Albert Lozano is a walking picture of grace, a living testimony to the transforming power of Christ. Those who knew him “in the day” likely wouldn’t recognize him. He quotes Scripture as easily as if he were recalling familiar events and speaks of God like one would an intimate friend. How different he is today from that dope shooting seventeen year old gang-banger running the streets in LA. As I read his testimony I was reminded of something Jesus said in Luke 7:47. Those who have been forgiven much love much. That is certainly true of Albert.
Here’s his story:
I grew up in LA california. My parents fought constantly and were usually drunk. The cops likely knew our address by heart, they came by so many times. I lost my mom at ten years old. My dad passed away three days before my 15th Birthday. From then on I was homeless for a few years. During this time, I got really involed in gangs, drugs and drinking. I started going to jail as a teenager. At age fifteen I’d had enough. My life was hopeless and my future bleak, so I tried to commit suicide. It didn’t work. By seventeen I was shooting up dope. I meet a girl who tried to help me stop the drugs and gang-banging, but I held onto the gang life. I drank heavily, and started having children with my girlfriend.
By 1999, we decided to move to the midwest to change our lives and give our children a better future. I married the girl, and we both gave our lives to the Lord. We had two more kids, a total of five beautiful children. We’ve been together for nineteen years now and have served the Lord for ten. I praise GOD for his grace and mercy. The love I lost in losing my parents GOD totally re-stored with my wife and children, GOD has done some big things in our lives. And if He doesn’t do more it’s okay, because He’s already done enough. I praise GOD because my children don’t see the life tht I grew up in. They grew up the last 10 yrs praising GOD with us, their parents. I am daily reminded of the verse that says, “He will turn your ashes to beauty.”
Dope and gang life is not easy to break away from. One day I was speaking with a friend and she asked, “Why are some able to overcome their addiction while others aren’t.”
She wasn’t speaking about non-believers. If she had been, the answer would be easy. Without Christ, we are enslaved to sin. We long for freedom but are powerless to grasp it. And yet, my friend shared stories of believers–of men and women who had been rescued from the power of darkness and made to walk in newness of life, only this new life appeared to evade them. Why were these Christians still living in bondage?
My answer? They bought into the lie that they couldn’t do better and they failed to grasp the reality of grace.
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, the power of the Creator of the universe lives within us. He lives within us and surrounds us. Think about that for a moment. The One that gave power to the sun and holds the universe together lives within you. He has given you everything you need to live a victorious life, and it all begins with full surrender. In admitting that you can’t do it in your own strength. It begins with faith, believing that God is who He says He is and can do what He says He will do. So what has He said? His promise is that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old has gone. That sinful nature? It’s dead–crucified with Christ. The new has come, and God will complete the work He began in you.
Real transformation begins when we surrender fully–mind, heart and soul. If you surrender your mind to obedience, there’s no room for negative self-talk. Your old self says, “I can’t help it.” Your new self says, “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me.” The old self says, “If only I tried harder…” The new self says, “Lord, empty me of me and fill me with You, because I can’t do this, but You can.”
Pray this prayer daily then watch God work:
(Personalized from Romans 12:1-2) “In view of Your mercy, Lord, I offer my body, my mind, my time, my will, to You as a living sacrifice. May this be my spiritual act of worship. Do not allow me to be conformed to the ways of this world, but instead, transform me by renewing my mind. Help me to know, understand and follow Your good and pleasing will.”
You were purchased by a high price–the very blood of Christ, and were called to freedom.