Those first two weeks of January 1971 hurt! I’d been reading the Bible, as well as consulting astrology books, Ouija boards and I forget what other resources, trying to determine if the feelings going through me represented “true love.” Thankfully (although I wasn’t yet born again), the Holy Spirit had given me the conviction that I should trust the Bible over and above all the other resources as my ultimate authority.
Through various passages of Scripture I learned that my feelings for the young man in question came, not from love, but from selfishness (1 Corinthians 13:4-6) . As I continued reading, He further taught me through Matthew 5:8 that my impure fantasies about the boy would prevent me from ever seeing God’s face. In short, I was going to hell.
That knowledge weighed heavily on my 17-year-old heart, and the liberal theology of the church I attended offered superficial relief. But on January 20 of that year, a Christian friend who had no idea what I’d been struggling with quoted John 3:16. By God’s grace, I understood that Jesus had died for my sin.
Filled with relief, I knew that His act of giving His life for me required that I in turn live for Him. The hymn I’ve selected to feature today reminds me of that precious moment, nearly 45 years ago, when the Lord showed me His grace and claimed my life for His purposes.