therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, [2 timothy 2:8]
prisoner – a person deprived of liberty … (merriam-webster dictionary)
paul wrote this letter to timothy as a prisoner in the mamertine prison. the apostle was a prisoner of the roman government who would eventually execute him according to tradition. but notice what he says about whose prisoner he is … “nor of me his prisoner”. paul makes it clear that he considers himself a prisoner of the Lord first and foremost. what did he mean that he was a prisoner of the Lord?
first, he saw himself completely under the authority and control of Christ. he clearly saw that all his thoughts and actions where ultimately under the Lord’s authority and control. yes, rome could imprison him but they could not ultimately determine how he would think and act. the final word on his life was the Lord’s. second, he did not see his relationship to the Lord as a loss “of liberty,” but rather as a gain of liberty in Christ.
now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. [2 corinthians 3:17]
here are two questions i would like for you and i to meditate on all day. [some thoughts on meditating on things from the word. meditation involves a lot of small moments of prayer. pray now, pray an hour from now, pray at lunch and pray tonight. it involves a lot of small moments of processing. think about it now, ponder at lunch, and discuss later. the point, spend time praying and processing these questions from the word – with the Lord, in your heart, and with another.] here are the questions:
1) look at your life over the past couple of weeks and answer this question: to whom or what do you find yourself living in most submission to?
(it is your circumstances, your boss, your family, the government?)
2) is your submission (whomever it is to) providing freedom to your soul?
(are you walking in more freedom from sin, from judgment, from shame?)