We went to the women’s Prison last night to share some good news. We had 35 women that came to the service and probably half of them are involved in what is called S.A.P. (substance abuse program.) This is a program that involves the 12 step recovery program in an attempt to help them deal with drug addiction and other life controlling issues, and it also can reduce their sentence upon completion. I love it when I get a chance to talk with people that are struggling with the same things I use to struggle with.
Tracey led us in a few hymns and shared about Doug Fox’s near death experience. Doug was riding a moped when he had a head on collision with a semi truck. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and it appeared he died on the scene but God had other plans. This all happened about 13yrs ago and even though they said he would probably have to be institutionalized he isn’t thanks to the power of God. He had to go through some really tough procedures along the way but he is still with us and doing great. He can’t talk very well because they had to put a trach in his throat which caused a little damage to his vocal chords. That’s why Tracey did most of the talking for him. The ladies always love to see and hear Doug’s story. He is a living, walking testimony to the power of God.
Carl Snyder also came with us, and he shared some scripture in 2nd Timothy about preaching the word whether it’s popular or not. The Bible tells us there is coming a time when people won’t want to hear the truth of the Gospel. They will search out teachers that tell them what their itching ears want to hear. Sometimes the truth is difficult to listen to but it will not go away. The truth is the truth whether you run from it or accept it but it’s only the truth accepted that will set us free.
When Tracey’s turn came she told the ladies about how God has done it all. He has invited us to a party and all we have to do is show up. In Romans 8 we read The Spirit helps our weakness, intercedes for us, searches the hearts and knows the mind of God. The Spirit of God does all the work in us all we have to do is show up and agree with him. It is like when being invited to a party. You show up and the table is set, the party favors are there, the guests are all arriving. Everything is prepared by the host all you have to do is accept the invitation.
Bringing up the rear was, you guessed it, me. I read to them in Romans 6 and talked about how Jesus Christ came here, not just to forgive sinners, but to give us life. What is more important needing forgiveness or needing life? When Adam ate of the forbidden tree he didn’t just become bad he died spiritually. Subsequently all of Adam’s descendants have been born spiritually dead. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus “you must be born again!”
While being forgiven is necessary and a great part of what the gospel is all about it isn’t the whole story. From God’s perspective he sent Jesus here to give his life for us and to us. When we are born we are joined to the first Adam. Being born again we are joined to Jesus whom Paul calls the last Adam. This operation of severing us from Adam and attaching us to Christ takes place through the cross. Those of us that have been baptized into Christ have been baptized into his death. God has joined us to Christ on the cross therefore we were in him in his death, burial and resurrection. This makes total sense now. We were born dead in our human spirit, because of our union with Adam, now we are alive because of being joined to the Holy Spirit. We are now walking in newness of life.
Written by Louie