SOME CHAINS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE BROKEN
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.This is my gospel,9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:8-10
Do you ever have a burden for anything in your life? I mean something that really speaks to your heart and it feels as though you cannot breathe until you do something about it. Many times throughout our lives, we find situations that call us to carry the burden of the Gospel. This burden is not something that can be broken, but is something that draws from the deepest parts of our soul. These burdens continue to eat away at everything we are because we know that God has created us to make a difference in this world. Each of us are called to different battles, but we are all able to face these different circumstances with the truth of the Gospel.
Now, once again before you look at that word burden and start saying, Jason the Gospel cannot be a burden, I need you to understand the context. In speaking of the word burden, as with many words, there is a positive connotation and a negative connotation. In this sense, we are using the term burden to mean a passion or heavy load that is carried. We are saying that this desire or duty that we have been given by God, works in our lives in such a way that we are carrying a desire for change in our lives. We wake up each day with a willingness to try and make the world a better place because we have a "burden" for people
to experience the freeing grace of God. So in this sense we look at this calling as a chain that is not meant to be broken. In the same way that God calls each of us to follow in His footsteps, we have a passion and a desire to carry the Gospel to parts of the unknown world. We have a passion and a desire to not remain in the same place for the rest of our lives and we are shackled by the power of the Gospel in which we truly believe has the power to make a significant change in the lives of every person that we meet. So in this case, the burden is one that is meant to be a part of our every day life because it is a result of a heart change to see God preached to the world.
So as we are reading through our scripture today, we see the same passion in the life of Paul as he is writing this encouraging letter to a young leader named Timothy. We are able to step into Paul's life and recognize that many may see his imprisonment as a negative way to use the Gospel, but in reality, it was the time Paul was mostly able to encourage and set an example of living for the Gospel. Paul had a burden to carry the Gospel to as many people as he could with limited time and limited resources. Paul knew that his story would be told throughout the towns and cities, and Paul was ready to defend his position to carry the burden of the Gospel to a generation that was lost. Even in his physical chains, Paul was able to show that God's Word could not be chained. He demonstrated how the power of God's Word continued to reach others around the world. Paul was willing to be chained for the sake of the Gospel in hopes of allowing others to see the burden that he carried for those who did not know God. Paul is trying to encourage other believers to live out their faith until the end of their lives. Through these words, we recognize that this is not something that we have to obtain through works, but something that we have a passion to endure in hopes of helping others truly find their place in God's grace, love and mercy.
So I go back to the original question that I asked today, do you ever have a burden for anything in your life? Do you have a passion that burdens your heart in a way that gives you life? We continue to recognize that chains are always seen as something that holds us down and causes us not to find our full potential in life. But today, I just want you to think of these chains as ones that are used to hold us to the calling God has in our lives. I want each of us to recognize the struggles that so many are going through and the fact that we carry the answer to help them find freedom. I hope and pray that you hear my heart and recognize that I have a burden for each one of our families, and strangers, and neighbors, etc... That the closer we come into a relationship with God, the more we are burdened to help others
find their connection as well. We are chained to the Gospel in such a way that we want to continue to add more links in the chain because those links represent to the people who continue to grow and become a part of the Family of God. We don't want to break the chain because if we do, then there may be a chance that many will fail to truly come into connection with God and think that their way of life is good enough that it doesn't have to really change. May we continue to carry the passion and burden of the Gospel to the world. May we see the power of the chains we are in and the true freedom others need to experience. Help us to endure ALL things for the sake of the Gospel that cannot be chained because of the burden Christ endured to free us all.