Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chains or prisons

This morning we went to The People's Church for service and it was great. The set was beautiful yet so simple and the message, led by the new GenX pastor, was thought provoking.

The part of the message that stuck with me was that we have a choice on whether chains become prisons. By that I mean the problems, sufferings, or hardships we endure naturally become chains, but if we focus on them too closely they can become prisons that enslave us and capture our attention and efforts.
The example he used was Paul. That while he was still handcuffed to the Roman guard after being arrested, he was writing letters of encouragement to the church of Phillipi. He recognized that even that situation could be used as an opportunity to serve and love other people but he had to be willing to go along with it.

Most of us have experienced people of this caliber in our lives. Those who, while suffering through their own hardships, find the opportunity to encourage and uplift us. There is something special about these people.
Paul found it in him to say "Everytime I remember you, I thank God for you in my prayers." I was so challenged by that b/c if I were handcuffed to a gaurd I would be praying for my release, my faith to remain strong...basically only for myself and my situation. (Thus focusing my attention on only the problem.) But it was the welfare of others that was on Paul's mind and heart.
I pray that I won't allow the chains that I will inevitably encounter to become prisons. May they too become places where prayer and faith abound. Places where love can flow without reservation.

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