"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph 4:1-3
Paul, writing to the church in Ephesus from prison, encourages them (and us) regarding the way we should live our lives. As Christians, there are different expectations of us then those who are not. To be sure, God desires that all people would be saved and therefore come into compliance with His will, however, it is not realistic to expect someone to follow a manner of life in which they do not believe. This makes it that much more important that those who do believe do just that.
Paul models the very behavior he calls for despite his incarceration. Even under the worst conditions, he gives God all of the glory. While he is confined, he is unashamed. And from his cell, he prays not for himself, but for those who would be exposed to his words (the Ephesians were instructed to circulate the letter to other churches). He prays that they would be strengthened through the Spirit and that Christ would dwell in their hearts in order that they might fully understand what they truly have in him.
Beloved, the words and actions of a prisoner would not be given much credence today, however the Holy Spirit moved this man to write these very things from God. The words implore us from across the centuries to be who we have been called to be. In so doing, we glorify God. In so doing, we will come to the realization that He can do immeasurably more that all we could ask or imagine and that we can be filled to the measure of all of His fullness. Lastly, by doing so, we can be an example to all of those who do not believe. Perhaps there will be one who will look at you and ask about your faith.
Rejoicing in the Lord,