Every life matters. Whether it’s a prison inmate, starving children in a third world country, a drug addict, someone living an alternative lifestyle, a man holding a cardboard sign at an intersection…every life matters. I hope I never get so wrapped up in my calling to prison ministry that I miss the people right in front of me, right in my own back yard. I want to live a life that is different, a life that is not comfortable, not safe, a life sold out to Jesus. I want to live like Jesus lived, seeing people and their need, giving them hope, love, grace, and mercy. It doesn’t matter whether I think they deserve it…none of us really do…thank goodness for Jesus, He loves us even in our filth and offers grace. An offender shared a song at one of our services recently and one line caught my attention, it simply said “Day after day, Jesus won’t throw you away”. How many people do we walk by and disregard because we think they are unworthy of love? Or not worth our time? Our team may be called to prison ministry but as believers in Jesus Christ we are all called to love people, regardless of their sin or situation.
I would like to think that we would all desire to see everyone we come in contact with to come to saving faith in Christ. Wouldn’t it make them better citizens, coworkers, friends, acquaintances, family members? Real change happens through the power of the Gospel. Some people think we are wasting our time sharing Jesus with inmates, we’ve heard the cliche’ “it’s only jailhouse religion”. But rest assured, we see what Jesus does inside the razor wire, He wrecks people, He brings them to the end of themselves and they are transformed before our very eyes. We see them grow from week to week, finally seeing and realizing how much this Great God of the universe loves them, how faithful He is and that He has such a beautiful wonderful plan for their lives.
Just this week an offender, who had been asking us to pray for his father, gave a praise report of the healing God was doing in his father’s life. They are seeing the power of prayer…God is becoming so real to them.
Will they falter? Will some of them fall? Sure…we do that too, don’t we? But some are going to reach their families for Christ, their communities. Some will be productive citizens for maybe the first time in their lives. Some will be able to handle whatever trials come their way because they now have Jesus to walk through it with them.
The Gospel isn’t just for the people we think are deserving, Jesus died for all. Who are you going to tell about Him today?
Every life matters.
Sing for the King,