On Special Assignment in Prison
Verse 12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.
Paul moves from the greeting portion of his letter to the message he has for his friends. To begin he wants them to know that he isn’t discouraged by the fact that he is imprisoned.
While most of us would be embarrassed and ashamed for being in jail Paul knew the reason that he was incarcerated wasn’t something to be ashamed of. He was under guard because he was professing that Jesus was the Son of God and had risen from the dead. Yes, he was in prison because he was a Christian.
Many of us live in a place where it isn’t a crime to be a Christian but that may not always be true. Paul knew his friends may be uneasy about his chains for various reasons. They loved him and could be concerned about his well-being. This jail system wasn’t about guaranteed comforts for the duration of his imprisonment. He wasn’t promised 3 square meals a day. He was promised nothing. But Paul was reminding them that because he was there for the purpose of the Gospel and that God would be caring for him.
This care God had for Paul would not make his life easy. He still had hard days and would eventually give his life for the sake of the Gospel. But Paul wasn’t concerned about what would become of his life. He knew that God’s plan included this unseemly housing because it gave opportunity to further the Gospel.
It was this time in prison that allowed him the time to write letters to various churches he had planted and visited during his three missionary journeys. These letters are still being used for our spiritual growth and have stood the test of generations. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit and even considered part of Scripture by Peter (2 Peter 3:15-16). God put Paul in a place and situation where he could do the most good for the kingdom through the ages. He was called to advance the Kingdom of God and that is what he did!
Making It Personal
How willing are you to be put in inconvenient situations for the furthering of the Gospel? Have you ever felt like you were in a place where you couldn’t be of any use to God? How has God used you?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever felt like you were somewhere that you couldn’t talk about Jesus? Do you think Jesus wants to use you no matter the situation? What can you do today that will show you love Jesus?
Father, thank You for placing us in situations where we can be of the most use for You. Help us recognize times when You have us in a special place for a certain reason. Give us a desire to share the Gospel. In Jesus’ name, amen.