One of the greatest joys of being involved in Jesus Wept Prison Ministries for nearly 30 years is the success stories. There are over 45 individuals who were previously incarcerated, that we personally communicate with, who are putting God first and overcoming all obstacles. “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” Sir. A. Miles is one of these inspiring people that we are privileged to know.
The Optical Illusion
It is sad to say, but much of what we see or live, is merely an optical illusion. When we look at the neighbors nice house across the street, we believe that they have it going on, when in reality many of them are leveraged to the hilt. The average American has approximately 10,000 dollars of debt that is not home related. Keeping up with the Joneses has become an American way of life.
I have been recently looking for a house to purchase and was alarmed at the number of houses that were repossessed by banks or foreclosed on. I am talking about homes that were ranging from 50-250,000 dollars. On the surface, it looked like they were well off, but at some point the piper had to be paid. What profits a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul. When we become financially troubled, we have a tendency to overlook our greatest resource, God!
Ask yourself right now, what is your debt load? How much do you owe out in proportion to what you are bringing in. It is the Lord thy God that gives us power to obtain wealth. Deut. 8:18. Generally we all have enough to live on, but we refuse to manage the resources that the Lord gives us. Give us this day, our daily bread, not weekly, monthly or yearly bread. Any man that makes haste to become wealthy will pierce himself through with many sorrows. In regards to this, it is proven that the majority of people that hit the lottery are broke within 1-3 years after collecting their winnings. Why is that? Zig Ziglar said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Do you know anyone who hit the lottery? What shape are they in financially now? When we refuse to honor God with our substance, bodies or material possessions, we have already failed and the handwriting is on the wall. The only true way to prosper is to put God first in your life!
Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. Pr.3:9,10 Madoff isn’t the only one that is misappropriating funds. We are also if we neglect to give God what belongs to Him. Poor planning on our part, does not make it an emergency on God’s part!
More does not mean merrier! This world has led us to believe that if we just had such and such or were with so and so, we would be happy. That car, that guy, that girl, when the truth of the matter is, NO ONE CAN MAKE US HAPPY, NOT ME, NOR YOU! That is a fact! We can’t even make ourselves happy, how can anyone else, when we know more about ourselves and what we want and need than anyone? Contemplate that for a moment! It is not your wife, nor husbands fault, your friend or employers fault, there is only one person to blame. Yes, you guessed it, YOU and ME! We have either set goals that are unrealistically high with no initiative behind them , or too low for us to attain to anything better for ourselves. Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey are great examples of people that reached their goals and the prisons are filled with those who didn’t set any! Joseph in the Bible, Gen. Chapters 37-51 is a success story where a man overcame some of the greatest obstacles in the world, including prison to come out on top. Mandela was not the first, and surely will not be the last.
I am a living example of overcoming adversity of the worst kind including 15 years in a Foster Home, twenty years in prison and astronomical debt. I am now involved actively in ministry on several fronts, including Liberation Ministries | John 8:36.org, Epic Redemption, Homeward Bound Ministries and Jesus Wept Ministries. I also write for the Midwest Business Alliance Journal in Muskegon Mich. I am presently teaching the word of God at the Holland Rescue Mission and waiting on the approval of my Volunteer application to preach in prison. I am personally debt free and have started my own business, ChristCreations.com. The real key to success in this life is honoring God’s word by following it. There is absolutely no other way!
The greatest deception comes in the form of self deception, this in itself is the greatest
optical illusion we will ever face. The man in the mirror! But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed indeed. James 1:22-25 In other words, when we hear or read the word of God and do not practice it we are indeed foolish as the virgins, the man that built his house on sand or alas, a hypocrite. Rather than making elaborate excuses for sin, we need to simply repent and seek the face and the grace of God to overcome temptations and sins. Listen to this very carefully as I close. Now unto Him, that is able to KEEP YOU from falling , and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Did you catch that? He is able to keep us from falling. We fall because we do not want to be held up! Point blank. Let the lord fight your battles, hold your hand and carry you. You will never make it alone or in your own strength. May the Lord bless the hearers and doers of His word. Amen
Minister Sir A. Miles