The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 4:2-6): 2 Never give up praying. And when you pray, keep alert and be thankful. 3 Be sure to pray that God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery about Christ, even though I am in jail for doing this. 4 Please pray that I will make the message as clear as possible. 5 When you are with unbelievers, always make good use of the time. 6 Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions.
Thoughts: In Paul's departing remarks to the church at Colossae, he shared a few things that God laid on his heart that would help the people grow in Christ and improve the effectiveness of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that these points are very important to us today as we continue the ministry in this evil world in which we live. Here are some points that really got my attention in the highlighted verses:
- Prayer – Paul even had some sub points to this particular need:
- Never give up – just because we may have prayed for something last week doesn't mean that we don't pray for that need again this week. Be consistent, and persistent, in prayer;
- Stay alert – when we hear of a Brother hurting or in need, pray. He may not have asked for prayer, but we can discern that he needs our prayers. We may hear of disasters, such as currently happening in churches in Africa at this time. It's a news item, but we know that these are our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, so let us lift them up to the Father in prayer. Let's be alert to the needs of one another;
- Be thankful – Let's learn to always thank God for His provisions, or perhaps His healing, or His guiding and protecting hand upon us, before we ever start our 'grocery' list of needs. Let's be a thankful and appreciative people before God;
- The ministry – whether it's our own teaching or preaching, or that of our church leaders, let us pray that the words of God spoken through mere man will impact the lives of listeners. Let's pray that people will not be distracted by the weaknesses of man, but instead by the power of the Holy Spirit, working through God's messengers.
- Witness – This one really stung, because way too often we will sit with an unbeliever and talk about everything under the sun, without ever rejoicing over the Son that lives within us and has played such a key role in us. In our midweek teaching at church last night we were reminded of the words of a great preacher who said, "In a day when everyone is 'coming out of the closet' what is stopping Christians from doing the same"! Of course, this is referring to the 'closet' of witnessing, for Christians are so afraid of saying anything that might 'hurt the feelings' of an unbeliever. However, should we not instead be enthused to share a life-changing, rescue-from-Hell, tip with someone we care enough about to sit and chat for a period of time? If they were about to walk across a very dangerous intersection, we would loudly shout out any life-saving tips to them. Why then do we hesitate to shout, or gently give them life saving tips that affects their eternal destiny? The tip from Paul in vs 5 is that we always make use of the time we have with our non-Christian friends, for they too need the Savior that we love and adore. They too deserve eternity in Heaven with the creator of this universe. What then are we waiting for?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, as You are well aware, the needs are great here on earth, especially the need for Your Son, and the need to surrender our pride to Him. We badly need Your power, Your boldness and Your direction to show enough love for our fellow man by sharing Your message of salvation with them. There are folk that we know, love and care about, that are dying and going to Hell because we have been afraid to put self aside, and share the Love of Jesus Christ with them. I sincerely apologize for my shortcoming in this area Lord. Please forgive me. You died to save ALL who believe on You, please help me to not withhold sharing this good news with everyone that I know and associate with. Please don't let me stand in the way of extending this privilege to family and friends of mine. Please impact my readers and I with Your Word in such a way today Lord, that we may be more constant in prayer and a bold witness of You to all that we come into contact with. May it be our mission to spread the joy of our salvation with all whom we come into contact with. We need You Lord, and we want You to be a part of our everyday life. I humble place these requests at Your feet with expectations of You working Your perfect will in and through us. For I ask this in the wonderful name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, with thanksgiving, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!