Witnessing Tools > Freedom
My name is ‘Blessing’ and I’m really excited to share with you this love letter, written to help you appreciate who you are, in spite of where you are. You see, freedom is a thing of the heart. The fact that you are held within the confines of prison walls does not mean your life has come to an end. Rather I want you to realise that prison environments have produced some great men and women. Think about Mandela who spent the best part of his youthful life in prison fighting for humanity. It would help you to see things in the right perspective. Could it be that God has been trying to get your attention for some time, but you’ve been too busy doing your own thing, and this is the only way He’s been able to get your attention? You’re safer in His arms in prison, than in the hands of the devil out of prison!
How did you find yourself in this state? Perhaps you found yourself in the wrong company, and ended up committing a terrible offence, which led to your prison sentence.
Maybe in your own case it was greed. You wanted that thing so desperately, and you thought the best way to get it was to steal. Or, could it be that you have suffered from anger and a very bad temper from childhood, and because it got out of control, you committed murder. Perhaps, it was pre-meditated, or it happened suddenly. Before you knew what was happening, the person was dead. Maybe, in your own case, you’ve suffered from uncontrolled lust or passion. This led you to the situation in which you now find yourself. The point is this, men and women are imprisoned for all sorts of reasons. The worse case is when a person is imprisoned for an offence he or she has not committed. What does the person do? Wallow in anger, bitterness and a feeling of retaliation? Obviously not!
‘The Green Mile’
During my visit to Florida a few years back, I had the opportunity to watch ‘The Green Mile’, and it was about this big black guy who was placed on ‘death row’ for an offence he hadn’t committed. That film and its message will remain in my memory for a long time.
This black guy looked very huge and on the surface appeared to be evil. But, inside, he had the heart of a child. As a matter of fact, he wept all the time. But John, as he was called, appeared at a murder scene where someone was trying to murder a little girl. He tried to save the girl, but it was too late! The girl died in his arms. He held the child in his arms and wept at the very thought of what would make a person want to kill an innocent child. What happened next? The parents of the little girl and their neighbours appeared at the scene, and saw Big John holding this blood-stained girl in his arms, weeping. He was immediately arrested and taken to prison. John did not resist arrest. He just wept all the time. Whilst in prison he never showed any feeling of anger, rather he wept. In spite of his wrongful imprisonment, John continued to be an ‘angel’ to other inmates. He was very compassionate indeed! He had some powers, which enabled him to heal people from whatever ailment they suffered from and because of his heart of compassion, he cured the prison officer (Tom Hanks) from his prostrate cancer, and the wife of one of the prison officer’s friend, from cancer.
Over time, it became obvious to the prison officer that John did not commit the offence for which he was imprisoned, yet he was helpless and could not deliver John out of his situation.
On the day of his execution, John chose rather to die than remain in a world so full of evil. John was executed on an electric chair for an offence he did not commit. He died with joy knowing he was going to a place where evil did not exist. Guess what? The prison officer resigned. He could not continue in that job in which he saw how much injustice there was in the world.
So, dear friend, remember that we live in a world so full of evil, but we need not be evil ourselves. We need not let the evil in the world influence us to the point where we choose to take the law into our own hands. The point is this, one-day, we shall all stand before a holy God and give account of our lives to Him - an account of everything we have done in this world.
Forget the Past
Perhaps, you have a “life sentence”, which means you might remain in prison for the rest of your life. What does that matter? Whether or not you are in prison for an offence you committed, or did not commit, it does not matter, let God take over your case. Maybe, you are finding it very difficult to forgive yourself for what you have done that led to your imprisonment. That is crying over spilt milk. Being locked up in prison is not the end of the story. It is what happens when one dies and leaves this world that matters. Whether I die in prison or not is not the issue.
The Real Sentence
There is a greater sentence that everyone on earth will have to face when we all stand before the judgement throne of God. The jury or judge who proclaimed the guilty verdict, the police man or woman who arrested and prosecuted you, all will stand before God too! That should be a relief to you!
The greatest freedom we can know IN THIS LIFE, is that freedom which Christ gives. When Jesus (yes, Jesus the perfect and sinless Son of God), died on that cross over 2000 years ago it was so that you might know TRUE FREEDOM. It is that we will no longer be slaves to sin and its evil passions. Perhaps you do not believe in God; unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact. If you should die and leave this world only to discover that God existed after all, it will be too late to do anything about it then. Yet the exciting thing is that you lose nothing, if you believe NOW! Which is a greater risk to take?
Let me assure you of one thing, the fact that you ended up in prison does not make you the greatest sinner in the world. Your next-door neighbour who told a lie or slept with another man’s husband or wife is just as much a sinner as anyone in prison. It is only a matter of societal perception! There are more sinners on the streets than are in the prisons. The reason you ended up in prison is because you were caught. Before God ALL MEN ARE SINNERS. The Bible says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD”, and “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves”. A person in an earthly prison who has found peace with God through Jesus Christ is in a better position than a man who appears ‘free’ in the world and yet remains bound in sin. This is why I stated
that freedom was a thing of the heart.
The ABC of Salvation
I know many men and women in so-called prisons all over the world who have found peace with God, and have been set free, not only from sin, but also released much earlier than their prison sentences demanded.
TODAY (please don’t delay, no one is sure of tomorrow) if you will take the following steps, as simple as ABCD, you can begin to know a life of true freedom:
A – Admit you are a sinner; for the Bible says ‘ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ and that the wages of sin is DEATH’ (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23). So, my friend, whether you believe it or not, the Bible says you are a sinner.
B – Believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins. God made a Way for the salvation of everyman through the death of Christ on the Cross; and there is no other way (John 3:16; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:1-12)
C – Confess your sins to God and ask Him to forgive you. The Bible says, ‘if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves …’ but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1: 8-9; Isaiah 43:25)
D – Decide to make Him Lord (put Him in charge) of your life. Give up your evil ways and accept the new life that He gives. The Bible says “if anyone is in Christ, s(he) is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17).
You can also say this simple prayer and believe it with all your heart.
“Dear Lord Jesus, I do realise that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. I thank you for taking the punishment for my sins. I confess every sin I have committed and ask you to forgive me. Wash me with your precious blood, and cleanse me from all my sins. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I gladly receive you as my Lord and Saviour”. Amen.
If you have prayed this simple prayer, please write to us. We’d like to help you further by sending you some helpful literature. And since nobody keeps ‘good news’ to himself or herself, tell someone what has happened to you, and pass this newsletter on, or write to ask for more for your friends.
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