Colossians chapter 4

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4 Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.

An Encouragement for Prayer

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive[a] so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Paul’s Final Instructions and Greetings

Tychicus will give you a full report about how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work. I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you. I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will tell you everything that’s happening here.

10 Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way. 11 Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been!

12 Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. 13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.

14 Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas. 15 Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters[b] at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.

16 After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them.

17 And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.”

18 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.

Remember my chains.

May God’s grace be with you.

(O)

let me share some thoughts from some other devotional’s I’ve read this week.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 

Paul in his letter to the Colossians made a point to not only encourage them to keep on in their faith but to also remind them that they’re not alone.  Prayer is such a key part to this.  Paul knew personally of the power of prayer and wanted to encourage them to be about prayer.

Sometimes it’s hard to pray whether it’s because we don’t know what to pray for or we get discouraged by not hearing a response.  But Paul reminds them (and us) to devote ourselves to prayer and to do it with thanksgiving.  Of course when we pray for others that is a great way to remember the power of prayer and to encourage others.  Paul needed the prayers as he was continuing on his work.  There are many out there who are doing the work that could use the prayers for doing the work of Christ.  And they in turn are praying for you and your faithfulness for serving God.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive[a] so that you will have the right response for everyone.

The Apostle Paul is speaking here against such foolishness as making pronouncements like the title of the book, 88 Reasons Why Jesus is Coming in 1988. Believers have no right to make such unwise, foolish statements publicly. In the next verse, Paul says that our speech is to be gracious and attractive as our life is being observed by the unsaved world. When it comes to sharing our faith, our Father in heaven expects us to exercise wisdom. Just how we share is very important to Him. As His child, we have a responsibility to not be foolish in front of the watching world.

The story of pastor who moved to a new town illustrates this idea very well:

A few weeks after I arrived in the city, my car was giving me trouble so I took the bus from my house to the downtown area. After I sat down, I realized the bus driver had given me a quarter too much change. There was that same old struggle in my mind: “You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.” But then the corresponding thought: “Oh forget about it. It’s only a quarter. Who would worry about such a little amount? Anyway the bus company gets too much fare and they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet.” When my stop came, I paused at the driver’s side a moment and handed him the quarter saying, “You gave me too much change.” To my surprise, the bus driver said, “Aren’t you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking lately about going back to church somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.”

As the old saying goes, for many people you might be the only Bible they ever read.

(A)

This week let us all be in prayer.  Let us devote ourselves to it and may we all be growing closer to the Lord as we do.

Also, let be very intentional with how we conduct ourselves in our daily routine. Let’s ask ourselves daily if our words and actions are gracious and attractive to the unbeliever.

(P)

“LORD, help us to walk in Your ways, to both walk and talk the same things this day, in Jesus’ name.”

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