A Collection of Devotionals Written by and for Prisoners
The Bible is not a book of saints and priests, but of sinners and prisoners. God’s Word is full of very real men and women; it tells of their failures, struggles, and sorrows. But it is also the story of their victories–won through the power of Jesus Christ taking hold of their lives and transforming them from the inside out.
Christ changes lives–this is our only hope. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” If you have not already committed your life to Jesus Christ, this is the first step to becoming new.
We have all done wrong, but Jesus Christ paid the death penalty in our place. If we admit our sins, turn away from the old life, and ask God to forgive us, He will cleanse us. And when our sins are forgiven, we are children of the living God. Christ has saved us!
Becoming a child of God happens in a moment, but growing and maturing as a Christian is a process that takes a lifetime. It is also a process of surrender. As we allow Christ to have authority over different areas of our lives, He changes us. As we learn to depend on Him, we find true freedom.
Surrender means giving up our rights to ourselves, becoming dependent on Christ, and being obedient to Him. God gives us the power to be obedient–through His Word. The Psalmist, David, wrote thousands of years ago, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
God’s Word can keep us from sin. The more we study and think about what it says, the more it will fill our hearts and minds and strengthen us in obedience. The chains that bind us–fears, worries, pride, bitterness, hate–will be loosed.
The truth is, you have a tremendous opportunity before you in prison. You can use this time, instead of letting it use you. You can put your roots down deep in God’s Word and let Him nourish and sustain you, or you can dry up and drift away from Him.
Reflect on the process of surrender and the Scriptures your brothers and sisters have shared in the following pages. Study the suggested Bible passages and take these truths to heart.
Chuck Colson (1931-2012)
Founder, Prison Fellowship