Don't Go Solo
Our devotion this month is written by J Winston Sarwahpue (Monrovia, Liberia). After serving just over 19 years in a Thai prison, Winston gain freedom in July this year.
Hebrew 10:25 “let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ”
Due to my own wrong choices and the desires for materialism, without a weapon of stability (Math 6:33), I ended up living in one of Bangkok's (Thailand) most notorious prisons for the period of precisely 19 years two months and 14 days, charged with conspiracy and later sentenced to life imprisonment. Though I had not been imprisoned before I was arrested, I do know from reading about other prisons and comparing them with the ones in Thailand, that ours was primitive and harsh. Yet the ordeal turned out to be the best thing that happened to me in my entire life. It was there that I surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ who turned my darkness into light and my life sentence into just over 19 years.
In the prison we were not given many facilities, for this reason we used charcoal to cook our meals from the meager income we were able to get from friends and family. One afternoon I was watching an inmate while he was cooking on the small charcoal stove. When he had finished he scattered the coal that had been glowing on the dirt floor. Within minutes each chunk of coal started losing its glow and finally died off! Now when my mind ricocheted on the whole scene, I quickly realized that a lit charcoal cannot burn independently for too long; it needs to be packed closely with the others. This is the same with Christians. For the just mentioned reason the writer of the letter to the Hebrews encourages us..... 'not to give up meeting,.... and encouraging one another (Hebrew 10:25). Yet there are some Christians who love to go solo. If that is the path on which you are walking, learn from
the charcoal! You may lose your spiritual glow slowly and could die off spiritually. The truth is that God has commanded the members of the body .... that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it (1 Cor 12: 24-26).
This means that the church, where ever this is located, is a hospital for the sick, the lonely; those who have been hurt by life's burdens, bedraggled and ill-fed, discouraged by wrong choices and weighed down by the consequences of sins. They come to find healing and encouragement to lift them from the doldrums to the bright mountain of hope, from the midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy. The body of Christ is not for the elite but for the failures. You will be perplexed to see the people Christ accepts in his body.......the unrighteous.... fornicators ..... idolaters .... adulterers ...sexually immoral …….. thieves .... those who covet .... drunkards.... revilers ...... extortioners ...and such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:9-11). Nobody is
excluded! Don't ever think you have to go solo, learn from the lesson of the charcoal and fellowship with other Christians so that you may not wither, lose your glow and die spiritually.