by: David Walls
Yesterday we discovered the gospel penetrating the hardcore imperial guard of Rome. But that was just the beginning. Paul talks also about the new Christians who were part of Caesar’s household. That language refers to anyone living in the palace or connected with the emperor’s service. The power and light of the gospel was illuminating the hearts of some of Caesar’s servants—perhaps even some of his family members.
Isn’t that just like God, to take something we view as painful, difficult, and negative and turn it completely around for his glory? Perhaps the only way for the message of the gospel to reach the highest echelon of Caesar’s household was through the testimony of some of his very own imperial guards, who sat in shifts as a captive audience chained to the apostle.
Perhaps you find yourself chained to a dead-end job, a difficult marriage, or an ongoing health issue. Maybe your prison is unemployment, or an afflicted son or daughter. Many of us respond to these chains by thinking, “Why would God let this happen to me?”
But consider the possibility that, as difficult and as painful as our circumstances may be, God desires to “advance the gospel of Jesus Christ” through the way we respond to those circumstances.