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Handcuffed for Jesus

Now I want you to know brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Philippians 1:12-13

As an imperial prisoner, Paul was bound to a member of the emperor’s official bodyguard 24 hours a day. But rather than viewing this chain as a hindrance to the gospel, Paul saw it as an opportunity! Even as he  received visitors, taught or dictated letters (Acts 28:16ff), Paul had a captive companion – his guard. Being bound to Paul, these guards would learn quickly of his character, his concern for them, his testimony and his Lord.

So who was chained to whom?

There are times in our lives when we may feel chained to unbelievers. Through God’s sovereign work, we are bound closely to someone we did not choose. It might be a college roommate, a hospital roommate, a co- worker or a neighbor. We may feel trapped and hindered by people who  are shackled to us. But freedom is found in our perspective. Are we shackled to them or are they shackled to us?

By being chained to us, they can learn of our care and concern. They can learn of our testimony. And they can learn of our Savior.

Has God chained you to someone? Are you fighting the bondage? Or can you embrace your captive audience and show them the love of Christ?

Heavenly Father, forgive my bad attitudes toward those I have felt chained to. You have sovereignly chained me to them for this period of time. Help me to proclaim your love and forgiveness to them. In Jesus name, Amen.

We never know when our disappointment will be His appointment. — Charles Swindoll

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