Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chains

“Number 10,” Photo by Steve Marvell, © 2011

For a slide show lesson on these scriptures and chains, click here.

“I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.” – Colossians 4:18

“These Chains, These Chains won't break but they will Sl-i-i-i-i-i-de” – Kenna 

“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” – Philippians 1:12-18

During Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, Paul writes to the church in Colosse and asks them to remember his chains. What does it mean to remember someone’s chains? What were Paul’s chains? Paul was imprisoned and chained for preaching the gospel. In Philippians 1:13, Paul describes his chains as in Christ. Paul was not held captive by Rome; His Lord held him captive. According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, “In an effort to silence the truth, the authorities had incarcerated the one who spoke it, but their plan did not work.”

Two very different outcomes were the result of Paul’s chains according to Philippians 1:12-18. First, those who had sought to imprison Paul meant to hinder the truth of the gospel from being spread. This failed. The opposite effect occurred. People were more emboldened to speak the truth of the gospel because of Paul’s chains. Paul’s chains gave courage and liberated people. Second, Paul stated that some were seeking to harm him by “adding to the affliction of his chains.” This also failed. The gospel spread despite the destructive motives of the Romans chaining Paul to a different guard every six hours, twenty-four-seven. The gospel also spread despite people with mixed motives in their preaching, despite their agendas, and despite their adding to the difficulty of Paul’s chains by “adding affliction to his chains.” In other words, despite their adding a few more “links” to his “chains.”

We all have chains, do we not? Oftentimes in our lives, we face difficulties of all kinds. We face “metaphorical chains.” Our chains come in various shapes and sizes. For some of us, our chains are useful. For others of us, our chains weigh us down and sink us like a boat anchor. Some of us have chains that are thrown upon us against our wills. Others of us have self-imposed chains. We choose these chains. For some of us, our chains propel us toward God, into life, towards our goals, and into the future. We have chains that we like and we have chains that we do not like. For most of us, our chains communicate something about us. For some of us, our chains are burdensome and weigh us down? Our chains can be repulsive to some people. Sometimes our chains can propel others toward Jesus. Our chains weigh some of us down as others add to our afflictions. Some of us weigh others down by adding our chains to their afflictions. Most of us desperately need help with our chains.

What types of chains do you have? Are your chains bringing glory to God? Do you like your chains?

This is a profound thought, to “remember Paul’s chains.” Paul is saying that his chains are actually bringing God glory. There are benefits of his chains for God’s kingdom. Paul takes delight in his chains. The gospel is being spread because of Paul’s imprisonment. The manner in which Paul is bearing his chains in Christ is compelling to the on looking world.

In 2 Timothy 2:8-10, Paul says, “I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” Paul’s purpose is to see Christ magnified, and Christ is indeed magnified in Paul’s chains. The word of God is free. While Paul is chained, God’s Word cannot be chained. It is in the Word of God that we will be free; chains or no chains.

Sometimes God uses chains. They are His idea. Other times God desires our chains to be broken. May we be free of our chains, if it is within His will. Would it be true that our chains are in Christ Jesus and in Him alone. Moreover, if we find ourselves still chained, may we wear them well to His Glory. To quote Kenna, “These Chains, These Chains won't break but they will Sl-i-i-i-i-i-de.” May we break the chains that bind us through His strength, and if our chains are not to be broken, may we let them “Sl-i-i-i-i-i-de” to the glory of God and find ourselves free as we are chained in Him.

For a full length sermon on "Chains," click below:



Bibliography

The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Php 1:12-18

Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:651

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Pruitt's Summer Update from Haiti

Photo by Robbie Pruitt, © 2012

Dear friends,

As our first school year in Haiti draws to a close, we are filled with gratitude.  We are grateful for the wonderful school, community, and students we have the privilege of serving at Quisqueya Christian School.  We are grateful for the many, many answered prayers this year.  And we are grateful for the family and friends who pray for us, encourage us, and support us.  Thank you so much for caring for us and encouraging us while we minister in Port-au-Prince.

Summer Plans

This summer, we’ll be back in Virginia and South Carolina during June and July.  We would love to catch up with you while we’re there.  If there would also be an opportunity for us to connect with your church or small group, we would be happy to share about Haiti and our ministry.  During the summer and the rest of the year, you can also keep up with us through Skype, Facebook, email (irenepruitt@gmail.com and stay411@msn.com) and by reading our blogs (www.irenepruitt.com and www.robbiepruitt.blogspot.com).

Prayer Support

We give thanks for many answered prayers this year:
  • Spiritual growth among the students, both in first-time commitments to Christ, and ongoing discipleship of many others. 
  •  Healing from our recent bout of malaria.
  • Provision for our physical, relational, spiritual, and financial needs during this school year.
Please continue to pray for and with us:

  • For our students, that they would know the truth and grace that will set them free, and be transformed by their relationship with Jesus.
  • For our work, that God would use our classes, discipleship groups, and conversations to draw students to Himself.
  • For our safety, that God would protect us from physical danger, discouragement, and illness.
  • For the summer, that the Holy Spirit would refresh us during the break, allow us to nurture relationships with friends and family, and bring us back to Haiti in August with renewed energy.
Financial Support

We have recently partnered with Resourcing Christian Education International (RCE) in order to raise the funds we need to continue our ministry here at Quisqueya Christian School.  All donations made through RCE are tax-deductible.  If you feel led to support us financially, please visit:


Under the Fund Designation drop-down menu, choose “Missionaries,” and another drop-down menu will appear with alphabetical names of missionaries.  You will find our names and account number (26902) listed.  You can use this website to make one-time or recurring donations, or to set up an Electronic Funds Transfer.

If you would prefer to send in a check, please see the attached commitment card, which includes all needed instructions.  Please include our account number (26902), but not our names, on the memo line.  Also attached is a form to set up an Electronic Funds transfer, if you would prefer to do that by mail, rather than online.

Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement. We are humbled by the abundance of God’s provision through you.

Blessings,

Irene and Robbie

Note: If you prefer not to receive these email updates, or would like for us to send them to a different email account, please let us know!

Robbie & Irene Pruitt
Bible Teaching  |  Discipleship  |  Counseling
Skype: irene.pruitt, robbie.pruitt
Haiti Cell Phones: (+509) 4782-4794; (+509) 4614-7851
Blogs: www.irenepruitt.com, www.robbiepruitt.blogspot.com
U.S. Mailing Address: 221 Ridge Trail Drive, Columbia, SC 29229
Sending Mail to Haiti: 3170 Airmans Drive, #2029 QCS, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Quisqueya Christian School’s 2012 Sr. Class Trip

Photo by Robbie Pruitt, © April 2012

Quisqueya Christian School’s 2012 Sr. Class Trip Description

The 2012 Sr. Class of Quisqueya Christian School spent a week exploring the south coast of Haiti on their Sr. Trip.  The trip was nineteen students and two trip leaders for six nights and seven days from April 24th-30th 2012. 

The students began their journey at Quisqueya Christian School and traveled by bus to the Transport Chic Bus Station.  From there they took another bus to Les Cayes, Haiti, where they then went by boat to Ile-a-Vache, a small island off the south coast of Haiti, and stayed three nights at the Village Vacances.  The group enjoyed times of devotion and Bible study, team building, games, free time on the beach, swimming, service projects in the community playing soccer and games with the local children, and planting fruit trees.  The group also visited an orphanage on the island that cares for disabled and handicapped children; they took a boat tour, and swam from a small sandy beach island called “Lover's Island,” which is isolated between Ile-a-Vache and the mainland of Haiti

The group then traveled by van to Port-Salut, Haiti where they enjoyed three nights between two hotels, the Reposoir Du Village and L’ Auberge de Rayon Vert.  Here the group continued their enjoyment of the beach and their time with one another playing games, team building, fine dining, Bible study, prayer, devotions, and swimming.  On day two at Port-Salut, the group traveled to Port-a-Piment, Haiti where they toured the caves there. 

This trip was a wonderful time of service, rest, relaxation, growth, and fellowship with one another. 

Our travel arrangements were made through Jacqui Labrom and her travel agency Voyages Lumiere.  For pictures of the trip, please visit these two albums on Facebook, click here and click here.