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The Pursuit of God

Jesus Breaks the Chains / Michael Bowen
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2022 5:30 am

The Pursuit of God

Jesus Breaks the Chains / Michael Bowen

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Jesus said, Blessed are the persecuted and they are suffering big time right now. This is Bible League International and 19-year-old Aria was beaten by her own father and violated by local authorities. You know what her crime was?

Simply that she gave her life to Jesus Christ after leaving radical Islam. They need Bibles in order to endure and persevere. And that's why Truth Network and Bible League are teamed up to send God's Word to 3500 persecuted believers around the world at $5 a Bible, $100 since 20. Call 800-YES-WORD, 800-YES-WORD, 800-YES-WORD, or give at truthnetwork.com. Hey, this is Mike Zwick from If Not For God Podcast, our show.

Stories of hopelessness turned into hope. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network. The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is absolute, transforming and restoring lives, healing hurt and making all things new. This power set Michael Bowen free from the captivity, darkness and hell of addiction, and delivered him back to God.

This is Jesus Breaks the Chains. I want to first thank you for having me on your show, and I've been reading all about all the things you're doing in the ministry, and I'm really excited for it. I am, too.

I've heard so many good things about your story, and we have several friends in common, obviously. Yeah. So, wow. You know, I guess we'll just jump into our riddles here so then we can get to your story. But, you know, you can imagine that speaking of chains, right, because Jesus break the chains, right?

We're going to do a few chain jokes here. Yeah. All right. So, speak free if you think you know this. You know the name of the hotel chain La Quinta. Do you know what that means in English? Have you thought about that, Sean?

No. La Quinta. Do you know what it means in English, Michael? Uh, well, I think it means the check.

I think it actually means next to Denny's. There you go. That's true. Yeah. So, you know, if people are going to take offense, I'm just saying, you know, would that be a chain link or a picket? There you go. And this is really good.

You're going to really like this one, I think, Sean. It's right up most young people's alley. Why did all of the pizza chains fall? You know, all the, you know, pizza chains that they had, why do you think they fell? Too many toppings?

Too much top heaviness? No. Do you want to give it a shot, Michael? Well, I don't know.

I don't know. I'm told it was a domino effect. There you go. All right.

So, uh, speaking of you, after all those bad jokes, you're probably going to have a chain reaction at some point. So we have so many tickets to give away. We just figured we'll give you an easy question and you can, there are lots and lots of answers to this. So we got so many to give away.

All you need to do is call in and tell us or to name any chain in the Bible, any chain whatsoever that you think is mentioned in the Bible. We would love to hear it at 866-348-7884. We have these Wake Forest tickets we want to give away.

And, uh, Sean, you can tell them a little bit more, you know? Okay. Yeah. So the Duke Blue Devils are coming to town to take on the Winston or the Wake Forest, uh, Demon Deacons, I believe they are. And it's a four o'clock kickoff.

Uh, I'm not sure the name of the field, but it's right in Winston-Salem, so it's not too far from our studio. So come in, grab your ticket, go to the game. It'll be great. Yeah. Plus you got the church day event where Stu Epperson is actually the MC.

And we're going to hear from him at 1115. So yeah. And from what I understand Wake Forest is undefeated. And so, and I know that Duke's a pretty good team. So this is a real opportunity, real game that's coming up. So all you have to do is tell us any chain in the Bible.

It's really easy question. Okay. Just to any chain 866, the lines aren't lit up, Sean. I'm shocked.

866-348-7884, 866-344-TRUTH. So Michael, I'm told you have a phenomenal story. And, and, uh, so why don't you share that, tell our listeners kind of how you got to where you are. Well, um, you know, I'm, I'm, uh, I grew up in Dallas, Texas and, you know, Texas is big for football and I excelled in the sport and, you know, grew up loving the Dallas Cowboys and the SMU Mustangs and was very successful through my high school years and went and played college football three years at Southern Methodist University.

And then we had the death penalty during back in that time. And I spent one year at the university of Georgia, um, and, and did very well. And, uh, my senior year I was team captain of the SMU Mustangs, offensive MVP, and ended up getting drafted into the Canadian football league and, uh, went up to the Edmonton Eskimos into training camp. And I only lasted about a week and I was pretty, uh, devastated by that.

I thought I was going to be a professional football player. I came back to the United States and began, uh, using drugs. I had always used drugs, um, recreationally, or I thought they was recreationally not knowing what was about to happen to me. And very quickly after I returned back from Canada, I fell into addiction and into crack cocaine. I became addicted to crack cocaine and for 25 years, um, uh, lived that life in and out of, uh, drug rehabilitation centers, jails, prisons, and even a few mental hospitals along the way.

And the last time that I landed in prison was in 2013, about eight years ago. And I finally surrendered my life to Jesus Christ on the prison chapel floor. I just cried out to the Lord in surrender and said, I said, I can't do this anymore. I hate my life. I hate this world. I hate myself.

Um, I don't want it anymore. All I want is you Lord, if you will save me, I will serve you the rest of the days of my life. And in that moment, uh, the Lord heard my cry and he moved on me and, and I was able to kind of come up off the ground. I was laying on the ground, crying and weeping to him. And when I came up and stood up for the very first time, I felt his presence in the most profound way. And, and from that day on my chains were broken and I've not had a desire to use drugs or alcohol, um, since that day when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, he did break the chains. Yeah. And the neat thing is that now, you know, you've been comforting other people with the comfort that you receive, right?

Because you actually go around the world doing this. Well, this is, I know, and it's, I never knew when I laid on my face in that prison child, on that prison child before what the Lord had in store for me. I I'd read him in the word and I had the prison ministers come in and speak to me and tell me how good my life would be.

Um, if I just gave it to Jesus and let him have it, but I could not, I wasn't ready for, for what he was going to do in my life. Uh, I came out and I went into a discipleship home, um, called Texas Reachout Ministries here in Austin, Texas. And, um, went through that program, joined a spirit filled church and, uh, went to Bible college or my bachelor's in theology and became a licensed ordained minister. And I go into the Texas prison system and preach.

And then on top of that, um, I've had made some relationships. Well, the Lord did it connected me with some people in Liberia, West Africa. And now I'm a missionary in Liberia, West Africa. And I work with the drug addicted population of that country country, the former child soldiers who were, who became addicted to drugs during the civil war.

And the men, women and children that are living in the ghettos and cemeteries that are addicted to drugs. And we have many projects going over there. Actually, I'll be there.

I'm, I'm leaving for Liberia in nine days. So I'm really excited about that. I'm excited what the Lord's done in my life. And yes, it's, he uses broken people to help chicks broken people because I understand what's going on in the mind and hearts and soul of a drug addict because I did it for 25 years.

And so I can, I can identify with that. I know their struggles and they know that I've been where they are and they build hope from a story, not just my story. It's the same way that I built hope when the people would come in and speak to me in prison, the prison ministers, and tell me about how they overcame a prison, how they overcame their own addictions and how Jesus changed her life. And so, like you said, the domino effect, it's a domino effect. What happens is one person's story, one prison minister's story touched my life. And now my life will start touching others' lives. And then it's the domino effect and the multiplier that, that, that goes on throughout the kingdom. And people are coming to the Lord.

It's just an amazing story. Well, we got to go to a break. We have Amy Cabo with a cure. She's going to share what's coming up at one o'clock. We got Stu Epperson coming up in the next segment and more from Michael Bowman.

And then don't forget, we got God in Hollywood coming up at the bottom of the hour with Paul Long, Brad Silverman, and Tyler Samson. So, so much more. Kingdom Pursuits coming up.

Stay tuned. Yuck. It's so slimy. Ah, carving a pumpkin. Making the face is fun, but first you've got to deal with that mess inside. Our world is something of a mess.

Anybody that watches the television realizes that in every area of life we're in a mess. And just like a pumpkin, the mess, says Billy Graham, is on the inside. Jesus said it's a heart problem. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and murders and adulterous and fornications and thefts and false witnesses and blasphemies. There's only one way to clean up the mess in your heart. Ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and take control of your life. And He'll do it. Why? God loves you and He loves you as though you're the only person in the whole world.

Learn more about God's love for you and about letting Him clean up the mess of your life at FindPeaceWithGod.net. And it's from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Inadequacy. Simply hearing that word arouses an array of emotions.

Hello, I'm Chuck Swindoll. Very few on this earth are immune to this struggle, even those whom others think are strong and self-sufficient. Now let's face it, to be human is to feel inadequate. But listen further. If you have retreated to the back alley of life, if you are wallowing in all your inadequacies, then you're exactly where God needs you to be to demonstrate His power.

So release your grip. Pour out your heart to Him. Don't waste another minute trying to get through the tough stuff of inadequacy all on your own. All on your own. Pastor and teacher Chuck Swindoll. Visit Insight for Living's website at insight.org.

This is Anne Graham Lots with Daily Light for Daily Living. Who or what are you running from? Wouldn't it be better to resolve the mess you're running from? Don't you want God's blessing on you and your family, your business, your church? Then the first step is to turn around in your attitude of pride and rebellion, reverse the direction of your self-will, submit to God's authority wherever He places you and pursue with patience all that He has for you. But turning around is so hard to do, isn't it? It's painful to confront the past, to acknowledge your part, to confess your own sin while leaving the other person to God.

Acts 3 19 says, repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Listen to me. Turn around.

Turn around. The pathway to blessing, the gateway to joy is repentance. This is Anne Graham Lots. Welcome back to Kingdom Pursuits, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build a kingdom. And we got so much loaded on Kingdom Pursuits today. God in Hollywood's coming up in the next segment with Paul Long, Brad Silverman, and Tyler Samson. And now we've got Michael Bowman. And just in a moment, we're going to have Stu Epperson talking about Wake Forest Church Day. Michael Bowman's new podcast, by the way, is Jesus Break the Chains.

And you can find that all at KingdomPursuits.com. You can get linked up to Jesus Break the Chains, just saying. But anyway, we got Amy Cabo with us. She's got a great show coming up. Amy, what do you got on tap for us today? Well, hello, Robbie. Today we're going to speak about the intruder in our heads that produce negative thoughts.

It starts with a terrible tooth, and it's the reason millions of people suffer from depression. And they can have it in truth and live in their heads for their entire life, which I call big pocket. But we're also going to discuss how does the intruder thrive during this COVID-19 pandemic, and what to do about it. That is awesome. And again, Amy's show is live, and it's going to be on at one o'clock. You can call in and share, just like you do with our shows.

And we'd love to have you listen in today at one o'clock. Thank you, Amy. God bless.

Excellent. You too. Have a beautiful day.

You too. Bye-bye. So I know that if you're like me, you're like, how come nobody is called in to win these tickets and talk about the chains that are in the Bible? That's a pretty easy question, okay? I'll give you a few hints. There's several references in the New Testament, you know, where people were in chains, just saying.

And then there's lots of references in the Old Testament because people wore chains around their necks. 866348. We got tickets to give away, guys.

You know, you can go see Wake Forest. 8663487884. So Michael, I'm really curious, when you go to Africa and those people that are addicted, you still see a big similarity in the addiction that they have to the one that you have. Addiction is addiction, and it affects us all the same.

We're all the same, and I just tell you this. What I saw in Liberia, and there's a lot of poverty. It's very difficult in that population because there's so much poverty in that country, and so drug addiction is exacerbated greatly over there. But I just say, when I saw those people, I knew that if I was addicted to drugs, and had I been born in Liberia, I'd be right where they are. Because drug addicts, we go where the drugs are. I would have been in the tombs. I would have been in the cemeteries.

I would have been in those ghettos. Because that's what happens when you get addicted to drugs, is you go to where the drugs are, and your life gets broken down, and everything's stripped away from you, and you become a drug addict with all the other drug addicted people. And so do you have an interpreter that works with you there, or how do you communicate with these guys? Well, they speak English in Liberia. It's their first language. I don't know if everybody knows the history of Liberia, but Liberia was founded by emancipated slaves, American slaves, and freeborn blacks from the United States in the early 1800s, and became the first free republic in Africa. So there is a great history with life between Liberia and America. The first six presidents of the Republic of Liberia were all from America.

Well, that shows how much I know. They also speak the dialects of the different tribes, because when they came to Liberia, they mixed in with the indigenous people, and there were 16 different tribes with 16 different dialects. So they all speak a dialect of their tribe, and they all speak English. And so it's just been great. No need for an interpreter, and the communication is great, and I'm just enjoying myself over there. That sounds awesome.

I did not know that, but that's cool that they speak English. Well, we have Scott, as in Winston-Salem, may have an answer for us on this chain. You know, we need a chain reaction out of Scott, is what we need. So Scott, what you got for us? Good morning, Robbie, and happy birthday. Great show. Oh, thank you, sir.

Thank you, thank you. So, well, I just thought I'd take a stab at it. I guess the chain reaction is, I guess the chains are very symbolic in the Bible. Rings and chains in general. I was thinking when Pharaoh gave the ring and a chain to Joseph.

That's the first time. You're exactly right, Scott. And yeah, it is very symbolic, because they would, yeah, they would end up with a lot of chains as a result of that particular chain. And fortunately, Jesus ended up breaking those chains too, didn't he, Scott?

Absolutely. That's a beautiful thing. Well, great. Well, we got some tickets for you.

I'm going to put you on hold, and Sean will tell you how to get those, and I appreciate you calling in so much today. Great show, and I love it, and you're doing a great job, and happy birthday. Oh, thank you, Scott. I appreciate that very, very much.

So, getting back to Michael. I'm curious, you had mentioned the death sentence at SMU. I guess I'm a little bit ignorant, but it sounded like there was a story in there too. Yes, it was probably at the time one of the most talked about events in sports at the time, the death penalty, when Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas had their football program killed for two years because of violations, recruiting violations, paying players, things that were going on all over college football at the time. But SMU got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, and they killed the program. And it devastated the football program for many, many years.

But just like your Wake Forest Dinks are 7-0, my SMU Mustangs are 7-0 right now, ranked 20th in the country. So, it's been a resurrection of the program. And matter of fact, I went back. The death penalty happened in 1986 when I was a true freshman at SMU, and I played as a true freshman. And then when the death penalty came, I went to the University of Georgia and played there in 1987. And then I returned back to help the program come off the death penalty and found good success there.

So, what happened in Calgary, do you think? Well, it was just one of those things where I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. At the time, I had my addiction was starting to move into my life before I went. And, you know, I was doing drugs and drinking.

I was doing drugs, recreation, and drinking. And I went up there, and I just wasn't in the greatest shape or the mindset. There were professionals up there, and they were very talented, and they were big and strong. And this is what they did for a living. And I was totally unprepared for that. And I got cut after a week. Wow. So, could you take us back into prison for a minute?

I know I'm jumping all around, but I don't have a lot of time, so I have to cover as much ground as I could. So, was there something that, you know, obviously you'd been through a bunch of programs. You'd heard about Jesus, like, for years.

Was there something in particular in those last days that you feel like made an impact or got through the clutter so that you actually saw that there was hope in Jesus that you hadn't seen before? Well, I'd run out of everything else I had tried in my life, and I was so tired and so broken and so hurt. And I really didn't want to live anymore. I told the Lord when I was laying on my face, I said, Lord, if I'm going to walk out of this prison this time, because I'd been to prison before and it didn't work, I said, if I'm going to walk out of this prison and I'm going to go smoke drugs again, kill me now. I want you to take my life now. I can't do it anymore.

But if you will save me, I will serve you the rest of the days of my life. So I just had come to the end. I didn't want to live anymore as a drug addict.

I couldn't do it. The weight of that sin was so heavy. I was so crushed and so broken and so pressed down that I couldn't do it anymore.

And that was it. It was that, like the scripture says, godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation that leaves no regrets. And it just came, the actions in my life and the decisions I'd made my whole life, all those decisions put me in that prison. I did it to myself. When I looked in the mirror and I stopped blaming everything else and everyone around me, and I looked in the mirror and said, it's your problem, Michael. You did this. You did this. And I took full responsibility. The weight of that was so overwhelming that it just brought me to my knees in surrender. And I finally just surrendered and said, I need you, Lord. You're all I have. He's the only hope I had.

I tried everything else. And so in your new podcast, which obviously is Jesus Break the Chains, you can go to truthnetwork.com and find out more about that. But what kind of stuff goes on in your podcast? Well, we just talk about testimonies and how we can use our testimonies as a powerful tool to help God draw others to Him, and He'll use it. And not to be ashamed of your past. It says, therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things become new.

The shame and the guilt of your past is what keeps you locked in your addiction. When you can take this scripture and own this scripture, then you understand, now you have had a separation of the old man and the new man. And so you don't have to carry that old man with you and all the shame and guilt.

The shame and guilt is in the old man. When that old man has passed away, he's dead and gone, then you can just refer to him to bring glory to Jesus Christ. Hallelujah.

You're going to get me preaching here. So again, the name of the podcast is Jesus Break the Chains. You guys have two episodes so far?

Two episodes, and I'll be in the studio reporting more shortly. That is absolutely awesome. Again, you can find that at the Truth Network podcast page. Michael, thank you so much for being with us today. God bless. Thank you. God bless. Thank you for listening. For more information on Michael Bowen's ministry, Sons and Daughters of Thunder, visit sonsanddaughtersofthunder.org. And remember, there is no addiction in Jesus Christ. Jesus breaks the chains. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-31 07:19:22 / 2023-03-31 07:29:25 / 10

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