by Jerry Branch

Committed to Make a Difference (or Walking the Talk)
Jerry Branch
1 John 3:1-11
May 25, 1997

Illustrations and parts of this message were inspired from messages from Rev. Stephen May.I came across a story that I want to share with you this morning that illustrates the "why and the what" of walking the talk is all about. The story is about a man named Richard Coss. It seems Richard had quite a story to tell. By the time Richard was age 25, he had spent more than 15 years in prison or reform school. Richard said that he never even considered going straight, he just accepted the notion that prison would always be his second home-if not his first. He was what we'd call "a career inmate," and as such, he said that he worked hard in prison. He worked hard to earn the respect-and fear-of the other prisoners. He was involved in more than his share of jail yard fights, and he could take any punishment the guards dished out. But this really bad dude, said that one day, he did something totally unexpected. Something totally out of his character. He listened to a man who had come to preach at the prison.

Richard Coss said, that to his surprise, what this man said made perfect sense. Richard said, that it wasn't very long before he gave his life to Christ. And then, overnight he experienced a radical transformation. Now this Coss fellow was really tough cookie, one of the really bad guys in the prison. The man writing the article said he had to ask Richard a question. He asked him, "How did the other prisoners treat you when you gave your life to Christ? Did they lose respect for you?" This is a good question, because most of us, no matter where we are today, whether it's in school, in the work place, or wherever, we know how hard it is sometimes to be a Christian. But what would it be like, in prison??? How would hardened criminals treat someone who NOW refused to fight back? Richard told the writer, "My fellow inmates respected me even more after I gave my life to C ...

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