Through even a simple glance and read, you must notice how many of these men whom God used to author The Word were imprisoned. Most notably Paul, who is the author of a good portion of the New Testament. Not only was he a prisoner, the large majority of his writing were done while incarcerated. Of course there is Joseph and his time away, as well as Daniel. Beloved, just scratching the surface for context. Study your word and you will see that many good things come out of prison. I pray I can continue that trend, and assist others in doing the same.
This conference is all about what can be done from a grassroots level to effect change. Meaningful, lasting, sustainable change. It is imperative that the families of those incarcerated, as well as those who are/have been incarcerated be at the forefront of these issues. That includes each of you as well....AMEN. Incarceration effects the whole community, not just the criminal and the victim. Whether or not you take notice of that truth is entirely up to you, yet truth is truth. Do a Google search and look at the number of people incarcerated in this country in contrast to the rest of the world. It will shock you. I'm sure you've seen in the news all the stories of people being released whom were wrongly convicted. Maybe you've heard about the mentally ill who are imprisoned, when in truth they need treatment. I could go on and on sharing the realities of this system. That is not the purpose of this piece.
Our text today is Hebrews 13:3 (NKJV), which reads; "Remember the prisoners as if chained with them - those who are mistreated - since you yourselves are in the body also." As a Christian you are supposed to do this. I'm not talking about merely donating to the prison ministry, or angel tree, or writing a letter. I mean daily praying for these individuals and their families. Being conscious who you're voting for and their views about incarceration. Spend some time truly carrying out this principle of our faith, mighty things happen when His people do as He has instructed.
Most importantly, do a self-assessment. How do you view criminals? Are they numbers, or do you see them as human? Do you feel as though they deserve a chance to "pick up the pieces"? Do you dislike them? Do you deserve to be in the same category? Have you ever even thought about what they are going through?
Right or wrong, their our brothers and sisters. They need us to love on them, they need us to pray for them, they need to know we're in their corner. Family, be a voice for the voiceless. Our faith is one of action, so activate. Not just for this cause but for all injustice you see. Share true justice, that which we've all been afforded. Grace and mercy are gifts we've been given to share. I encourage you to share it.
You probably have people around you right now with a "Scarlet F" and you don't even realize it. Their probably afraid to be transparent, because their scared how you'll look at them. Family, it shouldn't be that way. Criminal or choir member, we are one body....THE BODY OF CHRIST. How can you be free, if your brother isn't? The title of this blog entry is my Virginia Department of Corrections number. I thank the Father everyday for Heritage Fellowship in Reston, Virginia for allowing me to be transparent. This transparency allows them to love on me, and help me heal in the places that I need to. It allows them the opportunity to assist me, because they know what's really going on with me. Isn't that how it should be, for everyone? Let's live the way He's told us to, let's be who He's called us to be. I love y'all, I love y'all, I love y'all. Time to go "fight fight".
BE BLESSED BE FAITHFUL