I was talking with a friend of mine, Jose, the other day. He has one amazing story to tell of how he came to be a believer in Jesus and what happened to him during the early years of his Christian life. He has shared some of his history with me in the past, but I must have forgotten parts of it. I met him while I was speaking at a church down in Florida one time.
I think you will enjoy what he shares below:
The first time I got introduced to you and your ministry was in a chapel at Lake City Correctional Facility. This must have been back in 2010. I was 19 years old. I was doing a three-year sentence and was new to the faith but on fire for God. I gave my life to Christ in a jail cell in 2008 after hearing the gospel message at Juvenile Detention Center in Ft. Pierce, FL.
After fully giving my life to Christ and watching Him change my thoughts, desires, and words, I still had some “time” to do. My earliest release date was March 19th, 2011. I was 17 years old in that detention center. Shortly after I turned 18, I got transferred to the county jail, where six months later, I would be sentenced to three years in a youthful offender prison.
While I was in county jail awaiting sentencing, I was in the “High Risk” dorm because of my charge. I was an 18-year-old kid on 23-hour lockdown in a dorm with murderers, rapists, bank robbers, and the worst of the worst. But, by this time, I had God on my side, and I knew it. I totally jumped into faith. I read my Bible as much as I could and went to chapel as much as I could. I think I probably witnessed to everyone in that dorm. It was a genuine transformation. I was a new creation. I was on fire.
When I got sentenced to go to prison, I was discouraged because there was a slight chance I was going to get out of my charge with probation. But God allowed another plan to unfold. So, I embraced it and took my sentence like a man. Fast forward almost a couple of years later, I find myself in a chapel at Lake City Correctional. They had one of the BEST chapels and faith-based programs in all of Florida’s prisons. This is where, one day, I got introduced to your talk, “Lukewarm No More.”
Mark, God used this talk to ignite the fire he already lit inside of my heart for the lost even more! I wanted every Christian I knew to hear this talk. It was so challenging in all the right ways! I had never been challenged like the way I was in that talk to share my faith and to know why I believe what I believe. Towards the beginning of that talk, you mentioned someone wanting a copy of your book One Heartbeat Away to pass along to his brother, who liked to “talk Christians out of their faith.” And then you asked the audience, “Could someone talk you out of your faith?” to which you said, “I’m past the point of ‘believing’; I know all of this to be true. I know the tomb is empty….”
The conviction you had when you said those words rubbed off on me.
After listening to that talk and after reading your book, One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven, me and a friend of mine went on a witnessing spree at that prison. We’d hit the rec yard and just witness to anyone who would listen.
Fast forward 12 years, I haven’t changed, Mark. My love for Christ and the lost has only grown. I still have a passion for the lost and to see Heaven more populated than Hell. Also, 60 copies of your book, One Heartbeat Away, were handed out at me and my wife’s wedding back in 2014.
I’m a free man, Mark. But most importantly, I’m free on the inside and Lukewarm No More.
1 Corinthians 7:22
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.
One thing about Jose is that he is still 100 percent fired up about sharing his faith! He called me the other day as he was witnessing to someone! We both kind of tag-teamed the guy he was talking to with truth. The gentleman had some great questions, and Jose had some great answers!
The Christian life is one amazing journey. It’s far from boring because God is not boring. Quite the opposite. If you put yourself out there to reach others, the Lord can open up friendships and situations you never thought possible.
It might be a good time to make a commitment to be Lukewarm No More. Jose is glad he did, and so will you!
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S. If you would like to listen to the talk that Jose mentioned called Lukewarm No More, it is available on DVD at our website (https://markcahill.org/product-category/dvds/). Since Jose is fired up and knows that this message and some of our other DVD messages have helped him and a lot of other prisoners get fired up for witnessing, we decided to put all of our DVDs on special for a $7 suggested donation. This should make it easy for you to give away as many DVDs as you want to the people around you who need to get fired up and be Lukewarm No More as well.
Also, contact the chaplain of your local jail or prison, and see if they could use some books and DVDs for the inmates, and then send them some.