Monday, March 9, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Life, death, prison ministries and a Bible story


Not Dead
A devotional by Wade Webster


Key Scripture: 
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NIV)

I've been involved in Kairos Prison Ministry for a while now. It's an intense outreach to hardened felons. It's extremely effective for several reasons. The main one being that it's covered in prayer.

Each team is dedicated to one maximum security prison. This way we can become personally involved with the inmates after their conversion to Christ to help guide their spiritual walk. The inmates begin their Kairos experience on a three-and-a-half-day weekend. A series of talks are given by the outside volunteers. Discussions are held after each talk. The focus of the talks surrounds God's desire to become their friend. Some creative readings are given to bring out other subjects for the prisoners to think about.

One of the things each volunteer is required to do for this weekend is to write a letter to each of the 42 inmates. Each letter has their name on it. Each envelope is sealed. This will be the only unopened envelope these prisoners will receive while they're incarcerated. The length and subject of each letter is up to whoever writes it.

Some volunteers write a short note or copy a poem. I like to call upon the Holy Spirit to guide me in writing these letters. I write most of them weeks before the actual weekend because there's little free time once the time inside begins. I'm surprised by what words come from my pen while I write. Once I get the bios of the inmates, then I discover who I wrote each letter to by divine guidance. For many of these felons, these letters are the turning point in their decision to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

I usually write a few letters based on simple subjects that will speak to people locked up behind bars. God turning caterpillars into butterflies is such a topic. So is the condition of most trees in winter. I point out that these trees look dead, just like these incarcerated folks must feel like as they're locked up away from society because of something they did.

There's nothing worse than feeling like you're dead when you're still breathing. But then the warmth of spring comes. Sap begins to flow into the branches. Leaves and blossoms soon appear. What looked dead now comes back to life. That's what God can do for anybody if we let him.

Ezekiel 37:1-14 describes how God took a valley of dry bones and brought them back to life as a vast army to show how he would bring the nation of Israel back from captivity.

I don't know where you find yourself spiritually as you read this. I do know God isn't through with you no matter what you feel like at this moment. There's a good chance you feel useless, perhaps forgotten or neglected. God can still use you no matter what has transpired in your life. Your dormant season can end at any time. God will bring you back to life and make you fruitful again. Believe it, my friend.

You might have a smaller impact than you once had. But God often builds his kingdom one person at a time. Reach that one person.

~*~
Author Bio:

Wade Webster lives with his best friend (Jesus Christ) in Plano, Texas. 

He attends Stonebriar Community Church and derives most of his income from driving 18-wheelers.

He enjoys running, dark chocolate and being in nature...but not necessarily in that order.

He's the author of 100 Prayers of a Writer and blogs at http://wadewebster.com.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Wade. I tutored inmates at the Morgan County Correctional Center in TN. years ago. God does instruct us to do this, as you know. It was an experience I will never forget. I think I learned more than the inmates did...some of life's most valuable lessons. God bless you and your ministry.

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