It is so exciting to share God's abounding love through the monthly view. I'm so thankful for your response. If you would like it placed on the website, make the subject: What People Are Saying. It is my prayer that what you say will be a blessing to others around the world.
Study Chart Booklet
Update: August 2014 - This booklet is no longer available in black and white. We are working on a new download in color. When this is ready, we'll add a link to it. Thank you!
"My name is Jeremiah, and I'm a graduate student at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. I'm getting my Masters in Performance Studies, and I'm in the processing of preparing for my graduate recital speech. I just wanted to contact you and let you know that your story greatly impacted my life so much so that I'm going to share it as part of my recital speech.
The recital is called "Chief of Sinners," and it focuses around the theme of redemption. It uses stories of people in prison, and prison images and metaphors with the goal of helping people understand that we are all equally sinners, no one is a "better" or "worse" sinner, and that Christ's blood covers ALL our sins.
The other story I'm using is a true story of another person serving life in prison for murder, yet his quest for redemption is through himself, through emotional catharsis and attempted self-forgiveness. He never seems to truly acknowledge the horror of what he did, and his attempts to do it seems to fall short. He acknowledges that he messed up his life, but in the end, it seems like he continues to blame-shift for what he did. He has no real knowledge of the One who could save him.
On the other hand, your story is so amazing because despite what you did, you have found full forgiveness in Christ. I rejoice so much as I read it and commit it to memory as though you are telling the audience about it.
I wanted to contact you to let you know how God is using your story, and I pray that He will be glorified in the recital. I'd love to have a message from you somehow to give to the audience, perhaps in the recital program, so if you're able to reply soon, I would love to hear from you. Thank you for your testimony, and may God bless you with a day of rejoicing to Him, no matter the circumstances." -- Jeremiah
"It was so wonderful to hear from you. I find it a privilege and honor for you to share what Jesus has done and is doing in my life.
I take no pride as if it is my testimony, since I only responded to the love that God initiated, but I do boast in the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10).
The point of your speech seems to cry out for others to "...perceive that God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34). Jesus did it all for all of us. He took the sin of the whole world upon Himself, shed His cleansing blood, gave us His righteousness, and resurrected us into newness of life (Rom. 6:4).
"Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psa. 107:8).
Let us all commit to pray for the "other" prisoner, who has yet to surrender his life to Jesus. This happens as it did with Lydia, "...whose heart the Lord opened, as she attended to the things which Paul spoke" (Acts 16:14). Let us pray for his heart to be softened, so that he receives seed in good ground as he hears the word, and understands it, so that he will bear fruit too, and brings forth, thirty, sixty, and hundred fold (Matt. 13:23).
In 1975, as I sat in the back of a prison chapel, I heard and understood the Good News of Jesus Christ, and I went forward to receive Him into my heart. That night, I returned to my room feeling something different about myself. I looked into the mirror and saw my face glowing. I said to myself, "This is ten times better than drugs, and it's free!" As I reflected, I began to understand the awesome price that Jesus had endured for my sin.
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:6,7).
One last word: "The light forgives all sin. The light melts aways all shadows. And no human being is in control of the light. The light is not on because I have done something or spoken the magic words. The light is on because that is what the light does. All I have to do is stay in the light. It really is that simple." -- Anonymous
A Prayer For You ...
Heavenly Father, Your grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.1 Help me Father, to live according to Your word. Amen.
1 Titus 2:11-14
Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!