The True Gospel Draws Us in Hope and Love

Published by Sister – Deborah Negron – Loved Child of God

August 15, 2022

Good versus Evil, The topic of the ages. As far back as people have been telling stories there has always been the desire for happy endings. We all hear of an awful event or a terrible outcome and we may listen but somehow we end up talking about the injustice of it.

If it was of a crime, right away we want to find out if the perpetrator of the crime has been aprehended.. We want to begin to speak of how they should be processed and what judgment if any, should be passed. If it is a crime against a child we often think of a death penalty. If it is of a domestic nature we want the person to pay for their wrong doings. 

What is it in us that demands justice? What is it in us that requires things to be made right? I want to suggest that the reason why we all champion for a good cause is based on our innate, God given drive for perfection. Human beings long to see beauty. We desire peace, homeostasis is the goal. We want to hear the violin sound just right. We want to see the painting when it is finished. We want the puzzle to be complete. We tend not to like tales eith cliff hangers.

For many the process is not important. We like the finished product. we desire a clear and precise picture to be content.

We all love to see the work of a good photographer. The use of light and props to make the picture stand out is often remarkable, The time spent and hours trying to get the right outcome is painstaking. But when we look at the picture, we get such a delight and such a sense of the masterpiece that it is. 

It is said of Ser Piero Di Vinci that he had fathered Leonardo Di Vinci with some peasant girl whom he could not marry because she was of a much lower class. So the well respected Notary was concerned for his illegitimate son. The boy could not follow in his father’s footsteps since he was not a son of a formal marriage. He would also not be allowed to attend the university. Since the stain of his father’s sin was his constant definition.

This curious, intelligent and genius of a boy had been set up for social rejection and disdain. 

He was not simply artistic. For centuries after his death they found sketchbooks where he had inventions and scientific theories and ideas he had written. 

To think, such potential and yet, because of his social position there seemed to be no hope of getting out from under the cloud of his father’s elicit past.

The boy lived with his mother from his birth until about age 6 or 7. It was believed that he was born near or in an Italian town called Vinci on April 15, 1452. His father’s tax records give evidence that Leonardo had most likely moved with his father by 1457, when his mother remarried. So, at the age of 7 this boy began on his journey of a life of learning what rejection and coldness was. His father took care of his needs but not of his heart.  He grew up away from his mother and with a distant father. Wow, talk about having all the makings of a failure.  He did not have that father figure. He was probably going to be another sad statistic.

But I believe, God always sends someone in to our experience that shows us mercy. God always covers the areas that are lacking.. the Scriptures tell us, “When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.”

In Leonardo’s case it was his favorite uncle. Uncle Francesco was the one who was a farmer and took care of the family farm. Leonardo had the opportunities, I imagine, of seeing the seeds planted and of experiencing the harvest times. He watched how the sprouts grew and became fruitful plants. 

Too often, the initial state and what has been presented have not been the best circumstances. We may have been let down, belittled, ignored, mistreated, misunderstood and pushed away… For many this is reality.

Others may have love and be well cared for but, a mistake or a rebellious heart leads them to a different path, where they have to live through the consequences of their poor choices. Regardless of how it happened or how we reached the state of being wonded, all of us have gone through the ups and downs of life in one way or another. we can all identify in some way with Leonardo’s story. 

By age 15 Leonardo had been given as an apprentice to Andrea Di Cione, in Florence, who was a well known painter called Verrocchio, This means “True Eye.”  Leonardo began his apprenticeship then. 

We all have seen or heard of someone who has suffered. But the question stands, Have not many gone through awful things in life? We live in a fallen world.

The sin of Adam has tainted all the lives of people in one way or another. Out of such suffering we find that some people evolve and choose to live productive lives. While others choose to live and continue in misery and bitterness. Some have humble beginnings and turn ther lives in to a source of help for others. While others choose to horde everything they have for their own gain alone. 

We have the opportunity to give and to be those who love. Even those who have never experienced love, have a God given ability and innate necessity to love and to connect. 

For Leonardo, this painter transformed his life.

For me, the Lord changed my outcomes. 

Being cognizant that I have had the privilege of being loved and parents who loved me and that my suffering has come from my poor choices and a wayward heart. I see my life as one that must be hidden in Christ.

I am totally convinced that without Christ I am incomplete. I am a round peg in a square hole. I am a guitar without strings. I am an empty vessel, hidden in a darkened place without the possibility of being used. 

The necessity for this yearning in my soul can only be satisfied by the presence of the one who formed me in my mother’s womb. He knows my deepest, most desperate hunger to know more of Him. We walk in life always striving to be somehow connected. Yet for me the desire is to be delivered from the pulling of carnality and to cling to the presence of the one whom I belong to. My failures have been many but so have the endless pouring of my soul. The Lord understands that I am weak and so, he sends the proof, the evidence of his love for me in tangible ways. 

I was 18 when I tried to commit suicide the first time. I felt empty and broken and distant from my true identity. Having been born in to a Christian home, then living life without Christ was taking a toll on my mind. I knew what the presence of God had felt like. I had been overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit before. The sense of total and complete peace and joy and hope simply by knowing God’s love. I had known that once. Yet, my life had taken some twists and turns and I now found myself as an 18 year old broken soul. Away from my family and away from my God.  By then a parent of two children and married already for almost 3 years by age 18.  So, there I was destitute and since my love of music was always drawing me, I was listening to Karen Carpenter’s song – I’ll Say Goodbye to love.

The lyrics played over and over as I had placed the track on repeat. They were all encompassing a darkness and sadness that did not allow me to connect with my God. 

I’ll say goodbye to love

No one ever cared if I should live or die

Time and time again the chance for love has passed me by 

And all I know of love is how to live without it

I just can’t seem to find it….

The music played and my mind was flooded with a deep loneliness. Then the thoughts and feelings of despair came. Then the act of a suicide attempt came. 

I failed. I could not even do that right, I thought. 

Death had also rejected me. 

The irrational mind of a soul who had run from God, this was me. 

The endless questioning of my existence and whether I should live at all haunted my every waking moment. 

The second attempt was also a failure. God did not allow me to end my life. His mercy was as of a dog that must hunt. He chased me. He wore me down. He reminded me of his love for me in a most tangible way. 

I held my baby girl and my 3 year old son in my arms. My little boy held my face and said, I love you so much Mommy. My baby girl rested peacefully in my arms. Then the thoughts came as if an internal voice spoke within me. 

I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

… I will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine. Isaiah 43:1

For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23

Scriptures began to flood my mind.  The Word of God never returns void. The Word began to come in to my mind and remind me of the God that still loved me.

I put my babies to bed and went to wash the dishes. The yearning of my soul was stronger than ever. Then, Right there in front of my kitchen sink. I cried and cried. Oh why did you not let me die. I can never be good enough. I am not enough. I am empty and lost. 

Then this melody came pouring in to my mind. I began to hum it and then to sing it in tears and between sobs… 

VERSE 1

Even though I failed you time and time again

Even though I followed not your plan.

Even though I said at times

Lord it’s too hard to follow you

Even though I went away from your love

Chorus

Still you are here by my side

Still you are here calling my name. Still you are here by my side saying child come on back home.

 VERSE 2

Even though I know your story my Lord.

Even though I know you died on that cross.

Even though I know your blood was shed for me

Why do I stumble and fall

Why do I walk away 

Even though…

Chorus

Still you are here by my side

Still you are here calling my name. Still you are here by my side saying child come on back home.

The tears flooded my eyes and I fell to my knees. I cried Lord save me. He had given me a song in the midst of my wayward and imperfect ways. He had taken his love and made me sing a melody I had never sung. 

The Gospel was within me. 

The Word was inside me. It never returns void. 

It would be several years before I would come to a place of despair again. But for that time it took away my desire to end my life. 

God’s Spirit drew me…

Through out my life I have seen the Aesthetic gospel seem to convert some. It is a foolish  religion. It appears to bring hope then it causes one to feel a guilt that brings about anxiety of a god that is imposing and condemning. It is not the True Gospel. It presents salvation as a gift but in turn it lays upon those who embrace it a heavy load of constant oppression.  

It thwarts the message of the Manger, the Cross and the Empty Tomb. 

It convinces us of needing a Savior but then it tells us we must live under the bondage of task masters. Those who point the finger and constantly remind us of our past failures. This is done to keep the supposed believers in line. 

The preaching of this kind of gospel is detrimental to true faith in Christ. 

It imposes do”s and don’t ‘s 

It forces salvation by works and not by grace. 

It has been the Grace of God that chased me and confronted me. It has been the Grace of God that convinced me that regardless of my many flaws God still loved me enough to cherish my life. He desires that we could experience True Religion. True relationship. True fellowship with the Father.  It is a salvation based on the sacrifice and forgiveness afforded to all who choose to believe in Jesus Christ.  

The Aesthetic gospel is confusing. It creates an atmosphere of acceptance in to a social circle. It is one where one is allowed to participate without truly being convicted by the Holy Spirit un to Salvation. 

We cannot obtain salvation by becoming part of some church affiliation. We cannot obtain mercy and forgiveness by simply going to some religious event or having some kind of spiritual connection. 

Christ is the only Mediator between God and Man. He alone went to the cross and poured out his life as a payment, an atonement for sin. His death and Resurrection guarantees for all who believe an eternal connection to the Father.  

John 15 speaks of Jesus as the True Vine. Those who have truly believed and repented of their sins and have given their lives to Christ are those who can obtain the Mercy of God. 

Salvation is for the whosoever.

It is for the jew and for greek and gentile. It is not of works so no one can take the credit for being good enough to obtain grace on their own merit. 

Jesus, the very Son of God surrendered himself as the only sacrifice worthy to buy us back to the Father. 

The Aesthetic gospel gives people a sense of belonging and a sense of community. It however it negates the power of the cross and the empty tomb. 

Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the Life. He alone has rhe power to transform our lives and bring us from darkness into light. 

That young, ignorant, foolish and poorly mistaken girl, was drawn to the presence of God because of God’s unwavering mercy. That girl was able to come to faith, because the Holy Spirit of God csused there to be an awakening. Her darkened mind was illuminated by the True Word of God. 

Sin was what aliented Adam and Eve in the garden. Their election to choose to doubt God and listen to the serpent caused their disconnect. 

Jesus restored this girl to a state of life and gave her eyes to see her wayward life. He gave her ears to hear His voice and turned a heart of bitterness and hurt to one that would be transformed. 

She could not come to Christ on her own terms. She had to surrender her will. 

The Holy Spirit takes the blinders off the eyes of those who are children chosen by the Father. He opens their understanding. They recognize their great deficit and need for God. Their minds are empowered to believe. Then their actions are motivated by their belief. The Bible tells us that God gives us the will and the desire to act. 

So, as we question and consider our life we come to terms with our necessity. We then must confess our sins. 

1 John 1:9 – 10 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

So, if you have read and been moved to believe it is not the story, nor the speaker, not the writer, nor the one conveying the message.

It is Christ using this testimony to bring you to a place of acknowledgement. A place where you are able to surrender and be Born Again. 

Past failures are washed off. You are given a newness of life in Christ Jesus. You are empowered to serve and live and move for His glory. 

He rights the wrongs of your life and gives you beauty for Ashes. 

He turns our weeping in to dancing and returns to us the years the canker worm has eaten. In other words, He makes us Born Again. 

Then we come to be children of God. He orders our steps and leads us in his truth through the Holy Spirit and our commitment in reading his Word, the Bible. 

It is our joy and our privilege to have become part of the Family of God. 

It is also our joy and destiny to fulfil a life of productivity that brings glory to God. 

That young rejected boy, had the love of someone who helped him see his value. That uncle fostered a sense of hope and purpose i. The life of young Da vinci.

Christ shows us our value in his love and commitment to our Redemption. 

I pray that, like that young girl, you too will sing a melody that brings you to Him. 

God loves you. 

The True gospel confronts us with the truth that regardless of our wrongs God loves us. But it demands that we surrender anf repent. It calls us to believe and to allow God to change us anf make us each day more like Him. We become a product of what we surround ourselves with. God’s love, his word and his Holy Spirit, his Church and our commitment to following him will cause us to experience God’s presence in tangible ways and daily as we seek him.

Oh, my prayer is that you would know Him and his great Love. That you would be ableto see your worth in Christ. His love never fails.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: