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Remember the Chains

Remember the Chains

Words of Faith 12-17-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 4

     [18] I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. 


       Paul concluded his letter to the Colossians just as he began, with a blessing of grace.  As he signed off, he wanted to be sure that those receiving the letter knew both his sincerity and the authenticity of the communication, so he signed in his own hand.  Paul normally used a stenographer to help physically write a letter (Romans 16:22).  But now he would sign it with his own hand even though this may have been difficult due to the chains he bore.

        But there was something more.  As he reached over awkwardly to sign this letter and the chains clanked, he wrote this one last thing-- Remember my chains. 

        Hmm.  Was Paul just pleading for sympathy here?  That is doubtful.  In fact, that never was his way.  Remember that he declared to the Philippian believers: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (1:21).  Paul had no regrets over being in chains or even dying for Jesus.  There was something more here.

        For Paul, the chains he bore were a powerful image of how God uses even the most painful experiences for His glorious plan.  Paul saw clearly how even the chains he wore could be used for the glory of God in building the courage of other believers.  In that same letter Paul was clear: 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.   Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly (Phil. 1:13-14).  Nothing is wasted.

        As Paul closed this letter, he drew deliberate attention to the painful circumstance of his imprisonment.  He didn’t want any of us to forget how God relentlessly uses things intended for evil by turning them for good.  For those who walk with God, there are no “curve balls.”  The events that we do not expect are fully anticipated by God.  The circumstances that take us by surprise are no surprise at all to God. 

       This was the way Paul lived.  Run me out of the synagogue?  I will set up in a house and go to the streets.  Run me out of town?  I will go to a new town.  Start a riot against me?  I will win over the city leaders.  Beat me and leave me for dead?  I will come back stronger.  Throw me in to jail?  I will sing praises and convert the guard and his family.   Shipwreck me?  I will convert the entire island for Jesus.  Send snakes to bite me?  I will flick them into the fire and people will come and listen to the Gospel even more.  Throw me into a Roman prison?  I will convert the palace guard. 

       Why all this?  Quite simply, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.  With Jesus on my side, I simply cannot be defeated.  So… remember my chains.  They are chains of victory, not defeat.


       Lord Jesus, I give thanks for the power that is found only in You to carry the Good News of the Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth.  I can indeed to all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.  May I remember the chains.  May I remember and claim the victory.  In Jesus’ Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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