Category Archives: Friday Focus
Perfect love casts out all fear.
The first time I ever was involved in prison ministry, I was nervous. I’ll be honest. I was scared and that was just filling out the questionnaire to go. I believed that God called me to minister. I didn’t know where my niche was so I served everywhere an opportunity was available. Actually, I wasn’t great anywhere I ministered, but I love to help and there was a need in ministering to those on the “inside”. Like a quote I heard from comedian Steve Martin, he said,
“Persistence replaces talent in some cases.”
If you ask me, I think many are incarcerated to some degree. Living in society with out the physical bars of a prison cell. Although within, they could face lockdown of low self worth.
For some It could be substance abuse, others could be hiding in eating disorders, drowning in debt or imprisoned within there negative thinking, even depression. These people are suffering.
They serve self -imposed sentences without a chance (in their view) of perole. This point of view can make the surest of men or women crumble as they endure this punishment. It can make them do things they wouldn’t fathom. The people try and succeed for a moment, then back in confinement they go. How cruel is it to live in this manner.
So as a born again believer how would you minister to those imprisoned?
Because they don’t look nice. They’re hard. They’re ferocious. They have lived hard lives and know more about survival than then any cast member of survivor. On the “inside,” They don’t have time to play games, and can spot a phony a mile away.
Here is the good news……
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (I John 4:18 NKJV)
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (1 John 4:17-18 MSG)
It takes real guts to walk in love. You may feel without weapons, but you are walking with the love of God. You are victorious and even your shadow can heal! You enter with the Lord on your side. Fighting with you with artillery that is out of this world. Just a thought I wanted to share, What are your thoughts? Please share with a friend. I would love to hear your input. How can we serve those who seem to have lost love?
More often than we would like to admit, our speech differs from our actions. I know I’m guilty. For example I say, man, I need to loose weight. This is usually before I bite into a tasty double cheeseburger or worse, dine in a fully stocked all you can eat, place.
Or how about this one? “I need to get a budget” as I continue to spend recklessly. Perhaps you could see past my illustrations through to the heart of this post.
“If I allow myself to be careless with my words and actions. Then, what determines my relationship with Jesus? is it words or actions? “
my words and actions must equally match or my credibility is very fickle:
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”…Matthew 16:13-15.
you may think, this is a no-brainier, Jesus gave them a hint “He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” but it was more. Many heard of Jesus but his disciples were the ones closest to him. they should have known who he was as Peter later proclaimed. they traveled with him and shared the joys and pains of the ministry. later they will see him feed the five thousand and heal the sick. In short, it took relationship with Jesus to accurately see who he was.
Fast forward to today. many believe that the Pastor or Preacher is the only ambassador of Christ, yet we are all ambassadors to tell others who Jesus is. others are looking at your life and your words to find co-relation. is he the Christ in your life? Who do you say Jesus? others are watching and listening.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
John 10:28-30 ESV
The ultimate security is knowing the place you are in, is safe. There is freedom in the obedience of Christ. Those who are in relationship with the father have the assurance that the Lord has them and no entity; large or small could physically remove them from the pressence of the Almighty.
This claim by Jesus is backed by the Father. In times like these, this guarantee should give us the motivation to do great exploits for the kingdom. It should free us to be who the Lord has called us to be. I get excited when I get to teach this message to teens; because, it allows them to recognize a constant in the tumultuous chapter of their lives.
As you get the honor of leading ministry, focus on the backing that you have in Christ. Focus on giving those you serve the oppurtunity to share the joy you have.