UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON

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for him to be clear minded and stay focused on Christ it may make the transition easier. The onslaught of pressure may not affect them as much and they can rest in the peace of God, knowing that everything is going to be alright with time. The most important thing is for him to pray, pray, pray especially if he begins to feel he lost his focus.

Prayer is the most important part of the Christian life. Praying with a pure heart can change lives and impact impossible situations. Prayer enables a timid man to become a strong soldier and example for Christ. Once your friend or loved one develops a clear minded or focused thought process and enters into a pure hearted prayer life, he will experience true victory in his life and learn to have self-control.

Your love and support from the outside is a crucial part of your loved ones life in prison. As the scriptures state, ďLove covers a multitude of sin.Ē Your love and prayers for him will cover many of their short comings and restore them in the mercy and grace of our Father in heaven. As he learns to live the Christian life, he will experience some short comings but those will help him grow spiritually. Just knowing that others love him and are praying for him to grow in Christ is a powerful feeling.

Self-control involves disciplining oneself to avoid bad things and do good things. I donít know too many people who welcome that word into their lives with joy and anticipation. Discipline goes against manís nature. We think it is difficult and involves work or sacrificing fun, etc. God looks at discipline in a different way. When we learn how much God loves us and that he has only great and glorious things in store for his children, then we will have a new perception of the word discipline.

But if we judge ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32 NKJV)                      

And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ĎMy son, do not make light of the Lordís discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves... (Hebrews 12:5-6 NKJV)

At first, the new Christian in prison will lack good self evaluation, judgment and discipline, but the Holy Spirit will help guide him if his heart is pure and he will grow spiritually. As his focus grows day by day, he will see the need to evaluate himself frequently. If he gets off on the wrong track, God will use circumstances to show him the need to have self evaluation and self-control to get back on track. This is part of Godís discipline. Your mentoring is important during this time. Eventually he will become a spiritually mature Christian, and it will become easier for you, but stay close and endure these difficult times to see him through.

Endure hardships as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. More over we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respect them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No

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