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A Prisoner For The Lord

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Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  Ephesians 4:1-6 I

I’ve always thought Paul’s usage of the word “prisoner” here was strange. We so often look at that word with a negative connotation attached to it. Why would Paul use a word that seems so negative to many readers? The answer is simple: Paul didn’t think it was negative at all. He viewed that word in this circumstance as quite positive. He viewed himself as a “Prisoner” by choice. He had earlier referred to himself as a “Slave to Christ.” We see stories of slavery in the Old Testament that are sometimes used in a positive way.

For instance, there was a people known as “bondslaves.” In Deuteronomy 15, Moses outlines a scenario where a slave was to be set free. Instead of accepting their freedom, they would choose instead to stay with their master whom they had grown to love. When this was the case, the slave would have the master pierce his ear as a sign that he was no longer a slave, but was instead a bondservant who had chosen on their own to remain in the service of the master. When I see this in Ephesians, where Paul calls himself a prisoner for the Lord, I am reminded of what Moses wrote in Exodus. Paul is basically proclaiming his allegiance to God in a powerful way. He is saying, “Though I could choose another route, I instead choose to be a servant of God.” He is choosing it not because he has to, but because he wants to. He is in effect saying, “I am ‘ALL IN’ with you Jesus.” This is the kind of decision all of us have to make. Are we going “all in” or will keep our distance with Christ.

As for me, I will choose to be a prisoner for Christ. It is my only hope.

Posted by Mike Devine with
in Hope

We Have A Future HOPE!

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Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

A lot of people nowadays like to find the details of their family tree. I find it interesting that we can actually through DNA and other tools and because of the access we now have to the internet, can trace our family tress almost to their very origins. We can discover things about our ancestors that we never thought possible only a few years back.

While I think it’s interesting to search our family trees, there is another tree that we can also see as we look toward our past. That family tree is the one connected to Adam and Eve all the way back to the Garden of Eden. When we look at that tree, it paints a scary heritage. That tree is the one that brought us sin. It is the one that connects us to “original sin.” That tree could have and would have condemned us to eternal punishment if not for the love and blood of Jesus. Looking back at that tree makes me all the more grateful for Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross.

Ephesians says to us that we are no longer strangers and foreigners in the kingdom of Almighty God. It says that we are now citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Wow! Think about that! We, who deserved eternal punishment, are now fellow citizens of the household of God. When Jesus died in our place, He didn’t just forgive our sins but He restored our citizenship.

He restored our damaged family “spiritual” tree. We are now children of the King. We who once had nothing but dread and judgment in our future now have a living and eternal hope. Because Jesus was willing to give His life as a sacrifice for my sin, I am now a citizen of Heaven. Because of Jesus, my future is bright and my hope is secure.

Posted by Mike Devine with

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