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Tuesday July 3, 2007


Day 30 -
E Larned KS to W of Newton KS, 84.2 miles, 5:44

It's the third or fourth prison I've happened upon in the last week and half. This wall in Hutchinson, KS, though, meant more to me than others.

I had just finished listening to II Timothy, which is Paul's final and most heartfelt letter, written during his last imprisonment in Rome.

In chapter one he greets his protoge, Timothy, who he refers to as his son in the faith:

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. II Timothy 1:8-12 (NIV)

I can think of very little that causes me to cringe more than the thought of being imprisoned. And with July 4th coming up tomorrow, I'm sure I'll be praising God for the freedom we have in America to proclaim the truth that Christ is Lord.

I think about the courage Peter showed (filled with the Holy Spirit) in Acts 4 when he was called on the carpet for healing a man:

If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "'the stone you builders rejected,
      which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Sometimes you just can't help but call it like it is. And as I rode past that prison wall today, I thought about Paul and all the apostles and disciples who suffered for the cause of Christ and the advancement of the early church. Most were eyewitnesses to the crucifixion and resurrection, and needless to say, they all were pretty convicted.

And through the Holy Spirit working in them, we can now have the faith of an eyewitness without ever having had to see Him in the flesh.

The book of Hebrews has a widely quoted verse on faith:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Certain of what we do not see? Yes. We can be certain, too, of what we do see. Be sure that prison walls you drive past in your every day life are the least of things holding men and women in prison.

John writes in I John: 

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. I John 2:15-17 (NIV)

That's Hutchinson, KS (above)

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 J. Boe Ellis - 813.732.0619