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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

A Day at a Time: Fellow Prisoners

By Scott Harrup
July 27, 2014

When Jesus returned from His wilderness experience “in the power of the Spirit,” He publically inaugurated His ministry by reading from the Book of Isaiah in Nazareth’s synagogue.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,” He announced, “because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18,19, NIV).

The Early Christians readily self-identified with Jesus’ designation of the once lost as freed prisoners. Paul began numerous epistles calling himself Christ’s prisoner, and mentioned fellow prisoners such as Aristarchus and Epaphras. On one level, these references pointed to the persecution endured by Christ’s followers. On another, they harked back to the singular ability of the gospel to break sin’s chains and then bind the redeemed into an eternal relationship with the Savior.

The journey from sin’s prisoner to Christ’s prisoner is accomplished in an instant, but brought into full expression over a lifetime.

In this week’s interview with Prison Fellowship President Jim Liske, he makes a cogent observation of the Christian’s ongoing spiritual battle: “We are all prisoners of our own kinds of sin. We are all recovering from something and re-entering from somewhere.”

Every believer works out his or her salvation “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). No one succeeds in that struggle through human strength but rather with the arsenal provided by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

With these truths in focus, the following personal stories of struggle and deliverance can offer you great encouragement even if the particular life issues described feel foreign to you. Perhaps you have never questioned your gender identity or sexual orientation. You may never have struggled with an addiction or been shackled with an eating disorder. But as you read of such painful experiences that Linda Seiler, Crystal Renaud and Jenny Johnson encountered, take heart.

Regardless of your most painful and secret battles, Jesus Christ came to set you free.

Scott Harrup
Managing Editor

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