The LORD says, . . . “In the same way, my words leave my mouth, and they don’t come back without results. My words make the things happen that I want to happen. They succeed in doing what I send them to do.” Isaiah 55:11 ERV
That’s a great promise the Lord gives us, isn’t it! God’s Word produces results. When people read and come to understand God’s Word, they believe. Lives change, truly change.
I saw that again for myself recently when I visited a jail in Rockford, Illinois, where we are providing Bibles and training to inmates.
Right now, inmates who’ve been trained as Philips—Project Philip Bible study leaders—are sharing God’s Word with their fellow inmates. Earlier this year, 15 inmates completed Church Planter Training, and some have already started new churches behind bars.
Grant found new life in Jesus Christ when he took part in a Project Philip Bible study after he ended up in the Rockford jail. As he came to understand God’s Word, it transformed his life.
“It took me coming to jail to find joy in life,” he admits.
When offered the opportunity to be part of the first-ever Church Planter Training in a jail, he jumped at it. “I wanted to be in the training because I was hungry for the Word,” he explains.
“Here in jail, there is a constant battle of light versus darkness. I keep choosing the light every day. I find my purpose when I open my Bible in the morning. I find joy and peace here through the Word of the Lord.”
The moment Grant allowed God’s Word to speak to him, he opened a door to let Jesus into his heart—and let the Savior guide his life.
Grant concedes that he never had a good relationship with his family. He says that he always felt he was on his own, so he turned drugs and alcohol. His addictions only further deteriorated his relationships. He never imagined the fatherly love he came to feel from his Creator.
“God gave me a family here,” he shares, “I did not know that Jesus was my family before. Now I do.”
A Project Philip Bible study leader came into Grant’s life—inside the walls of a jail in Rockford, IL—and helped him to understand God’s Word. And the Lord did a mighty work in Grant’s life. He transformed it.
This believer is now sharing God’s Word and His love with others as he continues to grow in faith himself.
That is God’s promise—and the bottom line. He’s been using us for 80 years to share His Word. As we serve under-resourced churches around the world—those who don’t have access to or can’t afford Bibles and training—local believers, like Philip in the story of Acts 8, are helping others to understand God’s Word. They count on God’s promise in Isaiah that His Word will bring results. That it will transform lives. They’ve seen it happen time and time again. And so have we.