Usually fellowship sessions in the prison are devoted to learning of the saving grace of Jesus Christ and how to apply the truths of the Bible for an effective change of life. The inmates have been diligent in their attendance of Chapel and have shown that they have a thirst for the knowledge available through our Lord Jesus Christ. Lately I have been challenging the inmates with a question I feel is important for us all to contemplate. “What do you believe?”
The inmates have been hearing the Word of God regularly and have also taken to studying on the blocks about a living and loving God as well as attending a class called “Behold Your God” in the chapel. This has been a strong reinforcement that they are truly new creatures or “new wine skins” if you would [Matthew 9:17]. I have been moved of the Spirit to address this pertinent issue of what they believe, now that they have been exposed to an alternative to sin. Too many have believed what others have said about them in the past. Comments such as, “you will never amount to anything”, or “you will never change your ways,” have locked many a man into a false belief about themselves and their position before God [an old worn out wine skin]. It is time for the inmates not only to read about becoming a “new creation in Christ, no longer who they were but made new” (2Cor. 5:17), but to believe it is true. As “new wine skins” the inmates are in much less danger of bursting upon re-entry to society. The truth of God’s Word is fleshed out in their daily lives. They must “believe and not doubt” (James 1:6) that the changes made in their hearts are determined by the author of our lives, not by other people. These changes are developed by the Holy Spirit to be a daily effectual development of their character in Christ. I believe that we could all benefit by trading many of our preconceived notions and beliefs about ourselves as “old wine skins” for the “new and improved wine skins” created by Jesus Himself. God does not make junk! All of us inside and out are precious and beautiful creations of the Living Lord.