I was invited to the annual appreciation brunch for volunteers who work with incarcerated teens.
They had asked, in advance, some of the volunteers to share what they do with the incarcerated youth, although nobody asked me. There were professional people in the audience, including a judge.
We listened to the violin teacher, the guitar teacher, the craft teacher, the tutors, the lead Catholic religious provider (who said the most important thing they teach the kids is that God loves them) and the cartoon art teacher.
One Christian man I didn’t know shared that he doesn’t like to say he’s a religious provider, because religion is not his focus. His focus is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I was grateful to hear him speak truth. I then decided I would speak as well.
I introduced myself and said, “Like M.A. ( the Catholic woman), I think it’s important that these young people know that God loves them. But I also like to tell them the importance of turning away from their sin and bad behavior. Yet we know that turning away is difficult, even impossible, for many of these kids.
“So I explain to them that if they are willing to receive Christ and have their sins forgiven, then they will receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is that part of God Who will come and live within them. He will bring all the fruit of the Spirit with Him: the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, even the self-control. Many of them realize they need God’s power to help them turn their lives around. They want to pray and give their lives to Christ.
“When I return a week later I’ll ask, ‘How many received the Lord Jesus the last time I was here?’ The hands go up. ‘How many have noticed a difference the Holy Spirit has made in your lives since then?’ The hands go up. ‘Who would like to share the changes you’ve noticed?’
“The answers I most often hear are ‘I’m not angry anymore.’ ‘I’ve been able to forgive my dad.’ ‘I don’t get in fights anymore.’ ‘I wrote a letter asking someone to forgive me for what I did.’ One boy said, ‘Mainly I’ve noticed that I think differently. I used to think about getting out and doing bad stuff again. Now I don’t want to do bad stuff. I want to change and do what’s right.’
“I’m grateful for this governmental agency that will allow so many volunteers to come and give encouragement and hope to our troubled youth. Thank you.”
- Thank You Lord, for giving me the boldness and the words to speak Your truth. Please keep the door open for godly people to continue to minister to these troubled kids. I pray in the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.
- Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Jeremiah 10:23
- SONG: SEVEN TIMES A DAY – by Kathleen:
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
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