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Letters from Prison

  • April 2018 Issue
From the Editors

Letters from Prison

Thank you for helping provide Today in the Word to our nation’s inmates!

Last year, we shared with you the exciting news that Today in the Word has partnered with Set Free Ministries to distribute this devotional within the walls of our nation’s prisons. Recently, Set Free director Phil Wagner said that 75 of those inmates prayed to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. He also forwarded these letters of gratitude, written by inmates who are following along the same Bible study that you are.

As you read Today in the Word this month, will you remember them in your prayers?

Joe—USP–Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
A daily devotional in a penitentiary is scarce, especially in Lewisburg. We await patiently for every new edition. Thank you, and God bless. May your ministry prosper. Somebody has to look out for us prisoners.

Timothy—Whiteville Correctional Facility, Tennessee
Today in the Word helps me to understand different situations and how to apply the Word. Also it helps me to be able to read different parts of the Bible on a daily basis.

James—Lawton Correctional Facility, Oklahoma
This is an excellent publication that provides me with scriptural principles to ponder daily and apply to my day. I recommend this to all Christian prisoners to strengthen their daily walk with the highest God.

John—Mississippi State Penitentiary, Mississippi
I enjoy reading Today in the Word. It is the first thing I read every morning when I have it. It gives me something to think about and Scripture to meditate on the rest of the day. Thank you.

Brian—USP–Tucson, Arizona
As a member of a small group of believers who meet every evening for Bible study. We never lack for discussion after reading God’s Word and Today in the Word. Numerous times, the Holy Spirit has connected the reading to other material that affects our personal lives, causing us to mature in our personal relationship with Christ. We also read the Q & A each month, answering the “Q” ourselves before reading “A”, and it never fails to reinforce our understanding of Scripture, and we learn a new truth from God’s Word. This wonderful resource is a blessing to so many here.

Forgiveness: A Gift to Give and to Receive

Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son, painted around 1669, is now part of the Hermitage collection in St. Petersburg, Russia. This work by the aging artist is a beautiful meditation on Jesus’ parable. The painting portrays the loving father and the two sons—the son who left, leaning ruined and repentant on his father’s breast, and the son who stayed, standing nearby in judgment with crossed arms. This solemn image tells us that both sons need healing and forgiveness from their father.

As we study forgiveness in the Bible with Today in the Word, we’ll look at the Son of God—the One who told the story. We’ll see that Jesus Christ, the Son whose obedience and sacrifice reconciled us with the Father, brought forgiveness both to the sinner and to the Pharisee in us. Our Scripture readings will remind us of the pain of guilt, the consequences of unforgiveness, and the need and the blessing of receiving and extending forgiveness.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is an open-ended story. How will you respond? Will you forgive others, and even receive their forgiveness, as the Lord has forgiven you? Our prayer is that this month’s study will help us come home to our Father and find shelter and refuge in His love, tenderness, and mercy. May we extend this mercy and forgiveness to those around us!

BY Jamie Janosz

Jamie Janosz serves as a content development manager for Moody Global Ministries. She writes monthly devotionals for Today in the Word and has published non-fiction essays with Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. Recently Jamie wrote a book titled When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up (Moody Publishers). Jamie studied theology and writing at Moody Bible Institute, Columbia College, and Illinois State University. She lives on the Atlantic coast of Florida with her husband, Milt, and daughter, Sabrina.

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