Change of Plans

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Colossians 4:3 “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:”

Paul made a tragic mistake that changed the plans of how he would preach the Gospel. Paul was determined to reach the Jews, and his burden led him to make a vow of purification and go to the priest of the day to offer sacrifices, which he knew he should not have done. This foolish move in Paul’s life led to his arrest and eventual death.

Though Paul would never again experience freedom, he did not let his bondage stop him from serving God. The verse above says that Paul was in bonds when he wrote the epistle. In other words, his bonds may have changed his life, but he did not let the bonds stop him from serving the LORD. Instead of letting the bonds be the last story of his life, he used the time in those bonds to write four epistles that are greatly used today to help believers grow in grace.

Many people have found themselves in life’s bonds. Some of the bonds that we find ourselves in are bonds that we have caused, but there are others who find themselves in bonds of life that they have not chosen, but they take the change of plans in their life and still serve the LORD. You can either let the bonds of your life be the end of your story, or you can let the bonds become an opportunity in another way to help people. You are the one who chooses what life’s bonds become in your life. Let me give you a thought about taking the change of plans and turning them into a great tool that God uses to help others who are going through what you face.

Complaining about your bonds instead of accepting them will never help one person. Maybe your bonds are health issues; you may not be able to change your health, but you can still serve God despite your health. I think of my father-in-law who was a missionary for many years, but his health has hampered his ability to do what God initially called him to do. Instead of complaining about his bonds of health, he has helped me in a tremendous way as I pastor our growing church. What he has done is he has accepted his bonds and continued to be used of God to help people even though the plans of life have changed.

I think of an elderly lady in my church, Mrs. Stubblefield, whose health hampers her from being able to go soul winning with the church; instead, every week she calls all the visitors who visited our church and thanks them for coming, and witnesses to them to be sure they are saved. Instead of complaining about her bonds, she uses what she can to be a witness for Christ.

I think of a gentleman who used to pastor a good size church who is now in prison. His brother told me his story about how he is serving a life sentence in prison, but instead of letting his bonds be the final story of his life, he continues to reach people for Christ in prison. His brother told me he preaches every week in prison to over three hundred people and sees people saved on a weekly basis. Yes, life changed for this man, but he didn't let the change of plans cause him to quit.

What are your bonds that have changed your life? Don't let your bonds be the final chapter of your life, but take those bonds and use them as a tool to reach others for Christ who you would never be able to reach without those bonds.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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