I was thinking about what to write about this evening and as I was contemplating, I saw a news story on the television about a group of inmates who have a Monday Bible study. I didn’t catch all the particulars about the who and where, but the screen was filled with images of incarcerated men studying the Scripture and praying together. It was quite a story. Several things caught my eye about the inmates. First of all, they really seemed to look forward to Mondays when they studied together. The next thing that impressed me was the fact that they were really interested in learning more about God’s word and how it could be applied to their lives.
There were prayer requests, men sharing their prayer concerns with one another and then I was surprised to find out that there is a waiting list for people who want to join the weekly study. Now I am probably a little naive about all this, as I have never had any sort of prison ministry, but I was shocked to hear that there was a long waiting list to participate.
I just thought that with all the different religious options out there, it would seem like a long shot that Christianity would get that kind of attention. But, that is the case. I kind of wondered what type of passages would be of interest to prisoners who were being held against their will. But that brings us to the verse of the night, the one that flashed up on the screen at the end of the television commentary. From Phil 4:11, the apostle Paul tells us, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” The verse refers to Paul’s knowledge that as long as he focuses on Christ, he will be fine. Two verses later, we have the famous verse in 4:13, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants you to experience a divine peace – the kind of peace that will allow you to also be content in whatever circumstances you find yourself. My prayer is that you will pray for others who find peace elusive. After all, we all have distractions and focus on the wrong things from time to time. Here’s praying that you also will live a peace filled life – focusing on the Father and His Son. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…