“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety- nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7 NKJV)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
I would like to dedicate this writing to “Rosemarie” in England. She is a faithful friend and inspiration to me. Thank you Rosemarie for your prayers and friendship! May good health and the blessings of God follow you always!
I have wrestled hard this week about what my next teaching should be. I had several in mind and actually decided on one, until, the “winds of the Spirit shifted”. The Lord has laid something on my heart and declared that it simply must be shared. I’m certainly far from being a” perfect man”, or even the “model” Christian, but experience has taught me that I better go with God! With that said, I am going to share a personal experience of my ministry as the Lord has instructed.
For those who may not know, I am a retired Police Officer (Sheriff’s Deputy, Constable, Bobby, Policia, etc.). I served my community for 14 years, and had a ministry both within the department and in the community I served. I share this information with you, as the story I am going to impart comes from this former career. During this time I was a “Watch Commander”, which meant I supervised the work of others.
One typical day, I was working the “day watch” (7AM-3PM) out of the North Precinct. It was a fairly “slow” day and I had a fully staffed shift. As the “Watch Commander”, I was not required to be present at every call for service, and I also had a “Corporal” under me to assist in supervision duties. This particular day, being fully staffed, and having a co-supervisor, afforded me the opportunity of a “leisurely” day to spend in the community. I met with various people concerning “police business” and “ministry work”.
Around mid-day, a “call” was dispatched to one of my officers. The nature of the call was a suicide attempt! The subject of the call had ingested many “pills” in an obvious attempt to overdose and end his life. He was said to have been extremely depressed and had also consumed a large amount of alcoholic beverages. Need I say that medication and alcohol, especially in large quantities together, are not the best of combinations? I listened for the “radio traffic” to ensure that the dispatched officer was responding, as well as the co-supervisor. A supervisor was required to accompany the “zone officer” on calls of this nature. I heard the co-supervisor respond that they were in route to the call. I was pleased with this because it meant the call was covered and my presence would not be needed. I attempted to continue my aforementioned business.
It wasn’t a millisecond later that I “heard” the voice of God, “That call is for you and I want you to go!” I reasoned that I was fully staffed including a co-supervisor and did not need to go to the call. Again God “spoke”, “I want you to go”, and impressed upon me it was a need for ministry. I obeyed His leading and advised dispatch that I would be going to the call. I also cancelled the need for the co-supervisor.
Upon my arrival to the call location, I observed the typical response personnel, Firefighters, Paramedics, and police vehicles. The yard of this home was covered with personnel and emergency vehicles. The nature of the call dictated this type of response. As I exited my vehicle, the Lord impressed upon me that if I would trust Him, follow His leading, and use the authority I possessed to take command of the call, He would “make sure all went well.” I agreed, but make no mistake about it, this required that I trust the faith “of” (His faith) the Son of God and not faith “in” (my faith exercised) the Son of God! Do you see difference in my analogy? This dependence “of” faith was required because I could face serious disciplinary action to include “Law Suits” if my actions failed and further harm had been caused! Nevertheless, I chose to obey God and take charge of the situation.
I entered the large, white, black trimmed, old style home. It was quite beautiful and nostalgic! I then entered a “living room” area to find emergency personnel and the “suicidal” man. I determined that he had been home alone, had ingested a large amount of medications, and consumed a large amount of alcoholic beverages. I also learned that he had been on the telephone with his wife talking about committing suicide (she was at work). She was the one that notified of the situation leading to our dispatch.
My next move was extremely bold and required the utmost of trust in God’s leading! I sent everyone away, including medical personnel, and assumed responsibility of the entire situation and suicidal man! I met the resistance of medical personnel as they kept reminding me they assumed no responsibility for my actions. I understood their position but held firm to how the Lord was leading me.
All additional personnel left the scene and only Jesus, I, and the suicidal man remained. The man was sitting in a cozy chair and I was standing in front of a fireplace. Occasionally, the man would glance up at me with dazed eyes and a depressed countenance. I noticed an old dusty Bible on the fireplace mantle. I asked the man if it was okay if I read him a scripture from this bible and he gave permission. To this day, I cannot remember what the scripture was that I shared with him, but the Holy Spirit knows! I dusted off the Bible and read the scripture to him. He looked up at me and began to weep.
I allowed him a few minutes to weep as I knew these were cleansing tears. I then asked him if he would like to go for a walk around his property. He had a large piece of land surrounding his home with many huge oak trees. He agreed to go for the walk with me.
We made many passes around his property and often I would have to support him or catch him from falling. The alcohol and drugs had made him drowsy and slightly clumsy. I inquired of him why he felt as though he needed to end his life. He provided me with several reasons why he thought this should be done. He did have some heartbreaking and gut wrenching problems, but none that I could agree justified taking his life. As we walked, I shared Jesus and how my life had changed after becoming a believer. He was genuinely interested in what I was saying, and equally astonished that “a big ole, gun carrying, badge wearing, cop” could be so tender! It wasn’t me he noticed, it was Jesus! I was only an obedient servant! I assured him that I genuinely cared about him as a person and for his well-being. I also told him that the answers to his troubles were not going to be found in a bottle of pills or a can of beer, and further shared that I did know where every answer he sought could be found. We continued to walk and talk together and he finally asked, “Where can I get those answers?”
I told him that all his answers and more could be found in the person of Jesus Christ! He questioned me about how Jesus could love and care about a person like him? He loves, cares, and died for people just like you, I stated! We walked a short more distance and stopped under one of the huge oak trees. I asked him if he was ready to meet Jesus. He replied, “I think I am.”
I asked him join hands with me to pray. He did so and I “presented” him to my friend Jesus! After I prayed, I told him that it was his turn to speak with Jesus. He asked me, “What should I say?” I in turn asked him if he thought he needed Jesus and why. He replied, “Yes! I’m a sinner, and that’s why my life is [explicit slang] up!” “Talk to Him about that”, I advised. He grabbed my hands and began to pray. In his talk with Jesus he confessed his sin, his need for salvation, and told Him (Jesus) he was sorry. He then asked Jesus to come live in him. It was one of the most sincere and honest prayers I have ever heard! That day, this man received Jesus, and right before my own eyes he “sobered up”, displayed no more effects of the pills and alcohol including the smell, and his life had been genuinely changed. He again wept cleansing tears. I am unable to describe what I saw in greater detail, but I witnessed this man being “born again!” It was like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly!
We went back inside his home and fellowshipped a little more. A short time later his wife arrived home and as she entered the house I could tell that she was expecting the worst. She saw her husband sitting in his chair and looked at me astonished! She asked, “What happened”, as she did not expect to see what she saw. I explained to her in detail the events that had occurred and told her that her husband would be fine now, as he had “received” Jesus. She broke out in uncontrollable crying, threw her arms around me and shouted, I have been praying for this for a long time.” I directed her to her husband and they embraced sharing the tears of joy. As they embraced, I sensed that the Lord had “released” me as my work had been done. I departed; leaving the two embraced sharing the husband’s new found love!
Three days later… One of my duties as “Watch Commander” was to meet with the off going Watch Commander to receive report concerning the events of his shift and any leftover work needing completion. In our discourse, he began to tell me about a fatality automobile accident that occurred during his shift. A single vehicle was travelling along the highway and the driver had been confronted with a deer in his path. The driver swerved to avoid collision with the deer and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway going over an embankment and crashing headlong into a tree! As he described the singly involved vehicle, I recognized it to belong to the man that received Jesus three days earlier. When he gave me the name of the driver my stomach “sank” and my heart broke! This confirmed that the driver was in fact my new brother in Jesus! We quickly finished report as my emotions caused me to need a few moments alone. The sun was just beginning to come up in the “purplish” sky. I entered my patrol vehicle and drove North on the interstate. It was still early and traffic had not yet flooded the interstate.
As I drove along the interstate and spoke with Jesus, I had only one question, “Lord is he with you?” In His signature loving, compassionate, and peaceful way He replied, “Yes, He is here with me in glory. Do you see the importance of sharing Me with others?” I began to weep as I did understand the importance of sharing Jesus!
You may be curiously asking, “Nice, heartwarming story, but what is the point?” Well, first of all, the story is not about me, it is about Jesus and His love for humanity. He knows where every person on the planet is and no one can hide. He knew where my new brother was! This story is very dear to me as I witnessed and understood several things; my faith was tried and my trust had to win, I saw a man receive Jesus and a wife’s prayers answered, I saw a man hell bound and closer to death, than he or I knew, pulled from the pits of fire! I learned the importance and need to share Jesus with others, and had this lesson burned deep into my heart. I learned that my experiences here on earth lead to spiritual understanding and reward and through it all; I know of a man that death turned into life…
Beloved, I will not peddle the idea that soul winning is an easy task. Often we are mocked, cursed, spat upon, and abused in many other ways. Our natural man loathes rejection, but we must remember that it is not us that are being rejected, it is Jesus. If it be His desire to bless us, we can experience His heartache in rejection. If He chooses to bestow this blessing upon us, we experience sadness, but more importantly, we experience the true love He has for humanity! Fear not for He is with you and go out in the entire world and fulfill our great commission. Until we meet again, I pray the blessings of God on you all, your families, and those you share Jesus with! You are the beloved of God!