Paul sauntered down the street, the inky blackness of the night brightened at intervals by the myriad of flashing florescent night club lights. He was on a casual assignment but something had him on edge, his hair prickled on the back of his neck as he stepped into the darkened street, walking toward the back door.
He took the risk with an air of boldness. After all hadn’t he spent most of his fifteen years doing this very thing to sustain his habit? Starting into the darkened alleyway, he contemplated his day. A punk cop Stephen had stopped him early that morning, one of those believers; having the audacity to hand him a religious tract about some fictitious character he called Jesus, His Lord. He’d said something about Jesus saving him from his sins and giving him eternal life. Paul had punched the cop out and his gang buddy had beaten him up. Paul hadn’t stayed around to see what happened to the guy.
Paul shook his head, a deep guttural laugh emerging from his throat, echoing in the alley mocking him, as he felt the crumpled tract in his pocket. He didn’t need anyone tellin’ him how to live his life. He was doing fine since his old man had left him and his kid brother on the streets, after his mom had died of drug overdose.
With an air of authority, Paul pushed open the door, taking out some bills; he made his drug deal quickly. Just as he turned, another door opened and somebody yelled, “Cops! Run!” Paul accelerated his step, then felt himself dragging his feet as the searing pain hit his back.
Hearing voices, he tried to rise up in his hospital bed. Why was everything black? Why couldn’t he see who was talking to him? A bright light entered his blackened vision of a man with nail scars in His hands.
After Paul was released from the hospital, he walked another hallway to see an older man, Massey, they called him. Massey had laid his hands on Paul and healed his blurred vision, while Paul did time in the prison facility. Paul gave Massey a hug, “Thank you for healing my heart. I’m going to be released next April, Mass. Will you really give me a job with you and your brother?”
Massey gave Paul a handshake, “Yes, son we have much work to do in this city. You will make it. Christ has given you His Resurrection Power.” Mass walked out of prison, free after twenty years, to work in a recreational factory.
Paul reported for his first day of work to his new boss, Tim. “Hi Paul. We have one requirement beyond your work duties here in the fishing department. You must attend the rehab classes once a week. I’d like to invite you to our Fisherman’s club. It’s not mandatory, but Mass said you would welcome the opportunity. By the way, I’m Stephan’s older brother. I love you, son.”
Paul pulled the tracts out of his pocket, as he stood alongside the building, looking down at the blood stained wall where he’d turned his back on Stephen. A tear fell down his cheek, looking down into the eyes of a young punk staring back into his face defiantly. “I was once where you are kid. I found a better way. There is a way out of this life. You can conquer the bondage you are in by walking in a new life. Do you want to hear about it?”
Are you longing for a new life? To walk away from the past that holds you prisoner? You can escape like Paul did. Paul said “Once I had confidence in myself…” “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done, yes everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. . As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead . . . I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.” “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” Phil 3:7-14; Rom 6:4.
If you will ask Jesus to forgive your sins, believe He died on the Cross at Calvary to pay for your sins (past, present, future) and believe that He rose from the dead giving you His Resurrection power, you can live the new life He has for you. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave will raise you to a new life in Jesus. He has promised “never to leave nor forsake you” as you complete your journey here on earth. Maybe you can even tell others as Paul did and save them from the everlasting fires of hell to the everlasting life in heaven Jesus has gone on to prepare for us who believe in His majesty and power, as He lives in us and continues to intercede for us before the Father in heaven.
CHRIST CRUCIFIED=OUR SAVIOR; CHRIST RISEN=OUR LORD;
CHRIST ALIVE IN US=OUR VICTORY.
We serve a Risen Savior who loves and empowers us with abundant joy-filled life, welcoming us into His Eternal Kingdom.
©2005 Pamela Gray Karges