‘Obstacles’ is the next to the last talk on the Kairos Weekend Program in the prisons. “We’ve been talking all weekend about God’s plan for our lives. Let me tell you what His plan is for us; to surrender ourselves to Him. To do whatever He wants us to on a minute by minute basis. To accept the gift of His grace and share it with others. Pretty simple; but it’s not easy.
What is Grace? It is unmerited favor. That means God being nice to us when we didn’t deserve it. Grace is a lot like mercy, Mercy is God being nice to us when we deserved to be punished.Continue reading →
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 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 →
Matthew 5:13-16 [Jesus says], “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” The Message
He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. 4:19. What does that mean? I mean really, what does that mean to you and me in this day and age? OK I’m ready, tell me what ‘Follow Me’ means. Does it mean ‘walk behind Me’? Or does it mean ‘Do what I do’? Or maybe, ‘Be like Me.’? Think about that. You decide. What does it mean to you? Continue reading →
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
In John 17:22-23, Jesus prayed for those who would later believe in Him (that includes us) “that they may be one [even] as We are one: I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.” Continue reading →
John 15 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. . . . 4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with Me.Continue reading →
In Matthew 21: 28-32, Jesus tells the story of the man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, “Go to the vineyard.” And the son said, “I will not.” But afterward, he regretted it and went. Then the father went to the second son and said the same. That son said, “I’ll go.” But he didn’t. Then Jesus said, “Which one of the sons did the will of his father?” [the Pharisees] said, “The first.”
Then Jesus tells the Pharisees that the sinners will get into heaven before them because the sinners BELIEVED what John the Baptist preached and were changed; while the Pharisees didn’t believe even after they saw it. Jesus compared them to the second son, who said the right thing, but didn’t do it. Continue reading →
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: NKJV
The kind of prayer I’m talking about; the kind of prayer I think this passage is talking about is substantially different from regular praying, where you ask for things and intercede for others. It’s not an activity where you’re focusing your conscious mind on God, and talking to Him about specific issues, or events, or material things in your life. It’s more like an attitude, an awareness of God’s presence;Continue reading →