Prisoners in Lockdown

A story from my years doing jail ministry:

One evening at the jail I discovered the prisoners in the women’s unit were in lockdown because of disorderly conduct.  Those wanting a Bible study would not be permitted out of their cells.

So I asked the guard if I might speak to all of them while they were inside their cells. She turned on their speakers and asked if anyone was interested in learning about Jesus.  We quickly heard two YES responses from each cell!

There were 12 upper cells and 12 lower cells, each with two inmates.  Each cell had a steel door with a small window.  Faces appeared at every window while I stood in the middle of the day room and introduced myself.  Then I introduced Jesus Christ.

I explained that He loves each of them very much. “There is nothing you have ever done that God does not want to forgive. That is why Jesus came—to live a sinless life so that He could become the perfect sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world.  When He hung on the cross, your sins and mine were poured into Him. Three days later He arose from the dead proving His deity and showing us He lives again—and so can we.  Today each one of us can receive forgiveness for our sins so that someday we can freely enter heaven.”

I told them about the two roads in life from Matthew 7:13-14.  “We’re all on that wide road that leads to destruction because we are all sinners. We all need a Savior and there’s only One.

“When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, it is more than a prayer. We must be willing to turn away from our sins. We must be willing to get off the wide road and get onto the narrow road and follow Jesus.  There must be change or it’s not real.

“Yet we are powerless to change and turn away from our sin without the Holy Spirit.  When we surrender our lives to Christ, that is when we receive the Holy Spirit who then supplies us with the fruit of the spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  All followers of Jesus have the power to turn away from sin.  Why is that?  It’s because ALL followers of Jesus have the fruit of the spirit available to them – they just need to exercise it.”

When I finished the presentation I gave them an invitation to get off the wide road of sin and get on the narrow road to follow Jesus.  What a thrill for me to hear the voices of many women on both the upper and lower levels pray aloud to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.

A few months later I was meeting with a group of prisoners when one said, “Wait!  I recognize your voice!  Awhile back someone talked to all the women in their cells.  It was you!  I gave my life to Jesus that night. You talked about getting off the wide road and getting on the narrow road; that there had to be change if it was real.  I can tell you now that Jesus IS real!  He has changed my life!  Thank you for coming.”

Her sweet testimony made me teary-eyed.  “Thank You precious Jesus for allowing me to serve You in this way.  I too know You are real.  Thank You for changing my life. Thank You for changing hers.”

  •  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
  •  Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.      Matthew 7:13-14
  • SONG: Only One Life – Author C.T. Studd, circa 1900; Music by Kathleen

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    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/

    [To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

     

About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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14 Responses to Prisoners in Lockdown

  1. Kristi A. says:

    Such a wonderful thing that happened that night! Thank you for sharing.

    Kristi

  2. Helene says:

    There is joy in heaven when a soul is rescued from death.

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