COLOSSIANS 4:7-18 (NIV – UK)
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
17 Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.’
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
REMEMBER MY CHAINS
Paul closes his letter to the Colossians by saying: ‘Remember my chains’. Paul has been writing this letter from prison in Rome where he was sent after being wrongly accused of starting a riot by the religious leaders (Acts 21-23).
But regardless of Paul’s terrible personal circumstances, he has his eyes fixed on something greater. His whole letter has been focused on the growth and holiness of the church – that many people might grow in the knowledge of God. Paul’s eyes were so fixed on that goal – on spreading the news of salvation in Jesus – that he paid the price of his own freedom.
All around the world today Christians are put into chains because they follow Jesus, own a Bible, preach the Gospel, refuse to renounce their faith. We should pray for them often – give thanks for their faith and pray that they would continue to put their hope on the purposes of God.
Paul knows that the purposes of God are far my powerful than the chains that shackle him.
Question: Do you find it easy of difficult to fix your eyes on the purposes of God beyond your own circumstances?