Jeremiah 20, 35, 36; Colossians 4

These words stand out on their own:

Remember my chains.

I scroll online back and forth between Old Testament and New Testament. Two prisons and two prisoners. Jeremiah and Paul.

I didn’t catch on at first that I was reading about Jeremiah with a separation of many chapters. In Jeremiah 20, he’s whipped and put in stocks for his prophesy. In Jeremiah 36, he’s talking again through scroll; King Jehoiakim burns it piece by piece. And I laugh–because Jeremiah tells it all again. Rewritten–words that won’t be denied, because he can’t hold them in.

When I speak, the words burst out.
“Violence and destruction!” I shout.
So these messages from the Lord
have made me a household joke.
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord
or speak in his name,
his word burns in my heart like a fire.
It’s like a fire in my bones!
I am worn out trying to hold it in!
I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20:8-9 NLT

Paul is also in chains. He writes to believers about The Why he is in chains: the opportunities God gives [us] to speak of his mysterious plan.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Colossians 4:2-6 NLT.

When Paul writes, “remember my chains,” I think on this … remembering how he was held back physically, remembering his desire to make Jesus known, remembering his vulnerability at the hands of men. Nothing could really hold back Jeremiah or Paul. So what’s holding me back from living intentionally?

Lord, I’ve been sleepwalking lately … living routinely and not so intentionally. I really want to wake up and be aware of opportunity around me to engage with others and serve them. Help me to make the most of every opportunity in your name. Every day.

Courtney (66books365)

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3 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Colossians, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament

3 responses to “Jeremiah 20, 35, 36; Colossians 4

  1. A dangerous prayer, my friend.

  2. Ha! Reggie, I was about to tell Courtney, “just pray for opportunity!” As I read this post, Courtney, I was reminded that this morning I prayed that I would get to speak to my clients about God. What was awesome is that two clients talked about God in their individual sessions, and the Scripture Romans 8:28 came to mind so I quoted it to each of them. It was especially helpful with one client who was filled with shame. He seemed to be encouraged to hear that even in the dark times, our God knows us and knows what He has purposed for us. So thanks, Courtney, for giving me a way to return praise to God for answered prayer!

  3. Excellent, Janet! Excellent.

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