Hunkered Down Devotion

Ephesians 3:1-2, 7 (Voice)
All this is exactly why I, Paul, am a prisoner of Jesus the Anointed, His representative to the outsider nations. 2 You have heard, haven’t you, how God appointed me to bring you His message of grace?
7 I became a servant and preacher of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace as He exercised His amazing power over me.

As Americans there can be no doubt that one of our most treasured values, and one of our most treasured words must be freedom.  It is one of the foundational principles on which our nation was founded.  It is one of the values that we have, literally, gone to war and fought to protect.  

It is also an important value for us as followers of Jesus Christ.  For it is our ‘freedom in Christ’, that many of us hold so dear.  In part, it is this intersection of interests and values that has led America to be called a Christian nation.  And so, when we read the words of the Apostle Paul here, describing himself as a prisoner – in some translations, it is even more emphatically rendered as a ‘slave’ – which is the very antithesis of freedom it is, or at least should be jarring to our senses.

It should lead us to examine what Paul is saying, what he means, what is going on, and make sure that we have fully understood the freedom we hold so dear.  Make no mistake, Paul is not anti-freedom, in fact there is no one in the New Testament that speaks more about the freedom we have in Christ.  But Paul understands that true freedom comes only by living who we were created to be.  True freedom comes not from following every whim of emotion, but rather but submitting our hearts, minds, and lives to Jesus Christ.  And it is only in and through that paradox that we find the freedom, grace and fulfilment that we are looking for.  

Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer: Lord, help us to find the freedom we seek by serving and following you.  Amen.

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