DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I've gotten involved in a ministry that our church has started to prisoners in our local jail, but I honestly wonder if we're doing any good. Just holding a chapel service once a week doesn't seem like much. Am I wrong?
DEAR F.N.: Over the years, I've received countless letters from prisoners, and I want to assure you that what your church is doing is important. God may open up additional opportunities as time goes on, but thank Him for giving you this opportunity, and ask Him to help you use it wisely.
Remember, many of those you see every week have never heard the Gospel before, and have had nothing to do with church or Christians. Some, however, come from Christian homes, and even now their loved ones are praying for them. But whatever their background, they all need the new life that comes only from knowing Christ. Make Him the center of your work, and ask God to use your time there to point others to Jesus.
Do you remember Jesus' parable of the seed and the sower? (You can find it in Luke 8:4-15.) The farmer in Jesus' parable sowed seed throughout his field, and not all of it sprouted and grew. But some of it did — and the same is true when we spread the “seed” of God's Word. God has promised, “My word … will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire” (Isaiah 55:11).
Ask God to make you and your companions an example of Christ's love to those you meet. Not everyone will welcome you, but every person you meet at the jail is facing a personal crisis, and God wants to use you to bring them hope through Christ.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the website for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.
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