Monday, September 1, 2008

Colossians 4:2-6

Day 21

Devote yourself to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I might make it clear in the way that I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Observations:

There are three specific commands in this passage that Paul passes on to the Colossians.

1. Devote yourselves to prayer.
If the Colossians are going to be able to put into action all Paul has told them in this letter, prayer is crucial to their success. Christ expressed this to the disciples in John 15: “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” The Colossians must go to God frequently and remember that they are not doing anything on their own strength. They have resurrection power available to them-- and to not tap into that source would be foolish.

Paul gives specifics about their prayer:
a. keep alert
b. have an attitude of thanksgiving
c. pray for Paul: for open doors and clarity of expression

2. Conduct yourselves with wisdom.
The wisdom Paul refers to here is wisdom from above (3:2). If we conduct ourselves as the new creatures that we are, we will be acting in line with the image of Christ. Not only should the Colossians do this with fellow believers, as Paul taught in chapter 3, but with outsiders as well. Every interaction with a nonbeliever is an opportunity to show them Jesus Christ.

3. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt.
I was perusing several blogs today and was just floored at the nasty rhetoric that went on in some of the political blog talk. We have a country that is seriously divided along political lines. The venom and hatred expressed so freely is shocking-- on both sides of the debate. The world needs Jesus! They will see Him every time we give grace and forgiveness as we speak. There is no room for hatred or bitterness in a Christian’s self-expression.

All of these general commands are a wrap-up to the teaching Paul has given in his letter. We are to walk worthy of the Lord and please him in all respects. Our lives should bear fruit. Christ is God, and the head of the church. He has already won the victory on our behalf. So stop living in the past! We can live in victory, because He has already won! This should be played out in all of your relationships. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, heartily, as for the Lord.

Application:
Is my speech seasoned with grace? Do I give people the benefit of the doubt, or do I stand ready to judge?

1 comment:

Jim said...

Julie,
I was annoyed the other day when my clothes dryer stopped drying! But the Lord quickly showed me what an opportunity this would be to share some "salt & light" with the repairman who would be coming to my house this week. So I'm praying now for that repairman and trust the Lord will continue to help me recognize these "doors for the word".

God Bless,
Jim