Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Paul's Chains - Colossians - Part 34

Good morning. If you are reading this then that means you are alive and it is my firm conviction that where there is life there is hope.

I had interesting dreams last night. The details of them are fading even as I type but the theme and thought I was left with was the concept of 'being painted into a corner.' I don't hear people talk about it very much but I do see the theme everywhere in fiction and in life.

People tend to get trapped by their own projects or locked into circumstances. Stepping on wet paint makes a mess and waiting wastes time. The grass is always greener out in the free zone if you are stuck in a trap of your own design.

We find that life is filled with many painters and at times our progress is halted by the work of others.

I think this is a fitting thought for this last verse of the last chapter of Colossians.

"I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you." - Colossians 4:18 ESV

Paul's life has brought him to this place. A trapped man who is truly free. He isn't complaining or full of despair. He is writing about the loftiest of subjects. He is moving forward. He has hope for himself and others. God is being revealed moment by moment to him in his experience.

The Gospel is a message for trapped people who long to be free. It is for dying people who want to live.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." - John 3:16-19 ESV

If you are happy functioning in your own power then this isn't such good news.

But, For the father who suddenly realizes that his life is locked in because he has children or the business owner who knows that others are relying on them this is wonderful news.

It is wonderful news to anyone who has painted themselves into a corner or who has come to grips with the reality that death is coming at them like a freight train and one day they will face the final situation where the only solution lies in a Savior who will be the way of escape.

Paul was in chains. The Colossians knew that. I'm sure they prayed for his release but I'm also sure that it was motivation for them to live in the freedom of the One who gives release.

Are you trapped today? There is a Savior who releases captives.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed," - Luke 4:18 ESV

If you are alive then you have hope.

"'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living." - Matthew 22:32 ESV

Believe in Jesus and join the ranks of the living. There is hope in Him. He will be your constant companion as the paint drys and He will release you from every chain at the perfect moment.


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