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September 2023

happyOh, Happy Day! My greatest desire is to see folks come to Jesus. But I know my labor is in vain without the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who opens hearts and gives understanding to lost souls. My prayer is that your heart will be opened to His awesome love and grace.

“’No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’ But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.” 1

A Quick Story…

“My name is Evan. I am a 34-year-old man from Ontario. I wanted to share a quick story with you.”

“Since I was 12, I was a drinker. Since I was 18, I was a drunk. And since I was 23, I have been an alcoholic. The details of then to now would bore you, I am sure. I have felt useless, horrible, terrible, and like I deserved, this life leading to, what the doctor said, was a very early grave.

“I started A.A. It was not working. “Trust in God,” they said. Again, it was not working. “You can be forgiven.” I did not believe them. It started with a simple conversation at a meeting. Someone showed me some of your writings. They said, “Look at how someone can turn their life around from darkness to forgiveness.” I quit then. I did not feel too far gone.

“I have stayed sober through my ups and downs for going on two years since my last drink. I could not have done this without my wonderful support system, but mostly through my relationship with Christ. I feel closer to Him than I ever have and have come to have a wonderful relationship with Him. As a kid, I thought those people who “hung out with Christ” on their own were nuts. I understand it now. It brings peace to be home alone and happy because I am not alone.

“So, life has gotten worth living again. I have not felt depressed or suicidal for a long time. I am here to stay and am proud to be walking with God. Evan, Canada.”

Stuck in the Mud…

I came to the place in my life where I needed help. I was trying to figure “it” all out by myself. “It” for me was life in prison for haunting crimes. I had certainly blown “it” thinking I could do “it” without God’s help. Solomon wrote, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” 2 For years, my pride had kept me from humbling myself to God’s love and grace.

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 3

I had put people, places and things in my life before God, thinking they could supply my deepest need – love and acceptance. My desires led me to be a follower, rather than my own man, fulfilled by the Holy Spirit, Who is available to all who will call upon Him. It has been said that the Lord’s phone number is Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and [a]mighty things, which you do not know.” “Mighty things” means the “unfathomable” greatness of God’s work on our behalf – the finished works of Christ!

The Devil’s Playground…

I was raised going to church, but never experienced the power of the Holy Spirit because of my own rebellion. I heard Him mentioned as a “ghost” in different creeds, and truly He was. Folks were going through the motions, by didn’t seem to have a personal relationship with Him. People were living productive lives, but the power of God was missing. Those down the street in the church who seemed to have Him were looked down upon. I needed God’s power to overcome temptations in school. Which was the devil’s playground. Without the Holy Spirit, my heart was open for deception. “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.” 4

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 5

I was that someone who allowed the enemy to devour him by making all the wrong choices. Then, I was unwilling to repent or have a change of mind. Arrogance wouldn’t allow me to admit that I was wrong, and responsible for my decisions. It was everyone else’s fault but mine, so I just moved on to a new situation, expecting different results. “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” 6

Humility is the Key…

My pride kept me looking for love in women, in a bottle, or in a song – greed. But in reality, “the gods of this world had blinded” my mind from the Good News of God’s glorious plan and purpose for my life. 7 I believed I could find satisfaction from the world, when only the glorious light of Christ could satisfy my lost soul. Both the apostle Peter and James quoted Proverbs 3:34, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 8

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” 9

As a new creation in Christ, I sit here humbled today, praying that you will see the light. Maybe you think it is too late for you. If anyone should have lost hope, it should have been me. It is never too late to humble yourself before the Lord, allowing Him to lift you up. Jesus was lifted up on the cross, drawing the sins of the world to Himself. This includes your sins; past, present and future ones. They are forgiven, but you must receive His sacrifice for yourself specifically, and be raised from the dead by His Spirit. Like me, you can start over with a brand-new life. The apostle Paul wrote, “…if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” 10 Won’t you receive Him today?

A Prayer for you…

Jesus, I confess You are my Lord, Savior and Righteousness. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. By faith in Your word of reconciliation, I receive salvation now. Thank You for saving my soul! Father, I recognize my need for Your power to live this new life. Please fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit. By faith, I receive Your power right now. Thank You for baptizing me. Holy Spirit, You are welcome in my life. Show me my identity, meaning and purpose in life. Amen!

Scripture References (NLT):

1) Cor. 2:9b-10
2) Pro. 14:12
3) 1 Pet. 5:6,7
4) 1 Cor. 4:20
5) 1 Pet. 5:8
6) Pro. 12:15
7) 2 Cor. 4:4
8) 1 Pet. 5:5c; Jam. 4:6
9) Jam. 4:7,8
10) Rom. 8:11, NKJV