Inspired by the Holy Spirit, John the Baptist prophesied: "I'm baptizing you
here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action
comes next: The main character in this drama-compared to him I'm a mere
stagehand-will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy
Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean
house-make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its
proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be
burned." Matthew 3:11-12 (MSG)
Jesus was a revolutionary of genuine love, preparing the way for the Holy Spirit to indwell those who trust in our Heavenly Father and His Son.
Because we are among those who have received the Holy Spirit, we are never alone. He is our counselor, our guide in all things. He is the One who will help us focus on our Heavenly Father. He is patient and persistent, always leading us bit by bit in the right direction. His peace will reign in us as a confirmation that we are heading in the right direction: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NIV)
Here is a testimony of someone who was arrested for first degree murder. He ended up in prison where something amazing happened. Here is his story in his own words:
"Men and women of God usually have a defining moment that we can point to that brought us to Christ. A moment when we finally opened our hearts and became receptive to receiving Jesus in our lives. That moment in time has become our testimonies. This is my testimony that I share with you.
I was arrested on December 21, 1996, and charged with First Degree Murder, at 1300 Beaubien; Detroit Police Headquarters, Detroit, Michigan. During my first 48 hours of being arrested all sorts of thoughts were running through my mind. I was at an all-time low, basically thinking that my life was over. I was accustomed to always being the "strong" person, and the one who others leaned on to draw strength. Yet, here I was in such a state of despair that I actually considered ending my life. I don't know if I would have ever done that, but for me to even consider it shows just how low a point I was at.
Two days later, while I was in my cell brainstorming and going crazy over the dire nature of my situation, an older guy from Pontiac, Michigan , who was a trustee in the jail, walked by my cell and asked two other guys and myself if we wanted him to pray for us and with us. At that point I figured: Why not? I needed something - anything - to lift me up from the hell-hole that I was in! Two of us accepted his offer of prayer; the third declined and said he was "tight" (okay).
The trustee also began to share with us that he had been a former heroin addict, and Jesus had delivered him from his addiction and saved him. He prayed a powerful prayer over us and asked us if we wanted to give our lives to Christ. That is when I first made my confession of faith to serve Jesus Christ. I knew about God and Godliness prior to this time, but I had never given my life over to Christ. Immediately after he finished praying, I felt a feeling of total calm and peace come over me, and at that instance I was no longer burdened by my problems or my situation. Little did I know at the time, but I had just activated the power of THE HOLY GHOST!
Later that day, I asked the same brother who had prayed for us if he could do me a favor. By him being a trustee he had movement within the jail, and access to privileges that I didn't have. Due to the nature of the charges that I faced, I was on non-contact status; meaning that I couldn't use the phone or have any family visits. Therefore, I asked him if he could possibly make a very important phone call for me. He said he would be back, and he would see what he could do. For whatever reason, he never came back. I never saw him again and don't even know his name! But, his not coming back didn't even bother me or upset me in the least bit. I felt like he had already blessed me in a mighty way with his prayer.
About two hours after we had spoken, I was in my cell laying on my bunk thinking about how my problems seemed to have been suddenly lifted. I was completely at ease, without any of the turbulence that I had experienced just hours before … when out of nowhere my cell door was opened and I was summoned to exit out and go to a holding/waiting area. I didn't have any idea why I was going there. After a few minutes went by, I was told that I had a visitor.
To my amazement, a man entered who I had never seen before. He was a lawyer who a friend of mine had retained on my behalf to come speak with me about my case. The most astonishing thing is that securing a lawyer was the very thing that I had needed the trustee to make that phone call for! I immediately said to myself that it was ONLY God who did that, and in that instance it confirmed to me that God is real; if there ever was any doubt! I could hear God speaking to me and telling me this was just the beginning of how He would show me how good He is. For me, that sealed my faith confession.
A few days later, I was sent across the street to the Wayne County Jail; Detroit, Michigan. I happened to have a homeboy from my neighborhood who worked there as a Deputy. He asked me if I needed anything. Usually in that situation a person typically requests things like cigarettes, food, newspapers, (sometimes even drugs!). But, all that I wanted was a Holy Bible. He brought one to me that same day, and I began to read chapters every day until I had read the whole Bible.
As my understanding of the Word of God increased, I began to be transformed, and every bad habit or bad thought began to be removed from me one by one. God began to strip me of all things unrighteous that were in my life: profanity, smoking, drinking, gambling, patience (lack of), bad/quick temper, and womanizing. He removed these negative spirits of my life, and continues to shape and mold me.
A lot happened between that natural life (First Degree Murder charge) in 1996 to now. Today (2010), I'm more than 13 years into my sentence, housed at a Level 1 prison, (lowest security) and currently about one year away from being released. I have never stopped walking with God and for God, and He has used me in many ways for His Kingdom. I am blessed to be born-again, with a changed heart, mind, and spirit.
I realize that God needed me to be broken all the way down; to be a broken self-willed vessel, so that I would humble myself under His mighty hand and He could build me back up; but do it HIS way. God took a compete stranger of seemingly low regards; a former heroin addict, and used him to share the gift of live and salvation with me, and plant the seed of who Jesus is … to a wretch like me! That spark set me on a course of changing my whole life around from the inside out. God instantly showed up and showed me that if I would just believe, nothing is impossible to Him.
Since that day in 1300 Beaubien, I have NEVER questioned or doubted what God is capable of doing. I also know that if He can do it for me, He certainly can do it for anyone else. Glory be to the name of Jesus!"
By: Anthony W. Moore Thanks to Precious Testimonies Evangelist Ministries
The Holy Spirit is at work. He is the One who gives inner peace.
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.