BY PASTOR GARY LAMBERT - LIGHT OF THE LAKES FRIENDS CHURCH
Checkers (not his real name) came into my office. Tall, pasty, stuttering and shaking like a leaf on a tree in a windstorm…
The law required Checkers to check into his local police department weekly….
Checkers had just gotten out of prison. He was a convicted pedophile. In prison, Checkers had been beat up, abused and violated. What stood before me was a quaking bowl of jell-o inside the body of a man.
Over the next year, I got to know Checkers quite well.
Checkers took a room in a cheap hotel. Checkers received death threats. Checkers was assaulted by another man. Checkers wanted to commit suicide. A 20-year-old lady said she “loved” Checkers – Checkers was about 60 years old. He was going to marry her. Checkers bought her a car, clothes, jewelry and much more. Checkers was in love.
Checkers is in my office again, crying “She left me, took my money and I don’t know where she went."
John 16:33 says, (Jesus speaking) “…In me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Shortly after this, I gave Checkers a Bible…he cried. I told him that God loved Him enough to send His son Jesus to earth to die on a rough cross for his sins. I shared with Checkers how he could confess his sins and ask Jesus Christ into his life. How he could then be a new, free, happy, hopeful man. This decision had to be his. I couldn’t do it for him.
Did Checkers accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior? I don’t know.
It was shortly after that when the call came in – foul odor coming from a room. It was summer – hotter than blazes. I kicked in the door. Checkers lay in a fetal position on his bed…dead. It had been for over a week; with the only window to the room closed. As you can imagine – the smell was unbearable. The funeral was short – about five people in attendance including the preacher, the undertaker and myself.
Why do I share this with you?
In the year 2021, there are a lot of Checkers in the world filled with anxiety; afraid, not knowing where to turn, hurting. The only real hope and peace I’ve found in this life is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You may be Superman, Wonder Woman, the worst man, the worst woman or just a man or woman; whatever.
You are the reason for the cross and the crucifixion. Psalm 9:9 says, “the Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
Matthew 11:28 says, (Jesus speaking) “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
John 3:16 pulls it all together for us. “For God so loved the world (you and I) that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Well, fellow Checkers, I don’t know where you are today — chained to alcohol, tied to drugs, dealing with depression, alone, hurting, afraid, afraid of what the future holds. While I don’t know where you are at, I know the one who does hold the key to set you free…Jesus Christ!
On the police show: “Dragnet," Jack Webb use to say, “Just the facts ma’am.” Well, now you got them. It’s your move – what ya gonna do?
Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”