‘Life is meaningless apart from God’ was a hard lesson David Masinga had to learn behind bars
Growing up was easy until David's father passed away and suddenly his role model and anchor were gone.
Pride and sexual immorality were his eventual downfall as he tried to fill the hole his father had left in his life through relationships with many women.
"I would not listen to people even when they were right. I just wanted to be first all the time and I never admitted my mistakes," David admits.
"I did not think much about God during this time because my family did things differently...I missed out big time on knowing Him!"
It was only when David was arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison for house burglary that a chance to explore the God of the Bible presented itself.
"I used to hear about Jesus while I was outside prison, but I never thought of Him genuinely. When I started to read the Bible seriously in prison I was amazed to found out what He offers," he recalls.
Then David started reading the Bible's book of Ecclesiastes and was struck by the understanding that life is meaningless if people do not have a personal relationship with the living God.
In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes David read, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, 'I find no pleasure in them'...here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."
"I wanted to have a relationship with God and have all my sins forgiven so when I die I will be with Jesus forever," David explains.
After reading more of the Bible, David realised that God would judge him for all his wrong deeds but that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to take the punishment on Himself so that his sins could be forgiven.
"I now know that Jesus is the only one who can give me a place of rest and it is through Him that I can see who I truly am," he says.
"When I called on the name of Jesus, extraordinary new things happened. God changed my attitude and gave me peace that I have never experienced. He also helped me control my short temper and made me content."
Suddenly David says he found a new life purpose in serving God, even from inside prison walls.
One of the ways he does this is through telling fellow inmates how they can have a personal relationship with the God who loves them.
To those who do not yet know God, David concludes: "Only Jesus can give you peace in everything because if you don't have Jesus in your life everything is a mess, whether you have a lot or little. Only Jesus knows what is best for you and He is the only one who can free you from all your problems with His forgiveness and salvation." •