From my years at the juvenile facility:
Robert is 17 and has lived in group homes since he was 11. His mother loves him, but is unstable. His older brother committed suicide a few months ago. He said he’d like to go home. Tears filled his eyes when he said, “Six years is a long time to be floating between group homes. I don’t even know my family anymore.”
I asked him about the group homes. “Do they feed you well?”
“I cook for myself. I eat a lot of mac and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches. I really like being incarcerated—the food here is great!”
Robert came to know the Lord Jesus Christ a few weeks ago. He knows his sins are forgiven. He loves God and wants to obey Him. He’s also a good student with a good mind. He has been reading his Bible and growing in his faith.
Robert began looking through the books I brought for the bookshelf. “Hey! Here’s one I should read!” It was a book offering hope for those who feel hopeless.
“Robert, are there times when you feel your situation is hopeless?” His face reddened, he wiped tears from his eyes and nodded.
“You may keep that book, but you need to know that you do not have a hopeless situation. You have given your life to Jesus Christ. You have the Holy Spirit living in you. Most of the guys in this unit chose NOT to come to Bible study tonight. You chose to come. Why? It’s because God loves you and is drawing you to Himself. God has His hand on your life, Robert, and I believe He is going to use you in ways you can’t even imagine.
“I’m giving you the name and phone number of a youth pastor to call when you are released. He’ll arrange for someone to pick you up so you can attend church and Bible study. We are going to pray now, that God will go ahead of you and prepare the place where He wants you to be. None of your problems are too big for Him. God is on your side, Robert. Let’s thank Him for what’s ahead for you, okay? Let’s show God that we are trusting Him.”
- No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. John 6:44
- “…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
- The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
- SONG: THE PARALYTIC – 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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