A precious memory from my years doing youth-prison ministry:
I am still rejoicing over 17-year-old Rosemary, a precious new friend. She was incarcerated for six weeks and refused to come to Bible study during that time. Why? She said she had never been to church, was not religious, and didn’t think God wanted her. Last week the other Christian girls in her unit had all been released. Rosemary decided to come to Bible study. She came alone.
She was fearful and timid. I asked why she had come. She said, “I have done so many bad things. God doesn’t want me, but I’m scared of going to hell.”
I said, “Rosemary, you may have done bad things, but the Bible tells us that we have ALL done bad things. Nobody is good enough for heaven. That is why we all need a Savior and there is only One. You have come to the right place.”
She listened carefully as I presented the good news about what Jesus had already done for her. Then I told her the wonderful things Jesus wants to do in her future. She asked appropriate questions.
When I went through my Junk List with her—that is, my list of activities that would pull her away from God and back into the world, she was ready to give it all up for Jesus. She was so eager to make Him Lord! Yet she said she had trouble forgiving the man who had raped her, even though he has since died. I told her that forgiving the man is very important. “I know you want to please God. God will help you forgive him. You will see.”
Rosemary prayed and surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. I asked her how she felt afterward. She said, “Relieved and happy.”
That was one week ago. Last night I met with several new girls, who also wanted to come to Christ; then Rosemary returned from a meeting and joined us. She was radiant! I asked her how her first week as a Christian had been.
She smiled as she spoke, “It’s been the best week! I have been reading my Bible and praying every day and thanking God for blessing me. He has given me peace and joy. My mother needs God in her life. I can’t wait to go home and tell her about Jesus!”
- This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
- SONG: AT THE FEET OF JESUS – Lyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth; music 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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