High Country Prison Ministry
Figure It Out
By Jody Griffin
Avery and Mitchell Counties
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. (1 John 2:12, KJV)
Can there possibly be anything better than the reality of our sins being forgiven by God? And to think that this gift of forgiveness is not received by our accomplishments but through the Name and by the sake of Jesus Christ! It truly is GOOD NEWS, or to be more precise, the BEST NEWS EVER REPORTED!
An open and empty tomb testifies to the miraculous resurrection of our Lord! He is alive and sits at God’s right hand this very day making intercession for all humanity!
Just a few months ago I wrote about the moving experience of sharing in the public baptisms of a number or incarcerated men. The day is drawing near when there will be yet another Baptism Celebration for the community of Christian men who reside within the walls of AMCI!
I cannot wait to witness it and to report to you of the miraculous transformation brought to men by the amazing grace of God in Jesus Christ! Please be praying daily for those whom the Lord would have to receive the free gift of salvation. Pray that they would then desire to share their new life in Christ by being baptized in His Name!
In a recent conversation with a man who is serving a life sentence, I gained a new appreciation for this marvelous blessing…
“Chaplain, I know that I will spend the rest of my life in this place, but can I tell you something that might encourage you?”
“Sure you can!” I replied.
He went on, “I used to think that my punishment for the terrible things I had done was to rot in prison for the rest of my life and then rot in hell for eternity. But since God came to me and forgave me, I know now that my purpose for however long I live is to help the men in my block come to faith and experience the incredible peace that comes with being forgiven by God.”
I commended him for his perspective and for his determination to help those around him ‘figure it out’. (This is a common statement I make to countless men about the ONE THING needed to turn their lives around. They just need to ‘figure it out’ as to the situation they find themselves in and the opportunity that is right in front of their faces to change the direction they are going, aka repent, and begin to go with God instead of away from God!)
I thought about this conversation for days. And I wondered how long it had been since my own freedom had been keeping me from living the way this man now lives. And I wondered if there aren’t a lot of believers like me who could learn a thing or two from a lifer…The truth is, we ALL can benefit from a concerted effort to ‘figure it out’.
Thank you for praying and giving to High Country Prison Ministry and thus for allowing me the privilege to experience moments like these!
Jody Griffin is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Spruce Pine and Community Funded Chaplin at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution