Daily Bible Reading for April 23, 2013: 2 Samuel 1-4, with Section Headings. David Hears of Saul’s Death, David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan, David Anointed King of Judah, Ish-bosheth Made King of Israel, The Battle of Gibeon, Abner Joins David, Joab Murders Abner, David Mourns Abner, Ish-bosheth Murdered.
You know the feeling, the feeling you have when you go to your mailbox or check your email and find a letter or message from someone who cares about your dearly. Since March 8, 2005, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries has been giving that feeling to many of the 3,351, men and women on death row in the United States. Our letters carry more than the love of every member of The Forgiveness Foundation team; our letters carry the love of Jesus Christ! Out letters share that Jesus Christ paid their sin debt, including the debt for the murder for which they were convicted. Our letters share that eternity awaits them in heaven or hell. Our letters share that Jesus has already paid for their sin; they are forgiven. The only thing they need do is to accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness by making Him Lord of their lives. The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries works toward honoring the “Great Commission,” with our mail ministry to the men and women on death row.
The only mission of the Forgiveness Foundation is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone we encounter. The primary difference between a long-term inmate sentenced to 10 years or longer and the death row inmate is that the death row inmate has a keener grasp on the importance of eternity. The long-term inmate is more often focused on what his situation will be when he is released from prison. Although a different challenge in ministering to this particular category of inmate it is not daunting. Since over 800,000 men and women fall into this category of inmate it is impossible for us to minister to them all so as names come to our attention we begin to write to them when we are sure that funds will be available to provide them with letter every month until they are released or die in prison. It is important to be consistent because it demonstrates reliability and dependability -- something many of these men and women never experienced before The Forgiveness Foundation began writing to them. Our first letter is the same in style as our first letter to a death row inmate; we share the good news of Jesus Christ with the inmate we write. We tell them that no matter what has transpired in their life that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and has already accepted the eternal punishment for their sin (crime). That Jesus wants to grant them eternal life in Heaven with Him, and all that they need to do is to sincerely ask Him to be Lord of their life. The Roman Road. Some write telling us that they are already saved and want to correspond with us. Others write back to tell us that they accepted Jesus and ask us to help them through the ordeal which they have found themselves in. Still some write back and tell us that they want to correspond with us, they are lonely -- they are alone, but that they want nothing to do with Jesus. Unfortunately a greater number does not write to us at all. I am not discouraged by letters from those who want to correspond but do not want Jesus because we are all about Jesus and we can't help share His love. Some eventually come to Jesus and some die lost forever. Since this ministry is tailored to the individual inmate all I can say is that once we receive a letter our ministry follows the need expressed in that letter wherever it may lead.
The very first institution that God ordained was the family. Sin entered the world and the family, God's first ordained institution, was painted in its sights for attack. It started with Adam blaming Eve for his disobedience to God for eating the fruit. The attack on family continued with Cain killing his brother Abel because he was jealous that God was more pleased with Abel's offering than his. Family discord began with the original family God placed on this earth continuing as man continues to pursue the fleeting pleasure that sin may provide. The Forgiveness Foundation Family Ministry works to restore broken family relationships that arise from a family member being incarcerated. The most common request that we receive is from an inmate who is on death row and his parents refused to have anything to do with him. This request typically asks us to help the inmate restore his/her relationship with his/her parents. We respond by writing the inmates parents and advising them who we are and that their child had asked us to write to them hoping to restore his/her relationship with them. If the parent does not respond we send a letter every three months sharing the love of Jesus and keeping our invitation to help restore their relationship with their child open. Some call and talk with us. Some write to us. But for all who are willing, we help them reopen their lives to their child. For some they need to learn to forgive their child and others it is the hopelessness of their child's fate that has caused them to give up. With God’s mercy it is our mission to share the true Hope in Jesus Christ as through Him we work with families of inmates to restore their relationship.
Page 1 of 2