In Chains for Christ
Posted: Thursday, June 13
1 Kings 11:1-12:19
Verse of the day:
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
(Philippians 1:12-14, NIV)
Everyone had the same questions. Why God didn’t deliver Paul from getting arrested by the Roman Empire? Since Paul has been imprisoned for so long, how was he faring? What would be the outcome of his hearing before the Emperor? Would it serve to advance the gospel throughout the Roman world?
For Paul, his presence in Rome as a prisoner awaiting trial served to advance the gospel. Everyone knew Paul was on house arrest on account of the gospel and not because of subversive political activity or criminal conduct. He was in chains for Christ. This allowed the Apostle to share the gospel with the Imperial Guard and to inspire the church in Rome to boldly proclaim the gospel. God used Paul because he was imprisoned and not in spite of it.
Like the Apostle Paul, my good friend Nilda Rivera is a great example of someone God uses because of her disability and not in spite of it. Nilda’s disability has given her the credibility and compassion to minister to the vast population of people with disabilities in Wisconsin and to help churches discover the untapped potential of the people with disabilities around them.
I asked Nilda: “Do you believe in healing and the power of prayer?”
She answered: “Absolutely, I can attest to many things God has healed in my life. However, I also know that God is sovereign. I know God wants to use me for His glory because of my disability - not in spite of it. Not only has my disability has opened doors for me, it has inspired some to draw near Jesus and others to pursue their own callings.”
Today, you may feel your current circumstances hinder you from serving God and others. Would it be possible that, like Paul and Nilda, God wants to use you because of the circumstance you’re in and not in spite of it?
You may wonder… Does this mean that God will not change my current circumstance? Not at all. There is nothing impossible for God.
What I am saying is… God wants to use your current circumstance to inspire some to draw near Jesus and others to serve Him. God wants to use you right where you are.