He did it for Martha and He will do it for you too…
Don’t go out and eat Father’s Day dinner at 9:00 at night if you want to be sleeping at 2 in the morning. Last night in church I was sharing a testimony of a woman in jail waiting to be sentenced in court.
For about a year I was a volunteer Chaplin in the jail because their Chaplin had left about 6 months previously. The program director said their resources for bibles had dried up and they were not getting any bibles in for the inmates.
So allot of people came on board and we had hundreds of bibles come in along with bible helps. I would come in several times a week and preach sermons twice a week.
Tuesday I would preach in the men’s dorm and Thursday I would preach in the women’s dorm. One Thursday I came into the woman’s dorm and a new woman was there.
Her hair was grey and she was much older than most of the women there. Now I am sharing this because you might be reading this and you may be thinking God could never forgive you for things you have done.
You may think that God could not turn your situation around. That God could not restore what has been destroyed in your life. I want you to know that is a lie from the pit of hell.
This older woman came to the meeting. She put in a request sheet for me to come and see her. There was a room in the dorm with a shatter proof glass wall where I could visit with people.
I sat down with this lady and she told me of her story of prostitution and drugs. She told me of having two daughters and not being able to raise them and giving them up for adoption.
She told me about living in a large refrigerator box under the expressway in Miami where she would sell her body for money and drugs. She looked at me and asked, “Do you think that God could forgive someone like me?”
With tears filling my eyes I said let’s look in the bible and see what the bible says. I opened my bible and had her read this:
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
I asked her, “How many have sinned?” She told me, “it says all”. You see I was not telling her what the Bible says, she was telling me what the Bible says.
I told her that yes all have sinned. The preachers, the choir members, the good people, the bad people, the rich and the poor ALL have Sinned. I told her that we have all fallen short of the approval or the approbation of the Lord.
Then I ask her to read this verse:
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I told her you might go to work and get a job paying $400 dollars a week. That is what you earned for your wages for the week. I explained that the wages of sin is death, separation from God. That was bad news but there is some good news for a sinner. That the verse goes on to say BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I shared that God has a free gift that He wants to give us sinners. I shared that we are spiritually dead in our sins and trespasses but God sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world that our sins could be forgiven and taken away:
Joh_1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
I explained that God sent His Son into this world to die on a Cross so that our sins could be taken away. I had her read out loud this next verse:
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
I explained that we are spiritually dead and that we have physical life but unless we get born again spiritually speaking, unless we receive spiritual life we will not make it into the kingdom of God.
I said we have read that all have sinned, the wages of sin is death, that there is a free gift that God offers and Jesus says we must be born again and receive spiritual life but what way do we go about this, next verse:
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
I told her there are not 10 ways, 5 ways or even 2 ways to have our sins taken away, to have this born again experience but that there was only one way and it says that Jesus is the way. I went to the next verse:
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
I said we have to receive what Jesus Christ did on that Cross by faith for us to have this born again experience that God wants for us. Then I had her read this scripture:
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
I explained that the Grace of God is just the goodness of God. We are saved by the goodness of God through faith and even that is not of ourselves it is a gift of God and its not received by any kind of good work or works that we could ever do. The tears began to roll down her cheeks.
We went to the next verse:
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
I asked her in these verses that if it says that we needed to join some certain kind of church to be saved. She said no. I asked does it say that by how much you go to church, pray or read the Bible would you will be saved. She said, “No”.
I told her that if we believe in our heart that God sent His Son to die on the Cross for our sins. That He was crucified and died but on the third day arose from the grave that God will save our souls and forgive our sins.
I said but it says, “But whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord. I said we have to call upon the Lord and receive by faith what Jesus Christ did for us when he died and rose again.
I asked her, “Martha, from what you just read to me are you a sinner?” She said, “Yes”. I ask her do you want the Lord to forgive you sins? With tears flowing down her face she said, “Yes”.
I asked her do you believe that Jesus died on the Cross for your sins, was buried in a tomb and rose from the dead 3 days later? She said “Yes”.
I asked her is she was ready to pray and accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of her life, have her sins forgiven and taken away and become a child of God and she replied, “Yes”.
I prayed with her and left. I returned a few days later and this woman’s face was literally shining. She asked to speak with me for a minute. I said yes.
She told me that the women would all come down to the bottom floor of the dorm and sit but they would have to climb upstairs to get to their cells. She could not climb the stairs but would have to rest before she could get to the top.
She said after we prayed that she could walk up and down those stairs with no problem at all. Praise God the Lord healed her body.
She joined the other women and they would pray and read the Bible together. About a couple weeks later this woman got a letter in the jail and it was from one of the girls that she had given up for adoption.
She showed me this four page letter that this daughter had written. To make a long story short the daughter said she wanted to have relationship with her mother and for her grandchildren to know their grandmother but she would have to go through a drug program because she did not want to add to her life more problems.
She also told her that she had searched and also knew where the other daughter was at. This lady was so over joyed because she had an opportunity to get back what the devil had stolen out of her life. You see there is nothing to hard for God.
This woman thought she was going to get at least 5 years in prison. When sentenced she only got two years which she was elated about.
I was shopping in a store a couple of years later and I heard a voice saying, “Pastor Randy?” I looked and saw it was Martha. She looked twenty years younger. Her hair was dyed and her face was shining.
She told me she had went to the drug programs while incarcerated and she now had relationship with her two daughters was going to church and was the manager of a store here in Key West.
Now I doubt that your situation is as bad as this woman’s was in that jail. Look how God restored her life, actually gave her a new life and restored her family to her.
What a Mighty, caring, loving, compassionate God we serve. You might be depressed today, thinking about your failures and wondering if God would forgive you and turn your situation around. I can testify this morning that yes He can.
I saw literally hundreds of people accept the Lord in that jail as I went in and out of those jail doors. Lives changed by the power of the Lord.
I will close with this, the Bible says:
1Pe_5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
I don’t know if you have failed in some way, have sinned in some way, are sick in your body and it seems like there is no way to ever have your health restored. It may seem like your life is wasted but I can testify today that God is a God of new beginnings. The Bible says that God says, “Behold I will do a new thing.”
Won’t you call out to God, by faith, cast your cares upon Him because God cares for you. God can do something about your problem, your defeat, your sin and sickness.
God is no respecter of persons if he did it for Martha, He will do it for you. I know that God woke me up with this testimony on my heart someone needed to hear what happened in Martha’s life.
Is that someone you? All God is wanting you to do is humble yourself before the Lord and pray. Lay all your burdens, your failures, your defeat, you sin before the Lord. Cast your cares upon the Lord because He will care for you.
God is gonna turn this thing around for you, have faith and trust the Lord, God’s gonna see you through! God bless you, love, prayers and hugs sent to you, I’m going back to bed….lol.