Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bringing Hope to Prisoners

Alma is a testimony to life in your seventies can be used to glorify God.  She has been bringing hope to prisoners by sharing truths of faith in Jesus.  If a prisoner requests to see a minister she goes to them to share three lessons in life.  The thirty minutes she uses changes lives.

The prisoners come with  heavy burdens on their minds.  Alma shares hope by explaining  our  body, mind, and emotions are transformed by washing of the word.   We are made of body, soul, and spirit.  The spirit is the inner man, the person you really are.  Your body is, of course, your physical body.  You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body.  When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God put a brand new spirit in you.  He is actually the Father of your Spirit just as He is the Father of Jesus' Spirit.  The old spirit, the person you were in spirit who had a sin nature, is dead and gone.  You did not receive YET the fullness of your inheritance which includes a renewed soul and new body.  God tells us to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds.  This transformation is done by reading, believing and doing the Word of God.  Little by little the Word is renewing our minds. The spirit man is free of sin but the soul and body are not yet made perfect.

What do you do if you sin?  If we confess our sins Jesus is faithful to forgive.  When Alma talks to the prisoners she shares her heart.  She says for forty-five years she practiced religion in church but never knew Jesus personally.  She became born again and accepted Jesus as her savior for her sins.   She has found he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins.  Jesus puts our sins in a sea of forgetfulness.  It is an ongoing renewal of our minds.  God give us a free will so you have to make constant decisions about who is going to control your body.  Will it be the perfect Spirit that always wants to be obedient to God or the not-yet -fully-renewed soul that still often wants to do its own thing.  It is an ongoing renewal that is taking place.  When you do not get into the Word and believe it and do it, you are allowing the soul to take over.  Whichever one is fed is the one that will be the strongest.  Feed your Spirit and starve your soul!  The new Spirit, once you are saved, is an accomplished truth.    The renewal of the soul is ongoing during this life, so it is in the present.  Our bodies are going to be made new and perfect when Jesus returns.  That part of our inheritance is in the future.

 "Isn't God wonderful? He has the past, present and future covered."  Alma promises.

Alma's third lesson is to walk by faith and not by sight.  God looks at you for who you are and says
not guilty. She does not imply there are no circumstances in the natural for our actions.  She encourages the prisoners to not look at their circumstances but trust Jesus will work everything for the good.  Walk by faith and not sight is the lesson she shares.  We have been given the power  through Jesus to resist sinning.  We are no longer slaves to sin; we are no longer helpless to keep from sinning.  We do not sin because it is our nature to sin (in the Spirit), but because we sometimes allow our unrenewed soul  to have control.

Alma leaves  prisoners  hope which sets them free.  Her loving presence is like a big hug God sends down from heaven.   Alma's Ministry has brought many decisions to follow Christ.  Her life is useful and she wants to continue to go to prisons because she believes God's truth changes lives.  She is one of numerous Chaplains who go into prisons and bring hope.

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