I used to say I found God in jail. But as my relationship with God grew, I realized I didn’t find God at all. I was chosen by God. In (John 15:16) Jesus told his disciples “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” I used to read the Bible and think these types of verses didn’t apply to me. He was only talking to His disciples. Disciple means “a learner” or “one who follows one’s teaching” In (John 8:31) Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are truly my disciples.”
I don’t believe He came from heaven just to save a few fishermen. He came to save the world, save you, save me. One of the last things Jesus did before ascending back to heaven was give the disciples the great commission, to go and make disciples of all the nations. That was their whole mission, they accomplished that by preaching and giving us His Word, The Bible, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
So, we are disciples, or followers of Christ. We are Christians. In (Ephesians 1:4) Paul said, “that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.” When I discovered this truth, it brought new meaning to my life. God, the creator of the universe chose me.
My life isn’t some meaningless accident of chance or luck. We do have a purpose. The first 30 years of my life revolved around drugs and violence. I was raised by drug addict parents; I dropped out of school at age 15 and started selling and using drugs. I don’t have enough time to get into the other 11 times I’ve been locked up, the people I’ve screwed over, the women I’ve used and abused, I’ve done unspeakable things in my life.
Before I moved to Kansas City, I was a homeless heroin addict. I moved here and was given a second chance at life. I got clean, got a good job, had a nice condo, all the material things, had beautiful women in my life. I was living the “bachelor dream” by the worlds standards I had a good life.
But in reality, I was living a life of “sexual immortality, impurity, lustful passions, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, anger, selfish ambitions, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins like these. Works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) when I should have been living by the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Nobody ever preached to me or tried to bring me to Christ.
This last time being locked up I had this unexplainable feeling to read The Bible and really change my life. For the first time in my life, I felt guilty. I’ve always had a way of justifying my actions or making excuses of why I did this or that.
This time was different. God was convicting me. At the time I didn’t realize how much of a blessing it was being locked up in max all day by myself with a Bible. I started devouring the scriptures and other Christian books. My prayer life was great. I was in “Monk Mode”.
Some days I thought I was losing my mind, but I wasn’t losing my mind; I was gaining a heart. God was putting a little bit of Himself inside me. He was changing me. Showing me, I’ve been living a life of sin and I need a Savior.
Today I have that Savior. His name is Jesus Christ. The Bible says if we have faith in Jesus Christ we will inherit eternal life in a better place, where there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying or pain. Having faith and believing in Jesus for me means trusting and believing in Him to make you a new creation, to be born again, to be Christ- like, to be holy.
Jesus is building His church, the church is not a place or a building, or an institution. The church is a people, a family of believers. Jesus is looking for a certain type of people for that family. People that love Him and each other to spend eternity with. Christianity is the process to become that people.
My walk with God has been a roller coaster ride at times and I know I have a long way to go, but every day I get stronger, wiser, holier, and I do it by submitting my will to His, being more obedient to Him, building my relationship with Him, putting Him first, and trusting in Him to help me do it. The more my faith grows the less I fear death. I don’t look at death the same anymore. Death isn’t the end but a sort of graduation into a new life.
One of my best friends passed away recently while I was in here and the first thing that came to my mind was, I don’t even know if he was a Christian or not, because I didn’t even know or care what a Christian was. Today I do know what a Christian is, and I’ve devoted my life to being one.
I used to tell people I was scared to get out and back into the world of money, drugs, alcohol and women. I can say today I don’t have that fear anymore, because I have faith in Jesus Christ to help me be the person I was chosen to be.