Living Hebrews 12:11 - Disciplining Oneself to Commit to Spiritual Disciplines
One of the ways I served in prison ministry was doing Cell by Cells in Pontiac Correctional Center (PCC). Cell by Cell is just as the name implies, meeting the inmates while they are in their cells and share the Gospel or encourage them in their Christian faith. Many of the inmates I would meet were confined to their cells 23 hours a day. During one of my drives to PCC, God brought to mind Hebrews 12:11 and I was led to use that verse as my primary verse for the day of Cell by Cell visits. Once I introduced myself to the inmates I would often recite to them Hebrews 12:11 and then say 'You are being punished for a wrong you committed in the way of man's law, but it very well might be God's will to discipline you in His Word.
You're going to be here for a long time and you can spend that time being bitter, blaming everything and everyone for being in prison or you can use it as a time to get right with God'. In some aspect many Christians would probably benefit to be confined to a cell by themselves 23 hours a day in order for them to obtain the spiritual disciplines all Christians should practice in their daily lives as follower of Christ. Sadly many, Christians do not have a full knowledge of spiritual disciplines for a Christian life let alone practice them.
Sadly, I too was one of the many who did not have a full knowledge of Spiritual disciplines for my Christian life until I read 'Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life' by Donald S. Whitney. I came to know, as Whitney states, that I was trivializing my effectiveness for the Kingdom.
Reflecting back on my days of teaching Hebrews 12:11 in Pontiac, God'sput a burden to expand on Hebrews 12:11. Beginning in February I started teaching 'Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life' in DeKalb County Jail. My teaching schedule in DeKalb County Jail isn't a set schedule as it is in Dixon and Sheridan where I teach on a weekly basis but it is my hope that the men in DeKalb will get enough exposure to the spiritual disciplines for their Christian life that they will have a foundation to continue practicing these spiritual disciplines whether it takes place for the time they will spend serving their sentence in IDOC or, more ideally, take back to their families upon being a recipient of God's grace and found not guilty.
Forging Links to the Church
In the January / February edition of the Barbed Wire I wrote about SOCPM partnering with Plant Midwest Chicago by being a resource to connect paroling SOCPM students to a church well in advance to their actual parole date. Do to time restraints I was not able to present a personal request but Chris Wright, NAMB's primary point person for church planting strategies in the Chicagoland area, did introduce me and shared my objective. I was humbled by several pastors coming up to me expressing an interest in welcoming SOCPM students to be a part of their church families.
One pastor in particular, Jeremiah Griffen, of Living Stones Church, in Rockford, IL happened to be sitting at the same table with me and shared that his church has in the past had men who have paroled from prison come to their church and would be very willing to work with SOCPM.
Two students, Wayne, since paroled, and Anthony, soon to parole, were looking forward to connecting up with Pastor Griffen. Please keep Wayne, Anthony, and Pastor Griffen in prayer that the link from prison to church bears fruit for the kingdom.
168 - Number of SOCPM students who have or are scheduled to be paroled in 2016 and in need of a church.
In the Classroom
The current Discipleship class, A Soldier's Call to Know God, will be concluding the first week of April and the next term is already in the works. I will be teaching "The Gospel in Knowing Christ Jesus" based on book "What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ" by R. C. Sproul. Most students understand the Gospel when it comes to atoning sacrifice and the significance of his resurrection, however many Christians do not fully comprehend the significance of the life of Jesus prior to His atoning sacrifice and His resurrection.
In this teaching series, R.C. Sproul uncovers what it means for Christ to be the "second Adam"-and what this means for believers today. The course is currently scheduled to run 10 weeks will cover in part; the incarnation, Baptism, temptation, transfiguration, Last Supper, crucifixion, resurrection, accession, the return and more.
Please pray that God will be glorified as the students seeks to know the fullness of the Gospel of Christ Jesus before the Cross, on the Cross, after the Cross, and the end times.
Online Giving is Here!!!
Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries is a donor supported ministry
Would you please pray about becoming a monthly financial partner?
SOCPM has many objectives it hopes to bring about for God's glory but your financial support is the means to make it possible.
To help support, you can give a tax-deductible donations online at Redeemer Fellowship
Click the "To:" drop down menu and select Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries
Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries
P. O. Box 671
Cortland, IL 60112
If you are a current monthly financial partner or have given in the past, thank you! If you aren't currently a monthly partner or have given a one time gift before, would you please pray about becoming a monthly financial partner?