I want you to hear from Paul again. He had a testimony awhile back (#15) but as you well know, the Lord continues toward the completion of the good work He has begun in us, and like you and me, Paul is one of His works in progress.
Paul, again this second time, stood up to address the men gathered. He reminded us that he is doing a life sentence and that several months ago, he had used that as his excuse to relapse. God had used it along with Paul’s repentant return to Jesus to penetrate a cellmate of Paul’s that had previously been unreceptive to Paul’s attempts to witness Christ to him.
Since then, Paul had kept sober, was reading his Bible and was participating in daily corporate and private prayer. However, Paul was making excuse for another of his behaviors.
You see, Paul is what the prison system refers to as an indigent. What that means is that he has no one on the outside sending him money - the money these men use to buy food, coffee, socks, radios, etc. from the canteen.
Paul had rationalized his illegal activities of brewing alcohol and “selling” it so he could have some of these amenities that other inmates enjoy.
Over the weeks, Paul was troubled by these actions but his rationalization had taken a strong hold and he was unsure of whether or not to stop. He prayed for God to give him direction on the issue.
With a big grin Paul related to us that he was caught in the act of brewing and then caught in the act of claiming it wasn’t his bag of alcohol. He was written up for both offenses.
Paul’s only hope of release under parole would be coming up in five years. If he had write ups like this over that period, that chance of parole would disappear. He took the whole affair as an answer to his prayer. More than that, he came under the conviction that he had been failing to truly trust Jesus with all of his life — that he was relying on himself to provide rather than His heavenly Father.
The way he put it, with both arms raised in surrender, “I’m done with playing, God. I’m all in!”
Hoots of joy and approval filled the room. Paul was not the only one of us who had come up to that line of absolute surrender. I think, too, that we could hear the sound of joyful angels praising the Triumphant Jesus.
Paul’s final words, again with a big grin, were, “You know since I gave it all up to Him, I’ve had a locker full of soups and coffee. So many brothers just giving me stuff. I want you to know that God is so good.”
God provides these testimonies. Please feel free to forward these to your friends.
The generous friends of Mark 4 provide the means for my being a part of His changing men’s hearts and transforming prisons.
Think of it as spiritual prison reform through ministering to both believing and unbelieving inmates.
Your financial support is needed, greatly appreciated and truly makes a difference.
Please be generous in your giving today.
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Mark 4 Ministries
P. O. Box 995
Port St. Joe, FL 32457