August

Are You Trying To Make Me Feel Guilty?

Gateway to Glory - August 2018.jpg

John 8:3; Then the Scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.
 
In John 8 we read about the woman, not caught before or after the act of adultery, but right smack dab in the very act! (I have to wonder, what were the Scribes and Pharisees doing to have “caught” her…and where was the man she was with?  Why wasn’t he brought before Jesus too?)  But, I digress…
 
The wrath of God’s law brought the woman, caught in adultery, to the feet of the Savior.  That’s the function of the law, to condemn.  That’s what it does, it reveals to the sinner that he is already condemned. He who does not believe in Jesus is condemned already (John 3:18).
 
Ask a person which one of the Ten Commandments makes him feel guilty?  When the Bible says, “You shall not steal”, do you feel guilty? If so, why do you think that is?  Could it be because you are guilty?  God gave us our conscience so we would know when we break His law.  The guilt we feel when we do something wrong tells us we need to repent.
 
The law is God’s mercy because it shows us there is danger, and we are in desperate need of a Savior.  Unfortunately for them, the Scribes and the Pharisees messed up.  They brought this woman to the wrong man.  You see, this man – the God Man – not only came to fulfill the law, but He also came to save sinners!   Jesus then makes a statement that stands as one of the most convicting statements of Scripture:  “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”  Of course, we know the men saw the error of their ways and walked away and the woman was saved from death and saved from eternal separation from God.
 
At the Macomb County Jail, we preach the law of God, not to judge, but to simply tell the inmates of God’s judgment on sin.  The most beautiful thing the volunteer ministers find is that you don’t have to convince an inmate that they have transgressed the law.  They know it and, especially after sentencing, they accept it.  That’s why jail and prison ministry is so effective.  Ministers don’t have to get over the hurdle of, “I’m a good person…” because the community knows they are in jail, their friends know they are in jail, their brothers and sisters know they are in jail, and even their mama knows they are in jail!  Luckily at that realization, the cross becomes a glorious sight!
 
At the aftercare, the newsletter tells of two men who have graduated the one year program (completed a six month foundational class, have been meeting regularly with their mentor, have been gainfully employed, and are showing growth spiritually) and are being reestablished in the community.  We are super proud of these two men!
 
We would be remiss if we were to close this Chaplain’s report without mentioning something that will be taking place on Thursday, August 23rd, 2018.  Being in the jail, the chaplains and volunteers see how drug addiction takes over people’s lives, destroying the addict and wrecking their families.  On Thursday, August 23rd, Bethesda Christian Church has graciously offered their church as a venue for a prayer gathering to combat this drug and opioid epidemic plaguing our communities.  We invite all to attend.  Forty to fifty churches from all over Southeastern Michigan are making the time to come and pray that the Lord of Hosts would do battle and end this scourge once and for all. Please plan to come and join us!  Bethesda Christian Church, 14000 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights, MI 48312 at 7pm.  Doors open at 6:00pm.
 
Guilty no more,
Chaplains Steve and Robin Malek