Updated: Feb 28
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. 5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
We are to be free of the chains of sin and evil living, there are also good things to be chained to and Paul in the above verses alerts us to why he was in chains at that time. We notice in verse 1 Paul says to devote ourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. To devote ourselves to anything means we are giving our whole being to it. Paul speaks in such a way as to show us that prayer must be our priority, to the point that we are "chained" to that devotion. The chains holding us to prayer are holy chains that have been molded by God himself since He gave us easy access to Him by taking away any restrictions to our prayers reaching His ears. Jesus opened the "prayer avenue" for all who would receive Him. Here is the truth about our access to our Holy God as found in Hebrews 4:14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
We don't have to come ducking our heads when we come to the Lord. We come in total surrender and that surrender is held to chains of grace provided by Jesus. To hold back and put ourselves back into the chains of our former life is a mistake that is prompted by our enemy. Satan wants us to doubt this wonderful grace and live out of our old nature. That move limits our understanding of our Heavenly Father and puts a manmade barrier where it should not be. We are to be chained, but not to our former life. We are held by the wonderful grace chains provided by Jesus. Those chains can never be broken because of the completeness of Jesus' sacrifice. The story below illustrates that our guilt is real, but also the wonderful grace of God is even more real.
When Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town, he was stopped by a policeman and charged with speeding. Graham admitted his quilt but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court.
The judge asked, "Guilty, or not guilty?" When Graham pleaded guilty, the judge replied, "That'll be ten dollars -- a dollar for every mile you went over the limit."
Suddenly the judge recognized the famous minister. "You have violated the law," he said. "The fine must be paid--but I am going to pay it for you." He took a ten-dollar bill from his own wallet, attached it to the ticket, and then took Graham out and bought him a steak dinner! "That," said Billy Graham, "is how God treats repentant sinners!"
Our God recognizes us when we approach the throne of grace because we look like the only famous one, His son Jesus. His grace is much more than we can ever repay or live up to, but we can chain ourselves to never depart from our hope in that grace. Speaking of being chained, God's chains hold us to that grace throughout eternity! Paul wrote to the church at Philippi in Philippians 1:12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ.14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.
The Pilgrimage Continues..