We are in lockdown, but James Kight reminds us that God’s word is not chained.
So we’re officially in lockdown now. No doubt you find yourself filled with all sorts of emotions as you try to come to terms with what the next little while will be like. I’ve been fighting off the temptation to feel hopeless. It’s not nice being shut inside, and it means that lots of the normal ways of encouraging each other as Christians, and discipling each other at church are now impossible.
These five words from the Bible have been giving me some hope in the last few hours:
God’s word is not chained 2 Tim 2:9
Admittedly the context is slightly different from ours. Paul is in prison because of his witness for the gospel, he’s not been locked down to stop a deadly virus. However, the similarities are obvious enough. He’s stuck in the same place, he can’t see the people he would really like to, and he’s desperate that gospel ministry wouldn’t stop. It must have been frustrating for an evangelist, missionary, bible- teacher like Paul, who had travelled the world to tell people about Jesus, to now be totally stuck in the same place. What would happen to the faith of the churches he had planted? What would happen to the people he had mentored? What would become of his mission to take the gospel to the world? Being locked down in prison looks pretty hopeless.
But this is not the first time that Paul has been in prison, and it seems that God had already taught him a hope-filled truth. God’s word is not chained. See how Paul’s imprisonment led to the spread of God’s word:
- It’s from prison that God’s word spread evangelistically through Caesar’s household (Phil 4:23)
- It’s from prison that God’s word spread to disciple church families through the letters that he wrote (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were all written from prison)
- It’s from prison that God’s word spread in practice through the opportunities churches had to support him (Phil 4:10-19)
- It’s from prison that God’s word spread in example through the boldness others got (Phil 1:12-14)
So let’s praise God that whilst we feel chained up for the next little while, God’s word in London is certainly not chained. Let’s pray that his word would spread evangelistically to many who don’t know Christ, as well as spreading to disciple our church family. Let’s also pray that this lockdown would give opportunities for the word of God to spread in practice and example as we live out our faith in lockdown.