1 Corinthians 6:9-11 King James Version (KJV)
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Greetings fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are incarcerated yet free indeed though the Salvation of Jesus Christ! Donnie Ojemann, the “Emancipated Inmate”, here reporting in again from the mission field to share God’s Word. To preach good tidings to the meek, bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prisons to those that are bound. (Isaiah 61:1)
Do you remember that moment? That moment when the deepest remorse you’ve ever known seized your entire body, soul & spirit for all the things you had done? Do you really remember that moment? I ask this question because it is one of the most important moments in our lives. It was the moment that the precious thing called “Godly Sorrow” brought the walls of the strongholds in our hearts crashing down. Our hearts were left totally exposed, raw, naked and trembling before our Father God that we had been rejecting and avoiding. The running was over. Do you remember that moment?
For many of us it was while bathed in red and blue lights and gleaming stainless steel handcuffs went click, click, click…….click. For others when the door of the first cage among many to come slammed shut on the police car. We sat there broken, alone and in more trouble than ever before – the flood of sins pressing down and overwhelming us, crushing us.
Remember being there? Remember that moment? The feeling that we were lost to everything we ever loved and nothing could save us from the horrible sins we committed. The sinking realization that we had hurt everyone we love and that pain was just the beginning. Because when those closest to us found out how long we would be going away, they would be devastated. Their lives would be impacted in a way that we never intended for them to be. The weight of it all too much…
The veil Satan had over each and every one of our eyes had finally fallen and he was there laughing at our despair and how he had so skillfully tricked us into destroying ourselves. That we had “helped him” construct the time bomb that was about to be unleashed on our family. I won’t be going home to my beloved spouse and children tonight or any other night for a very, very long time… and it’s entirely my fault.
Remember that moment?
Good! For most of us that was the greatest moment of our lives!
“What!?!? What did you say? ‘the greatest moment’? Are you insane Donnie?”
Nope, not at all! That was the moment. That was the moment the lies and the illusions we willingly accepted from the adversary dissolved and we could see clearly. All the pride and greed and lust and self-serving sin became too much and the dam broke, drowning our lives completely. It felt as though the Devil had finally succeeded in destroying us. But there in the aftermath amongst the rubble laid our hearts, mortally wounded, shattered, broken and bleeding…yet still beating; the pain so piercing and great that finally the moment that our loving Heavenly Father was waiting for all of our lives happened, our surrendered repentant heart.
Godly Sorrow had just entered our lives.
2 Corinthians 7:10 New King James Version (NKJV) For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
That Godly Sorrow brought forth first the fruit of surrender then the greatest of all Salvation. God uses all things for His Good.
Romans 8:28 New Living Translation (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
That surrender said, “God, I am in over my head and was from the very start. I can’t live without You any longer. I know that You are the Only One who can turn this life of pain and destruction around. The Only One who can heal these wounds. I realize that life without You is not really life at all but misery, chaos and death that has been consuming me. I want Your Son Jesus to come into my life. I ask for forgiveness and I accept the gift that Jesus paid the price for my sins and desire to crown Him Lord and Savior of my life forever.”
That was the moment Godly Sorrow produced Salvation in our lives. The greatest moment ever!
Now some of us may not have said a prayer to God right there in that police car or the moment the gavel fell along with our heart, but it was the moment that many of us discovered that precious Godly Sorrow. The moment we realized we would do anything to have God turn our lives around and transform us into the Godly Husbands/Wives, Fathers/Mothers and Sons/Daughters that He created us to be.
Oh, the blessing and privilege to be forgiven and never be separated from God again and have love, joy and peace in our daily lives. Do you remember that moment? Good! Never forget we need God’s love active in our life every day.
God has never and will never turn His back on us! He has always been the one reaching toward us and calling us to come to Him. It was by our own blindness that we did not see and hear Him calling or notice His presence.
Psalm 139:7-12 New Living Translation (NLT)
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
- 139:8 Hebrew to Sheol.
It is up to us to keep up the communication and relationship with God since He has always been there waiting. We have now repented of our sins and accepted Jesus as the Lord of our lives. We are covered in the blood of the Lamb and we are made white as snow wearing our robes of righteousness. God’s promised us that He will never leave or forsake us.
Hebrews 13:5 New King James Version (NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[a]
Footnotes: Read Also Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5
But this is the reason my heart reaches out to you today. I have witnessed a great many of my brothers & sisters in Christ become complacent in their surroundings now that God has rescued us from eternal damnation and our lives no longer are filled with despair. We, like the Israelites soon forget how we need God’s love, mercy and grace daily not just when we are in immediate danger. We forget that our own best efforts landed us on a road of death and destruction, so we find ourselves carelessly wandering right back down that road. Forgetting who we belong to and who we really are!
- Don’t forget that moment! Don’t forget what God has done for you. Don’t forget about when you found yourself in need of God’s grace, it is one of the biggest parts of all our personal testimonies for others to hear and to help them know there is hope when they draw close to God.
- Don’t be another stray sheep outside of God’s protective hedge of mercy and grace, listening to voices that we know are NOT from the Great Shepherd!
Remember when God rescued you in your time of need and realize you entered into an eternal relationship with Him. Tell everyone about “that moment” God called you “out of darkness into His marvelous light!”
1 Peter 2:9 New King James Version (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
I love everyone of you Brothers and Sisters. Be encouraged in God’s Love for you and His desire for you to have more abundant and eternal life – today and forever with HIM!
The Emancipated Inmate,
D. W. Ojemann