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Hello my name is Richard Jones. I also was known for seven (7) years as #~~~~~~ (number omitted), which was the name given to me in prison. I’m not here to tell you prison stories, or tell you how I found religion while incarcerated. I am here to tell you about the love of Jesus, and how he’s changed my life.
Why does it always take some sort of conflict or situation that affects our way of living to remind us just how loving and merciful our Lord and Savior is? As long as things are going our way, we are happy and content, the moment something happens or life throws us a curb we run to Jesus.
Let’s say the job is going well, you have enough money to pay the rent, bills, car payments and so forth, but the moment that job finds itself having to lay people off, all that singing turns into pleading and praying. We find ourselves on our knees asking God to change our situation. That’s how we as people who believe there is a God do. We don’t call on Jesus or praise His name as much as we should when things are going our way. The majority of the time we call His name when times are rough, or when we find ourselves in circumstances we can’t handle.
That’s how it was for me many years of my life. When God was blessing and opening doors in my life, I was on top of the world, but the minute something happened that made me fear “unwanted changes”, there I was on my knees calling on God. Then as soon as God brought a change in my favor there I go again “Mr. Happy Go Lucky”.
You see, all my life my parents told me about the love Jesus has for those who love Him, and how He will forgive you of your sins once you confess them. I’m sure you read the parable in Mark Chapter 4, “The Sower and the Seeds”. Well I see myself as one of those that fell among the thorns. It reads: These are they, which are sown among thorns. Such as hear the word, and the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things enter in, choke the word and it becometh unfruitful.
That’s how it was for me. I heard the word, believed what it said, but still chose to seek the pleasures of the world. In doing so I’ve endured much heartache and suffering. God allows trials of faith and circumstances into our lives to remind us to seek Him in everything. For me it took frequent trips to jail and finally prison to make me see that my life was in need of change.
“Letting go of self-will and accepting God’s will”. It is then and only then will we have the life God intended for us to have. It’s true we as humans take for granted the things God has blessed us with, but as soon as we realize that blessing is gone, we appreciate what we had. That’s what going to prison did to me. It was there where I began to appreciate those blessing the God had given me before, it also made me see just how much God loves and cares for me.
Seeking those worldly pleasures took a lot away from me. Chasing after the riches of this world was leading me down a road called “self-destruction”. If it wasn’t for the love of Jesus I wouldn’t be here now.
Psalm 107 tells us of how people turn to God when they realize their lives are troubled, He delivered them out of their distresses. Even though we tend to do what is not right our God still showers us with His compassion and love. God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. In those times when we don’t praise His name, as much as we should, God still gives us His unconditional love. God allows troubles to come into our lives so when we have the victory we will glorify His name.
Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we are free from life’s heartaches, but turning to our Lord in those times of trouble, we have comfort in knowing our God is in control. It is up to us as people created in His image to accept Him into our hearts in order to receive that love. God does things to draw us closer to Him. When we find ourselves growing closer towards God then we realize that no matter what comes our way in life, when we put our faith and trust in Him we will always have the victory.
'by the Blood of JESUS, through the HOLY SPIRIT and according to GOD's Word'
God gives us many blessings, but most of all God gives us Jesus Christ!