Friday, January 15, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A Prisoner for the Lord
Ephesians 4:1-7
Iype Chandy
Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation
A Prisoner for the Lord
Ephesians 4:1-7
Iype Chandy
Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation

6. one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
 
I love how the Apostle Paul describes himself as “a prisoner for the Lord” in the beginning of this passage.  In fact, Paul writes this letter from a Roman prison.  Amazingly, Paul does not dwell on how or who placed him in these circumstances.  Instead, he views his predicament as exactly where God wants him to be.  Paul is at peace and therefore able to engage in meaningful ministry.    At the writing of this letter,  Paul has spent the better part of thirty years proclaiming the Good News.  His proclamation that he is a “prisoner of the Lord” reveals his state of mind, that is, Paul’s genuine belief that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. 
 
What a wonderful outlook!  In our lives, we are constantly consumed with how unfair life can be and we find ourselves seeking to blame others whom we believe are responsible for our predicament.  Paul’s appeal to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” is an exhortation to us all.  Our call demands that we forego our personal baggage and take up the cross. We must deny ourselves in order to achieve unity with God.  Self-denial is a lifelong process that we must constantly engage in.
   
If we recognize and accept God is Sovereign in our life and remember that “He must increase and I must decrease (John 3:30)” then a natural  outcome is unity with God, unity in Baptism, unity in Spirit, unity in Faith, and unity in the Body of Christ with all fellow believers. 

PRAYER

Gracious Lord, help us to recognize Your sovereignty in our lives.  Inspire us to be humble, gentle, patient, loving, and peaceful.  Enable us to advance Your Gospel in this world, not for our glory but for Yours.  Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
Are you a prisoner for the Lord?