This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Brother Jacob (from Mozambique), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach 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. (Isaiah 61:1)
After being thrown into prison I had to undergo hours of harsh interrogation. Finally, I was brought to a dirty cell in which a number of other prisoners were sitting or standing around.
It was a group of pathetic, dirty and hungry human beings--my co-inhabitants for an undisclosed time.
One man looked at me and asked: 'What are you here for?' Yes, indeed, why was I there? For no other reason than for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I realized that the Lord had placed me amongst these captives because they were there without hope. They were not just physically hungry, but also spiritually. I started to witness to them and the response was beyond belief!
Two of the prisoners were back-slidden Christians. As soon as I started to speak about love and forgiveness they started to cry. They fell on their knees, confessing their sins, weeping bitter tears of repentance. Others followed their example and in the following three months many accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior.
That dark, dirty, smelling prison cell became a place of light. Such was the change that two prison wardens also accepted the Lord. The place of curses changed into a holy sanctuary, filled with songs of praise and hope.
We all can be fruitful in the place where we are. To the glory of God. And to the salvation of others.
A moment of introspection: Dark, dirty, smelling surroundings lay all around Brother Jacob, yet his heart recognized his cell as a place of light. Surely the presence of the Lord was in this place. He was placed in a cell with pathetic, dirty and hungry inmates, back-slidden Christians, physically and spiritually starved co-inhabitants, and yet... In the presence of the Lord, God's light came to show the glory on each face. In this dark place, Brother Jacob began to illuminate the walls, the floor, the people there with him. He illuminated them with the Light of the world; Brother Jacob did not hide this Light, but allowed the Light of Jesus Christ to accomplish the task of changing lives. In Acts chapter 12, Peter was freed by an angel of the Lord, and in verse 7, it stated, "And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, 'Get up quickly'." In Peter's imprisonment, the cell became a place of physical light. In Brother Jacob's cell, the place of curses was filled with spiritual light, and changed "into a holy sanctuary, filled with songs of praise and hope."
Are we in prison? Are we faced with terrorism, or violence? Are we "free" to move about, in life? Whatever position or place we may find ourselves, we all can be fruitful. We all can bring Christ's Light and share Christ's love and forgiveness. All around us are people who live without real hope. Christ is indeed the Light of the world (John 8:12); yet it was He that said that we are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14). Perhaps in this manner, we are to be light bearers, and to shine the Light of Jesus for the world to see. As Brother Jacob said, "To the glory of God. And to the salvation of others". We are ambassadors of Christ, representatives of His--to God's glory. We can bring Christ's love, and the divine forgiveness that follows repentance. Do we know someone perhaps, who needs hope, and a future? Check out the devotional, Go To Everyone I Send You To, at http://www.christiansincrisis.net/paul-s-devotionals/66-go-to-everyone-i-send-you-to-a-meditation.html A good resource towards this labor of love, can be found at http://www.livingwaters.com/outreach/the-school-of-biblical-evangelism. The harvest awaits, the "Help Wanted" sign has been posted. Shall we respond? Let's do so; the time is short, and we have God's work to do.