A devotional book of meditations and prayers for men and women in prison.
“Doing HIS Time: Meditations and Prayers for Men and Women in Prison” is a devotional book written by James C. Vogelzang, founder of Doing HIS Time prison ministry. After reading Chuck Colson’s autobiography, “Born Again,” James felt called to go into prison and share the love of Jesus in the form of a devotional. From 1999-2008, he researched prison life, and through this experience, he and co-author and editor, Lynn Vanderzalm wrote “Doing HIS Time.”
Here’s a sample devotional from the book.
GOD LOVES YOU
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)
Many of us believe that because of what we have done, God could never love us. The Devil whispers to us, “God could never love a child molester, a prostitute, or a murderer.” As usual, the Devil’s got it wrong!
One of the amazing things about God’s love is that He loves us despite who we are, not because of who we are. That is radical grace. We all spent too many years trying to be someone who was worthy of another’s love. We’ve tried to earn love from our parents, the people we were sleeping with, our pimps, drug dealers, and our bosses. We’ve worked hard to be rich enough, pretty enough, or tough enough to deserve their attention and love.
God’s love works differently. God sent His own Son to die for us while we were still sinners. Even when we were turning tricks, selling dope, or robbing liquor stores, God loved us. He doesn’t say to us, “Straighten yourself up and clean yourself off and then I’ll take a look at you.” No. He loves us as we are — period.
Another amazing thing about God’s love—it’s extravagant, over-the-top. God doesn’t skimp on love. He shows His love by sending His own Son—not some low-level flunky—to die for us. He sent His own Son—His only Son—to die for us. Most of us have never experienced that kind of unconditional love.
That unconditional love is life-changing. It offers forgiveness and gives us value, hope, and peace. When it seems dark in the cellblock, we can hear His voice calling our name, saying, “I love you just the way you are. Come to Me. Accept My love. My Son has covered your sin.” Who wouldn’t want to say yes to that kind of love?
Making it personal: Can you get over yourself and your crime long enough to accept God’s unconditional love for you?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for loving me even while I am a sinner. Amen.
Read Ephesians 3:17-19 to learn of the depth of God’s love for you.
Ordering info: For free individual copies of “Doing HIS Time” or for free cases (which include 24 books) for chaplains, ministry leaders, or churches, please contact: DHT, 4045 Wadsworth Blvd., Suite 310, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. Or send an email to [email protected]. The website is www.doinghistime.org.