New International Version (NIV)
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
God is so wonderful and the more you share His love the more He seems to turn right around and bless you more!
It has been very busy the last few weeks, between real estate, Gideons and Prison Fellowship at the county jail.
We have been concentrating our Gideon efforts into nursing homes during the summer. We have been able to do a bible distribution one evening every week inside different nursing homes in our area, passing out Bibles and singing hymns to the residents. It is such a blessing to see many faces light up as they receive a free bible.
I have also been blessed to "preach" on Tuesday evenings at our local county jail to different jail blocks each week, along with passing out a free "Gideon Prison" Bible to the inmates. Many of them are being held for just a few days, a few weeks, a few months, and some perhaps up to a year or just a little longer. At this point we have three (I'm one of three) Gideons able to assist at the jail through Prison Fellowship, and of course there are many in Prison Fellowship that are not Gideons. As Gideons we must personally hand out the Bibles, so between the three of us, we each are going through a case of 25 full Bibles or a case each per month. This is adding up as each Bible costs right at $5.00 each. We had our weekly prayer meeting this morning as Gideons and prayed that God would provide us the funds to purchase more Prison Bibles and this afternoon we had a Gideon camp from northern Illinois call us and said they felt lead to send us a case of Prison Bibles every month. They had been buying a case every month and mailing them directly to a prison where a prison Chaplain had been giving them out (which is permissible under Gideon Guidebook), but they heard that our camp was involved directly into the county jail and they now want to send the bibles to us every month. Praise God!
We still pray that God will provide more needed funds for more scriptures to be distributed all around the world, and certainly in our own camp (we ran out of nursing home Bibles this week). When we give to Gideons International through our camp or through Church presentations and donations, then our camp is credited for 40% of the receipt total and 60% goes to help deliver scriptures all around the world. The other way we can get more Bibles for our camp is to personally buy them through Gideons International, which we sometimes need to do when our camp funds are low. We will be at the county fair in August and hope to give out around 1000 New Testaments/Psalms that week. So you can see we stay quite busy!Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Please pray for those in prisons,! Many are "repeat" offenders and they "check" in to the jail on a very routine basis. It is home to them, and what they "know" best. Their friends are inside, it is warm and they get a good meal. But also, so many of them have adictions that they just can't seem to whip. They want to know the power of God, and how to avoid temptation, and to break their habit. But they will get out of jail, get sober for awhile, then go see a friend, and let temptation/Satan get the best of them. Pray that they would know the Power of God to provide a way to endure and overcome this habit that breaks up their family, and keeps their children from knowing their father. This last Tuesday and I several men ask me for scriptures and prayers to help them overcome this cycle in their life. They have children and "girlfriends or wives" and want to be able to stay sober and out of jail, but need help!
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
No Confidence in the Flesh
1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Following Paul’s Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Rejoicing Always in Christ and Him crucified and alive forevermore!
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