“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17
I am opening up my journal again after two years of being silent. I have posted the annoucement on my facebook and am linking my blog to it. Many may wonder why I have not written anything after a two year silence or chose to wait until now but the truth is that I was still struggling spiritually. I had begun to visit different churches to see if any of them could help me minize my pain and suffering. And I definitely did not want to assist in any church activities or be involved in church ministry because I did not have the spiritual, emotional or physical energy to do so.
I began attending churches that had good Contemporary Chrisitian music services because I really needed to sing. Many of those songs are praise songs and I needed to remind myself why I can still praise God even in the midst of it all. I attended Northland, which is a local non-denominational church, and the music was great but the message just wasn’t what I needed to hear. I went to several local Seventh-day Adventist churches and I felt a little more at home, but I still wasn’t hearing the Gospel. One day, a member of the Vineyard, Dr. Jason called me to find out if everything was ok. I shared with him that I was going to a spiritual crisis and needed to journey until I could find myself spiritually. I told him about my condition and he prayed for me. He was the only person from that church who called to see how I was doing. He has the gift of encouragement.
I started to attend Deeper, which is a local adventist church for young people at Forest Lake Academy and I really enjoyed the music and the message but there was still something lacking in the messages. My wife really wanted to go to a church where she knew people and not feel like people were ignoring her, so we started to go back to the Vineyard. Almost after a year of going to and fro we felt back at home. Pastor Richard and Pastor Andrew really have been blessed and are giving great messages. For some reason, the messages were all for me! The Lord started to speak to me through the music and the messages and I was beginning to get revived again. But something was still lacking and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I had agreed to start helping in the church again so I requested my transfer of membership from Texas.
One day, I heard they that one of their young lay persons, who has been active in the afternoon giving Bible studies in one the most dangerous areas in Orlando, got up to share a message. And he began sharing his testimony about his struggles with alcohol and drugs. He shared that he had try to overcome those with his own efforts and just could not win. He said that the Lord lead him to a few Scriptures and his eyes were opened. And he began to open up his Bible to Romans 5 and I Corinthians and began to preach the true gospel!! I was stunned!! Here I was looking for someone to preach this wonderful, incredible news in other churches and the Lord brought him to our church!! I was saying amen, back and forth, and thanking God for what He had done for me. This is when I knew it was time to back into the ministry of the churches. Since then we have been involved in the OBT ministries and I have accepted the position of men’s ministries.
I know that the journey will continue to be an on-going battle because the devil will constantly try to tell me that I am a sinner and unworthy to do God’s work. And he’s right. I am a sinner but in Christ, I am a new man!! The moment I accepted Christ back into my life again, which is by faith, my status changed from being condemned to die to one of justification to life!!
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” — Romans 5:1
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being so patient with me while I had to find my way back into your truth. Thank you for reminding me what the true gospel is and for opening up the doors so I can be part of that ministry as well. Thank for for reminding me that I am a sinner saved only by grace and my status as new creation in Christ will never change as long as I walk by faith in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.