Happy Resurrection Day! What a blessing to receive such wonderful responses to the testimony of Jesus Christ in my life; surprisingly from a whole new generation as a result of the 50th-anniversary remembrance.
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.” 1
Another Amazing Response…
I’m enjoying the contents of Abounding Love’s website. I’m a born-again Christian who gave my heart to Jesus in 1991.
“Over that time my faith has grown. Before my coming to Christ I didn’t have the best life and did a lot of dumb stuff. I know I’m forgiven in my head and at 54 years old I still struggle with my past. I can’t imagine how you have dealt with the events of 50 long years ago.
“Do you have a favorite verse? I’ve adopted Matthew 14:22-23 as mine [Peter taking his eyes off Jesus as he walked on water]. I feel that as long as I keep my focus on Jesus I can stay above the storm. It’s gotten me through so many experiences. I have regrets and need to be reminded that all that happened in the past was the “old man.” I’m sure you of all people can relate to that.
“I also read “Manson’s Right Hand Man…” I’m fascinated how influences affect our every decision. We have choices, but I can see how it’s easy for some to go astray based on our lusts and desires. I’m amazed at how you’ve been able to stay focused for so many years. Do you still feel Satan’s challenges there? Are prisoners willing to listen to your testimony or do they want to meet the “Tex” of 1969? Does the “celebrity” status ever get to you?
“God bless you for your faith and willingness to speak out with all you’ve experienced. He’s using your past to give you an amazing platform. You’re in my prayers, my friend. Respectfully, Bob, NJ.”
Focusing on Jesus…
Bob showed great insight concerning how to overcome life’s difficulties. It’s all about focusing on Jesus, whether struggling with past regrets, understanding our forgiveness, making the right choices and decisions, overcoming lusts and desires, or challenging Satan’s advances. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” 2
The problem is that we try to overcome life’s obstacles in our own strength, instead of trusting in God’s grace, that is, His ability to do what we can’t do in our flesh. Check out The Christian’s Toolbox, by printing the brochure or pulling up the page. You’ll find fifteen tools to increase your faith. I use these tools so often that I’m able to recall them from memory. “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” 3
Daily Challenges & Successes…
Sure, I face challenges daily like everyone else. In answer to Bob’s question, being an infamous prisoner has challenges in itself. Over the years, there have been threats and even attacks because of the nature of my committed offense., plus attacks against the ministry. Thank God, He has brought me through them all, along with the help of the authorities. “For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” 4
On the other hand, many have heard and believed the testimony of Jesus Christ through the witness, writings and discipleship over the past forty-five years. As a result, many men return to society as overcomers. The Lord has given me a platform to be there for those He places in my path of compassion. During this season of life, I’m not leading a ministry in prison, but carrying the Gospel to those who are disabled, mostly in wheelchairs.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” 5
An Amazing Platform…
Almost daily, I receive comments like Bob’s, saying, “He’s using your past to give you an amazing platform.” It’s humbling to think that God could use someone with a past such as mine, but by His grace, He does! Jesus spoke to the apostle Paul, saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 6 Paul went on to write, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 7
Today, I’m rejoicing for the opportunity to reach out during these days of Lent before this year’s celebration of Christ’s resurrection. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” 8 Let this be your word of faith, in agreement together with Christ’s victory over the struggles of this life.
“And they overcame him [the accuser] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice!” 9
A Prayer for You…
Jesus, thank You for forgiving my sins and saving me from eternal separation from God. By faith, I accept Your work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. I rejoice that Your resurrection from the dead shows Your complete victory over sin and death – making me holy and acceptable in God’s sight. Thank You for providing the way for me to have a relationship with my heavenly Father and eternal life. Thank You for hearing my prayers and sending Your Holy Spirit to heal me in areas where I have been wounded and my emotions have been damaged. Thanks for the strength and wisdom to walk in the center of Your will now and forevermore. In Your holy and precious name I pray, Lord Jesus, Amen.
Scripture References (NKJV):
1) 1 Peter 3:18, NLT
2) John 16:33b
3) 1 John 5:4,5, NLT
4) Romans 13:1b, NLT
5) Eph. 2:10, NLT
6) 2 Cor. 12:9a
7) 2 Cor. 12:9b
8) Col. 1:13,14
9) Rev. 12:11,12a