He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ “ (Luke 13:6-9)
Holy Spirit, help us bear fruit worthy of repentance.
Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. (Luke 3:8 )
Father, don’t let us be deluded into thinking we have any righteousness of our own apart from what Jesus gives us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Jesus, please help us daily bring our sins to you, confess them and accept the cleansing that comes from your precious blood.
A word received: Pray for hearts that are open to my word.
Sunday: 93, 96; *; 34; Jer. 6:9-15; 1 Cor. 6:12-20; Mark 5:1-20
HC: 103 or 103:1-11; Exodus 3:1-15; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9
Monday: 80; *; 77, ; Jer. 7:1-15; Rom. 4:1-12; John 7:14-36
Notes from the Front Line
***** Check out this article in Revival Magazine from the Toronto Airport Church: http://revivalmag.com/article/popes-coming-resignation
***** Another Type of Short Mission Trip: Prison Ministry by Mark Pasko
While overseas ministry is a wonderful and necessary part of the Chrisitan mission, many folks who would like to have a mission experience cannot do so for a variety of reasons ranging from lack of time, money or a fear of the unknown including language and culture barriers. I am legally blind and fairly deaf with two hearing aids and I am pretty sure I would be trouble on an overseas trip. The Lord, however, has opened up some interesting doors to break in folks like me to work in mission fields nearly outside my door!. The first and easiest, of course, is the Prayer Table. It requires almost no time or effort and has turned out to be a life changing experience for me as I pray for souls in Hamilton Hill of Schenectady. It is not something I would have thought I would like much less love. It is the spiritual high light of my week and I would never miss it unless I were sick or away. It is a privalege and honor to minister to and with these poor and forgotten citizens.
In the last two years, the Lord has opened up another mission door that I would never ever have considered; prison ministry. A couple of years ago, shortly after I started doing Prayer Table with Torre, I knew the Lord was calling me to some other and deeper ministry but I did not know what it was to be. I went to a Wednesday prayer service at St. Michael’s in Colonie and we prayed about it. I went home and within 16 minutes I got a phone call from someone I never heard of asking if I’d consider doing Bible study at the Rensselaer Co. Jail! I would normally have said no but it was so obvious that the Lord was opening up an experience He wanted me to try that I said: Sure, why not? The Bible study is only an hour per week on Saturday evenings and I’ve since gone about 6 or 7 times to fill in for others who were not able of participate on a given week.
Since then, doors at a couple of maximum security prisons at Great Meadow in Comstock and Coxsackie Correctional in Greene Co. have opened for some of us to hold Alpha and similar programs. This takes a little more training and time to do but not much more than an evening per week for each prison. This is an astonishing experience that the Lord has been gracious enough to allow us to minister to these men. These are men who have done some very bad things who have come to know the Lord while incarcarated. The Lord has called them to be light, salt and yeast in a very unholy environment among as many as 1,600 men who have no hope and may spend the rest of their lives behind bars. It is our mission to help equip these men for their mission and, at the same time, working with them has given me hope that the world is capable of change for the better. You cannot imagine men who know the Scriptures better, sing more passionately or pray with greater ferver then some of these men. One man last week told me that he is being imprisoned for 50 to 100 years for a crime he didn’t commit. He has learned to forgive those who set him up and has found peace behind bars. He said “I would rather be here with the Lord than to be outside and Godless.” Needless to say, some of these men have quite the testimony!
My point is that there are mission fields that can take as little as a couple of hours including travel to eight hours per week or so that can change your life and those whom you minister to. These experiences will help you lose your fear and you may find great meaning for your life as the Lord allows you to participate in His great venture to save the world, one soul at a time.