Colossians Chapter 4
Colossians #17 Colossians 4: 2-4
Before our exploration of the last chapter in
Paul’s letter to the folks in Colossae there are some gems for Chapter 3 worthy
of review. Paul is giving us guidelines
as to the types of behaviors that are expected once you have been received into
the Kingdom of God.
God’s master plan involves the salvation of
humanity. The reason this world is full
of trouble, hardship, suffering, evil, and death is because of sin. That’s the biblical explanation for the mess
we are in. Everyone is born into this
world estranged from God and left to their own devices. We live by trail and error, we live by doing
what we want, when we want, regardless of the consequences our actions may
cause. Even those more civilized and
think of others more than themselves are stuck in this trap. God’s master plan is one of deliverance from
this situation. Jesus, God incarnate,
dies to make an atonement for sin. God
pays the price to correct his ultimate creation, humanity. When we exercise faith in what God has done
for us, He reconciles us to Himself. The
way we exercise faith is to acknowledge that our lives are a mess and we are
strangers to God. We believe that Jesus
can redeem us from this mess and set us right with God. Acknowledging and believing we commit
ourselves to be followers of Jesus and in doing so, we are forgiven of all our
sins, reconciled to God, and begin to live the life we were created to live,
life to the full. If this is something
that you desire, all you need to do is ask God, it’s a gift He wants to give to
everyone who want to receive it, everyone who wants to become part of His never
ending Kingdom, everyone who wants to work to further His plan. If that’s you, please let me know. I’m sure you’ll
have many questions that I can help you discover the answers for.
Here are some thoughts to put into practice from
is to be full of loving actions. Deeds of love are characteristic of a
You are empowered to change. There are habits,
attachments, addictions, attitudes, and things of the heart that are unworthy
of a Christ follower.
Behaviors of the old way of life that are
inconsistent with following Jesus, have to go; likened to filthy rags that are
to be stripped off and burned.
A new wardrobe is laid out for you, those new
clothes consist of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23 (NLT).
You get dressed from the inside out. Transformation starts inside and works itself
out in the things you do.
Once you have bent your knee to God, there is
work to be done.
A theology nugget is that there is a grace gift
that declares us to be righteous called justifying grace, and there is a grace
gift that empowers us to grow deep, grow up, and grow fruit, to become like
Jesus, called sanctifying grace.
If you are not changing, not growing, and are
not becoming more like Jesus, you need to ask yourself why.
Transformation is hard work, but you have every
resource you need to become the person God created you to be.
cultural barrier that separates people disappears in the Kingdom.
wardrobe is hand made by God so that you can thrive.
will always be areas in your life that need to be changed.
of Christ “empowers the desire to live in unity
and harmony with all and especially with the citizens of the kingdom, your
brothers and sisters in Christ.
can’t ask or don’t suspect that your thoughts, words, or behaviors can’t be
blessed by God, then don’t do it.
the indicators that you are making progress in this spiritual journey is the
degree of thankfulness you walk around with every day.
Kingdom has a revolutionary message “reciprocal obligation” and “mutual
responsibility” especially within the family unit.
Receive these truths, put them to work in your life,
and you will thrive.
As we enter our examination of the 4th
chapter in this letter we will be considering prayer as a reciprocal
obligation, the need to stay alert, and the need to continually cultivate
gratitude. It may interest you to know
that in original language there was no chapters, no verses, no punctuation, these
have all been added for our reference; just
a trivial pursuit tidbit.
The Apostle Paul writes:
Colossians 4:2-4 (MSG)
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open
in gratitude. 3 Don't forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for
telling the mystery of Christ, even while I'm locked up in this jail. 4 Pray
that every time I open my mouth I'll be able to make Christ plain as day to
Pray is a constant through scripture. There is a heavy emphasis on praying for one
another. We call our prayers for others
intercession. Intercession is presenting
another’s case to God and asking for divine intervention. The word disinterested means I have no stake
in the situation, I have nothing to personally gain with an affirmative answer
to a request. Disinterested intercession
is powerful. You ask for the welfare of
another with no benefit for you other than the satisfaction of seeing God’s
My understanding of prayer for my own wants seems to
be constantly changing. My prayers that
bring connection and communion have remained the same, but when it comes to
asking God to do something for me, my expectation of a magic zap has
changed. In my latest thoughts, and
again this is from my experience, I think of prayer as preparatory. At one time I believed that pray was asking
God to do what I wanted. Only in the
beginning of my spiritual journey did those kinds of prayers find answers in
the direction I desired; now, not so much.
I currently see prayer as preparatory, a spiritual communication that
empowers me to go to work, asking for God to provide everything I need to bring
about what I am asking. Of course there
are some things that I will not be able to do, what I am incapable of bringing
about then prayer opens a door for God to directly intervene. So when I pray I am also going to involve
myself in what I am requesting to happen.
Let’s say I ask God to make me financially
independent. If I expect that a letter
from a lawyer letting me know that I have inherited a massive estate from a
long lost relative is the answer to that prayer, experience has informed me
that my expectations will meet with disappointment. If you want to be financially independent,
pray to formulate the right plan and to make the right decisions that will
result in no money worries.
In my heart I have prayed for God’s healing of Grant;
a complete restoration of all that was stolen from him because medical staff
were not paying attention. It has not
happened. What has happened is finding
the strength to do everything I can to make sure that Grant gets the best care
he can get. What happened is hope, hope
that keeps me keeping on. What happened
is assurance that neither he nor I have been abandoned by God. What happens is God sends an encouragement
right at the time I am falling into despair.
Prayer “functions as the vital channel of communication with [God].” (James
D. Dunn, NIGTC, Colossians, p 262). Even
when my heart’s desire doesn’t find resolution I know that I am not abandoned
Enough of my personal ramblings. Paul tells us to pray. Be diligent, that sounds that prayer is so important
that you should never do anything without it.
Recall that Paul has called us to mutual reciprocity and reciprocal responsibility. In the beginning of his letter, he told the
folks that he was praying for them. “Our
prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings” (Col 1:3 (MSG).
Now Paul is asking that the folks pray for him.
That they intercede that he might have everything he needs, every
opportunity available, to carry out his mission of spreading the gospel.
Did you catch that Paul is in jail when he wrote
this letter. He wrote: “I'm locked up in
this jail.” Great circumstances. Yet Paul doesn’t ask they pray for his
release, he asks that they pray for his effectiveness in carrying out his
mission in the midst of dire circumstance.
If you find yourself in dire circumstances pray that you can carry out
your mission “in spite of.” Part of
living your life to the full is the power to live “in spite of” (E Stanley
Jones, Victorious Living, p.94). “This power to go on when life is dead set against
us is the deepest necessity of our lives” (ibid.). With “in spite of power” we learn to mold the
life around us instead of allowing circumstances to mold us (Jones, p.94). With “in spite of” power we keep on keeping
on, we refuse defeat, we are proactive, and we fight the good fight.
When you diligently pray, that connection with
God, imparts “in spite of power.” If you
want that “in spite of power” ask a brother or sister to intercede for you,
asking God to give all you need, exercise faith that God will answer their
Then return the favor, and intercede for
them. That’s an example of mutual
reciprocity and reciprocal responsibility.
Paul encourages us to stay alert. Be aware of the needs of others and intercede
for them. As we pray we are to develop a
heart of gratitude. When we are in dire
circumstances, we can at least be grateful that “in spite of power” is God’s
gift to those who ask for it. When we
intercede for someone, we can be thankful
knowing God will provide everything that person needs to keep on keeping
on. The healing may not come, the
windfall my fall away, the storm in the night may be long, the heartbreak
crushing, but the great gift of sensing “God with Us” will be yours. We come to the realization that God trades
beauty for ashes, and can bring good out of every situation. A son driving home is killed by a drunk
driver, what good can come out of that?
Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.
Good comes out of the bad and out of the evil when we take the love lost
and convert it to action so that whatever happened will not damage another soul,
that justice roll down like rain (Amos 5:24).
Here’s a truth to walk away with: It is the duty of every Christian to pray for
the welfare of others. We are to be
diligent in our intercession requesting God to bless those we see in need. Our intercession is also to have feet. We pray first, then do what we can to meet
the need. That’s love, a love which is
your universal garment.
Post a Comment