Aug 23, 2013

The Ambassador in Chains

 Hello Mornings began this week and the study has already blown me away. Ephesians is the subject of the 13-week study and Paul has been the main topic of our discussion.




Paul (formerly Saul) was a fearless warrior against Christ. He terrorized believers and dragged them into prison for speaking the Gospel. Paul made it his priority to end the name of Jesus and everything He represented.

Until one day...

The angel of the Lord spoke to Paul and miraculously he listened. This was a lost man in a fallen world and yet he heard a voice and responded. He was made blind so God could give him a new vision. And what a vision it was.

Paul describes himself to the Ephesians as a prisoner of Christ, an apostle by God's will and an Ambassador in Chains.

This particular label has resonated with me all week. When I describe God I do not connect him to shackles, I picture freedom, redemption, and chains left behind.

Yet Paul comes from a different place. God saved him from disastrous choices and offered him forgiveness. He gave Paul a way to redeem his past and make his future one to hold dear.

I cannot fathom how Paul faced the families of those he tortured after being made new in Christ. How did he greet them in the market? Did his fellow Christians accept him with open arms or did they worry he was playing a cruel joke?

We do know once Paul's heart was renewed he possessed a zeal for God that has never been matched. He pleaded with Christians to love, encourage, and support one another and to live a life according to God's plan.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Ephesians 4:1
My heart aches for Paul as I hear the desperation in his words. He longs for others to be passionate for the Lord and for the lost. He uses all of his strength getting the Message to anyone who will listen.

When God pulled Paul from the grips of darkness he gave him a new mission in life. Until his last breath Paul begged believers to speak boldly and pray for one another.

His words are a constant reminder to me of how we should never stop reaching out to those in darkness  and embrace Christ followers from all walks of life.


12 comments:

  1. Cheli Armstrong SiglerAugust 24, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    I loved hearing what you've learned this week! Thank you for sharing. Glad to be part of Hello Mornings with you!

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  2. Thanks so much Cheli! Paul's story is rich with redemption and advice. I'm glad we're learning together!

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  3. Agreed. I think if I encountered a "Saul" today, I'm sure I would see him as a lost cause, not able to imagine how someone could make such a 180. So thankful God is more powerful than what we can imagine!


    Thanks for linking up!

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  4. "He was made blind so God could give him a new vision" - I like that and I don't think i ever thought about it in that way. Thanks for sharing. I'm in a hello mornings group also and linked up.

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  5. Thanks Katie for providing a place for us to share our hearts and for a wonderful study!

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  6. Thanks for reading Sandy, glad I could give you another perspective. I hope you are enjoying Hello Mornings!

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  7. Once again, God is using passages about Paul to challenge me in my own lack of boldness and zeal. Enjoying this study and so glad you talked me into it :)

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  8. So glad God put it on both our hearts Lindsey! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  9. Paul's life amazes me...the level of desperation he shows in wanting others to believe Truth like he does...it's humbling and convicting. Thinking about the way you described him here is going to change the way I study this book. (I'm part of HM, too.) Beautiful words and thoughts, friend. Blessings! :)

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  10. Thanks Mel! Looking at Paul in a new light during this study. I love reading in Acts and then moving into Ephesians. His transformation is truly miraculous. I'm so glad to see you here!


    xoxoxo

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  11. I love this Sarah. I'm so enjoying the study of Ephesians with Hello Mornings. I agree...my heart aches for Paul too. I've always been so drawn to him and I appreciate the thoughts you've shared here as I continue along in this study. Blessings.

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  12. Paul is such an amazing person and I hope to grow and mature to become an advocate for Christ as much as he was. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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