A short time ago, I was living a much different life than I am today . I was running from God… hard and fast in pursuit of a secular music career . I can’t tell you how many times I “almost” made it big ! I had a lot of opportunities that meant the world to me at the time . I had friends in high places , I was on the verge of being signed to a major record label and when it fell through , I was mad and yet somehow relieved . I knew that God had a call on my life but the truth was that I loved the world and the things of the world . I wanted God and the world… but I’m sure you know what God’s word has to say about that . By not allowing me to get signed to that label , God saved me . I was finally broken …which is God’s favorite position to begin restoration . “Okay Lord , If you want me… take me !” I went for it… I changed my stage name from Jbez to Jericho and I dove into my new Christian walk head first . Those first few months of learning to walk with the Lord were not easy times but there was a peace and a comfort that I had never experienced as long as I was in the world . I was abiding In Christ and He was in me ! Even though I had gone from performing live every weekend , partying with friends and women to living in my van in a Wal-Mart parking lot… I was not alone . While in my van , in that parking lot , God began to take away the things in me that were not of Him… like my prideful dreams of becoming famous . He also replaced my selfish ambitions with love and hope for others . I was in awe of God’s mercy towards me after all that I had done… after I had wasted so much time pursuing everything but Him , and yet he pursued me . God started showing me His heart for the lost and how He wants an intimate relationship with every addict , homosexual , outcast , misfit , church reject , youth group dropout , and everyone that the world has given up on . The same love and forgiveness that I experienced , He has called me to share . Children are growing up without knowing Jesus and those teenagers are becoming adults who will have children who won’t know Jesus . Those children who grew up will get old and die without Him . I don’t want the blood of the lost on my hands !
There is one universal truth… we all need Jesus ! In my short time in ministry I’ve traveled to remote villages and met kids who live in a world where suicide and alcoholism are everyday realities . I’ve been to slums and dirty trailer parks where kids aren’t worried about how they’re going to get the next iphone and video game , they are worried about whether or not they will get their next meal . I’ve gone to schools and churches and met kids who are numb , who cut themselves , who are broken over their parent’s divorces and who struggle daily with depression and thoughts of ending their own lives . I’ve met a lot of hurting people and I’ll be honest , if the story ended there , I would quit right now . It would be too depressing to keep going . But the story doesn’t end there , and although I’ve seen terrible things and heard a lot of sad stories, I’ve seen the love of God break through all of these scenarios . I’ve seen God give hope and change lives that even I thought were hopeless . Even though most of these kids return to the same families , they return full of hope and assurance in their relationship with God. They go home knowing they are not alone anymore.