"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." -- 1 Peter 1:18-19 I grew up having a multitude of idols and other passions (food, horizontal relationships, love of money, sexual sin, slander ... the list goes on) that were passed down to me. Passing down other passions before God results in the curses that come with having a divided heart: being overweight, self-focused, depressed, always wanting and never having, dysfunctional relationships and so on. I was handed an empty way of life that brought with it NO hope of ever being filled up--in fact, I felt emptier and emptier with each passing year. I was on a course to repeat a cycle of completely empty living, except that the curses and the depth of sin were increasing with each successive generation. All of this was happening inside a family that went to church every Sunday and professed to "know God". Everyone was certain that regardless of all the issues and the drama that swirled around us, everyone was going to Heaven and all this stuff down here really didn't matter. If you're like me, you know that this "religious life" coupled with increasing sin only makes the confusion, the depression, and the hopelessness WORSE!
I was overweight my whole life, carrying about 75 pounds more on my adult body than I do now. I have NEVER in my life been a thin person, and now I have been at my current healthy and right weight for 9 years. I never sought to be under my parents' authority--no, not just that, I intentionally went against my parents' authority more often than not. I grew up to be an arrogant young man on the one hand, while on the other hand I was miserable and self-focused. I sought the approval of people in an endless search for the "perfect" horizontal relationship that would fulfill all my emotional longings. YUCK!
I found myself sitting in bankruptcy court! I was overspent, still overweight, and over the brink that was going to lead to permanent destruction. AND GUESS WHAT ... at this point in time I was a "preacher"! That's right--I was standing up, professing to be someone who was "called" to lead people closer to God, and yet I was in an upside down marriage with children that I didn't know how to parent and at the bottom of the financial barrel. Praise God, I have been SET FREE from all of this and more! Seventy-five (75) pounds are permanently GONE from this body! I just received word this week that my credit score is "Excellent"! I have four beautiful children who LOVE God and this community of believers. I spent 29 years in a system that turned a blind eye to everyone's greed, malice, and widespread indiscretions. Now I am in a place where you know as soon as you walk in the door that there is LOVE--love for God FIRST! In 1997 I heard a voice that was and is "music to my ears". That voice has given me the keys to getting out of self, greed, lust and every other demon that has plagued my entire life! But these words have not been merely sweet talk and nice stories. These words are BACKED UP by a life of selfless serving and endless pouring out. The same can be said of all who have been called to lead this place! And I am surrounded by selfless brothers and sisters who are putting this into practice and who will not let me be caught up in any of the old, empty ways! With all of this, I am now HAPPIER than I have ever been because I have HOPE for the future as we hand down a fulfilling way of life that is centered on GOD ALMIGHTY by following the example of His Son JESUS CHRIST!!!!! Amazing! Humbling! Convicting! Wonderful! Inspiring! This message ... this church ... the LIFE!!! All praise and glory and honor go to you, O God, for allowing me to be delivered and set free! May you be forever praised and exalted and glorified through this place and the lives of your people!
For more information on how you can be set free from debt, watch Remnant Fellowship TV – “How to Get Out of Debt” – You Can Overcome Season 2 Episode 30