>I’ve Never Been Witnessed To!

>Today marks the anniversary of the day I turned from all I knew to be sin (which was too much) to the little I knew about Jesus (which was just enough). Since I was “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world” it is not totally accurate to call it my spiritual birthday, but…

I was 26, felt I had done everything twice, was an alcoholic, a thief, a drug user and seller, and several other things…I had recently been arrested in Texas and was in a jail cell awaiting extradition to the West Coast.

Out of boredom I picked up a paperback book that had the word “prison” in the title. I had been in jail a few times over the years, but never in prison…so I thought I’d ignore the “religious junk” and see if the author had anything to tell me about what could very well be my home for the remainder of my life.

Back then I was dumber than I am now..I thought “religion” and “Christianity” meant the same thing.

I had only been in church a couple times, had never read the Bible, and, to the best of my recollection, had no accurate idea as to who Jesus was. Though I did not know the Bible said “The fool has said in his heart there is no god”, nor did I know that He had placed “eternity in our hearts,” I still did “believe in ‘god’, but he/it/she was a nebulous creator.

I was just smart enough to recognize that if there was a creator I was the created and, as such, accountable to the creator. Thus I ignored/put off “god” unless I was in trouble…when of course I’d pray to this “god”.

But now as I read I began to comprehend (as the Spirit gave illumination) that God was revealed in His Son Jesus, who was not a superstar, not a founder of a major religion, and not a rebel…but was/is/will be God.

As the book referenced the Bible, I found a Gideon-supplied Bible and began to read. Over the process of several weeks the Spirit of God did His work in my soul, and on January 30, 1974 I repented and trusted Christ and His substitutionary death in my place, and “old things passed away and all things became new.”

I have no idea who donated the book (I won’t share the title, as it has some pretty whacky stuff in it…but it did contain the gospel). Don’t know their color, denomination, or anything else. But I do know that the Lord sovereignly placed that book where I would read it…

So I’ve never been “witnessed” to in the normative interpretation. I “simply” read a book.

And the Lord used it.

I don’t negate our responsibility to be “ambassadors for Christ,” but I do encourage you…if you find it incredibly hard to verbally “witness,” perhaps you could hand out tracts (that contain the gospel as opposed  to the easy-believism ‘pray this prayer and you’re in’ stuff that is all too common) and/or donate good, solid Christian books to your local jail?

Don’t get all caught up or distressed by what you “can’t do,” do what you can.

Author: Jack Hager

Jesus invaded my life shortly after my arrest at age 26. I spent the first few years of my new life incarcerated. Went to Bible school after parole; have served with Kansas City Youth For Christ, Headwaters Christian Youth (Rhinelander, Wi), Family Life Ministries (Bath, NY), and now with Midland Ministries (Saint Joseph, Mo). Married with four children, work with youth, adults, inmates. Heavily involved in Bible quizzing for four decades. Narrow minded about Jesus and the gospel; fairly open minded about most other things. Speak in churches, camps (both teen and family), civic groups, public schools, Christian schools and colleges...amazed I get to do what I get to do....favorite verse Romans 15.13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may overflow with hope."

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