Going to the jail to teach is the highlight of my week. I think I learn something new every time. Isn’t that the way it works? You start out thinking you are going to teach and end up being the one taught. You’ve got to love it!
When it’s my night to go to the jail of course I scribble down a few verses or passages for a jumping off point. It seems most of the time I end up not using them, but I guess it’s good to at least have some sort of plan. Tonight was no different. I had several verses written on a small piece of paper in my Bible, and I was ready to go. Guess how many I actually used? Well, I think I did actually use one so I guess that’s okay.
This morning I was reading Ephesians 3:16 where Paul wrote a prayer down. He prayed that God “would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man…” The inner man part is what jumped out at me. I thought “that’s it!” I’m going to go to the jail and tell them about strengthening the inner man.
Like so many other times I started talking, and the scripture just flowed. I guess I talked for a solid hour and read very little from the Bible. Don’t get me wrong I quoted plenty of scripture, but I didn’t read that much. I told them God chooses the foolish and weak things to confound the wise and mighty. One guy said, “Where’s that at?” That was music to my ears because I’m all about someone seeing for themselves. I showed him where it was and read it out loud. Then I read the last part of 1 Corinthians 2 to them about how it is only by the Spirit of God that we can know the things of God and how the natural man can’t know because it is spiritually discerned. I think this grabbed their attention. I shared with them how God is into living his life through us and then he gets all the glory.
We all will get to heaven one day by the same means. Jesus said, “I am the door.” I said think about it. One day you’ll be in heaven and one guy will say to the other, “How did you get here?” and He’ll say, “Well, I got here because I spent 8 years in seminary, how did you get here?” The other will say, “Well, I’m here because I built orphanages and helped old ladies.” Of course I said this in jest to make the point that those conversations will never really take place in heaven because the only answer any will give is “I’m here because of Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross!” That is the only answer because that is the only reason any of us will be going there.
While I didn’t read many of the verses I had written down I am convinced that I spoke exactly what God wanted me to. When we were finished some of the guys came up to me and shook my hand. One guy was telling me his woes, and another was telling me how he was going straight to church the first Sunday he’s out. Of course that remains to be seen. I’m not saying he will or won’t, but I pray that he does start seeking God right now. One other guy came up to me and said something amazing. He said, “I just want you to know I learned more about the Spirit of God tonight in one hour than I have in 33yrs.” Wow! That’s why I love going to the jail. These men are in a place of needing an answer and we’ve got one too his name is Jesus!
Written by Louie