Mike RodriguezI was born and raised in the Catholic faith. Because of this, I always had a love and a respect for God, but I was always told that I was not good enough to merit Gods love. I was afraid that I would never measure up to His standards. When I went to confession, I would sometimes lie to avoid having to pray long penance prayers, and I soon drifted away from my faith and began to live for the cares of this world. After many years of living for the cares of this life (drinking, partying with friends) I remember waking up on a beach in Ensenada, Mexico on my 21st birthday. I was hung-over from partying all night before. As I sat on the beach looking around the camp at my friends who were passed out and sleeping off their hang-overs, I thought to myself,is this all there is to life? I was burned out, bummed out, and broken by the disappointments of my life.

A few months later, I ran into Terri Hughes, a childhood friend, and she was sold out for Jesus. At first, I made fun of her faith, but I could not deny the light that shined so bright in her life for the Lord. She invited me to a Christian concert at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. It was October of 1976. I sat through that concert and felt overwhelmed by the message of Gods love. All around me were young people who looked like me, smiling with a joy I never had seen before. I struggled with feelings that I would betray my Catholic faith if I became a born again Christian, but I could not deny the sensation of love I felt there. A few weeks went by and Terri kept sharing the Lord with me, and I asked my Christian boss if he had a Bible I could read. He jumped at the chance to share his faith and gave me a Bible. For the next two weeks, during any free time I had, I read the Bible (it was only the New Testament however). As I read the stories of the Gospel and the love Jesus had for this world, my heart began to break. I soon realized that God was not interested in my religious beliefs, He wanted a personal relationship with me. After reading the last book in the Bible, the book of Revelation, I said to myself, I need Jesus. So I received Him in my heart and asked Him to forgive me of my sins.

Terri and I became inseparable, we went to every Bible Study and concert we could, and grew together in the Lord. The Word of God totally changed my life. As we grew in our love for the Lord, we also fell in love with each other. Six months later we became husband and wife. God blessed our marriage with the addition of two children, both of them girls. They added a sense of deep founded love and commitment to our lives. We have seen Gods faithfulness ever since. He has always been there for us no matter what has come our way.

After two years of being married, God placed us in ministry, and we have been in ministry ever since. God gave me a love for His Word and a desire to share it with others. There is not a day that goes by that I am not moved in someway by the awesome privilege it is to live by His Word, and to follow the examples given to me in God Word. God has also blessed our family in our service to Him. All our family serves the Lord to this day. God has been faithful to us, and has given us the desires of our hearts and true contentment in this life. God is such a loving God! He was faithful to answer my hearts cry all those years ago and to show me that by the faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, there is so much more to life than that empty one I had lived!

Today's Devotional

View today's devotional from the book, Living in the Word by Mike and Terri Rodriguez.

Library of Hope

Through the Library of Hope many lives have been transformed. Read how the book, Living in the Word is being used in prisons to draw its readers closer to God
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