This Week’s Passage: 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains.Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
There are 2 things that struck me this week as I pondered:
1) Paul’s Prayer Request – Keep in mind that Paul is in jail. He did not ask that people would pray for his release; nor that they would pray for his health or safety; nor that he would even be content or find joy under the circumstances. Instead, he asked that people would pray that he would “fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”
What a man asks prayer for reveals a lot about the man. Here Paul reveals a lot about himself. He is much more concerned that the gospel be declared than he is about what he is going through. This is not something I can say about myself. I am way too self-centered and enjoy my creature comforts way too much. It is evident that Paul greatly valued the triumph of the gospel more than anything else whereas I greatly value my stuff and my health and my family more than even the gospel. Just being real here. If I have been transformed by the gospel should this still be the case? Do I just have a mild case of Christianity but have never experienced the full blown disease?
2) Why does Paul use the word “fearlessly”? He could have just as easily left that word out and his prayer request would have still been potent. But here are thoughts on why the gospel should not just be declared but be declared fearlessly.
a) Because by definition the gospel is GOOD NEWS. Sins are forgiven. Relationship with God is restored. The hope of heaven is secured. Why not declare this news fearlessly – it is the best news anyone could ever hope to hear.
b) Because the gospel transforms lives. It makes the dead alive. It gives hope to the hopeless. It gives freedom to those enslaved. If this is indeed true then people need to hear and I (we) need to do whatever it takes to help them hear.
I have watched over the last few months many people who’s lives have apparently been changed become fearless ambassadors. They have shared with whoever will listen the good news… about a product called Visalus. I have wondered that if I believed the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ even half as much as these folks believe in the life-changing power of Visalus how I would be effected and how would my life and ministry be changed.
Paul believed in the life changing power of the gospel – therefore he asked that his friends in Ephesus pray that he be able to declare it fearlessly.
These 3 verses have given me plenty to think about – still so much to ponder as I try to practice what I ponder. I hope these verses have made you think as well.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 6:21-24