Today’s Scripture is James 4:7, “Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This verse gives the inmates hope to overcome their destructive thoughts and live a successful Christian life and overcome temptations. You submit to God by letting Him control your thoughts and actions. Our sinful nature and the devil will put tempting thoughts into our minds and entice us to sin, at this point put those thoughts out of your mind in Jesus’ name and focus on truth from God’s word or just pray for God’s help and mercy to resist the devil and sinning. The more you practice this, the quicker you will submit to God and not to the devil. In 1Timothy 4:7, it tells us to train ourselves for godliness, that is to train our minds to think godly thoughts, not sinful thoughts.
The women’s Bible study was canceled this week, so Sandy and I went to the men’s Bible Study, which was very enlightening. In the prison system, several blocks (A, B, and C) house different types of inmates. The women’s Block B was locked down for covid, so our women from block A had to work in the kitchen. Our husbands lead the men’s Bible study, and they were surprised when we walked in. I did not know what to expect. Usually, they have a large group, but they only had three because only one block can attend at a time to prevent covid spread. The men do their Bible study according to the questions the inmates have, so you need to know your Bible well.
Pres started with a question in Luke 12:54-56, “He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” Jim (Sandy’s husband) referenced the fact that Jesus “also said” at the beginning of the Scripture, so he suggested reading from the beginning of the chapter to get the context of the scripture. The verses prior to the above verses referenced the coming of the Holy Spirit by fire and baptism, which Gary (my husband) led us to read in Acts 2 about the Holy Spirit. The Bible study went from Scripture to Scripture as the Spirit led to answer questions the inmates had. To do this kind of Bible Study you really need to know your Bible. Sandy and I like to prepare a Bible Study to encourage the women in their relationship with Jesus but leave room for the Holy Spirit to lead or change our plans. Like He did last Friday night.
Pres commented about another Scripture referring to us as sheep, which led to another Bible discussion. My husband spoke about the passage in Isaiah 53:4-6, “Surely he [Jesus] has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—everyone—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Then Pres asked what iniquity and transgressions meant. Sandy explained them as a progression of deeper sinful behavior but how Jesus bore them all on the cross and forgives us, but Satan will cause us to doubt. I added James 4:7 that when we submit our minds to God and resist the devil, our thoughts won’t be influenced by the devil, which led to another discussion about resisting temptations. It was an interesting Bible study. Please pray for the inmates. Pres, who desires to grow in his faith. Chris opened up and shared the self-denigrating thoughts he has about himself for the things he did and still does, and how his depression led him to commit crimes. Please pray for John and his wife as they work through the current situation with him being in jail.
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