Friday, November 9, 2007

Sad Stories--afterthoughts

What a tragedy is life without Christ! No matter how the lost console themselves with the "pleasures" of this world, its misery, hopelessness, and despair always rises to the surface and dominates lives.

And, what a joy is life in Him! No matter the circumstances of life in the world, the joy of Christ is supreme and over-riding. We are, indeed, more than conquerors through Him who loved us. In recent weeks, I've been studying and preaching on 2 Cor 4, particularly verses 6 & 7, but when one studies that, he has to go on to Paul's great proclamation of victory over the forces of this world, the opposition to the Gospel:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
(2Cor 4:8-11)

Just last week, we held our first meeting in a prison which had had a tightly shut door for a long time. God opens those doors when He is ready for them to be opened, regardless of the opposition. Seventeen men came to the first service and we were greatly blessed by their hunger for the Word and by their genuine thankfulness to Him for opening that door.

As is our practice, we passed around a yellow legal tablet on which the men could write out any prayer requests they wanted to share with us. I like to do that for a couple of reasons: it's nice to pray for them by name; and, it helps me learn the names of the men more quickly. From those 17 men that night, the sheets bore 16 prayer requests. I want to give you an idea what type things are on the hearts of these men.

Please pray for my mother's healing. I need to be home with my Mother in her last days

Please pray for my brother who is in prison in Mississippi....

Please pray for my girlfriend, that the Lord keep her from her addictions and break her heart.....

I want to thank God for allowing me to overcome being shot in the head. Pray for my walk with God.....

Pray that God strengthen me where I am weak in His Word......

Please remember me as I go out into the free world Friday, that my fiancee and my children and I can be a real family, get into a good church and live for the Lord.....

Please pray for me as I am dealing with anger against a fellow Christian.....

Please pray for my sons and their children to grow in the Word and the power of it......

These are my brothers; they are your brothers. They're incarcerated, that's the only difference between them and me. We're a bunch of sinners living in the free world; they're a bunch of sinners living in confinement. I hope God breaks your heart over these men as He has mine.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
(1Jn 3:14)

1 comment:

Tim said...

I like the verse in Chapter 7 "GOD, WHICH COMFORTS THE CAST DOWN".....

and Might I also add...that he shows mercy love and grace to those who are cast out!

Great blogs Bro. I look forward to reading them. Thank you for the influence you have been on my life.