It is a privilege to be a servant of God and to minister to those in need. Are you ministering to anyone in need? Ponder the following Scripture and ask yourself, “How am I serving Jesus?” Matthew 25:41-46 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Yikes! These Christians are in the second group.
This is a tough Scripture to read. I am afraid that people who say they are Christians may be in the second group who are going to hell. I know that faith saves us and not our works (Eph.2:8). Serving God and ministering to others is the demonstration of our faith. If you are not currently serving in some capacity in the church or community, earnestly seek God to reveal where He can use you, then go. Examples are, Gideons International, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, food banks, making lunch for the needy, and helping in homeless shelters. There are many places you can serve. Jesus said in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” If Jesus is your life through believing and receiving Him into your heart, then you are anointed to proclaim the good news to the poor, set the oppressed free, pray for people, and so on.
Ministering to Inmates
The fourth week with the inmates was beautiful. We are trying to establish a core group of girls to disciple so they can then support one another throughout the week and be a witness of God’s goodness for the other girls on the block. We had four girls in attendance, including a new girl who was raised in a Christian foster home but rebelled. She knew the Lord as her savior and lead her cellmate to the Lord. We were happy to see Destiny come back; she is so eager to learn more about Christianity. Sandy reviewed her previous lesson in the Beatitudes for those that missed it and then finished her lesson. I reviewed my previous lesson in Matthew 7:13-14 about how Jesus is our life and will lead us to the path of life and keep us on it (John 14:6; John 10:10). I continued the discussion by explaining that once Jesus becomes our life, we have His Spirit and will understand the mystery of God (1Cor 2:9-12 ). Wrapped up the discussion by explaining the power of the Spirit of God in us helps us understand the Word of God which teaches us how to live the Christian life (Ps. 119:105; 2Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:12). We ended by discussing Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law [God’s instructions] shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
The fifth week was right before Christmas. I taught about why Christ in Christmas. We had six girls with one new girl who did not know about the Christian faith but wanted to just listen. We began by understanding that God is a spirit and the trinity nature of God (John 4:24; 1Cor. 2:11-14). I explained that Jesus was the image of the invisible God and how His birth was predicted (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:34-35; Col. 1:15&19; Heb. 1:3a). Next, we discussed why He had to be born and how He came to earth to be tempted as we are, yet did not sin, and how he helps us not to sin (Heb. 2:17-18; Luke 4:18; Acts 26:18; 1John 3:5-8; John 8:12). Ultimately, the purpose why Jesus came to earth was to make atonement for our sins (John 1:29; 2Cor. 5:21; 1John 4:9-10; John 3:16).
Sandy ended by doing a paper communion, which was interesting because we can’t take anything in except paper and Bibles. She explained what communion was and the power of prayer (James 5:16) and how our prayers are incense in a bowl before the throne of God. Revelations 8:3 states, “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.” So, Sandy had small pieces of paper with a picture of bread, and she asked us to write on the back something for which we are thankful. The second small piece of paper had a goblet on it to represent the wine. On this piece of paper, she asked us to write what we want God to do for us. We put these pieces of paper in an envelope and sealed it. Sandy was going to take them home and burn them to represent the smoke of our prayers going up to God’s throne. One girl was very confused because she wanted God to bless her and didn’t want her prayer to be destroyed. This is an unusual type of communion that Sandy put together for the inmates, but it was meaningful to them.
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