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Gospel Brings Great Changes in Man’s Life
by Stafford North
We all know that the gospel message can bring great changes in a person’s life and that true repentance can be a strong force for good. It is good news, then, when we can observe how such changes can come in a person’s life, and the story of Josh Floyd is a great example of that.
Josh attended a church of Christ in Kaufman, Texss when he was growing up and his grandmother was especially strong in helping him in his early years. But in those years, his closest friends were school chums rather than the young people at church, and by the time he was twelve, he was already using drugs. His drug use caused him to be rebellious and he got deeper and deeper into the drug scene. By fifteen he was dating and both he and his girlfriend were involved in drugs.
Eventually he began working in construction but was still associating with those into drugs and in 2003, for the first time, he took an methamphetamine called ICE, and that one really got him hooked. Although by this time he was married and had two kids, he was deeply into drugs and was even selling them to others.
Later, Josh had a job in the Dallas area with a trailer company where people stored their trailers. Often they left valuable property in the trailers and Josh and others began stealing from them. Their biggest haul was stealing dirt bikes worth more than $280,000.
At first it seemed as if they were not going to be caught, but as one in the group tried to sell one of the bikes, it was recognized as stolen and this eventually led to the trial and conviction of all in the group. Even though it was a major felony, since it was a first offense for Josh, he was given ten years of probation, but was required over that time to pay $78,000 in restitution. He had already been in jail for eight months by this time and so was released on probation.
Josh was not going to church much during this time and was struggling financially. His job didn’t pay enough for him to meet his family’s expenses and pay the nearly $700 a month in restitution. So he fell behind on the payments and so was brought back into court and told that he would now be put in jail because he had not met the terms of his probation. Although he had become a little more serious about the church by this time, he had exhausted all his chances at staying out of jail.
He prayed that somehow God would keep him out of jail and would help him cope with this difficult situation of being incarcerated and away from his wife and children. But the time came and he turned himself in as ordered.
When he reported, the judge told him there was a problem. He didn’t have any idea what the problem was or what it might mean. Then the judge told him that the vice president of the company from whom he had stolen had happened to call about the case and had asked what was going to happen. When the caller was told that Josh was being put back in jail because he could not pay the restitution, the man said, “I want to drop the charges and forgive the restitution payments.” He went on to say, “Christ died to forgive me and I want to forgive others.” Josh learned that the man who forgave him was an elder in the Great Oaks Church of Christ near Memphis, Tennessee.
Being set free from the charges had a great impact on Josh. His prayer had been answered in an amazing way. From out of the blue, one whom he had wronged had called and then had forgiven. Josh was convicted now, not of a crime, but convicted about God and Jesus Christ. Within a month after this, he was baptized and began immediately to preach when he had the opportunity. He began raising support so he could attend the Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, Texas, and within seven months had reported there to enter their program. After two years of study, Josh took a job as the preacher at the church of Christ in Sturgis, South Dakota, a church of about seventy members.
Today, Josh and his wife Amanda, have been married eleven years, have three children, and are devoting their lives to serving Jesus Christ and His church. They are convinced that God has played a role in their lives not only to keep Josh from going back to jail but to set them on a path of service to Him.
“God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”
To contact Josh, you can email him at email@example.com.