"It's a shame that people like him even exist. I only wish I could give him more time!" Those were the words of a New Jersey Appellate Court Judge responding to my Legal Counselor during my appellate hearing in the fall of 1985. The truth is, at that time in my life, I believed it was a shame that people like me existed too!
In any case, it wasn’t the report I was looking forward to receiving from my attorney. I don't think it would come as a shock to hear me say I lost that appeal, but what I didn't lose was the memory of what that Judge said to my attorney. The Bible says about the tongue, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” (Proverbs 18:21) In its simplest form, this scripture means we can use our words to build people up or to tear people down and the words of that Judge did nothing to build me up. I lived in the shadow of his destructive words for the next two decades of my life believing I didn’t have what it takes to succeed. In fact, I believed some version of that lie for most of my life. The Judges words just served to cement in place what had already been formed.
In the end, my counsel charged something like $25,000.00 to represent me and my co-defendant in that appeal, and after all of the testimony, after all of the legal arguments and all of the money, justice was served and I had to finish serving the remainder of my sentence. So what was so wonderful about my counselor? Apparently nothing! He charged a high price only to lose the appeal, and not only did I lose the case and the money, I had to pay the State of New Jersey every second, of every hour, of every day, of every year I was sentenced to prison! Doesn't seem fair at all!
What if I told you there is a Counselor who would represent you for free? Isaiah 9:6 that says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” We have a "Wonderful Counselor" who doesn’t charge a dime to represent us. In fact, he became the ransom for my sin, and in sharp contrast to what took place in that courtroom during my appeal in 1985, He paid for my sin IN FULL! There is nothing owing, there nothing due! It doesn't seem at all fair either!
Jesus Christ IS the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6 and the only reason that exists to celebrate a holiday called Christmas. The Bible says, "God gave us the gift of his Son while we were yet sinners" (Romans 5:8) It doesn't say that God gave us the gift of His Son when we got our life together. It says, "while we were yet sinners," and still active in our sin, whatever that sin may be. Please check out my story of redemption, healing, and restoration that began on Christmas Eve of 2004 by clicking this link: http://www1.cbn.com/predator-no-more-debt-collector-pays
Stop putting your hope in the ability and strength and resources of man as I have done and consider putting your hope in the ONE who is all powerful and makes all things new! I can't think of a better time than Christmas to ask God into your life and personally receive the gift of Jesus Christ.
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12)
Heidi and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!