case there is someone searching for the same thing I was searching so long for, and has yet to discover it.
I am very athletic and have loved playing and watching all sports throughout my life. I went to trade school in business management and became the general manager of a restaurant for several years. The only thing is, I lived my life the way I wanted to live it. I tried to enjoy life to the fullest. I made money and spent it immediately on fun things; stereo equipment, cars, computers, going to the bar, and drinking all the time. I used to justify it by saying I never drank before work, nor did I ever drink in the morning, but any way I look at it, I was an alcoholic. I drank to get rid of the pain.
What pain I was trying to drink away, I did not know at the time, but as I sit back and reflect briefly on my past, I am able to see it clearly now. I needed to love someone and to be loved by someone. Now, I’m not saying I was a neglected child, and not loved, by no means. I just needed a different kind of love. My parent’s love me and I love them, and that’s the way it should be, but I needed a deeper love; a love that would make me feel worthwhile, like I was accomplishing something in life.
This was what I did not have, so I drank to deaden the pain and the feelings I had, but didn’t know how to fulfill. I took my feelings with me everywhere. I tried to be a good boss, but made everyone do things “my way” because I said so. I needed to be in control. Friends didn’t want to hang around me because of my selfish and “my way or the highway” attitude. So, once again, I drank to fulfill or suppress my needs of feeling worthwhile to someone.
Now, I’m not going to give you some psychological mumbo-jumbo on how I developed these characteristics. I’m not here to dwell a great deal on my past. I’m here to tell you about Jesus and what he’s done for me, and what He can do for you.
On October 2, 2002, I got picked up on a felony warrant. I had been in very little trouble with the law prior, going all the way back to early childhood, but my needs turned into a regretful situation, which I’ll explain later. Because of my crime, I was brought to booking in prison, and I started questioning myself: Why have I done this? Or, Why have I done that? I even took it one notch higher, questioning, How could God let me do such things?
So, before being brought to a cell, they offered me two books. I looked on the shelf and saw a Bible. I grabbed it and only it. I started that night, tearing through the scriptures, trying to find an answer. What made my life tick, I questioned?
By the end of the next day, I had read through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and said to myself, ‘Jesus died for my sins?'
I continued reading. I read about a man who hunted down, imprisoned, and presumably killed Christians, at least indirectly. Then, out of nowhere, on the road to Damascus, Jesus came to him in a bright light and told him that what he was doing was wrong and he needed to repent. This was Paul, who ended up being the servant of Christ after his conversion whom God used mightily after that.
I then asked God, “Can Jesus come to me in a light?” I was not sure of how to repent, or how to be converted. I did not know what Jesus had to do for me. I did not know that what He has already done for me on the Cross was a sufficient sacrifice for my sins. That is, until I went to church service that Sunday. A preacher came to the jail and told me that I was a sinner and did not deserve salvation (The wages of sin is death … See: Romans 6:23). But – Jesus died on the cross for my sins. He was the perfect sacrifice that died once and for all in my place ( … But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord). I thought, what do “I” have to do? What’s the payoff? He continued, and then quoted Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, nor of works, lest any man should boast.”
Then he told me that if I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I shall be saved, (See: Romans 10:8-9). He gave an invitation to do just that, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior right then and there. Thank you God for your unspeakable gift! (See: 2 Corinthians 9:15)
Since this day I have read and studied my Bible regularly. I love God my heavenly Father and I love Jesus as my Savior and Lord, and I am loved by them. I know that my Bible is true, and gives me all information I need to know about life - about eternal matters. (See: 2 Timothy 3:16-17). I now have meaning in my life. I feel worthwhile. I live for a merciful, loving God who provides for all of my needs. Let me share with you a little praise report:
I ended up going to prison for the sins I have committed while living “as the world lives.” The world is full of evil, lustful, and hateful ways which I got involved with. So, now, I have to pay my debt to society for the sins I have committed.
I have gotten involved with several Bible correspondence courses, which I enjoy. I shared God’s Word with people along with my testimony, which at the time was a lot shorter. Through God’s grace I received a good job as a tutor shortly after coming to the state prison at level four. After only six months, (it was supposed to be for three years), I was sent to level two on a waiver, where I was given a tutoring job again. There were three deaf people in the class, and they were very difficult to work with because I didn’t know sign language and writing everything out took too long. So, we (the teacher and the four tutors) mostly let them work on their own. But, only two weeks after being transfer to level two, I met a really good Christian brother who just happened to know sign language. He offered to work with me for 45 minutes each Saturday, and gave me some materials to work with. Within only three months, and by God’s grace, I was fluent enough in sign language to work with the deaf people in class and help them along with their G.E.D.
After only two months though, the facility transferred the interpreter, who happened to be my instructor in sign language. So, the facility approached me and asked me to be the interpreter, which I accepted. I really enjoy working with deaf people, interpreting for them for call-outs and church services, and being someone they can communicate with. This is a major blessing from God!
I have been moved around a lot in the state correctional system. This happens sometimes when a person is settling into the system. I am now at a level 1 facility, which is the lowest level of security in the state prison system, where I am being blessed. God is allowing me to tutor again, and I am also taking classes myself. I am currently working on my associates degree in religious education, which is a blessing because it has all been offered free of charge. I just have to take care of postage. This, too, has been take care of, though, as a family in Christ has “taken me under their wing” as their own and help me out with postage for my studies. They are a true blessing of God to me. They share everyday life situations with me, as well as faith in Christ, and the love of Christ, which they have within them. God is so good!
I now have a mindset of what is going on in my life. I have set goals for my future to work with deaf people, maybe in ministry or in counseling. I have overcome many temptations in which I was subject to (Compare: Ephesians 6:12 and 1 Cor. 10:13), and I am growing not only personally, but spiritually, too, by the grace of God. I am now living my life for Christ and am practicing being a doer of the Word of God, and not just a hearer. I’m certainly far from perfect, but the love I’ve tasted in Christ keeps me motivated to be pleasing to Him even when my old carnal nature screams to have its way.
I know I have been forgiven for my sins, and that I have eternal life through Christ Jesus (See: 1 John 5:13). But, I also see what is going on in society, not only in the non-Christian communities, but in the Christian ones also. As of now you have seen a small piece of my life and have learned that I am purposing to live my life for Christ. I may even be someone you would consider sitting down with and having a cup of coffee with, or maybe even some lunch with, if you didn't know my past. But, let me introduce you to my past and how I am now labeled:
I am what society calls a “Sex Offender.” I told you earlier that I used to drink away my pain to deaden my feelings – the pain of the need to love and be loved, and the pain of not feeling worthwhile. So, I used to surround myself with younger people to fill some of this void. I felt I was an authority figure when I was around younger people, and that I had control, not only of my life, but of part of theirs, too. This gave me a “small fix” for the need of feeling worthwhile. It’s like any other addiction though; the more you get, the more you want. I took advantage of my situation of being in authority, and molested a young man. I am by no means sugar-coating my sins by saying I was drinking, but I used drinking to deaden any feelings of remorse I may have had at that time. I actually believed I was doing him a favor, and that I loved him, and he loved me, but I was gravely mistaken.
My mind was cloudy from the lust of the world, and I openly accepted this sinful way of living. I even thought it was an acceptable way to live.
When I look back on my past, I cannot change what is done, but I am very remorseful now. I am very sorry for my past actions, and would like to tell not only my victim that I am truly sorry, but the whole world. I take full responsibility for my actions, and I wish they had never happened. I gave this all to God and said, “Lord, this is too painful for me to bear!”
He told me that He has forgiven me. I came again and again and apologized to God. “Lord, I am sorry for the terrible things I have done!” And He said to me,” What things, my son?”
I said, “These terrible offensive sins I have committed.”
He then told me, “My son, I do not label sins. And when I forgive them, I throw them into the sea of forgetfulness and remember them no more. I suggest you do the same.”
For as the heavens are high above the earth; so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. – Psalms 103:12
But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.” Then he adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” – Hebrews 10:15-17
“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” - Micah 7:19
A heavy weight was lifted off of my chest. Even the most decrepit sinner such as myself could be, and is, forgiven for their sins.
Not only are my sins forgiven, but I have discovered a love more worthwhile than any other on this planet. God promises me in the Bible that I am completely loved – completely accepted by Him – In Christ. This is a love so worthwhile it is beyond our human comprehension in finding words adequate to describe! I so thank God for allowing me to know of it before I brought harm to even more people in my vulnerability of trying to fill my “love - acceptance - void.”
I really appreciate you taking the time to read my testimony. May God’s grace, joy, love, and peace fill you abundantly in your daily walk with Him. God bless you and keep you.
Staff Note: Here is a writing that expresses well what it means to “be accepted in Christ Jesus.”
Accepted In the Beloved
By: Aaron Bruce
God's love for us is beyond our ability to fully understand, but not beyond our ability to realize, accept and enjoy. The apostle John wrote in I John 3:1: "See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did no know Him."
Can you feel the warmth of God's love shining on you today? You can get out in the sunshine and the sun's rays just warm you through and through, but you must get in the sun. That is how it is with God's love. When you let it shine on you it warms you through and through.
Many people have told me how they could feel God's love; that they could feel a warmth which was just wonderful. Well, I have felt the warmth of God's love also. God's love is wonderful. But sometimes we do things that sort of put us in the shade, so to speak, and we can't feel the warmth of God's love shining on us. We are the ones who put up the umbrellas which shade us from the warmth of God's love.
Paul told the Church in Romans 8:38 – 39: "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor live, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The question is, why do we feel unloved by God? Almost any child of God, young or old, can tell you that sin brakes our fellowship with God. Whether our sin is some gross moral sin, or a sin of the mind, like pride, envy or jealousy, sin seems to be the culprit which puts up the umbrella and causes us not to feel the warmth of God's love.
Yet there is still a puzzling question. Why when fellowship with God is not in order do we feel unloved by God? Why do so many Christians when they sin feel driven away from God? When they should feel driven toward His great love, with a repentant heart. I have known Christians who let one sin drive them away from God when in fact they were truly sorry for that sin, but because of it felt unloved by God. This is a great problem with pastors and ministers today as they see their flocks eaten away little by little with no explanation, plain or clear cut.
What too many Christians lack today is a real understanding of the grace of God. Paul truly had a revelation of the grace of God like no other. He wrote in Romans 11:33-36: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen."
Paul truly knew what were the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge which God has concerning man and his spiritual needs. But the Holy Spirit revealed something else very great to Paul and that was the unsearchable judgments of God, that is the grace of God in dealing with man and the problem of sin. Paul listed some things which could not separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, so why does sin, when it is so easily taken to God and dealt with? After all, when we are not able to receive God's love on the end are we not in effect the same as separated from God's love, even though He is loving us just the same? Where does our problem lie?
Paul told the Church in Ephesus he was praying for some things concerning them. His prayer, which was led by the Spirit of God, is recorded in his letter in Ephesians 1:17-19 he says he prayed:
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power."
What does it mean to receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God? What is the hope of His calling? If the reader searches for the real issue in Paul's prayer and what Paul desires for them, he will certainly discover that what they really need to know is the grace of God. To really know God is to receive a revelation of his grace.
The Psalmist said in Psalm 103 that God made his acts known to the sons of Israel but He made known His ways to Moses. What Moses knew about God that the others did not know was His grace. Many times today we have received God's grace, but we have only known His acts, much like the children of Israel who Moses led. We know His acts, but do not know and understand His ways, that is, His grace. We must know His grace if we are to succeed in the Kingdom of God. We as individuals must have a revelation of the "Grace of God" or we will not know just how accepted we are. The letter to the Ephesians tells us in Ephesians 1:6:
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, where in He hath made us accepted in the beloved."
There is much which lies in the realm of being accepted in Christ Jesus. In Ephesians 2:13-14 we are admonished to: "Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace."
The Lord tells us in I Peter 2:9-10, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but now are the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
We have been taught much about what it means to be a child of God. We have learned much about how it is by the blood of Christ that we come to God and how without his shed blood no man could call himself anything but a stranger to God as the gentiles were once strangers to covenant and promise which was made to Israel. Peter tells us just how accepted we are, but do we really know in our hearts what it really means to be accepted by God? Do we really understand all that is contained in the thing we have termed "The Grace of God"?
The Desire To Be Accepted By Others Is The Strongest Desire In The Human Life And That Desire Literally Dictates Every Area Of Human Behavior.
Sigmund Freud was the first psychoanalyst and considered the father of understanding human behavior. Freud said there were three urges or desires which controlled all human behavior. The strongest human desire which motivated more of human life than any other, Freud said, was the sex urge. This is indeed a very strong motivating force in our lives. However, if we look closely we will see another desire stronger than the sex drive. It is a desire that Freud did not list. It is the desire to be accepted. The desire to be accepted is the strongest desire in the human life and that desire literally dictates every area of human behavior. The desire to be accepted by others determines what we wear, what we drive, where we go, how we act, what we do, and add infinity.
Though Jesus Christ I Am Completely Accepted By God
Every religion man practices is man's effort seeking to be accepted by God, whatever they conceive Him to be. Ephesians 1:6 says we are accepted by God. I do not live my life seeking acceptance by God, because through Jesus Christ I am completely accepted by God. Oh, how we as children of God have missed this point in our preaching, teaching and personal revelation. Many Christians are living their lives with the deep inner motive of being accepted by God. So many Christian fear that they will not be accepted by God, when the Word of the Lord plainly states we are already accepted in Christ.
If I live my life seeking to be accepted by God, when I sin or come short of what I know God wants me to be, there is only one way I can feel and that is unaccepted. One of the most puzzling questions facing Pastors today is why so many active Christians who are diligent workers in the Kingdom of God seem to grow cold and even become unchurched. What happens to their desire to serve God and work in his church? Have they become weary in well doing? (See: 1 Cor. 15:58). Sometimes that is the problem, but usually that is not the problem. Many times it is because they are never able to become all they know God wants them to be so they feel unaccepted.
No one ever makes it completely into the likeness of Christ, yet the scripture is plain we are accepted because of Him and not because of us. Why does it seem like a Christian who commits a sin, which may not have great consequences, cannot accept God's forgiveness and go forward in the Kingdom of God? God's forgiveness should be easy for us to accept, but if our sin makes us feel unaccepted by the Lord then our feeling of acceptance can be a difficult thing to restore.
Although we cannot live on how we feel, we need to feel accepted by God and not feel unaccepted. In Hosea 4:6 God's people were perishing for lack of knowledge. God's people today are being trampled down because of lack of knowledge. Paul not only knew he was accepted by the Lord, the Holy Spirit also had him record much for us. Philippians 3:8-10 says:
"More than that I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death."
Like Paul we must quit striving to be accepted by God, but strive to know Him. We must seek God's face, not his will. When we realize we are first and foremost accepted in Christ and expand our energies and efforts seeking to know God, we will know His will.
Christians can spend much time and energy seeking the "will of God" as if it were some commodity or some data statistic to be written out, or even worse it seems to many as if it were the will-o'-the-wisp never to be found. When we realize, as we seek God's face, his will becomes natural for us and even spiritually logical, in not only the walking of our everyday lives, but also in matters which are normal everyday decisions.
As with all things there is a balance; while we must know we are totally accepted in Christ. We must also know the call of God is clear from Genesis to Revelation. That call is holiness unto the Lord. The Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:14-16: As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." (NKJV)
If we are indeed saved by grace and not by works and Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourself: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." - then, why must we live holy lives? There are certainly many answers around to this question. Some say, well if God saved me the least I can do is live holy; or one might say we are to be holy because we love God. I guess the foremost is to say that it is a commandment of God. And we could add many others. All of these reasons are scriptural and serve to call many to seek a holy life; but they also cause many to feel unaccepted. We feel we must live holy because it is a command, or to show God we love him, and when we put aside holiness and become guilty of sin, we feel unaccepted because it is so easy to base our acceptance on our holiness.
None of these reasons are the actual reason to live a holy life, although they are indeed a part of the whole; but only a part and give us a distorted view. Like the three blind men who were asked to tell what an elephant was like. The first blind man felt of the elephant’s leg. He said, "An elephant I believe is much like a tree." The second felt of his trunk. He commented that an elephant must be something like a snake. The third felt of his side and said, "an elephant is somewhat like a house." Each had an incomplete view of the whole. God's reason for creating man was for fellowship. He redeemed man from darkness and moved him into light and fellowship. It is God's desire to have fellowship with us; yet it has been so hard for us to keep foremost in our thoughts that we must live holy lives so we can have fellowship with God. We must be the kind of people the Holy Spirit is comfortable being around.
We Must Be The Kind Of People The Holy Spirit Is Comfortable Being Around
There are some people, because of the way they are, or the way they do, or because of their attitude, who we are not comfortable being around. We must be the kind of people the Holy Spirit is comfortable being around. The Holy Spirit was sent to reveal Jesus and the Father to us. Jesus said in John 15:26 that the Holy Spirit would testify of Him. If we are to learn more about God, learn more of His nature, His love, then we must live our lives in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Then God can be revealed to us and therefore through us to those around us.
The problem of acceptance is difficult to deal with because it is often deep within our natures. Many people grow up never having felt accepted as children, and often parents cause children to feel unaccepted. The number two cause of teen-age deaths second to traffic accidents is suicide. There are many causes of teen suicide; but a big one is that they feel unaccepted.
Let us look at an example which might happen in any Christian home. If a child makes an "F" on their report card, we say you should at least have had a "D". They make a "D" and we say that is below average you should make at least a "C". The child then brings home a "C", and he or she hears it wouldn't have taken much more to make a "B". Then they make a "B". We might reply to the "B" with something like; well you are capable of making an "A". Then if perchance the child brings home an "A", we might say an "A" is very good, but you should have had an "A" to start with. We are never satisfied and unintentionally we make our children feel as though we do not accept them. If out children grow up feeling this way, and if we grew up feeling this way, is it any wonder Christians feel as though they are not accepted by the Lord when they fail to perform in a certain way? A certain way they believe is expected of them.
When a person feels unaccepted, he sometimes figures, the Lord probably gets tired of his repentance again and again. Instead of being driven to God by his sin; he is driven away, where he cannot find peace or forgiveness. We need to know more than ever that we are accepted in Christ. When we really get this down into our spirits, then we can accept others. We can accept others only to the degree that I realize I am accepted. How much more harmony there will be as we learn how accepted we are and how to accept others, even with their quirks, their ways, and the things about then that have not yet become like our master. If you are a Christian and have been born again you are "accepted in the Beloved!"
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A Special Message: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
The staff and our ministry supporters so greatly appreciate hearing how God is touching lives for His glory through this outreach. If this ministry has blessed you in some special way, would you please consider taking a brief moment and share your blessing with us? Simply email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We truly thank each of you who allow us to publish your testimony, for those who faithfully pray (and fast) for this outreach, for those of you who help support the ministry financially, and for those of you who pass along these testimonies and other ministry writings to others. Especially to prisoners! The part the Holy Spirit has you play is vital in helping win lost souls and being engaged in discipleship, and we can never thank you enough for the labor of love and support you provide on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Precious Testimonies is supported financially by those God directs to sow into this ministry. We ask each person reading this to please ask God on an on-going basis if He would have you sow a financial gift to this evangelistic outreach of His - trust that He will clearly communicate His will to you in the matter - then simply be obedient. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the current financial needs of this outreach, or any other questions you may have.
For convenience, you can simply click on the secure Pay Pal donate button below if you want to donate by credit card. Otherwise, you can send your precious gift to: Precious Testimonies, P.O. Box 516, Jenison, MI 49429.
Precious Testimonies is a non-denominational 501-C-3 evangelistic ministry, and financial love offerings to this ministry are tax-deductible for those who qualify. A financial summary can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Financial Summary.
Inquiries or comments are welcome at our E-mail address
Thank You, and God bless you!
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