Why are prisons the most spiritually fertile harvest field on this planet? Part 8 of 10
People have asked me, why do I say that prisons are the most fruitful spiritual harvest field on this planet? I would like to share 10 reasons with you over the next few weeks and thank you for investing prayer, money and time to help us bring Glory to God as inmates and their families come to faith in Christ.
For review here are the previous six:
1. Most inmates are very discouraged. They need to hear the Good News and Hope that only comes from God’s Word.
2. In prison, they have plenty of time to study God’s Word.
3. Many are looking for purpose and meaning to life (Living for Christ gives an eternal purpose) Ephesians 3:9-13
4, In prison, there are fewer worldly distractions (No cell phones, no internet, etc)
5. All inmates need to be loved (The Word of God tells the truth of the ultimate source of love)
6. In prison, they have time to reflect on the bad choices they have made and many looking to change.
7. All inmates suffer from loneliness (many have very few visitors, a visit from PMA, brings Hope, correspondence instructor letters are like Christmas)
This week we look at #8. Many have reached a point of humbleness, brokenness and a contrite heart- rock bottom so to speak. They are ready to listen to God and His will for their life.
The Bible speaks often of a contrite heart. In Isaiah 66:2, the Lord says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” And in Psalm 51:17, David writes, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Contrition is spoken of as something God likes, and it is linked in these verses to humility, brokenness, and a healthy fear of God’s Word. So what exactly does it mean to be contrite?
According to the International Bible Encyclopedia, “A contrite heart is one in which the natural pride and self-sufficiency have been completely humbled by the consciousness of guilt.” The Hebrew and Greek words often translated “contrite” actually mean “crushed, crippled, or broken.” When contrite modifies heart, we get the picture of a conscience that is crushed by the weight of its own guilt. When a human spirit stops justifying its wrong choices, awakens to the depth of its depravity, and humbly accepts God’s righteous condemnation of sin, contrition is present. A contrite heart offers no excuses and shifts no blame. It fully agrees with God about how evil it is. A contrite heart throws itself upon the mercy of God, knowing that it deserves nothing but righteous wrath (Isaiah 6:5; Psalm 41:4).
Our PMA lessons are a great way to reach those who are broken and contrite, ready to learn from God’s Word.