Monday, April 02, 2007

You Must Read This

I got this letter via email from a dear friend a few days ago. My friend's son made a bad decision a few years back. A choice with huge consequences. His trial just ended in March....sentencing happens April 5th. Things look bleak. But then I read the letter from Nick. You see, Nick was always a great kid. Never even had a parking ticket. One bad terrible decision. But these years in prison have not broken him....they have led him back to becoming the man God wanted him to be.

This letter was truly convicting for me. Hopefully it will speak to you as well.

To my family in Christ Jesus who have supported myfamily and me with your love and prayers:

Grace and peace to you from God, our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

It has been a long road traveled up this point and there have been many days when
this weary traveler has wanted to call it quits; but I am a Christian, a soldier of Christ, and so quitting is just not an option. There were times and are times
still when in the flesh, I want to give in to self pity, but where is the value in that for the spiritual man, for it is through the Spirit of Christ that I now
live. Christ endured so much for me on the cross, paying the price for my sins by the shedding of His Blood. He did nothing for His punishment...what right do I have to pity myself? Instead, I pity those who are still lost in darkness as I once was, slaves to sin, held in bondage by their flesh, those who remain enemies of God and so cannot partake of the joy and peace that comes from faith in the precious promises
that are ours, given only by grace through Christ Jesus who redeemmed us with His precious blood.

I pray everyday that the Lord will give me the strength to live a life worthy of the calling I have received; that I may bring Him praise, honor and glory. It is my duty - not performed out of duty, but out of love for Him - to be an example to those who are still searching for a better life and greater hope. There is a saying, "You may be the only Jesus that people ever meet", and I realize that this may certainly be true in here. It is written, "Be holy because I am holy".

Never did I think that I would be preaching or teaching the Word of God (let alone incarcerated)butI have found it to be the greatest privilege and honor. Knowing that the Almighty God has chosen even me to be a temple for his Holy Spirit and that I am an instrument of righteousness through which He can yield His power, gives a man purpose in this life. Christ is not A reason to live, He is THE reason to live.
For me, this is the ultimate truth. This life I live, I live in Christ whether I am free or in prison.

I do not want any of you to be discouraged by the outcome of my trial, for it is written: "And we KNOW that ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called acording to His purpose".

Like the man, Job, the Lord has allowed Satan to test my faith. Satan must have thought, "Surely if God allows me to go down and make this jury find him guilty on ALL counts, giving him no chance at life outside, he will lose his faith and curse God to his face!" Surely not! My faith was tested and found genuine. I do not curse God, but praise Him all the more. I do not run from God but only tighten my
embrace. I do not lose my conviction but only strengthen my resolve. I will not take my eyes off Jesus but focus on Him even harder. He has not destroyed my testimony but given me a greater one. Faith in the worst of circumstances. I will never give up on God because He promised to never give up on me.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragement. I encourage you all: abide in His love, rest in His grace, be joyful in hope and walk by faith. Pray. Pray more. Then keep on praying. Everything is ours in Christ Jesus - our heart's
desires, our deepest longings and all His promises.

I love you all.

Your brother in Christ,



photolady said...

Wow, Julie, that is an amazing letter. It is so awesome to know that in the midst of the unthinkable God makes use of it for good. It is a horrible thing that happened but I believe he is going to reach alot of people who don't know his God. It is great that this has not brought him down but only made him shine so much brighter. This family has been in my thoughts and prayers through the past couple years and they will continue to be!
I love to hear when satan fails, satan has no power over us and Nick is an example of that, in the midst of his toughest most horrific time in his life Nick is victorious! No matter if in this world he losses the trial for freedom he has won the battle for his eternal life!

BonnieRose said...

oh so touching

Noelia said...

Great letter. It reminds me of Paul's letters.
Good stuff.

Julie O said...

God is gracious and loving in all times. When all of this began I remember thinking "what went wrong, how could this happen, he must not have been following Christ". But we are all sinners even when we follow Christ. I appreciate what Nick says about how satan is probably waiting for him to curse God. For me that is a reminder that that is what satan wants, us to curse/hate God, the act in which Nick commited is just the way in which he tried to get Nick to curse God. Praise God for being a forgiving, gracious and loving God. I loved reading this, it's a reminder that there are so many ways in which we can serve God. In ALL ways and ALL places we can serve Him to his Glory. I will continue to "pray, pray more, then continue to pray."
Thanks for posting this Julie. It's good to hear from him.

Monica Kornfeld said...

this is so very touching. Thanks for sharing it, Julie!

Cropykat said...

Thanks for sharing that letter of Nick's. This is a tough day for him, and all his close family around him. Wow, my heart aches for him, and his family. We do have a forgiving God and it just may be that Nick will be able reach out to others that come across his path. God's plan through Nick's heart, he will share the love of Jesus Christ.

Carolyn F said...

It gives one hope...