My book “Doing Time” is a collection of 52 devotionals geared towards those serving in prison. It can be ordered through Delta Publishing via the following link.
The following excerpt from the book is the first devotional.
James 4:13,14 – “Now listen, you say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
As a prison chaplain I was around thousands of men and women “doing time”, as they described their prison sentences. Life stopped when the gate closed behind them. Living ended when the prison term began and would resume only after release. Yet the years passed just the same.
We are all doing time! We all have an allotted amount. How much, we are not told, but the Bible tells us it is disappearing as steam. Anyone over fifty can attest to that.
It is not where the body is that count. It is where the heart is – that part of us that is free to live for God or in opposition to Him.
I have seen inmates continue to live as they did in the “free-world”, wasting precious years living in ugliness. I have often heard some say wistfully, “Things will be different when I get out.” Yet I have also seen those who achieved peace and purpose, in spite of the limitations of prison life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) He didn’t exclude the elderly, the handicapped, the uneducated or the poor. He didn’t exclude the prisoners either.
Whether we are in humble surroundings or whether we are rich, whether we achieve fame or remain unknown, is of no consequence. When we come to Him in repentance and surrender He will fill our lives with meaning.
Time, as we understand it, will quickly evaporate, but He will always be. The greatest need in time, wherever we spend it, is to know God.
Psalm 39: 5 - You have made my days a mere handbreath; the span of my years as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.
Matthew 22:37-42 – Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.
WHAT ARE THESE VERSES SAYING ABOUT THE PRIORITIES OF LIFE?