MAY 2013 DEVOTION
A LITTLE INSPIRATION
“But none of these things move me…that I might finish my course with joy” Acts 20:24
I RECEIVED A LETTER RECENTLY
I recognized the name on the return address as a young preacher friend of mine who has been recently overtaken by some trouble from his past. He is now incarcerated. It is not an easy time for him as you can easily imagine. His sometimes troubled life had reached a high point before this recent difficulty and he feels that loss.
ENCOMPASSED ABOUT BY ENEMIES
I’ve never been in jail so my understanding of his situation is limited. He alluded in the letter to the depression he fights because of the lies the enemy torments him with. The devil tells him God has forsaken him and he will never be able to overcome what has transpired. On top of those mental agonies there is a physical condition he is struggling with. The physical pain is difficult to endure at times. I was moved by compassion as I read his words.
MOVED BY SOMETHING ELSE
As I read on however, I learned how powerfully God is using him in the midst of his troubles. His fellow inmates call him “preacher man” and have christened his cell “Church 302” He asked me to imagine his little cell lined with men lying face down calling out to God. If there I would have seen a murderer of two praying with and for another prisoner after finding new life in Jesus. I would also have witnessed a 20 year old who had never believed God existed worshiping his new Lord in song. An elderly man, who had detested Catholic school, lived an extremely difficult and swore he must feel God before he would accept Him, received what he needed. My friend told me of the tears that have run down his face as he has rejoiced with these men, and others, who though imprisoned, are now free in Christ.
HIS LETTER STIRRED MY HEART
In my reply I encouraged him as best I could. But it was I who had been encouraged. He had asked me to pray for him. After reading his letter I wrote back and asked him to pray for me. I sensed a refreshed desire to bear fruit as he is doing. I also thought of another prisoner. His name is Paul. He wrote letters while He was imprisoned that have stirred the hearts of multitudes to fulfill their callings with passion. Near the end of his life and contemplating all he had experienced, he wrote to one, “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.” No trial could ever outweigh the reward given those who overcome and endure for the pleasure of our Lord.