John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Dear Beloved Friends,
Greetings, love, peace, joy and blessings to you. Today is Good Friday (or so they say). We truly don’t know exactly when Jesus died. The dates we celebrate Easter on are actually pagan dates. The reasons why we have an Easter bunny and eggs with color is because these are pagan tradition having to do with fertility. I make mention of this every year as a reminder because I want you to realize how important it is to give all glory to Jesus and not to fairy tales. I want you to make sure you are worshiping God and not false pagan idols. I meditate on what the Lord has done for us every day and I thank Him daily. We must constantly be aware of His sacrifice for us. Thank you, Jesus! Praise your name, Lord! Amen and Amen!
I am adapting well to my new surroundings. I am doing my best to spread the Gospel. I have a new Bible study partner named Nick. He is such a broken man – just the kind the Lord loves to grab hold of and transform. We sat down to play a game of chess with one another and I knew right away that the Lord sent him to me. Now, I’m no grand-master by any means, but I can play a decent game. Nick and I chatted about his history. He told me that he wants to change his life, but he doesn’t know how. For some reason, people always seem to be open with me. Most likely it is the Holy Spirit within me that leads them to do so. Nick poured his heart out as we played. Tears welled up in his eyes as he spoke. He told me about being an addict and drug dealer and all the people he hurt.
I said to him, “Nick, I know how you feel. I have done some things that I am not proud of either.” I then explained my testimony to him. He was stunned by the fact that I am serving a life sentence.
He said, “But, you’re so calm and peaceful. You’re always smiling. How do you do it?”
“Jesus!”, I replied. I went on to tell him how the Lord has changed my life.
He was amazed and he said, “That’s what I want. I want to change. It’s weird. I have been wanting to learn more about God lately and now I met you.”
“This is no coincidence that we have met, Nick. God is speaking to you. He crossed our paths for a reason.”, I said.
As we went on playing, Nick began losing badly. I said to him, “This game is like your life, Nick. It’s a mess and it’s falling apart. It’s a metaphor for the way you have been living.” I could have easily check-mated him several times. But, instead, I systematically took all of his pieces, leaving only his king. I pointed out his mistakes as I did so. “This is just how your life is, Nick. You are all alone, trapped in a corner with the world against you and nowhere to hide, on the verge of being check-mated. Only in real life, checkmate means death, prison and possibly eternal damnation. But, you can change all that, Nick.”
“How?”, he said.
“By giving your life to Jesus, submitting to Him and admitting that you need Him.”
“Submit?”, he said. “Never have I ever submitted or bowed to anyone. I have always done things my way.”, he said.
“And, how has that worked out for you, Nick?”
“Not good. I mean, look at what I have done; what I have become.”
“You can change, Nick. Look at me – that Light you see in my eye, the Joy you see on my face – that’s all Jesus.”
“I wouldn’t even know how to begin.”, he said.
“You can start by joining me in a Bible study today.”, I said.
“You would be willing to teach me about the Bible?”, he asked.
“It would be my pleasure, Nick. It is God’s purpose for me. You see, I used to poison people like you with drugs. Now, God is using me to give people the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It’s the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. The way I used to live was despicable. I never imagined that God would ever use someone like me to share His message with the world. Instead of being a destructive force, He is using me to help rebuild people like you.”
We started studying in Acts. I taught him about Paul – how he used to be a murderer of Christians until Jesus made his crooked path straight. I want him to know that even the worst offender can change; that God can turn anyone’s life around and use it for good instead of evil. We then studied the story of Joseph. I used it to teach him that God has a plan for all of us. Even if your situation seems dire, there is always a bigger picture waiting to be revealed. We need only trust in the Lord. He means us good, not evil. And, He always keeps His promises. We are now studying John in the New Testament, for it is time for Nick to learn about Jesus and the meaning of His sacrifice. I have provided Nick with a salvation prayer. I told him to recite it when he is ready, only when he truly is ready to submit to Jesus. I told him that we can either pray together or he can do it on his own. I have faith that he will make the right choice. There is something about Nick. He is unlike any other student I have ever had. His desire to learn is incredible. I am truly blessed by him. I thank God for intertwining our paths. I spoke to Nick today and told him that someday soon I hope to share his testimony in his own words with all of you around the world. Let us pray that that happens so we can celebrate Nick’s salvation together. Please pray for Nick and the people who love him. There is more to his story, but I shall save that for another time.
This Easter, I am celebrating Jesus by sharing His Gospel and it is the best Easter I have had in four years. Thank you, Lord, so much for this opportunity! It is truly my honor to serve you, Jesus. Amen and Amen! I want all of you out there to reflect on what the Lord has done for us all. Pay attention and find every opportunity He sends your way. Serving Him is the greatest joy to be had.
May God bless and keep you! May His sacrifice be forever ingrained on your mind! May you honor Him through service and love! Amen!
Love in Christ,
(A man who strives to remember, serve and love Jesus every day)