Don’t Misunderstand the Song “What a Beautiful Name” — Jesus Doesn’t Need You, But He Wants You

Don't Misunderstand the song "What a Beautiful Name" by Hillsong ~ Jesus Doesn't Need You, But He Wants You (via www.JeanWilund.com)I Misunderstood

The first time I heard What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong I misunderstood.

The song is topping the charts and played in churches around the world — and I’m not saying it’s wrong — but something about it sat wrong with me.

The line about Jesus not wanting heaven without you and me seemed off.

(Believe it or not, due to copyright laws, I’m not allowed to quote the line in the song. Crazy world we live in! But you can read the lyric in the music video below.) 

That line bothered me only because it could be misunderstood.

It sounded to me like the song was saying:

Jesus didn’t want Heaven if we couldn’t be in it.

It wasn’t complete without us.

He needed us so He came down to get us.

Doesn’t that sound sweet? Don’t you feel loved?

Except, No!

And I hope I’m right here, the songwriter didn’t mean that.

Surely, he meant:

Jesus didn’t want us to miss out on His perfect and complete Heaven.

We need Him so He came down to make a way for us to join Him there.

Don’t misunderstand. Jesus doesn’t need us. At all. But He wants us.

Now that should make you feel loved.


Jesus Doesn’t Need You, But He Wants You

Jesus isn’t Jerry McGuire coming for his bride. We don’t complete Him.

He’s complete already — self-sufficient, lacking nothing.

He doesn’t even need our friendship.

From eternity past, Jesus has lived in perfect relationship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

He wasn’t lonely and looking for love. He’s always been perfect and complete. 


Why Didn’t Jesus Want Heaven Without us?

Jesus doesn’t need heaven with us. He simply wants heaven with us.

It’s the same reason why He created us.

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.
~ Revelation 4:11

Jesus doesn’t need you. But He wants you. 

The next time you feel less than lovable, remember the One who doesn’t need you, created you, and He loves you.

Yes, you’re going to act unlovable at times. Welcome to the human race.

But don’t misunderstand: You may act unlovable at times, but you will never be unlovable. 

Jesus proved it by coming down for you so that He can have heaven with you, not without you.

Keep that perspective in mind as you listen to What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong:

Don't Misunderstand the song #WhataBeautifulName. #Jesus Doesn't Need You, but He Wants you! Click To Tweet




God is Eternal (From the Never-Ending, Ever-Growing List of the Character Traits of God)

God is Eternal: From the Never-ending, Ever-growing List of the Character Traits of God. (www.JeanWilund.com)

They say,” Nothing lasts forever.” 

They are wrong. 

Three things last forever:

God,

His Word, 

and People.

These three live forever, but one of these things is not like the other, as in eternal from eternity past into eternity future.

Let’s take a look.

God


God is eternal from eternity past into eternity future. There’s never been a time when He didn’t exist. 

He wasn’t born. He wasn’t created. 

He is, He has always been, and He will always continue to be.

Eternal.

“Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2 NASB).

God’s Word


God’s Word is God, so it’s only logical that it will last forever.

I don’t mean God’s Word as in the printed paper and ink of the Bible is God. That would be silly. But the Gospel of John tells us:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 ESV). 

John is referring to Jesus Christ in this passage. Jesus is the Word. And His Word stands forever.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NASB).

Even before God spoke His Word to create the world, His Word existed from eternity past in Jesus Christ and will stand on into eternity future.

People


We are not God.

I know. I forget that at times, too.

We aren’t God, but He created us to be eternal.

Remembering that everyone is eternal should put an urgency into our hearts to share the truth of the Gospel message with others. And it should give us comfort.

A friend of mine reminded me of the comfort this truth offers when he spoke of a couple whose child lived only two brief minutes. Their next child lived only two months.

The heartbroken couple couldn’t understand why God would create children to only live for two minutes and two months.

A friend encouraged them that God didn’t create them to live that short. He created them to live eternally. It was only their time on earth that was short. Their children are more alive in heaven now than they ever were on earth. 

None of us will live forever on earth — we can thank sin and death for that — but our souls will live forever. Where our souls will live, however, is up to us.

Where Will We Spend Our Eternity?


God has offered eternity in heaven with Him by His grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. 

It’s an extravagant offer, but it comes with a time limit.

The offer expires when we do.

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Those who choose No to God’s offer will spend their eternity separated from Him in hell. It’s a horrible reality, but it’s the choice we make when we choose to reject His Son and His gift of salvation. 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NASB). 

“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46 NASB). 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB).

Knowing God is Eternal Makes a Difference Today


Knowing God is eternal helps us live today.

We don’t have to scramble to “have it all” here because we’re spending eternity there.

And the all we’ll have there will outshine anything we have here — so long as your there is heaven. Otherwise, get it here while you can because there will be hell. Literally.

God works each day with eternity in mind.

Too often, though, we have now in mind. We want God to fix our problems nowWe want Him to fix this world now.

Or do we? Consider this:

If we knew everything God knows about yesterday, today, or forever, we’d do and time everything exactly as He has.

So, maybe we don’t really want Him to fix everything on our timetable or in our way. We just think we do because we don’t know what we don’t know.

Think George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. When he got what he thought he wanted, he realized he didn’t really want what he wanted after all. 

Instead, what we really want in our deepest heart is to learn to trust and rest in God’s eternal plan. 

Knowing God is eternal helps us put today into perspective.

God isn’t in a hurry. He has forever to work out His plan, and it’s a great one. No, it’s a perfect one.

Sometimes I’m impatient as I pray for things. My heart strangles from the overwhelming desire for God to answer my prayer now.

I’ve laid awake for hours, begging God for the answer my heart craves — answers I imagine must also be His heart’s desire. Peace eludes me until I remember He’s eternal.

God is not always in a hurry to answer my prayers, but not because He doesn’t care. Because He always knows the right thing to do at the right time.

I can rest because God never does.

God is Eternal: From the Never-ending, Ever-growing List of the Character Traits of God. (www.JeanWilund.com)God’s Word on His Eternality


“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever” (Isaiah 57:15a NASB).

“Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2 NASB).

“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9,10 NASB).

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’” (Exodus 3:14 NASB).


How will knowing that God is eternal make a difference in your life today? Leave a comment below. Thanks!


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If you’d like to go deeper in your study of the character traits of God, here are a few resources I recommend. Click on the photos for more information about these great books by A. W. Tozer: 



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Christ is Calling us to Receive His Salvation. Here’s How.

How to Receive Salvation from sin through Jesus Christ (via www.JeanWilund.com)

If you’ve never chosen to trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to pay for your sin, or even really understood what that means, let me explain. 

First, we need to understand why we even need salvation.

The Problem


Sin is the problem.

Sin is the heart attitude that says, “God’s not the boss of me. I do as I please.” It sets itself against God basically saying, “I don’t need you. I decide for myself what is good, what is evil, and how I will live my life. I will be my own god.” 

Sin is opposed to God and separates us from Him. 

It started in the beginning of time when Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, met God’s enemy Satan.

Satan was once one of God’s most majestic heavenly beings, but he let pride rise in his heart. He set his sights on taking over God’s position as Ruler and raised an army of like-minded angelic beings to form a coupe. But his plan failed and God threw him out of heaven. (Isaiah 14:13-14, Luke 10:18)

With his heart hardened against God, Satan determined to hurt God any way he could.

He’d already learned he couldn’t go after God physically. But he found an opportunity to hurt God in another way when he saw Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

He’d hurt who God loves. He’d hurt Adam and Eve.

Of course, he surely knew if he physically attacked them, God would just protect them. So he went after their minds instead — their God-given free will.

He’d tempt them to doubt God’s goodness and His right to rule in their lives. He’d turn them against God. 

Satan tempted Adam and Eve to believe God was lying to them when He warned them not to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because it would lead to their death. (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:4-5)

Adam and Eve swallowed Satan’s lie and rebelled against God. They said in their hearts, “God’s not the boss of me. I do as I please.” And they ate the fruit. (Genesis 3:6)

Their rebellion brought sin and death into the world. (Romans 5:12)

Sin, a heart that sets itself up as God. (James 1:13-15)

Death, separation from God, who is Life and the giver of Life. (2 Thessalonians 1:9)

To be clear, it wasn’t the fruit that led to sin and death. It was their rebelling against God and doing what he’d said not to do that brought in sin and death.

And, yes, “They started it.” But no doubt, we would’ve done the same thing. 

As a result, man’s nature changed into a sinful nature and passed down to all generations. Bleh.

We’re all born with that sin nature, and we’re quick to choose it, too.

Every toddler loves to say, “No!” They didn’t have to be taught that.

It’s born in us through our sin nature to rebel against being ruled.

The worst part of all this is that because sin leads to death — separation from God — we’re all condemned to die and spend eternity apart from God in hell.

Hell is a place God created for Satan and his demons. (Matthew 25:41) They want no part of God, so God is giving them exactly what they want.

Anyone who rejects God’s offer of salvation will get exactly what they want, too. He won’t save them. Instead, they’ll be sent to the place where they will be forever apart from God. 

Hell won’t be a kingdom ruled by Satan where anything goes. No, Satan won’t rule anything, for Satan will be just like them. Dying but never dead, suffering and never saved, forever apart from the Light and the Life. (Revelation 20:10)

That’s a problem. A grave problem.

The Answer


Long before God ever created us, He knew we’d rebel. So, even before the beginning, He planned our salvation from sin through His Son, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:4)

Jesus offers us a trade. His life for our sin. (Galatians 1:4)

Jesus came down to earth, lived a perfect life free of all sin, went to the cross, took our sins upon Himself, and died, paying the full penalty for all sin for all time. (Romans 6:23, Philippians 2:5-11, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

It is finished. (John 19:30)

Through Jesus Christ, everyone who trusts in Him receives forgiveness of their sin and eternal life with Him in heaven. (John 3:16) Not to mention abundant life on earth (John 10:10), which is not to say we won’t have problems. (John 16:33) We’ll have plenty of them, but God gives His Holy Spirit to all who trust in Christ to empower us to experience Christ’s presence, power, and peace even in the worst of times. (Ephesians 1:13)

Plus we’re given a new nature — a divine nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Peter 1:3-4)

Our sin nature will continue to poke up its head like an annoying — and at times, dangerous — snake, but our new nature has the power to defeat our sin nature every time. (I John 4:4, Romans 6:14)

Accept Christ’s Gift — Your Salvation & His Nature


We all are born with the problem of sin, but Christ has given us the answer — the free gift of salvation.

Now it’s simply a matter of accepting that free gift from Him. It doesn’t get any easier. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Except, that means admitting you’re a sinner in need of a Savior, and that’s not always easy. We don’t like to admit we’re sinners. We don’t like appear weak or in need of anything.

Don’t let pride or shame keep you from receiving salvation.

There’s no guilt, shame, or condemnation for anyone in Christ. (Romans 8:1)

He showers mercy and grace upon everyone who trusts in Him. (Hebrews 4:16)

Accept His free gift. Accept eternal life in Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:9-10)

There’s No Non-Choice Option


Choosing not to accept Christ’s salvation is choosing to reject His salvation and be separated from Him eternally.

There are only two choices: Christ and eternal life or Not Christ and eternal death. Christ is the only way to heaven. The only way to God. The only way to life. (John 14:6)

I know people who believe this is arrogant to say that Christ is the only way. But this is an example of the heart that sets itself up as God. It’s saying, “No one will tell me how to get to heaven. I’ll get there any way I want.”

There is only one God and only one way to be restored to Him. Jesus Christ.

If you choose not to choose, you’ve chosen to reject Jesus Christ and your salvation. You’ve chosen hell. 

Believe, Confess, and Receive


Salvation is as simple as believing, asking, and receiving. (Romans 10:9-10)

Believe in your heart that you’re a sinner who needs a Savior. Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to pay for your sins, defeated sin and death on the cross for you, and rose back to life.

Confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Ask Him to come into your life and be both your Savior and your Lord.

Receive your free gift of salvation.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
-Romans 10:9-10 NASB

Saved By Grace Through Faith Alone


How to Receive Salvation from sin through Christ (via www.JeanWilund.com)“Praying the Prayer” isn’t what saves.

Anyone can say the words. They’re not magic.

It’s God’s grace through your faith that saves you — faith that what you’re saying is Truth, and Jesus really is everything He says He is, and He’s able to save you. That’s what saves you. Not some action. Not some magic words.  

Christ saves by His grace through our faith in what He did on the cross.

That’s it. 

We can’t earn our salvation. We’d have to be perfect, and we missed that before we were even born.

Trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross alone for your salvation, and you’ll be saved. Period.

It’s not Christ plus baptism (although baptism is an important next step in acknowledging your faith).

It’s not Christ plus anything. It’s faith in Christ alone.

At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart and adopts you into the Kingdom of God. You’re a child of God and co-heir with Christ. (Romans 8:15, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Romans 8:17)

And when your time on earth is through, you’ll walk right into heaven.(Luke 23:43) AMEN!

Choose Christ today. He loves you, and He’s calling you to salvation.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
-Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB


If you’ve decided to accept God’s gift of salvation, I’d love to hear from you. Or if you have any questions, I’d love to answer them the best I can. Leave me a comment or send me an email.

And check out other posts online to help get you started in your life with Christ or answer more questions.

If you’re reading this in the email, click the picture above or the “Read More” to go to my blog. And to share this post! Please share!


To learn how to begin the Christian life, check out this post: 

Click to read post: That Moment When Most Christians Blow It (Lessons from Watchman Nee's Classic, "Sit, Walk, Stand") - Part One: SIT!

Or to understand the secret to living free in Christ, check out this post:

"The Exchanged Life" by Hudson Taylor - (Chapter and PDF) "Instead of bondage, liberty; instead of failure, quiet victories within; instead of fear and weakness, a restful sense of sufficiency in Another." www.jeanwilund.com,

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(Mark 1:15, John 1:12-13, 6:40 and 17:6-8, Romans 5:8-10, 8:16-17 and 10:9-13, II Corinthians 5:21, 2 Peter 3:9)




God’s Truth, A Shroud of Swiss Alps Clouds, and an Early Morning Lesson

The Lesson of The Shroud of Clouds & Veiled Truth. Like Cloud shrouding the glorious view of the Swiss Alps, life can veil the truth of the Gospel from our eyes. Wake up and seek the Lord while He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 via www.JeanWilund.com Live in God's Truth. (Kiental, Switzerland on the balcony of the Haus Schönegg B&B.)

I’m Awake Now!

I opened my eyes just before 7:00 am as I’ve done countless times. But never before had the view from my bed slapped me so fully awake.

Breath-taking, snow-capped mountains towered just beyond my open balcony door. It felt like I could touch them.

Waking up in Kiental, Switzerland has its rewards.

Called by the view, I stepped out onto the balcony and stood in silent, grateful awe.

I’m really living this moment. 

The Lesson of The Shroud of Clouds & Veiled Truth. Like Cloud shrouding the glorious view of the Swiss Alps, life can veil the truth of the Gospel from our eyes. Wake up and seek the Lord while He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 via www.JeanWilund.com Live in God's Truth. (Kiental, Switzerland on the balcony of the Haus Schönegg B&B.)I drank in the view as I snapped some pictures, grabbed my Bible, and settled in to enjoy the morning with God.

It doesn’t get better than this.

And then the clouds came.

Uninvited clouds rolled in like annoying tourists and shrouded the distant alps.

Peak by peak. 

Excuse me?

I didn’t ask for clouds. Nevertheless, there they were. And there went my mountains.

Peak by peak. Gone. Just like God’s Truth at times.

Or so it seems.

The Swiss Alps — like God’s Truth — hadn’t changed.

The Swiss Alps were still there, but, I couldn’t see them anymore.

Honestly, the clouds were beautiful in their own right. They crawled across the landscape as if alive.

Stunning.

But, not as stunning as those towering, sharp, snow-capped peaks I’d just been admiring. The ones I’d dreamt of since the day my friend Karen and I began planning this trip.

And now they were gone — veiled by clouds just like the ones I can see every day at home for free.

I’d almost missed the view of the distant alps completely.

Only a few more minutes of slumber would’ve cost me my even-better-than-coffee-early-morning-wake-up-call.

A Shroud of Clouds

The Lesson of The Shroud of Clouds & Veiled Truth. Like Cloud shrouding the glorious view of the Swiss Alps, life can veil the truth of the Gospel from our eyes. Wake up and seek the Lord while He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 via www.JeanWilund.com Live in God's Truth. (Kiental, Switzerland on the balcony of the Haus Schönegg B&B.)The distant alps remained cloaked all morning.

And the weather report staring at me from my iPhone removed any hope for the next day. Or the next.

Clouds forecasted for the rest of our stay. Great.

Seriously, what if I hadn’t woken up when I did? Before the clouds began their menacing march?

I hadn’t set an alarm. I just happened to wake up.

I knew then, God woke me. He called me to the balcony just in time. He knew what was coming.

What if I’d rolled over and grabbed “just one more minute” of sleep instead of answering his call? 

Cheated

Sitting on a balcony in the heart of the Swiss Alps, I felt cheated.

Ridiculous, right?

The Lesson of The Shroud of Clouds & Veiled Truth. Like Cloud shrouding the glorious view of the Swiss Alps, life can veil the truth of the Gospel from our eyes. Wake up and seek the Lord while He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 via www.JeanWilund.com Live in God's Truth. (Kiental, Switzerland on the balcony of the Haus Schönegg B&B.)It occurred to me —  as I’m sure it did you — that I ought to just be grateful for the beauty still before me.

But, but, but . . . Ugh. I live in South Carolina. When could I see mountains like that again?

Clouds, we’ve got — 15,000 ft. peaks, we don’t.

My whining thoughts stirred up a poignant thought.

As beautiful as the world in which we live is, it’s still a lesser view compared to what awaits us in heaven.

Beyond here lies a reality much greater and glorious than anything even the Swiss Alps have to offer. 

Heaven remains hidden for now, only to be enjoyed by those who catch a glimpse past the shroud of clouds to the Truth and embrace it.

The Truth is there, but sometimes it’s veiled by a shroud of clouds.

The Lesson of the Clouds

Long ago, the morning Light of Truth woke me with its dazzling beauty. I jumped up, raced out the balcony and embraced the Truth of Christ

But then a few clouds rolled in — A busy schedule. Struggles. Doubts. New desires.

The clouds dimmed my view of the Truth. And I began to doubt what I’d even seen.

Little by little, I became more content with the lesser view, but never fully content.

A distant pang of desire for that greater view I’d once enjoyed gnawed at me, even as the shroud of clouds pushed that longing to the side. For another day.

But then one day, a sunbeam broke through. And I remembered.

I remembered the clear Truth I’d once seen.

I now saw past the clouds to the Truth in its radiant glory. And I wondered how I could ever have doubted or forgotten.

Since then, I’ve lived with the greater view in focus. Even when clouds roll in. And they do.

Disappointments and fear cloud my vision.

Heartache cloaks the Truth for the moment.

Pride? 

Oh my.

Pride is as effective as black-out curtains in smothering our view of Truth.

But I remember that as tantalizing as my pride may be, or as suffocating as fear or heartache may feel, Truth remains. 

I cling to the Truth, and the clouds pass. 

They always do.

Even in the darkness of night, Truth shines through. 

Clouds will come and go, but Truth remains forever.

The Lesson of The Shroud of Clouds & Veiled Truth. Like Cloud shrouding the glorious view of the Swiss Alps, life can veil the truth of the Gospel from our eyes. Wake up and seek the Lord while He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 via www.JeanWilund.com Live in God's Truth. (Kiental, Switzerland on the balcony of the Haus Schönegg B&B.)

Wake Up to the Light

Has the morning Light of Truth beckoned you?

Wake up, rush out to the balcony, and embrace it.

Don’t wait. Clouds are coming. 

Embrace the Truth of Jesus Christ and live every day enjoying the greater view.

Live beyond the shroud of clouds.


Clouds Aren’t All Bad

Lest I give you the impression that clouds are bad. They’re not.

If certain “clouds” serve to block your view of Truth, they must be dealt with. But God uses everything that touches our life to draw us to Christ and then to shape and conform us into the image of His Son.

But the best thing about clouds is that Jesus is coming back in them! Amen.

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
Mark 13:26 NASB

Live in God's Truth. (Kiental, Switzerland on the balcony of the Haus Schönegg B&B.) www.JeanWilund.com

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Our God

Enjoy Chris Tomlin’s worship song “Our God.” 

Our God is greater, stronger, and higher than any other.

 




Never Forget In The Dark What God Has Shown You In the Light

Never Forget in the Dark What God Has Shown You In The Light (Praise Picture)


Never forget in the dark what God has shown you in the Light.

Remember Truth.

It never changes. God never changes.

Read these verses to help you remember the light of truth in the darkness of night.


You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
~ 2 Samuel 22:29 NIV

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
~ Matthew 24:35 NASB

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
~ Psalm 119:105 NASB
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And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
~ John 8:32 NIV

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NASB

 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
~ Ephesians 3:20 NIV


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Ridiculous Forgiveness — A Story You Won’t Believe (And a Song to Testify)

Ridiculous Forgiveness -- Watch a Story You Won't Believe & listen to "Testify" by Needtobreathe (via www.JeanWilund.com

What if the Unforgivable Happened to You?


If a crooked cop — who falsely arrested you and landed you in prison for four years — got hired to work side-by-side with you, what would you do? 

If you’re Jameel McGee, you’d hang out with him and be his friend even though you lost everything when he sent you to prison.

The Story of Ridiculous Forgiveness


One morning in 2005, Police Officer Andrew Collins set a goal for himself. By the end of the day, he’d get another drug arrest no matter what it took. Even if he had to destroy a life to do it. And he did.

Collins arrested Jameel McGee on false charges of drug dealing, sending McGee to prison.

McGee lost everything. He almost lost his life as he considered suicide. He determined to find Collins and take his revenge when he got out. But before he could, the truth caught up to Collins.

The courts sent the crooked cop to prison and exonerated and released McGee. 

Collins served 18 months for his crimes. McGee served four years.

Back in Benton Harbor, Michigan, McGee and Collins faced each other for the first time in many painful years. 

McGee’s Moment Finally Came


McGee could finally exact his revenge on the crooked cop who stole four years of his life. He took full advantage of that moment and shocked the world.

He forgave Andrew Collins. He forgave the unforgivable.

What Collins did for evil, God used for good. It was while they were in prison that they both found faith in Christ, and McGee found the power to forgive.

Hear the story in their own words and then find out what kind of response they’ve received:

 

They Don’t Get It


I was overwhelmed by their story.

Others were outraged, which I discovered after reading the comments on the youtube video.

Some praised both men. Collins, for confessing and repenting. Andrew, for taking the hardest step — forgiving him. 

Others commenters felt nothing but hate and anger — violent anger.

Here’s a more G-rated comment: 

You can’t put someone in prison and EVER be free of what you did to them. I don’t care if today he says “I’m sorry”. Tough.

Ridiculous Forgiveness -- Watch a Story You Won't Believe & listen to "Testify" by Needtobreathe (via www.JeanWilund.comAnother person wrote, “They would of been doing a interview from death row because I would of killed his [bleep].”

Most comments were so toxic, I can’t print them.

My heart breaks for these people even more than for McGee, because McGee gets it, but they don’t.

Forgiveness frees the one who forgives even more than the one being forgiven.

McGee didn’t forget he spent four years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He simply chose complete freedom.

I said “simply” not “simple.” Forgiveness can be extremely hard, but not impossible. With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26.

It wasn’t enough for McGee to be free of the jail cell. He chose to free his heart of the destructive forces of unforgiveness and hate as well.

He set his heart free to embrace life and experience overwhelming peace every day.

Unforgiveness and hate rot the heart to the bone.


Collins stole four years of McGee’s life. Hate would steal more. It would steal his whole life, infect every relationship he had, and rob him of a life of joy and peace.

Hate and revenge don’t bring happiness or contentment. They rot the heart to the bone leaving a shell of discontentment and loneliness.  

McGee isn’t just content. He’s happy.

If he’d followed the advice of those who want Collins destroyed, McGee would live every day filled with anger and rage. When has that ever made anyone happy?

If more people believed like Jameel McGee, our country would be known for its love and unity, not for divisiveness and hate. 

“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Unforgivable and Yet Forgiven


What Collins did is unforgivable, and yet, because of Christ, he’s forgiven.

And because of Christ, McGee can forgive.

He now lives a full, happy life and enjoys a life-changing friendship that the world would do well to emulate, not hate.

Are Anger and Unforgiveness Holding Onto You?


Does the mere mention of a particular name bring up feelings of bitterness?

Do anger and unforgiveness have a hold on you?

No matter what anyone has done to you, heinous as it may be, the worst tragedy is letting unforgiveness steal your chance to live free of bitter hatred.

Nothing is worth harboring bitterness and anger. Let them go. Christ paid for it all on the cross. He paid for your offender’s sins and yours.

Each of us will answer to God one day for the things we’ve done.

Those who hurt us will answer for their crimes. And we will answer for our crimes — including the crime against God of refusing to forgive as He’s commanded. (Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32, Matthew 6:14, Matthew 18:33)

Embrace the joy, peace, contentment, and freedom that forgiveness brings.

As Steve Hartman said in the video, “If these two guys can set aside their bitter grounds, what’s our excuse?

Testify


I want to end this post with a song that exudes the freedom Jameel and Andrew enjoy: Testify by NeedtoBreathe.

Jameel’s and Andrew’s lives testify to the power of Christ to wash away anger, despair, and guilt.

They came to the fountain of Christ and are satisfied.

Let’s get lost inside the fountain of Living Water.

Go ahead, sing with all your might. I am.

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. 

Forgive as Christ forgave you.

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