The Redemption of Bobby Love by Bobby and Cheryl Love–Book Review

This memoir is a story of sin and grace.

The Redemption of Bobby Love: A Story of Faith, Family, and Justice

The sin — Bobby Love’s true name is Walter Miller. As a young man Bobby became a thief. He graduates from small time theft to robbing banks, and is eventually arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison for armed robbery. When his first request for parole is denied, he escapes, and spends 40 years hiding his true identity.

The grace–Bobby, through hard work and a changed attitude, marries, has children, coaches Little League and teaches Sunday School. He hopes his past is behind him, but the toll of living a lie is high, and eventually the law catches up with him. To avoid revealing the end of Bobby’s story, I won’t say more. However, I will say that Bobby’s life is changed through his faith in God, which reminds me of something William Barclay once said, “no one can make a bad man good except Christ.” That’s true of all of us because we are all sinners, and anything good we are able to accomplish comes about through the action of the Holy Spirit within us.

VERDICT: 3 STARS. This was an easy read, but not very deep.

For more spiritual memoirs see:

Where the Light Fell by Philip Yancey–Book Review

In My Grandmother’s House by Yolanda Pierce–Book Review

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken–Book Review

Katelyn’s Question #3

What is the basic moral nature of mankind?

This is a continuation of the following posts:

Is There a God? If So, What is God Like?– Or Katelyn’s Question #1

Katelyn’s Question #2

 

Sin is the basic human nature.  The term “original sin” is used to describe the tendency to sin which is born into all human beings.  This sin is inherited from Adam and Eve, because they ate from the tree of knowledge, against God’s command.  When Adam rebelled, his nature and that of all of mankind after him became sinful.  Romans 5:12 says:

“…sin entered the world through one man.”

Everyone was born with a sinful nature, but Romans 5:19 says:

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

The answer to original sin is redemption and salvation.  Through Jesus, the Son of God, all Christians, and those to come have been redeemed, or saved from sin.  Jesus was sacrificed on the cross to deliver us from sin.  There is no other way to overcome sin than by the power of the Holy Spirit, a power that is received when one becomes a child of God.  Christians are to not only recognize their sinful nature, but repent and ask for forgiveness of their sins.  Proverbs 28:13 says:

“Whoever conceals their sin does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Original sin is something all humans are born with, and it brings the consequences of ignorance, death and suffering.  Man is only saved from sin by the grace of God.  The Bible provides many verses that speak of redemption and remind Christians that their sins are forgiven through the death of Jesus.  Isaiah 44:22 says:

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.  Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

 

Regrets

I have times when I think about all the things that I’ve been through and I wonder if I made different choices how my life would be.  Doing this actually just deepens my depression because I think that if I’d done things differently I would have a better life now.

This kind of thinking is not productive.  We can’t go back and change our life.  We can only start today and move in a different direction.  However, to look back at your life can do some good in your life.  When I look back now I can see how the Lord has sustained me over the years, even when I wasn’t praising Him or giving Him credit for that time.  He has brought me through some really difficult situations that definitely could have been much worse.

Go back and change things?  I know I wish I could.  But I wouldn’t be the person I am now without those experiences.  I think this is why when MercyMe released this song that it so, so spoke to me.  Don’t we all wish that we could just speak to that younger me and tell them what we’ve learned today?  But as this song points out, we are one of the redeemed.  From this time on we are are to put our pain and hurt at the base of the Cross.

 

Thankful for Spiritual Blessings

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

Our sermon last Sunday was about giving thanks for our spiritual blessings.  When we give thanks, we most often think of how God has provided for our material and emotional needs.  Things like food, shelter, health, family and friends are definitely on our “thank you” list.

But what about spiritual blessings?  Too often we take them for granted, we forget that they are even greater gifts from God.  So take a minute to read the first chapter of Ephesians, giving thanks for each of the spiritual blessings the apostle Paul enumerates.

  1. God chose us before the foundation of the world
  2. God adopted us
  3. God redeemed us through the blood of Christ
  4. God forgives our sins through his grace
  5. God makes His will known to us
  6. God gives us hope
  7. God sends us the Holy Spirit

You might close your thank you devotional time with the doxology, which was written by Thomas Ken, “England’s first hymnist.”

“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;  Praise Him, all creatures here below;  Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;  Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”