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?
Serve in love…
No one enjoys having a cold sore- because they hurt, and whoever you speak to does not listen to anything you say because they are fixated on “that thing” on your lip. At least that is what we may perceive. So what do cold sores have to do with serving? Well let me take you on a trip. My son is such an awesome young man! I love him for who he is and who God is making him to be. This weeks focus is on serving with love. Anyway, he wanted a drink of my beverage, but I had a cold sore and my wife shouted “don’t use his straw! Look, Daddy has an ouchie on his lip!” To my surprise my son grabbed my cheeks, looked at my sore, then looked at me straight in the eye and says “I don’t see an ouchie, I see my daddy and I love him.”
I was expecting to hear an “ewe that’s gross”. He did what I believe our focus should be this week when we serve in our ministries or jobs. We should serve with love. Serving with love is not weakness. Serving in love is like, on the eve of your betrayal after dinner you grab a towel and basin to wash your students feet. Serving in love is waiting for the master to just say the word for your daughter to be healed. Serving in love is helping a victim even to the point where your’re paying for his expenses while others have passed him by.
Serving in love is healing the hurts, loving them through it, like Jesus.