2018-10-26 / Chaplain's News

The truth will set you free

Chaplain (Lt.Col.) Joseph H. Ko
Fort Gordon Deputy Command Chaplain

Several years ago, I visited the confinement facility as an on-call duty chaplain. Before the visit, I prepared a couple of messages to share with the inmates.

When I met them, they shared their lives to me. One of them shared with me how he struggled to overcome his anger and frustration in jail.

As a pastor, I was anxious to share my message. After he told me that he reads the Bible every day, I asked him whether he knew the verse from Romans 8:28.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I wanted to encourage him to believe that God will make good out of bad. Then he brought his own Bible and tried to find the Book of Romans.

As he was flipping through the Bible, I noticed one highlighted verse in his Bible. I asked, “What verse is that? Why did you highlight it?”

He then showed me the highlighted verse – Romans 5:8.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

With surprise, I asked him, “Do you believe this statement?” Without any hesitation, he answered, “Yes, I believe.”

He explained that he could understand how much God loves him.

He said, “While I am still a sinner, still, God loves me – God sent His Son for me and His Son Jesus died for me. I did not realize it before, but now I know, serving terms in jail.”

At that time, he was the preacher to me. God’s love was real to him in there.

To me he was indeed a free man even though he was confined. He realized that he is a sinner and that God loves him in spite of his sin.

There are times when I felt like I was in jail.

When I occupy my mind with my own businesses such as selfcentered greed, ambition, self-pity, low self-esteem, guilt and shame, etc.

Without God, I am building my own wall – a confinement facility. This inmate’s testimony encouraged me to return to the basics – God is love, Jesus died for me, and I love Him so.

I wonder how many of us truly have freed our lives with God’s “in spite of love.” Is there anyone who does not need this wonderful love of God who loves in spite of?

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

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