(The following post is by Faith, Family, and the Farm)

One of my favorite songs right now is “You Love Me Anyway” by a Christian Band called The Sidewalk Prophets.  Read some of the words to this song.  They are beautiful.

“I am the thorn in your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
See now I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart, tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night I still call out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my lifeBut You love me anyway
Oh God, how You love me
Yes, You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life
That I’ve ever known
Yes, You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me.”Isn’t that just amazing?  Almost every day these words run over and over in my mind now that I know this song:  “I am the nail in your wrist, but you love me anyway.  I am Judas’ kiss, but you love me anyway.”  I don’t know why it is, but I can read scripture and hear bible studies and stories over and over, but when someone puts words to music, they stick with me and touch me.  Several times throughout the day, these words remind me that no matter what I could ever possibly do, Jesus will love me anyway.

Oh, how I wish I could make everyone understand and embrace that.  How do you tell these struggling teens whose parents tell them how bad they are, who have other kids tell them how worthless or pathetic they are, who are told repeatedly by a teacher that they are dumb, that there is someone who will love them no matter what, without conditions, without strings, without if’s, and’s or but’s?  I could play them this song 100 times and I know that unless they’re at a certain point in their lives, they will not get how huge it is.  What stories from the bible can I teach them to help them trust and believe this?  How can we get them to understand that it may not seem important today, but it should be the most important thing ever in their lives, over boys, over girls, sports, friends, grades, clothes, appearance, etc.?

And if you read those lyrics and wonder, what does all of this mean?  It is about the Crucifixion and what all ‘we’ did to Jesus, who loves us anyway.  You can read Matthew 26 and 27 to get a decent idea of what is going on.  Make sure you have a translation you understand.  And you may even have to read it twice, as I often have to do, to fully grasp the meaning.  If you don’t have access to bible, but you’re sitting at a computer, go to www.biblegateway.com and type in the scripture above.  Try the New Living Translation or New International Version, they are the ones I understand and like the best.  (I use that website a lot, it is a very useful tool!)

I so wish I had the answers.  But God gives us the choice.  We have free will.  It is part of the whole package.  We must make the choice.  It is there for the taking, free, anytime, anywhere, anyhow.  But the choice has to be made.  Going to church, going to youth group, attending bible studies, taking mission trips, going to church camps and convocations does not mean that Jesus is in your heart.   Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Say the words and mean it.  No matter what you have done, he’ll love you anyway…

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