Are You in Prison?
Salisbury Post- January 9, 2016
A message I received kind of rocked my thinking - and opened my eyes. A young man that
has been in jail for a couple of years asked a friend to let me know that he reads my columns
and looks forward to seeing them on Saturdays. And… that they really help him. Wow! I was
brought to tears. I was then led to the desire to write this column for those in prison or jail - and
for those of us who need to show them God’s Love.
For those in prison:
Are you in prison? God can help you…. I will never forget a worship service where a choir
from a women’s prison sang, and then each individual shared how God had changed their lives.
I can assure you that even though they were prisoners, there are many people walking free that
are a whole lot more bound by ‘prison walls’ than they were. You see, they had freedom through
a relationship. Not through a religion- not from the walls of a church building- but through a
relationship with Jesus. The Lord was with them and had taken up residence in the depths of
Your spirit, heart, or mind can never be confined to prison walls. You may have lost some
freedom due to circumstance or consequence, but you can still have freedom in Christ. You
may feel forgotten by many, but God is near. God knows you. God loves you. You are valuable
to God. God has a plan for your life. He created you for a purpose. Yes, you may have
committed a crime, but that does not change how much God loves you. You may feel your
strength and hope is gone, but….
Lamentations 3:18-26 tells us:
*We have hope.
*God’s compassion does not fail.
*God is faithful to us.
*God’s mercies are new every morning.
*God is all we need.
*Quietly wait for Him.
Psalm 46 states:
*God is your refuge - meaning safety and shelter.
*God is your strength - meaning capacity for endurance.
*God is in your midst - right in the middle of your situation.
*God is your VERY present help in trouble.
*Be still and know that He is God…
For those not in prison:
God tells us in Hebrews 13:3 (NIV) to remember those who are in prison, as though in prison
with them. That’s quite a verse…. as though we are in prison with them? That means we need
to have a burden for those in prison, and to allow God to speak to us about how we can minister
to them. Let us not forget to pray for them often. As we pass the county jails, pray for the
inmates. As we pass a prison work crew on the highway, pray for them. As God brings those in
prison or jail to our remembrance, pray for them. Remember- they are sons and daughters,
nephews and nieces, spouses, parents to beautiful children, seekers of God, and children of
God. They desperately need our prayers. They watch holidays come and go, look for that card
of encouragement during mail call, see their children grow up through pictures, and some rarely
experience seeing the beautiful sky we take for granted.
A final word for those in prison:
My heart is broken for you, and my daily prayers now include you. If you don't know Jesus
as your Savior, find a Bible that one of God’s messengers - a Gideon or pastor - may have
dropped off. Read some of my favorite salvation verses: John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Romans
10:9-10, and Acts 16:31. God’s Word is alive and will speak to you. Pray and ask Him to come
into your heart. He will.
Some say it is as simple as ABC, and as a teacher, I will agree:
*A- Admit you are a sinner.
*B- Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
*C- Confess Him as your Lord and Savior.
After you pray, tell someone. Begin to read the Bible daily. Talk to God throughout the day,
because the Bible tells us that He is our friend.
Accepting Christ will be the best decision you will ever make.
And, to God’s messenger- the young man in jail- that God used to speak to my heart about
writing this column- Thank you.