For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles – Ephesians 3:1
It’s not easy to give up what is rightly ours for the sake of others. It’s even less easy when we can rightly determine that “they don’t deserve it.” It’s human nature, perhaps, to cling to our privileges and prerogatives because they lead us to the mistaken impression that somehow we are important. We want to mark our territory, draw our lines, and dare anyone to try and cross them.
In Ephesians, though, Paul shows us a different way. Paul gave up status and prestige that were rightfully his because of Christ’s work on the cross. Paul, the Jew among Jews and the Roman citizen, became a traveling missionary, ostracized from the people who once esteemed him, making tents (rather than teaching) for a living, all for the sake of a people that he once believed were unworthy of salvation. He followed the example of Christ in becoming “nothing” at least in the world’s eyes, so that he could demonstrate the love of Christ to people who were lost.
For many of us the story is so familiar that it’s power has become dim, but let’s not let it. Instead, let us recognize all that Paul had, all he gave up, and the reasons that he did so. Paul realized that his life was sacrificed to Christ and that Christ desired to do a work for others through him. Paul was “Christ’s prisoners” so that through his service, the Gentiles may come to know Christ.
Whose life does God want you to impact through your service to Him today?
Question: What have you been willing to give up in order that others may know Christ?