“S” stopped by for prayer but couldn’t stay for the study. As I’ve mentioned before, the men have to choose between attending Bible Study or making their phone call to their family.
He consistently asks for prayer for his grandmother who may not be living in a safe situation. “S” describes the riff-raff that comes around and takes advantage of her hospitality.
“D” was able to stay for study. I’ve know “D” for about 5 months now. Tonight he shared a song with me that he has written about his hope in God. His mother had been a song writer too.
Since coming to jail he has earnestly been reading his Bible. He started at Genesis back in August and now is just wrapping up the book of Job. He was surprised at how much he could relate to Job, particularly the part where Job was complaining (Job 29 and Job 30) and later where God gives Job some perspective on the situation (Job 38). It seems that “D” was airing his grievances with God, and lately God has been responding. We talked about a few key concepts in Job.
If we’ve been trapped doing foolish things, how do we become wise?
Job 28:28 (NKJV)
28 And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
Often guys awaiting trial will assume that if God is in control then the charges will get dropped or they will be found innocent. I asked “D” if he would still trust God even if he was sentenced to prison. We talked about the verse:
Job 13:15a (NKJV)
15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
How much do we trust God, even when things aren’t going our way?
“D” was able to see himself in the book of Job. I asked him where he saw himself or someone he knew in the following scripture.
Matthew 2:1-12 (NKJV)
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
King Herod: Who is someone who clings to power even at the expense of others?
We talked about some gang leaders who eliminate threats to their position of power through violence and intimidation. “D” saw that behavior in his father. Even now his father is urging “D” to get more deeply involved in the gang so he is protected in prison.
We also talked about our own attempts to try and hold onto power and control in our own lives.
The chief priests and scribes: Who has head-knowledge about God but they are unmoved but it?
“D” grew up in the Bible Belt. He knew lots of people who had knew about God, and had memorized lots of Bible verses, but it made no difference in how they lived.
The wise men: Who was someone he knew who didn’t even realize they were seeking God, but ultimately found God?
“D” described his mother. When he was growing up both of “D’s” parents were drug addicts. His father also physically abused his mother. After “D” left home his mother finally left “D’s” father to avoid further beatings and moved to another city, but she was still a drug addict. In the new city some people from a local church shared the Gospel with her. She accepted Christ and the church members helped her get off drugs. It was a slow but powerful transition. “D’s” mother passed away a few years ago, but she had turned her life around. She had even become an ordained minister.
She was only looking to avoid abuse, instead she found new life in Christ.
We closed the evening by praying for each other.