A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe



Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bonds or Bondage?


Bonds or Bondage?


2Timothy 1:7-15

 7 For God has not given us a spirit of [f]timidity, but of power and love and [g]discipline.
 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things, butI am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him [h]until that day. 13 [i]Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the [j]treasure which has been entrusted to you.

Paul knew that God had called him as a preacher, teacher and apostle.  In order to do this he traveled to people and people traveled to him.  At times, it must have seemed to Paul and others that he could not fulfill his calling because he was locked in prison, but Paul never allowed his bonds to become bondage.  Paul never viewed himself as on hold or on a shelf.  Instead Paul continued to do what he could do-pray, teach through his writing, govern through letters and his disciples.  He never allowed his present circumstances in the natural to hinder his spiritual work and calling.  By many he was made to look like a failure, a common criminal in order to hinder his effectiveness and his influence but Paul continued on in ministry, even though he was kept in prison.

The previous scripture it tells us that God's calling is according to his own purposes.  Because of Paul's imprisonment, we have most of the New Testament.  In prison Paul was not spending time traveling or in tent making.  He spent that time writing through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  He continued right on with what God had called him to do.  He made no excuses for his imprisonment and he never used his imprisonment as an excuse.  He knew that God had led him to prison, so prison became to him the will and purpose of God.  Paul did not sit and pout in prison.  Instead he used prison to further the Kingdom of God.

Where are you today? Do you feel that your present circumstances are binding you or keeping you from what God has called you to?  Do you look at ministry as a future goal or destination?  Are you allowing your present circumstances to become bondage to what you can do for God?  Do you view your marriage, your children, your socio-economic status, your job, or where you live as bonds that keep you from fulfilling your call?  Are you using them as an excuse to do nothing because you can't do it as you envisioned?  

What if instead of doing what he did, Paul would've sat in jail rotting, stagnating and feeling sorry for himself?  What revelations, what insights what life we would have missed!  How his ministry would have diminished!  In face, he might have not been remembered for much at all.  His life would not have had the impact for the Kingdom of God that it did.  

Paul probably never dreamed that people in the year 2012 would still be reading his writings or that his writings would become part of the guidebook for Christian living for generations to come!

What has God given you do do?  Do it with all of your might!  What has God gifted you with? Do it as much as you can within the confines he has led you to.  Don't allow your flesh the luxury of viewing your circumstances as a prison and render yourself useless to God.  You may never fully realize God's complete purpose for your placement in life, but there IS a purpose-HIS PURPOSE!  

Ephesians 2:10 tells that God has already prepared good works for us to do.  He is certainly able to lead us to them!  We have to be open to recognize them!  Have faith to believe in God's purposes in your life even when you don't understand them.  Don't be a child being led somewhere kicking and screaming because it doesn't look like where you wanted to go.  Don't sit in that place with your eyes closed, arms crossed and checked out from the world until God lets you out of that place.  You may just miss the opportunity to really make a difference for Christ!

1 comment:

  1. "Paul never allowed his bonds to become bondage." Awesome! This really spoke to me today. Thanks for sharing. :-)

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