Posted by: peebles | September 12, 2011

Colossians 4:18 (NIV) ~ I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

 How humbling the thought, how sobering the sentence from Colossians 4:18 (NIV), “I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.” Here we have the apostle Paul, in the midst of his cruel suffering, as the Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:14 (NIV), “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm.” But Paul had his eyes fixed not on his present sufferings, but on Christ. From the quill of a pen from the apostle Paul, carried by the Holy Spirit, we received many of the books of the New Testament. Even though Paul was in chains, chains which were sore and ill-fitted on purpose to inflict as much discomfort as possible, he wrote great words of extortion and touched by the hand of God, and inspired, he wrote about faith, love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. He wrote to encourage the saints throughout the world. 

Can you imagine him by candlelight, in the cold of the night, with shackles bound on his hands and feet, writing with love to the churches? Yet, some people struggle to get out of bed to go to church on a Sunday, simply because they would rather have a long lie in bed. If there was ever a song which could be sung to describe their ways, it would be sung to the tune of the song written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) and made famous by Frank Sinatra, “There may be trouble ahead, but while there’s music and moonlight  and love and romance, let’s face the music and dance.”  For those who would rather sleep in, than go to church, the words are changed, but sung to the same tune:  “There may be trouble ahead, it’s Sunday morning, and no will get out of bed, let’s take the day off instead!” 

My friend, whatever background you come from, whatever circumstances you find yourself in, whether you are in chains like the apostle Paul, or free from the chains of oppression, let us do whatever we can to encourage one another to follow Jesus. Paul was restricted by the chains and under house arrest, yet he rose above it all to write and encourage the saints. If we know of anyone who is in prison, in chains or under house arrest, let us not forget them in our prayers. Therefore, let us do whatever we can, with whatever gift God has blessed us with to spread the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ. Grace be with you. 

God bless you my friend, Matthew.



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