October 2008

I pray this Month’s View finds you prospering in all things and in good health, just as your soul prospers. 1 I find my soul prospers as I think on things that are true, honest and right, and things that are pure, lovely, and of good report. 2 If you find your thoughts wavering, you may find these charts helpful:

Things New On Site

NOT A RELIGION

A recent poll found that a large percentage of Christians believe that they can get to heaven by their good works. It is common for people to believe that Christianity is no different than any other religion that offers a path to God. Jesus did not agree with the “many paths to God” theory. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father [God] except through me.” 3

True Christianity is not a religion. I am not a religious person trying to get to God through my good works. Men tried to build a tower to God at Babel. Others beat themselves, starved or sacrificed their bodies to religious ideas, never to experience the love of God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that Everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” 4

I experienced God’s love when I received His Son Jesus Christ in 1975. For the first time in my life, I tasted true love, peace, and joy in my soul. I believed simply that Jesus died for my sin to free me from the penalty of sin, which is death. He freely took my place on the cross, bled and died, and rose from the dead to give me eternal life.

“For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by Taking away our sins. 5

How About You?

Are you a prisoner of your past, bound with guilt and pain? I know how the fear of failure presses in upon the mind from all sides. I medicated my pain with alcohol and drugs trying to escape the turmoil of my choices. I understand!

I found that religious works only frustrated me, doing nothing to relieve my pain. I needed the power of God to do an internal work through the Holy Spirit. The Word of God says, “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [liberated].”6 Jesus took our guilt and pain upon Himself at the cross, He cleansed us from all unrighteousness with His blood, and He sent the power of the Holy Spirit to comfort us.

Today can be your appointed time to receive freedom from guilt and pain. “For the Lord says, ‘In an acceptable time, I have heard you. And in the day of salvation, I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.” 7

It is very important for you to understand your decision to receive Christ. For this reason, a full explanation is given of The Gospel. This is the most important decision you will ever make. I share the Apostle Paul’s sentiments, who wrote: “I feel as if I am going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.” 8

My Best Friend

I would like to introduce to you my best friend, Norman Ezell. You may have read his testimony or listened to his music offered on my home page. I crossed paths in Dallas with Norman in the 60s when he played with the Five Americans, a rock ‘n roll band. He wrote their number one hit “Western Union.”

After both of us received Christ in the ‘70s, Norman showed up in prison with a Teen Challenge ministry. I reminded him of our times in Texas, and we hit it off as brothers in Christ. I asked him to be my best man at my wedding in 1979, and he still visits me today.

I rocked out to Norman’s music in the 60s, but today, his music ministers to my heart. His latest ministry efforts can be seen on You Tube. I can’t see it myself, but hopefully, you’ll view it and let us know if God touches your heart.

How Are My Days?

My days are wonderful even though I’m in prison. I learned long ago to not let my circumstances control my thoughts, emotions, and attitudes. As a result, the Lord uses my Christian brothers and me to be examples to those around us, which helps to bring peace and calmness to our environment.

I wake up every day realizing that I am reaping what I have sown. For many years now, I have sown good seeds. I’m told to not “…get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” 9

I get up early to spend time with God. I have breakfast, do my prison job, walk and exercise, and do my college studies, while always finding time to be there for those in need around me. I find that ‘…the joy of the Lord is my strength.” 10 And, “…in God’s presence is fullness of joy, and at His right hand there are pleasures forever more.” 11 These promises are the same for Christians in and out of prison.

A Prayer For You ...

Our Father, we need to know You and Your love. You have redeemed us through Your Son, Jesus. You have freed us and placed us in a high place. We are not of this world, but are Your children. Please build our faith, so we may do Your will and share the Good News of the freedom You give in Jesus. We pray this in His Name: our Redeemer, our Savior and our Friend. Amen!

Scripture References:

1 3 John 2
2 Phil. 4:8
3 John 14:6
4 Eph. 2:8,9
5 Rom. 3:23,24
6 Rom. 10:13
7 2 Cor. 6:2
8 Gal. 4:19
9 Gal. 6:9
10 Neh. 8:10
11 Psa. 16:11

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!

Print