Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: May 21, 2012                             
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Isaiah 61:1
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

The world lost an amazing brother in Christ when Charles “Chuck” Colson was called home to be with the Lord this year. It was right around the time when the world seemed to be reeling over the loss of entertainer Whitney Houston, so there may be a chance that you missed this in the secular mainstream news. The media’s focus on Whitney’s drug overdose and her unexpected death certainly overshadowed the passing of a true example, a poster child of sorts for godly restoration and grace.

Mr. Colson’s life reflected how God can take one’s failures and turn them around for good, when we’re willing to allow Him into our lives through genuine repentance. When I read Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose,” I often think of this man’s life.  Just like many of us he allowed himself to fall prey to the lure of self-fulfillment. His ambitions got the best of him and he ended up experiencing some serious consequences. However, at age 80, Chuck left this world a changed man. 

For those of you unfamiliar with this man’s biography, Chuck Colson was a politician serving during President Richard Nixon’s administration. I think he was in his mid 40’s when his life changed drastically. He was a key player in the Watergate Scandal of that era and deeply involved in something that would change the course of his life. His nickname was “Hatchet Man.” Chuck Colson was arrested, convicted and imprisoned for his role in the government scandal. After his release from prison something powerful took place in his heart and it is definitely something that we can learn from. 

Although I never met the man he certainly touched my heart. I enjoyed his writings and I especially liked listening to his radio program “Breakpoint” which is part of his Prison Fellowship ministry. This man helped me understand that part of our purpose is to give back from that of which we have received. He saw devastation first hand behind the prison walls. When he walked out a free man he had a new heart for people who found themselves on the wrong side of their consequences. We don’t have to be in a physical prison to understand our ability to be the hands and feet of Jesus to people in despair. Chuck Colson spent the remaining 35 years of his life after his release from prison sharing the Good News with others. He wanted others to have the gift that he had been given. He went from being a self-centered ambitious man to a God-centered servant who loved on people who had made mistakes. Chuck never returned to his former life. 

It might not be a physical prison that you reside in, but many of us have been held in bondage to something. Whatever it might be; if you have been released from it, you have been given a powerful testimony. Don’t keep it to yourself! Your testimony reflects what God can do when a person is willing to allow him in. 

Just like Chuck Colson we can make a difference in the lives of others too. It doesn't have to be an elaborate effort and you don’t have to make yourselves crazy trying to figure out where God wants you to serve Him. The truth is you may never have a worldwide ministry, or a really big platform to work from, but I can tell you that if you are interested in freeing captives, God will bring you the prisoners. I love this because when God brings them, they are ready to explore freedom. We don’t need to exhaust ourselves; we simply need to prepare ourselves in the Word to help people defeat the enemy in such a way that they are no longer interested in returning to their former life. That’s the kind of work worth being involved in. 

If you are blessed to help others grasp Jesus’ message of salvation then you know this is a responsibility that we cannot take lightly. It is important that we arm ourselves with truth that aligns properly to the teachings found in the Word of God. The following Scriptures are just an example of how one might help someone else understand that everyone makes mistakes and when they are willing to change, the gift of salvation awaits them. Let’s unlock some cells!

Read Roman’s 3:10, 23, 5:8, and 10:9.
BREAKING FREE is a wonderful thing.
“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
– 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

“The Word of God is living and active. It is sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’ sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.”
- Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)

Quotes from Chuck Colson's funeral. 

“Chuck never forgot that he was saved by a Savior who was crucified as a prisoner.”  
 -Timothy George

 “My dad became, as Scripture says, a new creation, and he loved his family differently.
What will we do in the shadow of such an extraordinary role model? There is work to be done. … Seek the truth; defend the weak, live courageous lives.” – Emily Colson

RIP Chuck Colson, you shall be missed.

In Christ by grace,

Acts 3:6
"Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you." 

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