Today you should read: Colossians 4:1-6
We are nearing the close of the book of Colossians, and Paul is beginning to give some final encouragements. These verses in particular are extremely practical for us and should be seen as a vision for us to live out today. Here are 2 things Paul wants us to focus on today:
1. Prayer is vital for personal growth and Kingdom growth.
Prayer is imperative for the Christian. We are told our prayers should be done steadfastly and watchfully. We should be alert and we should persevere in our prayers. Why? Because prayer makes us more like Jesus! Every time we commune with God we are humbling ourselves before him, reminding ourselves that we are a people who are in need of a God who has no need. We should pray with passion, belief and thankfulness. We should pray for ourselves, but we should also pray for the Kingdom.
This passage is clear that the Kingdom spreads when the church prays for the mission Jesus Christ has given to us be fulfilled. Paul tells us to pray for ourselves, but he also tells us to pray for those who are sharing the gospel regularly. He asks the church at Colossae to pray for him, that he make the gospel clear. As a church, are we praying that God would open doors for us to share the gospel with our friends, neighbors and coworkers? Are we praying God would open the doors for our friends and people in our Connect Groups as well? Evangelism is not an individual sport, it’s a team sport. We as the church should be praying for the gospel influence of everyone who comes through our doors.
2. The gospel we preach must be the gospel we live.
This passage also makes clear the way we conduct ourselves everyday has an effect on eternity. Paul exhorts us to “walk in wisdom” and have gracious speech. Why would he write this if he didn’t believe the way we act everyday has an eternal impact on the people around us? The Bible is clear: the gospel must be communicated through our words. The quote: “Preach the gospel everyday, if necessary use words” might be cute on a coffee mug but it doesn’t come from the Bible. We have to use words to preach the gospel! But it is also true that if the gospel we preach doesn’t match the gospel we live, the world will want no part of it. Our words have to match our deeds, and this is done by having wisdom and being gracious with our words.
Questions for reflection:
–When is the last you have seen God answer a prayer? Have you ever been frustrated that you haven’t gotten the answers you wanted? Check your heart: is what you’re praying for building God’s Kingdom or yours?
–Do you regularly pray for opportunities to share the gospel? How often do you pray for the gospel effectiveness of Center Point?
–How are you walking towards outsiders? Are you walking in wisdom and graciousness?
Posted by: Graham Withers