“Warning: Hitchhikers may be escaping inmates.” So said the orange sign we passed on an Oklahoma highway.

Hearing about someone who lived next door to the Huntsville prison, a teenager commented, “I wouldn’t want to live next to a prison.” His dad replied, “Better next to than in.”

Some years ago several of us visited the Gurney Unit near Tennessee Colony, Texas. Overlooking the locked gate, the guard kept watch. At the base of the tall enclosure were long coils of razor wire, making escape next to impossible.

Even if an inmate could somehow slip past the guards and over the top, he must always be looking over his shoulder. Out of prison, he can never truly relax as a free man. Really, he isn’t. Legally, he is still a prisoner.


While we may or may not have done anything that would land us in jail, we have all done things that condemn us to hell (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8). It’s true, so we might as well admit it.

The worst prison on earth can’t compare with the horrors of an eternal hell. Let’s do everything required of us to escape the sentence that will surely be ours if we don’t get right with God. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Though innocent, Jesus was willing to die as a convicted criminal in the most horrible fashion. Because He died in our place, God offers each of us a pardon we surely do not deserve.

It is a pardon that allows us to walk out of our cell on death row, through the gates of sin’s prison, and out into the fresh air and blue skies of freedom! God wipes our record clean.

Nothing we’ve done will ever be held against us. He offers us a fresh start, a new beginning. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).


Have you taken the steps to obtain the freedom He so much wants to give you? (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37-38; 22:16).

Why stay locked up when freedom is so available?

Using a similar analogy of the slavery of sin vs. the glorious freedom He offers, Jesus promised, “. . . everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin . . . . So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34, 36).


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Where We Were Meant to Be

rain on window-tagged

Out of place

The earthworms sought relief from the rain-soaked ground—in the foyer of our church building!

One that had crawled almost to the auditorium was mostly dried up and probably dead.

Church carpets and central heat are not worm-friendly.

From an overly wet environment into an overly dry one, this worm was out of its element.

In place

What’s our element—spiritually?

The Prodigal left home in search of pleasure. But after the famine struck, home began looking mighty good!

God created us to enjoy His fellowship, but also gave us freedom to choose.

What our lower nature craves is ultimately self-destructive, and what may seem too costly is the path to supreme joy.

Within God’s will is where we were meant to be.

And the sooner we come in, the better.

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Lost No More!

When we lose something

Today I looked and looked for my keys. Finally found them—in the wastebasket!

In throwing away some yard litter, I inadvertently tossed the keys in with it.


That sinking feeling that accompanies loss is anything but pleasant.

But until we discover our loss, we feel no distress, nor do we make any effort to recover what we’ve lost until we realize it’s missing.

When what we lose is of the greatest magnitude!

According to the Bible, most souls are lost (Matthew 7:14-15; Luke 13:23-24).

How many of them think they’re OK?

The Bible has a lot to say about being deceived.

Suggested reading: the Book of Acts. If we do what those early believers did to be saved, we will have what they possessed.

God’s plan still works—if we follow it!

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Poor Tradeoffs

Looking for what?

About 10:00 p.m. one Saturday a white duck wandered onto the parking lot across from our house. Why it strayed from its natural habitat we had no idea.

We took it back to Gee Lake, and in a few moments it was back in its element.

Why would a duck exchange soft grass and a lake for hard asphalt? Perhaps it had left in search of something, but what a way to spend a Saturday night!

Home again!

Haven’t we made some poor tradeoffs too? Like the Prodigal (Luke 15:11-32), let’s acknowledge our foolish choices for what they are—and then take the steps that lead us home!

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