Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. —Psalm 66:16

            I had to chuckle and at the same time had a sense of sadness when I was glancing though my high school yearbook recently.   With the lifestyle I was living, with the attitude that went along with it, I did not want my senior picture taken.   Not sure who decided to put the cartoonish picture where my picture would be, but it both saddened me and made me laugh.   It saddens me because apparently the picture depicted how I was seen at the time. It made me laugh because it was almost prophetic, but I am sure not in the sense the person had who chose that picture to be identified with my name.

            What was the picture?   (A picture of a man in prison clothes)         I don’t know what the person or persons were thinking when they chose this picture to put in place of my senior picture, but it is interesting to see how things panned out. You see, I could have ended up in prison. With the life-style I was living it could have led to incarceration. But the interesting turn in life is that I have done much time in prison, but not as an inmate, but as a follower of Jesus Christ bring the message that will free a person for prisons that are much worse than physical prisons. Yes, I have seen many men in prison set free, not free from the bounds of concrete and bars, but from the bondage of sin; the bondage that comes from being enslaved by Satan (II Timothy 2:25-26).

            You see, physical prisons are not nearly as horrible as spiritual prisons.   I know men in physical prisons who know Jesus and they are freer than the most well off person or anyone else who does not know Jesus outside of a physical prison. Yes, spiritual prisons define eternal destiny, but Jesus sets anyone free no matter who they are. Yes, murders can be set free by Jesus. There may be consequences for their actions, but they are free in Christ. Yes, the so called “little liar” can also be set free in Christ. There are no “good people” from God’s perspectives— Those who think they are “good” do not use God’s measurement, but man’s measurement. God’s measurement is what counts and what each person will give account to after death.   Better be ready for that!

            Yes, I could have wound up in prison. Yet, I was in a terribly worst prison than that of a physical prison.   In high school I was bound by alcohol, drugs, an immoral lifestyle and if there were any Christians around, I knew not one who attempted to speak to me of Jesus being the “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). But I am grateful that my roommate in the Seabees of the Navy who left his New Testament on the desk in our room. When he was not in the room I would read it. God used what I read to impact my life forever. Thanks Andy! This simple act in February of 1979 made an eternal impact in my life and the lives of so many others.

Dear Father I am so grateful for Andy simply leaving his New Testament where I could see it and read it. May you bless him greatly for that faithful act and may many, many more be impacted because of impacting my life through his. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   So be it!

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