Top Tier Conflict (NIV)
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- Full Text: Read full text below
- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: NIV
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My name is Davis. Before accepting Christ I controlled what I did or didn’t do. In October 2008 I was locked up in prison. I was sentenced to 18-72 months. At that time I wouldn’t know it but it changed my life. Sitting in my cell the only book I could get my hands on was a Bible, which I wasn’t really interested in. But things began to change for me. On October 30 I was informed that my father had passed away, and my emotions went out of control. Lonely, frustrated and angry, I sat alone in my cell planning the next encounter with any inmate who would even dare look at me the wrong way.
To others, I seemed like a quiet loner minding his own business, but inside a battle was raging. Abandoned as a young boy, I moved from place to place, with relatives, and then foster care, and then the trouble in my life became my style, my fists became my method. I had hurt someone in an encounter and was first introduced into the prison system as a teenager. Fights became therapy; solitary confinement became a place to plan revenge.
Then, it happened so quickly! When I was let out of my cell for dinner, I was confronted and challenged. My temper boiled over and there, on the second floor balcony of the prison block, I grabbed the taunting aggressor, lifting him up with my 6 foot 3 inch, 220-pound, well-toned frame, intending to throw him over the railing from the top tier to the floor some twenty feet below.
As I stood there to gain my balance, the endangered inmate screaming and squirming, a voice from behind me quietly but firmly said, “Don’t do it, put him down, now!” Then I heard it again: “Don’t do it, we can talk!” My attention diverted, I slowly put the shaking inmate down, and my anger turned into a cold stare toward the inmate who had spoken the command and was now approaching.
We were familiar with one another but had not spoken until now. The “Peace Maker” inmate was known as “That Christian Guy” on the block and had the reputation of being a decent good guy. As the Christian now stood with me towering over him, a guard who had witnessed the entire episode hurried up to us, calling out as he approached for me to face the wall for “cuffing.” “You’ll be written up for this,” he growled. “You’ll probably go to the hole, when this report is turned in.”
“Please let me have some time to talk with him,” the Christian inmate pleaded. I want some time to speak with him.” In a rare and unusual gesture (because the Christian inmate was so respected), the guard unlocked the cuffs, telling the Christian he would give him two hours, locked in a holding cell with me, and expected to see a change in my attitude, and get some answers or the punishment would be pursued.
The Christian man took advantage of this opportunity and the time alone with me. I was starting to calm down, but I was thoroughly confused. The Christian began sharing his life story of how he used to be just like me until he realized that the way he was living wasn’t getting him anywhere with anyone. The Christian knew he only had this brief time, so it wasn’t long before he began to share Jesus with me. For over an hour he shared Scripture, talked about a better way, choices that I could make, and how this Jesus would forgive me. And then he prayed and gently talked to me as I slowly began to relax, listen and open up to this kind inmate who had taken such a caring interest in me.
During the two-hour session, I yielded and repented to Jesus, and through prayer asked for forgiveness of my sins. John 3:16-18 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of god’s one and only Son.” The burden was lifted; a smile came to my face which I had not felt for many years. I had become a new person in Jesus Christ.
The Christian man then explained to me that he had been saved a couple of years previously through the outreach of “Purpose Ministry.” He encouraged me to write to Purpose Ministry, who would give him spiritual help, and the Christian inmate promised he would be there for me to help with my spiritual walk with Jesus.
When the guard returned, he was amazed at the change in my demeanor. He couldn’t believe it. He could see the transformation in my face. The guard asked the Christian, “What’s this all about? Is this an act to get Davis out of trouble?” Then I said, “I am sorry for the disruption I caused and I thank you for the time you allowed me to spend with this Christian man. He shared a story that I had not heard before and I have prayed to Jesus to forgive my sins and I am now, too, a Christian.”
The guard was astonished at what he was hearing, but realized this was really believable. He had heard this same story once in a while from other inmates through his years on the job. This was a miraculous story of a transformed life through the love of Jesus Christ. The guard was so impressed that he gave me a warning, but let me go back to my cell and didn’t write me up, giving me another opportunity to show that I had truly changed.
Several things happened just after I committed my life to Jesus. My son was born, which gave me extra incentive to want to get back home. But not long after that my mother and grandmother both passed away, and two of my brothers tragically died in separate incidents. After that my family stopped all contact with me. Then, some months after all of this, I got the sad news that another one of my brothers was killed violently, and Satan began putting things in my head that God helped me overcome.
Davis is a committed communicator through faithful correspondence with Purpose Ministry. Recently, because of the change in his life, Davis has experienced persecution. He was confronted when another inmate attacked him from behind, putting a large gash on the back of his head, knocking him to the floor. As Davis lay there while being kicked in the head and body, he could feel the anger rising up within his feelings, but he never retaliated, never fought back, and never said a word to his attacker. Davis had a peace he couldn’t explain and quietness that had come over him, a confidence that he couldn’t explain. Davis realizes now that he’s matured in the Lord, he’s been able to apply 2 Peter 1:5-9 to his life through self-control and godliness.
When asked “What would you have done if that incident would have happened a year ago,” Davis replied, “I probably would have had a major fight, retaliation and sought revenge, but I know the Lord helped me to react as a Christian and I am thankful to Purpose Ministry for continually reinforcing these Christian principles with encouragement. Today, Davis still has bad headaches from his beating and is being treated for them, but his focus is on Jesus Christ who suffered much more to provide a way for our salvation through His death on a cross.
If you are experiencing an unsettled life, confusion and frustration at how you are living your life, you may be at the same crossroad as Davis. Right now may be the time that you want to put your bad days behind you and choose Jesus Christ to run your life. All you have to do to put your life in the hands of Jesus is to turn to God and trust Jesus Christ as your savior. You may want to express your faith in a simple prayer like this one:
“Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and ask Your forgiveness. I want to start a new life with You as part of God’s family. Thank you for saving me and washing me clean from my old life and all my sins, in Jesus Name I pray, Amen.”
Having trusted Christ, we recommend that you share this with another Christian believer. It is important that you start reading the Bible daily and have a private prayer time each day to strengthen your walk with Christ. Welcome to the family of God.