The introductory talk in the Kairos program for the brothers in white in the prison is called ‘Choices’. The person chosen to make this talk (in fact all talks in Kairos) is given certain points to make during the talk, but there are two basic guidelines for every talk. 1] Write it and give it in your own words, and 2] give a personal testimony that relates to the subject matter. While in Kairos we are primarily concerned with talking to the participants about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in the ‘Choices’ talk, we are specifically directed NOT to say anything about God or religion or the Bible in this talk. We just want to get them to think, to think about themselves and their past, to think about how their past choices have affected their lives. It’s like parents raising their children. In order for the child to grow up to be a responsible, productive citizen, on a natural level, they need to understand the principle of cause and effect. “If you do this, this will happen; if you do that, that will happen.” If we do good things, good things will result. If we do bad things, bad things will result. Continue reading
[The following are excerpts from a Kairos talk called “Walking in God’s Grace”.] I wish I could tell you that living the Christian life, after you really commit to God, is going to be easy, that you’re going to feel God’s presence every day, more and more; that you’re going to be obedient, that you’re not going to do anything stupid, that you’re going to trust God all the time, that you’re going to love everybody and they’re going to love you; that there’s going to be a steady shining light in your life all the time and no more darkness. Sorry, it’s just not going to be all sweetness and light, because we’re all still a bunch of sinners.
Let’s say that because of this Kairos weekend, everybody here has made a commitment to Jesus. We’ve had good food and good fellowship; we’ve felt God’s unconditional love through the brothers, both those from inside and those from outside the prison; and we’re excited about the prospect of going back out in the world to share Jesus with other people out there in the dark. How are we going to do that? We can’t. Why can’t we? We’re heard the message; we’ve accepted it; we’ve made a commitment to Jesus; and He’s definitely made a commitment to us (to each one of us). So what is holding us back? Continue reading
In the Kairos program we focus a lot of attention on forgiveness. We do it for two reasons: 1] because in the Bible Jesus devotes a lot of attention to it; and 2] because in the prisons, there are a lot of people who really need it.
To bring this subject into focus: in Matthew 6:9-15, the Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness is a major point of the whole prayer. In verse 12, it says, “Forgive us our trespasses (sins, debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us.” And we usually think the prayer ends with verse 13, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom . .”
But that’s not really the end, because immediately, without taking a breath, Jesus adds, “If you forgive others their trespasses, then God will forgive you; but if you don’t forgive others, then He won’t forgive you.’ (Isn’t it interesting that He doesn’t make any comments about any other verses in the prayer, only about forgiveness.) Continue reading
In Luke 4:16-20, is the story of when, shortly after Jesus returned from His temptation wilderness, He first appeared in the synagogue at Nazareth to announce His ministry. It goes like this: ‘And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
In a number of places in the New Testament, Jesus says that those who believe (trust) in Him will receive the Holy Spirit (That’s Jesus’ Spirit), like John 7:39; John 20:22; and Acts 1:8; I take these verses to mean that because you and I trust Jesus, His Spirit lives in us too, and the passage in Luke quoted above applies to us, just as it applied (applies) to Jesus. We too are to proclaim deliverance to the prisoners. Continue reading
In Matthew 10:24-25, Jesus said, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough that the student be like his teacher, and a servant be like his master.” Like it says in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind (this attitude) be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” (That’s humble and willing to serve) I pray these verses for you and me. I pray we can BE LIKE JESUS. That will definitely change our lives.
Matthew 7:15-16 says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are vicious/ferocious wolves. You will know them by what they do.” This is Jesus talking, in the Sermon on the Mount. He goes on to say that good trees bear good fruit, bad trees bear bad fruit, and people are the same way. Beware means “be warned”. Watch Out! Continue reading
1 Samuel 15:22-23: Samuel said, “Does the Lord delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the Lord? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. Indeed, rebellion is like witchcraft, and stubborn arrogance is idolatry. Because you have rejected this message from the Lord, he has rejected you from being king.”
This passage comes from the story of King Saul and the prophet Samuel, when God told Saul to take his army and kill all the Amalekites; man, woman and child; and destroy all the plunder, all the stuff they captured in the battle. Turns out, Saul did not obey. He brought back the best of the sheep and cattle supposedly to sacrifice to the Lord; and he even failed to execute Agag, the king of the Amalekites. God was very angry, so He sent Samuel to tell Saul what was going to happen. Continue reading