Inside Perspective - March 2014

My Dear Family in Christ,

In the course of my chores here at the Greenhouse, I am always able to speak with a plethora of people throughout the day, be they saved or unsaved. The Greenhouse is dead center in the middle of the prison and everyone, including officers, prisoners and civilians alike must pass me by while going to and fro. It is my personal belief that the Lord providentially hand-picked this particular job for me, and that, for just such a time as this.

Considering the constant flow of people, it is really the evangelist’s dream job. Therefore, I carry in my heart a large bag of seed, namely the Word of God. (Lk.8:11) I daily, unbeknownst to them, sow it into men’s hearts. During the winter weather, it is a little more difficult to share as most people are all bundled up and not as quick to give an ear. In the spring, summer and fall though, there are always a few choice moments for, “A word fitly spoken...” which is from the Lord “ apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Pr.25:11)

It is written, “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both alike shall be good.” (Ecc.11:6)

The other day I was talking with AJ, my beloved Christian brother, about the things of the Kingdom. During our conversation, he told me that his regular officer (boss) was not in that day and that he had a rookie officer. Without much thought to it, I asked him if had he shared the Lord with him yet. He just shyly hung his head and said, “No.”

We went on to casually talk a little bit about some of the principles of evangelism. I wanted to encourage him and at the same time perhaps put a few spiritual nuggets in his proverbial pocket. We spoke about how we have to train ourselves not to see people by their outward appearances, but to see them as either saved or unsaved.

You see in here, people either wear blue, meaning they are police, or they wear tan, meaning they are prisoners. It is a clear line of distinction and if I may be frank, most police do not care for prisoners just as most prisoners can’t stand the police. There is a tension that undermines all that goes on here and it is outwardly manifest, albeit unwittingly, by the two contrasting uniform colors. Cops and robbers always was and always will be for unbelievers, but it should never ever be our perspective!

I also shared with AJ my living pulpit doctrine. Simply put, believers are all living, walking human pulpits, and the Word of the Lord should always be found upon our lips. I tried to encourage AJ to develop that perspective of ourselves and after our conversation we went our own ways. Later on that day I saw AJ again. He came over to me quickly and said, “Brother Philip, you are not going to believe this! I have to share this with you.” I wasn’t able to speak with him right at that moment, but I thought in my heart, “Wow, maybe he shared the Lord with the officer after our talk!” I am always the optimist, sometimes to a fault. Later on, I caught up with AJ and he told me his story.

He said, “Brother Philip, I went back to work after our talk and I thought about what you had said. I even had the opportunity to share the Lord with the officer but I did not take advantage of it. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead I just went and sat down. Then after a few minutes, I had to use the bathroom so I got up and went. The bathroom is right next to the officer’s office. When I got into the bathroom I could hear voices in the officer’s office. I strained to hear and was shocked to listen to the Muslim prisoners sharing Allah with the officer! I was smitten and ashamed and I knew the Lord was using the whole thing to teach me the Truth of what we had just spoken about.”

In light of all that, I tried to encourage AJ to learn from his sad omission, indeed, let us all learn from it as it is written, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, behold we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? He that keepeth thy soul, does He not know? And shall not He render to every man according to his deeds?” (Pr. 24:11-12)

Beloved, the world is full of the devil’s evangelists proclaiming false religions of every flavor. They have probably knocked on your own door. Zealous are they not? How many hearts have you knocked on with the gospel message lately? Maybe you just can’t bring yourself to do it, so you go and sit down.

It is written, “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.” (Pr.10:5)

Should we, the children of God, let ourselves be shamed by the devil’s evangelists? I pray not. Unsaved people already belong to Satan but you are a bearer of Truth, therefore, stand in his way! Do not be found asleep at the gospel wheel! Everyone in your path is a providentially hand-picked job for you to witness to, and that, for just such a time as this.                            Beloved, you are indeed...