Being Christian, by Mitchell Diventura

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I am Eastern Orthodox Christian.  Being human, we can make any decision we want in life – right or wrong.  And, we suffer the consequences of our decisions.  Yahweh, being omniscient, knows our lives from beginning to end.  It’s a mystery to us, but it is true.  We have ample Biblical examples of how God intervened in the lives of the people who served Him.  And we have written examples of how He personally directed the lives of others in both good and, what we’d consider, bad times.

The Lord our God can change the hearts of our enemies.  And the Lord sends situations into our lives in order to teach and to improve us.  Jesus told us to pick up our cross daily and follow Him.  Jesus said if He suffered, we too will suffer.  The Apostle Paul often spoke of suffering in this life. I’m a firm believer that nothing happens in our lives which is not permitted or ordained of God (Yahweh).  Our times are in His hands.  This is why I cannot be disappointed or upset.  This is why I say, and all Christians must say, “glory to God in all things!”  We must give God (Yahweh) the glory for both the good and what we consider the bad things in our lives.  We must pray and  ask that His will be done, not ours.  If He choses to give us what we ask in prayer, “praise God!”

I am his servant.  I gave my life to Jesus, it is His to do with as He wishes, not as I, in my flesh, wishes.  That’s what being a Christian is about.  Many of today’s Christians only consider the benefits of God:  prosperity, marriage, job, health, etc.  God does provide those good things, but not always.  And when some Christians see others as “blessed” and consider themselves as “not blessed,” they get discouraged and leave the Lord.  Christians must realize that we are all blessed of God, no matter what path He has designed for each of us.

We all travel different paths in Christ.  Not all are called to martyrdom.  But we are all called to endure whatever God sends our way.  I sinned.  I placed myself in harm’s way.  Now I must deal with those who are influenced by the devil, those who have no mercy towards others, those who have no compassion, those who seek vengeance, and those who are unjust.  If the Lord chooses to touch and change their hearts, He will.  If not, those people, if they don’t repent in their lives, will stand in judgement.

But it is up to me as a Christian to beseech the Lord to save them, to be merciful towards them, and to forgive them for their lack of mercy, forgiveness, justice, and compassion.  Being a Christian – a true follower of Christ – is not easy.  We must deny ourselves!  We must suffer at the hands of unsaved men!  We must endure all things as good soldiers of Christ.  Saint Paul said it right.

When I was in the service, I signed on to lay down my life for every citizen of these United States so they could live free from the enemy.  When I was baptized into Christ I vowed to God to lay down my life for Him and to serve Him.  I knew what I signed up for.  He didn’t promise me anything good on this earth.  He did, however, promise me a mansion and eternal life with Him in heaven.

So, if He chooses not to give me anything here on this earth due to the consequences of my sins, I accept that.  It’s not that I don’t ask.  I can and do ask.  But I’m not angry, disappointed, or discouraged with our Lord.  How could I be?  Where else would I go?   So, although I would be so very happy if the Lord would deliver me from here, I accept what He gives.  For the Lord has blessed me in so many ways over these past forty-two years of incarceration.  I have all that I need.  Yahweh-Jireh!    God provides!  Many of today’s Christians must return to the basics of what it is to be a soldier of Christ.  We need to look at the persecuted Church and learn how to be real Christians.

Send your comments and encouragement to:

Smart Communications / PADOC
Mitchell Diventura / AF8976
SCI Dallas
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg FL 33733

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