|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “After one day a south wind sprang up, and the second day we came to Puteoli. There we found brothers and sisters and were invited to stay a week with them.” Acts 28:13-14 (CSB)
Our thought for this month: “Wherever you go, find the Christians”
For many years now I have had a ministry in the jails and prisons here in this part of Tennessee. I visit with men who are incarcerated and usually facing an extended time behind bars. Most of them have spent years addicted to drugs, and their crimes are related to life in the drug world. Without question, they are all despondent over the prospect of now spending years of their lives locked up (and rightly so – life in prison is not pleasant).
My primary objective during those visits is to help the man see that he needs Jesus. Life with Jesus is always better than life without Jesus, and that’s true whether that life is lived in a mansion in Beverly Hills or a shack in Africa; as a free man in Crossville, TN or as an incarcerated man in a state prison. So, the objective is always to bring him to faith in Christ. Then the goal shifts to helping the man grow in his relationship with the Lord. I try to get him to understand that since he is going to spend those years behind bars anyway, he might as well use them in a way that will make him a better man and prepare him to live a good life once he is released. Becoming a strong Christian is the thing he can do that will help him beyond all else.
Along those lines, I always encourage the man to seek out other Christians in the jail or prison and to spend all his time with them. I tell him, “Surround yourself with other Christians. Eat with them, workout with them, watch television with them. Go to every worship service, prayer meeting, and Bible study. There is strength in numbers and your fellow believers will help you to remain strong and faithful.”
The Apostle Paul knew this and practiced it. As he travelled around, the first thing he did in any place he arrived at was to find the Christians. Then, once he was surrounded by brothers and sisters who would help and encourage him, he was ready to turn his attention to whatever else the Lord had for him to do in that place.
There’s a lesson in this for us. You may not be a traveling evangelist like Paul, and hopefully you aren’t incarcerated in a jail or prison, but you need Christian fellowship just the same (and for the same reason). There is strength in numbers. Christians help Christians to be strong and to stay faithful. So, wherever you go, find the Christians.
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are close-by or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at http://www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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