by Christy Hoagland
“So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” Luke 17:10
We, the Sing for the King Ministry team, is often thanked for serving the Lord. I understand that you want to thank others for pouring into you and who are pointing you to the Savior, I have often thanked my Pastor for speaking truth into my life. I think it’s a natural thing to thank those who are being obedient to God’s call on their lives but we are just doing what we are commanded to do…sharing Jesus.
I am constantly praying for a spirit of humility, I know that God gives grace to the humble and I want His grace over me more than anything else. I can do nothing on my own anyway! I want to be used by Him and I can’t be used if I am prideful or boastful in myself. None of the miraculous things we see is because of us or anything that we have done; God has granted us an amazing gift…a front row seat to His saving power, to His divine work. We have seen many men and women come to faith in Christ and often times we only get to see that first transformation. But once in a while we are allowed the honor to see beyond that first miracle and have the privilege to glimpse a little more of God’s marvelous work in the lives of those He saves. After all, Philippians 1:6 says “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Here’s one of those miracles, we received this message recently:
“Happy Greetings! I just wanted to share something with you. While I was at Algoa I adored and anticipated Sing for the King each Friday. The difference the Lord made in my life through you and your ministry there continues! So I also was in a step-program. One of my sponsees wrote me last week. He told me that after I left (just 30 days ago) he finally surrendered and went to your Friday night service. And this passed week, he was BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is now alive and happy and sharing what has happened in his life with others. What a long way God has brought him from where he once was just a few months ago. When I got to Algoa and decided to hit meetings and chapel every chance I got, I had no idea what God was about to do. I was absolutely NOT going to open up to another guy in grays. I was not going to share deep personal stuff with another fellow felon. Well, you see God knew me. Better than I knew myself. And he knows that in everything I have to go all in or let it go. And I did. I worked the steps. I became the secretary and a sponsor. I became vulnerable and willing. And God softened my heart and gave me eyes to see others like he sees them. Beautiful. I couldn’t help but look at this young man and see God loved him and he needed to know it. That I had something in my life that was bubbling up out of me and I could not keep it to myself. I found the way to break every chain. The way to conquer fear, cuz it’s a liar. From victim to victorious. I shared just the right portion as I let the Lord lead me, telling him about some very personal things from my past. Things the devil used to shame me. To hide it. To isolate. To go full on introvert mode. Well, I took the chance. I shared my story. And that night he went to the step-program with me and within days his transformation was obvious. After my moving on, he continued working the program, he continued sharing his own story. He finally accepted God and now has the blessing of sharing it with many others. He is now a sponsor, he is now blessed with the mercy and grace that only comes from Jesus Christ, he attends chapel, he is baptized, he is alive…for the first time in his life. He is impacting other guys in gray, he told me that many guys come to meetings and chapel now (in just 30 days!!!!!!) because of him and his willingness to share with them. God poured into my life. It overflowed into his. And now it flows into many others. Guys in gray. Thank you. I feel God want me to share with you many things. So much is happening in my life, at times I have trouble believing it. Man, it’s just amazing what he is doing. I’m refusing to let doubt, strange emotions, etc control me. Instead I am standing on the promises of God. The TRUTH. I am reflecting on what he has done for me. Who am I to discount any of that? God loved ME, a guy who was once in gray, that HE came to earth as Jesus Christ and walked into his own story and died on the cross, bleeding out to purify a guy like me. For all the men and women he dreamed up and created. So that we, mere human beings, some of us even going gray (or bald hee hee) can be redeemed. We have hope. We have grace. We have mercy. No longer slaves. I am a child of God. And the joy that floods my soul I just cannot contain. He saved me from the cancer of myself. He rescued me from a pit. He healed my body, my mind and my spirit. As he continues to reveal to me, it just spills out, His love, His sweetness, His Kingship, it envelopes me and I just gotta put a stamp on it and send it out to others. Cool thought: God works in each life at just the right speed. For some it is lightning fast like email, text, messaging, and others it is more like snail mail. Doesn’t matter. When the student is ready, the teacher walks in. I love you. I love your ministry. And I love how the love of Jesus, of God himself flows from your hearts. And it BREAKS EVERY CHAIN! In church when they sing some of the songs we sang at Algoa I can’t help but tear up and wanna shout VICTORY!” – Former Offender, D.
I hope this encourages you to step out boldly for Jesus, the One who saved you, and share His story and yours…how He has changed you. He wants to use you, for His Glory, for His Kingdom! And just maybe, He will give you a sweet glimpse into His remarkable handiwork…we cannot even imagine it!
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9