We were at two great churches Sunday. The worship was wonderful in both. Pastor Everette and his folks at Ark of Safety were so very kind as was Brother Steve at Tri-state Ministries. Dottie and I were so blessed by the reception as we have been all week. Charles and Rebecca from New Freedom, Pa drove 3 hours to attend the services.
We wanted to drive and beat the weather but made only 110 miles when cars began skidding off the Interstate so we just stopped a few minutes after midnight and got into a motel. We will not know until daylight if we will be able to travel tomorrow.
Colossians 1:7 “As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 9 ¶ For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”
Colossians 4:12 “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.”
Philemon 1:23 “There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus”
From faithful minister and fellow servant we now arrive at fellow prisoner. Epaphras was not afraid to visit Paul in prison. Paul had written that a number of men had forsaken him. We do not know if it was here that Epaphras was arrested and imprisoned but according to the words of Paul he had, at some time, been imprisoned.
Since we can imagine that Epaphras was the main teacher of the Colossians as well as a man of ministering to other cities it is easy to surmise that he was a man “captured’ by the Lord. I believe that all Christians who truly amount to anything spiritually will be a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Jesus will capture our hearts and minds. We will want to think the way he thinks and have only what he wants to give us. If you are following Christ you will have a life that is not your own. And this is by choice! I walked into my “prison cell” the day I said “Yes” to God when he said “Guatemala”. Oh the door is still unlocked and I can walk away at any time and become “free” but that freedom would be the true punishment.
When we are taken captive by Christ our lives are no longer our own but they are more free than at any time of our lives. Satan will capture you and hold you prisoner if you reject Jesus and his call upon your life. Satan will always jump at the opportunity to “hold you captive”.
You and I will be prisoners one way or the other. Either Jesus has you or Satan has you. But unlike being arrested by an earthly policeman we have a choice as to who will hold us captive. Personally I do not want to be held captive to sin. I want to be held captive to the love of Jesus.