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The Jailhouse Letters Series: The Wrap-Up

When our kids were little, we’d grab a few flashlights and go for night walks on the beach with our kids. It was so much fun to see the crabs darting into their holes! But we would have seen nothing without our flashlights. The Bible is described as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.

When Paul wrote these letters we’ve been studying from prison, he was definitely shining a light into the lives of the Colossians, the Philippians, the Ephesians, and so many others… but he was also shining the light of hope into the darkness of his own cell as well.

Paul was reminding himself of the truth as he was encouraging others in the faith. He must’ve felt so sidelined as wrote those letters… so cut off from the people he longed to pour into.

But God was with him. Paul stayed close to the light and Jesus illuminated his circumstances. The jail became mission control. We just studied Paul’s words because he had the time to write them down. How ironic that our God tapped a prisoner to write the words that set us free? You may feel sidelined but take heart… God can use any and all circumstances for your good and His glory.

Let’s wrap up the Jailhouse Letters Series with some of the most powerful words Paul wrote to the Ephesians in 3:18-21… You are Loved!

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Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s Word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, come to me and I WILL give you rest. This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So, take a deep breath and let’s get started.

Welcome to the Jailhouse Letters Wrap-Up. Woohoo! It has been fascinating to see and to study all of the letters that Paul wrote to the different churches while he was in prison. It reminds me of when my kids were little and we used to go on night walks at the beach. My husband would say, everybody, grab your flashlight. And we would walk down along the shore looking for crabs. And then the crabs would dart into their little holes and it was so much fun. But the only reason we could see is because we had those flashlights. The moonlight was not enough at night on the beach.

You know, the Bible tells us that it is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. The word lights the way. And I want you to imagine the apostle Paul, whose letters we’ve just studied sitting in a prison cell. He was imprisoned for his faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. And there he was writing letters to encourage people, to encourage the Colossians, to encourage the Ephesians, to encourage the Philippians, and Philemon, and Onesimus, and all the different people he wrote to during that time in prison. Think about that for a moment. Think about how, when he was shining the light of the truth in those letters, he was writing down the words that God asked him to write. He was writing to you and me, but also to himself. The apostle Paul was encouraging himself. When you have a flashlight and you’re standing on a dark beach, you are not only giving light to the people around you, but you’re lighting the way for yourself.

Now, I imagine during some of those times, Paul felt sidelined from the work that God had called him to do: to spread the good news that Jesus Christ had come to die for the sins of human beings and that he rose again, defeating death, hell, and the grave. And that a way had been opened for people back to God, and it was the cross. And I’m sure that Paul’s sitting in that prison cell and maybe were there were rats, I don’t know. And maybe the menu wasn’t that great. Maybe he thought, I have been sidelined, I am not able to fulfill the mission that God gave me to do. And yet it was a greater mission that Paul was fulfilling. God had tapped Paul to spread light and hope into the lives of all of the people who received his letters, all of those people in those churches and to you and me, and to Paul as well. So if you feel sidelined today by your circumstances, by something that is beyond your control, remember God is going to use you as well. I love to say, “With Him, there are no leftovers.” God uses every scrap of everything that happens to us.

Let’s end, let’s wrap up officially the Jail House Letter Series with these words from Paul, in Ephesians chapter three, his letter to the Ephesians, “And may you have the power to understand as all God’s people should ,how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now, all glory to God who is able through his mighty power at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, forever and ever, Amen.” That wraps up our Jailhouse Letter Series. Remember this today, you are really loved.

Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at

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