The Time I Spent in Jail… The Darkest Cell…

Faithbapistchurch   -  

The Time I Spent in Jail… The Darkest Cell…

Faith Baptist of Zephyrhills

Nov. 3rd, 2021

Hi Church!

Have you ever spent some time in jail? Many, many people have. Close to 1 in 100 people in the United States are in prison or jail today. About .7% of people are in federal or state prison or local jail. That may not seem like that many people, but it adds up to over 2 million people! That is a lot of men and women living behind bars. It is likely that you know some of them. We all know some once famous person now living behind bars. Maybe they are a friend or family member. It is hard to see and visit a loved one who is living in prison. It can tear your heart out. If you have spent some time in jail or prison, then you know what it feels like. You want them to be freeeeeee!

Maybe you haven’t spent time behind literal bars, but you live in a cell. It can be the most depressing, cold, dark cell in the world. The food tastes terrible. It is a cell that will steal all of your joy and desire to live. It is the cell of unforgiveness. Are you living in that cell right now? Is there something that you have done that makes you feel like you have been sentenced to a life of regret, pain and misery? Or, is there something that someone did to you that you can not let go of? If so, you are living in a “cell”. Learning to receive and give forgiveness is one of life’s most important lessons. Truthfully, I can not think of a more important issue.

It is an ongoing lesson for me. I have spent many nights, days and even years in the cell of unforgiveness. Some trips to jail were the result of things that I did, and I could not get over feeling guilty. Other times, there were things done to me that I could not let go of. I wanted to hold on to the offense and make the offender pay! Forgiving is one of life’s most “unnatural” things to do. We all struggle some. So if you are like me, maybe you are getting better at receiving and giving forgiveness. You are coming to understand that God really can and will forgive “sinners”. You are starting to breathe the fresh air of forgiveness. It is like November in Florida. It is about freedom. And giving the gift of forgiveness is also about letting others live free. It is liberating for all. It is like shedding life’s heaviest weights.

It is no surprise that when Peter asked Jesus the question, “how many times do I have to forgive my brother? Up to 7 times?” Jesus responded with a story! We understand stories. Stories bring truth to life. They put flesh and blood on truth. Truth becomes alive and understandable. So plan to join us on Sunday as we learn how to be free from the cell of unforgiveness. This is an important message that you do not want to miss! There is a lot of meat in this message.

As you pray for one another, please keep those on the attached bulletin in your prayers.

Also, please be praying for the many plans, activities and ministries at Faith. Remember to pray for our BLAST ministry that meets tonight. Pray for the small group Bible studies that are starting up. And pray for the funds needed to purchase solar panels for our church.

Thank you for praying!

In His Gracious Grip,
Pastor Mike

PS – My chest, arm, and shoulder are all healing up well. It has been 4 weeks already. It sure feels good to have more and more use of my RIGHT ARM! I can tell you this, God has made me more dependent upon him and the idea of him being like my “right arm” has taken on a whole new meaning. God is LIKE MY RIGHT ARM! I hope He is your Right Arm too!

Wednesday Prayer Bulletin, 11-03-21