A Ministry of Reconciliation
This Newsletter is the 6th for Bethel Ministries (Bethel). The newsletter is sent out regularly to contributors, churches, and interested public.
Bethel, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and faith-based program in Boise, Idaho, was established to help men leaving incarceration change their lives to become law-abiding, productive members of society. Bethel provides transitional homes where the men reside in a family-type setting. During their six to twelve month stay, the men are matched with mentors, obtain employment, attend a structured program of life-skill classes, and participate in group and individual counseling.
Bethel provides an invaluable service to the families of the Treasure Valley and all Idaho by preventing many newly released prisoners from re-entering communities void of rehabilitative services necessary to help such men on the right track before being on their own within the community.
News from the Chairman
Since our last Newsletter, Bethel has been blessed to receive a number of new residents. Bethel now has a total of 18 residents. Our current housing capacity is 24. Based on projections, we may be at capacity later in April.
Bethel Ministries recently started a new program where churches can adopt Bethel as one of their outreach ministries. Adoption by a church means that a church supports Bethel’s program by offering prayers for Bethel’s residents and success for the program, and when possible, providing financial support. Churches that notify Bethel of adopting the ministry will be so listed on our web site shown below. More information on the adoption program may be found on the donations page of our web site.
To date, two churches in Boise have adopted Bethel as an outreach ministry: Mountain View Church of the Brethren and Grace Communion International.
Jesus, The Perfect Sacrifice for sin
In this life, Salvation is in part and not in the whole. What I mean by that…. Salvation, as I understand it, is a process and not a place of arriving. Jesus’ grace is sufficient for anyone to bring salvation. But the process doesn’t necessarily always happen all at once. In fact it may take a lifetime. I used to tell my kids “Grow up!” Salvation is a growing up process, a maturing of the spirit and soul. We grow in the likeness of Jesus. We become more like Him.
Sin is a terrible part of our world today. It is much a part of people’s lives. The Bible says, if some say that they are not a sinner, they lie and the truth is not in them (1 John 1:8). All sin, and all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). However, the Scripture also says that Jesus was without sin (1 Peter 2:21, 22). This pureness and completeness that Jesus was made Him the Perfect Man; a Man without sin.
Jesus chose to become the perfect Sacrifice for all (1 Peter 2:23, 24). He is the Son of God…. And even more, He is God. He said to one of his disciples, “You have seen me, you have seen the Father… the Father and I are one.” (John 10:30). So what does it mean to be saved of sin?
Many believe that because of Jesus’ death on the cross that we are saved from the punishment of sin. It is true, He took on our punishment; therefore, we do not go to hell. But there is even more.
We can live life abundantly
The fact is, because of Christ Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we can be cured from sin. We can be freed from sin (John 8:36).
There are people who seem to enjoy sinful living. People who want to live a sinful life have the illness that brings death. It is like an addiction. It may be enjoyed for a time, I suppose. But the truth is, sin gets a hold of a person and there is a time it is NOT fun. Remember, sin not only brings judgment but it brings death. When a person is truly caught up in sin, they lose sight about what a person (man or woman) really is.
But there is a cure for sin. When Jesus changes our hearts, we move away from sin. But understand it is a process. Growing to maturity in Christ is a process (Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).
We learn abundant life lessons. We do not have to live in sin when we grow up in Christ. I believe that sin does not just bring the punishment of hell but sin brings death (Romans 6:23). The Good News is that Christ Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient to not only save us from our sins but to bring a transformation from sinning. Adam and Eve ate the fruit and their sin not only cost them the life in the garden, it cost them life. It separated them from God in relationship.
The lust of the flesh leads to selfishness, bitterness, anger, strife, all crime and divorce. The list goes on and on. Sin brings about so much heartache, pain and destruction. War is Sin. A lot of illness is the result of sin. Prisons and jails are full because of sin. In general, lives become broken because of sin.
Praise God there is a cure and the cure is Jesus. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help with sin. The Holy Spirit brings conviction. He lets people know of their downfall with sin. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, He brings hope and healing. He brings the mercy and love of God so that the weight of sin might be lifted and we can begin to grow up in Jesus.
Justice… God is a just God. Jesus died to take the punishment of sin. The truth is, there is collateral damage with sin. Our world has laws. Many of those laws are God’s laws. If you break a law, the world brings justice. This is why we have prisons and jails. The world brings punishment for the breaking of law. When someone is punished for their breaking of a law and pays for their crime, there needs be a time for moving on and forgiveness.
It is recognition that there is Redemption. There can be a changing of life. People can move away from bad actions of the past and a willingness to give people another chance in life. It is the understanding that people can grow up and leave sin behind. It means no matter what you have done in your past, there is a time where God makes us new people…. more in the image of Jesus. Jesus saves from the gutter-most to the uttermost. Amen!
Praise God for His love! Great God Almighty, peace at last.
So the question is… If my Lord and Savior forgives His children, who am I not to? When we understand Jesus’ love, we are called to offer His grace to anyone willing to seek it.
Suggested reading: Romans 12
How to help
You may donate through PayPal or send checks made payable to Bethel Ministries, PO Box 44106, Boise, Idaho 83711-0106. Your support is always greatly appreciated.
Additional ways to donate
In addition to your prayers and monetary donations, Bethel is in need of many other types of donations including household items such as kitchen ware and appliances, draperies, furniture, such as beds, chests, washers, dryers, freezers, tables and chairs, and also men’s clothing. Bethel can also use donated food. Contact Rob Lee or 208-724-1734 or Chris Roberts at 208-602-3885 about having your donated items picked up or where you may deliver them.