Matthew 18:35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
In the verse above Jesus tells of a parable where a man was forgiven a great debt, but this man did not return mercy to others in the same thing that he had received mercy for. How could we not forgive others when God has forgiven us for so much?
If you have not read part one, I suggest you do so before reading on in this post. Click here, https://shallspeaktonations.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/dont-despise-small-things/
Now to continue where we left off…
I don’t hold it against him though, the same was done to him and he was only continuing on the destructive cycle of sin; I forgave him a long time ago. In fact we are friends again to this day, because Christ forgave me, how could I not forgive him? I am not boasting in myself about this, its a work of God in my heart and He deserves the glory. Because of this event though I have much more compassion on people who struggle with homosexuality and I can relate much easier to those who have been molested as well. What Satan intended for evil, God has used for good.
Because sexuality was introduced to me so young, I was already playing around with pornography and masturbation since the age of 12 or 11. I always loved God and never intended to walk away from Him, but I wanted to just play with sin. I justified it with telling myself I would have a good testimony of how God saved me someday, which was a lie from Satan. Because I had good friends and went to a good school I didn’t have much opportunity to live out the sin that was in my heart. That was until I went to Pinon Mesa Middle School for summer school after 7th grade. I talked my parents into letting me go to that school, where I started to hang around kids that were not a good influence. My first day of 8th grade class I made out with one of the girls, during class. I was getting to live out my sin like I wanted. But sin ensnares you. I became depressed, because I had known better, I had known and tasted the love and joy of God and had been trading it all for vain pleasures that never satisfied. I eventually lost my virginity at age 13 and completely stopped trying at school. I had already disdained school and was bored with doing my work, since it all came so easily to me, but with the newfound fun of sinning I pretty much stopped all together doing my schoolwork.
During my rebellion years from 13 till 18 I never stopped loving God. I always loved God, and I would still pray to Him every night for forgiveness. When I would go to parties I would still tell others about God and Jesus if they brought it up. There was a time when a guy at a party said there were so many contradictions in the bible that it was ridiculous to believe. I had a Bible in my Jeep, got it out and handed it to him and said prove it. He looked back at me embarrassed since he couldn’t. Even when I was in rebellion against the way God wanted me to live, He never stopped loving me. He continually reached out to me, assured me of His love every night before I went to bed through a conviction in my heart, and sent good people in my life who tried to bring me back to God. Zeke Flores and Jeremiah Mendoza were two of those people who would show me the love of God throughout my youth. Jeremiah was the Jr. High Boys bible study teacher, and he would call me to ask if I was going to go to study that week. I didn’t like to go to church, but I would go to a home study during the week if my friends were going. My parents didn’t want to force Christianity on me, so they respected my choice not to go to church. Besides, if it came to it I would physically resist going to church if they would try to make me. But, like I said earlier, I have amazing parents and they continued to love me and be there for me even when I was at my worst. In a side note, I hope I never have a kid like me!!!!
The problem that I had and the reason I lost my way from God was because I never read the Bible consistently. I had learned some of what it said and knew the gospel, and was saved, but didn’t have any roots. Once I began to sin, I wanted to turn back almost every day to God but was unable to do it. I would even go to a church camp once a year (which was a miracle that I went every time) where God would impact my heart, I would recommit my life to Him with every intentions of doing it, declare to all my friends my newfound change of heart and then go right back to my sin a week later. I couldn’t get roots into what I believed and I had made so many bad small choices that I was reaping what I sowed. It was going to take a miracle for God to save me from myself.
Stay tuned for the next post to hear more about how God worked through a ton of small things in my life to bring me to the current big thing of moving to Ecuador to become a full time missionary in June.
© 2012, Matt Camphuis all rights reserved.