Monday, February 29, 2016

"Visit The Prisoners"

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."  Matthew 25:35,36

This verse admonishes us to minister to people in their time of need-- in hunger, in thirst, in sickness, in prison, to the stranger.  I want us to look at the part about visiting those who are in prison.  I have had a jail ministry in the past, and I have gone to the prison on a few occasions and preached.  I have friends who are actively involved in prison ministry-- that is their particular calling.  Not all of us are able to go to the jailhouse or prison and minister to the inmates.  But we all are able to go to those who are in "prison".

There is more than one kind of prison.  Not all prisons are made by the hands of man.  Not all prisons are made of brick, stone, mortar or steel.  There are people who are being held prisoner who are out walking around freely, and not behind bars-- at least not the ones that can be seen.  They are all around us.  They are in our families, among our friends, our fellow employees, our school mates and even our neighbors.

The ones I am talking about are being held as a prisoner to sin.  They are prisoners of addictions such as alcolhol, drugs and pornography.  They are being held a prisoner by fear, condemnation, remorse, depression, anxiety, grief and guilt.  These are the ones we can go to.

We need to be going to these prisoners.  We need to be proclaiming liberty to these captives.  Jesus came to set the captive free.  He came to open the prison doors to those who were bound.  He breaks every chain.  He breaks fretters.  He destroys yokes.  He destroyed the internal prisons.  He defeated the power of sin so that it has no hold on us any longer.  He pulls down strongholds.  He has the keys to open any and all prison doors that we may be locked up behind-- whether it is in our minds, our emotions or some besetting sin. 

No, you may not be able to go to prisoners at the local jail or state prison, but you can go and preach deliverance to those who are being held as prisoners behind bars we cannot see.

Have a great day.  I was in prison and you visited me.  Jesus sets captives free.  Are you letting the prisoners know this?

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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