Saturday, August 14, 2010

Confession Time

Today I am trying to catch up on reading devotionals from The Upper Room. I began with the one for Friday, August 6, 2010 — so you know right off I'm over a week behind.

I've obviously been giving something other than reading daily devotionals priority. This is a continuing problem of mine. My priorities are just about upside down! But when I read the devotional, I did so want to share it.


Jeff Matthews of Indiana
Founder of
A ministry that encourages inmates to follow the Bible

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13 · Ephesians 5:1-2

I have been incarcerated since 1990, and over the years I have found myself in some difficult situations. Whenever trouble arises, applying biblical principles can bring about a peaceful resolution. One principle I have lived by throughout the duration of my incarceration is to always walk in love.

A few years ago, I had an opportunity to practice this principle when an inmate started to hassle me about my faith. His derogatory remarks about Christians continued for months. With each encounter, I responded in love, rejoiced in my persecutions (Matthew 5:11-12), and prayed for him (Matthew 5:44).

One day during another encounter with this inmate, I calmly interrupted him while he was speaking. I felt there was something he needed to know. "My friend," I said, "nothing you ever say to me or do to me will stop me from loving you." He stood speechless as I walked away.

A few days later he saw me in the hallway. "Jeff, I haven't slept since you told me you loved me the other day. That's exactly what Jesus would have told me. You're a real Christian. Please forgive me for the way I've treated you," he said remorsefully. I was speechless! Since then, he has never spoken another unkind word to me.

Prayer · Dear Father, help us to walk always in love. Amen.

Thought for the Day: No matter how difficult our situation, with God's help we can see ways to show God's love.

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