The Good in the Bad – June 28, 2015

“They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good in order that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”    –Hebrews 12: 10-11

This morning I was reading my morning devotional and the verse was Hebrews 12:2.

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The devotional said that we need to always fix our eyes on Christ and not ourselves.  It was a great little devotional, and I might have to copy it word for word for another blog.  I always go to my Bible and read the whole chapter that the verse is from.  I like to get the full context and understanding of the verse.  As I came to verses 7-11, it got me thinking about what has happened over the past year and 3 months.  I only wrote down verses 10-11 in this blog.  Feel free to read from 7 to get the full context of the verse.

I realized last year that when God loves you and accepts you as his son or daughter (read Hebrews 12:6), He will discipline you.  See, the last portion of my unsaved life, I lived in intentional sin.  I treated people like garbage.  I was demeaning and verbally abusive to my wife and kids.  I worshipped control, anger, money, lust, food and in general, things.  Worldly desires.  All the while, I had seen nothing wrong with how I was living.  My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, wife and kids became scared and more and more distant.  I may have talked to my grandparents once every 3 months.

When I talked to my parents, it was to tell them about me and my life and to get praise, acceptance.  I had no friends and people didn’t want to be around me.  Then on April 21st, 2014, my wife and kids said enough and reported me to the police for the criminal things I did.  At first, I felt much pain, sorrow, anger, abandonment and the list goes on.

Then I went to church on Sunday, April 27, 2014 and decided enough is enough…. Because of my criminal actions and my behavior, I was facing 140 years in prison (minimum).  I couldn’t live the way I was living, and I had to trust God and hand over everything to Him. He had taken a 2 x 4 upside my head and woke me up! Making me realize that Jesus was the way.  I gave my life to Jesus that day.  I went to the cross and asked forgiveness and repented of my sins.  I also lit 5 candles that day.  One for my wife, and one for each of my children.  I prayed for healing and restoration of my family.  I handed God everything and made Him the pilot of my plane.

Out of this situation, by letting God in control, I got 16 years instead of 140 years.  By giving Him control, I have more peace and happiness in prison than I did living my old ways.  I am able to minister to people, the lost and broken inside prison.  I have been able to use my gift of singing to spread His message.

Also, I have stronger relationships with my family than ever before.  Through faith in God and letting Him take control, I have begun to live a more Godly, peaceful life.  At first, the discipline was painful, but in the end it is what I needed to turn my life around.  Now I still fall to sin, but it doesn’t control me.  I am no longer controlled by the sin that once controlled me, but I am in no way perfect.  I still have struggles I deal with, but I keep running forward for the prize.

Allow God to hold your hand and guide your life.

Love you all!

Eddie

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