Lately everything I've been reading and listening to is on the topic of the extravagant love of God. "The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus" by Brennan Manning - a book that has impacted me more than any other I've read so far - is one example. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favour. Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, The
A sermon by Baxter Kruger on Ephesians 1 is another example. It's a powerful and profound teaching that set my heart ablaze!
And then, yesterday, in the maximum security unit of a federal penitentiary for women I heard a powerful testimony that caused me to weep with joy Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, Theand awe. I lead a weekly Bible study there and had a new woman join me this week. She was the only one on her unit that wanted to participate, and so it gave us an opportunity to get to know one another better. This woman had taken a life, and the day after her arrest and imprisonment, she knew that she was facing a long incarceration and that she didn't have the strength to endure it. So she prayed and asked God to come into her life and help her - and He did!
God did not turn her away or ignore her because of her sin. When she called out to Him, He lovingly came alongside her. And since that day she has been reading the Bible and worshipping Him and praying on a daily basis. She's had no evangelizing and no teaching except for a do-it-yourself Bible study she did in the holding jail she was at before. All on her own - and with the help of the Holy Spirit - she has grown in the Lord. She's like a beautiful flower that has been hidden from view until now; she's been transformed by the renewing of her mind! And she is my most advanced pupil because she's read through the Bible several times and been tutored by the Holy Spirit in the ways of God. She loves Him and trusts Him, and she told me that she has joy and peace in the midst of her circumstances - even when it comes to the care of her four children.
How amazing is that? How amazing is God's love?! What a powerful testimony to the mercy and grace of our loving Father in heaven. I was brought to tears as she shared her story with me and she told me that I was the first person who was able to understand what has happened to her. I am humbled by the privilege of being the first person to ever hear her testimony.
Thank You, Lord, for your amazing grace! Please bless my sister in Christ abundantly as she faithfully clings to You.