Thursday, May 26, 2011
A Prisoner of the Lord
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Paul, with the help of his amanuensis, Tychicus, writes to the Ephesian church from the Mamertine prison cell, near the Roman Senate and Congress at the head of the forum in Rome.
In this inverted bowl-shaped grotto, also called the Tullianum, a good portion of our New Testament was penned.
It is noteworthy that Paul was not complaining about his bonds, but spent these days giving us the greatest spiritual principles in which to order our lives and walk with God.
If he were suffering as an evildoer, he would be employing his pen, ink and paper to seek pity and aid for his defense. But he was not ashamed of his bonds. He allowed them to serve as tools to sharpen his message.
Paul shows us that bonds need not shackle the soul, jail cells must not imprison the spirit.
In the same way that Martin Luther King, Jr penned his soulful "Letters from the Birmingham Jail" to encourage his compatriots in the struggle, we must allow the crosses we bear to bless and instruct others.
Rather than complain, confirm. Instead of whining, be winning. Don't be stressed, but stress the gospel message. Rather than loathe your situation, love your opportunity.
Whatever the confinement you are experiencing, whether it be a cross you are bearing, a sickness you are enduring or a situation you are abiding, remember that God brought you to it so that He would bring you through it. In the meantime, let Him turn your trial into triumph, your jail into a journey, your prison into praise and your bane into a blessing.
Paul did so, and it resulted in the books of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians.