Gracious

My focus today was on verses 5-6. Are you the type of person that expects non-believers to act like believers? Do you like them? Hate them? Tolerate them? How do you conduct yourself around unbelievers? Do you act like them? Can they tell a difference in you? Do they feel you contempt or your love? Do you share your faith with them at all?

Paul tell us…..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

Our wisdom comes through our redemption that is found through Christ. We have been forgiven and through the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to be gracious and kind! To the believer, every non-believer is an outsider….Outside of a relationship with the Jesus.

A couple of questions for thought:

  • Why it is important to have wisdom towards outsiders?
  • The world judges Christianity by what it sees in me. Am I representing it well with kindness, holiness, consistent reverence to the Lord?

In reality, God wants us to make the most of the opportunity with unbelievers.

The phrase making the most of an opportunity  in Greek literally means “redeeming the time,” or “buying up the opportunity.” The sense then would be “Do not just sit there and wait for opportunity to fall into your lap, but go after it. Yes, buy it.” There is definitely a time to be aggressive in your relationship with an unbeliever. Do not become complacent about sharing your faith.

And that was all in verse 5.  Verse 6 also has much “meat!”  We need to be careful with our speech. Our speech in public. Our speech in private. No gossip, no slander, no favoritism.

How do you speak about the gospel? Family? The weather?Politics? The economy Authority? You work?

Our speech is to be filled with Grace.  Grace is getting what you do not deserve. God wants us to be gracious is our speech. What does this mean? We are to show kindness and love and compassion and patience to others – Always.

And then this phrase….. Speak the right word and the right time to the right person….it meant the world to me.  God gives those of us who are believers the wisdom to say the right thing at the right time.  I need to be a good friend! A good listener! I need to share my faith and trust the Lord to tell me what to say.  HOWEVER, I need to be proactive in a few areas, especially when dealing with unbelievers.

  • I need to know Scripture!
  • I need to understand the Trinity!
  • I need to know the Gospel message to tell it – the death, burial, resurrection and return of Christ!
  • I need to study some difficult issues (just be familiar with them) like evolution, cults, other religions.

What will tomorrow bring?  What did you learn today?

 

Being alert

Hello everyone! Can you believe it is the last week? I know I am behind on writing this post.  I woke up with an excruciating headache that will not go away.  My concentration has not been the best.

I have to admit that I was overwhelmed with a part of today’s verses.

Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves 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

Verse 2 just got to me!

Paul is urging the people of Colossae to devote themselves to prayer.  I know he would urge all of us to do the same thing.  I have loved NRC’s study of the great prayers of scripture this summer.  Through these prayers you can see a real relationship with the Lord.  In reality, these prayers were prayed by great men and women but I wonder if they ever had moments where they had trouble “keeping alert.”  Verse 2  shows the reality of prayer sometimes. Sometimes it is hard to “keep alert.” Paul must have experienced this, I experience it, others experience….The reality is, sometimes it is hard to stay focused and alert in our prayers. Paul knew that and was offering encouragement and a way to stay alert…..

He reminds us to have an attitude of thanksgiving. Again,  I wonder if he knew or even he struggled with the “gimmes”.  Our prayers are so often a want list that we forget to Praise and offer thanksgiving.

We are nearing the end of this book and Paul is reminding the people of Colossae to pray for him. That God will open doors. I love Paul’s heart.

What did you see?

Our Final Week

Can you believe that we have almost written another book of the bible?  Colossians has been awesome!!!  This week we are going to write a whole chapter.  Let’s do this!!

  • Monday – Colossians 4:1-3
  • Tuesday – Colossians 4:4-6
  • Wednesday – Colossians 4:7-9
  • Thursday – Colossians 4:10-12
  • Friday – Colossians 4:13-18

SOAP and reflect!  God is going to show us amazing things this week!

Work

The news has been overwhelming today. Our world is in turmoil. Before we continue with our lesson, let’s pray. Lord, we know that nothing catches you by surprise. I am asking that Your spirit fall fresh upon each one of us. Lord, as a family who has been to both the areas in such conflict of Ukraine and Israel, our hearts are breaking for the world. Remind us that the people need You. Reassure us that You are here and active. Give our hearts rest….. Bring us Your overwhelming sense of peace.  Lord, be with the families that have been hurt by the tragedies today.  Amen

Now, Do you ever struggle with your attitude at work? I do – all the time. In reality, it isn’t easy for me to obey with a good attitude at work. I know I should:

  • Not question
  • Not complain
  • Not argue
  • Not bad mouth
  • Not be lazy

I know these things….yet I very often fall into this trap, especially during certain season or times. But the question is….

What is God’s perspective on work? Does my work matter to God? I see an answer in our verses today.

23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

In reality, we are made in the image of God and work is part of our nature. The fall and subsequent curse has made work more difficult, more challenging, more frustrating, more painful.  I think that is why these verses are so great – to help us focus on the positive aspects! We need to work FOR the Lord. With SINCERITY of heart! Work as if it is our calling!

How is your attitude at work and about work?  What did the Lord show you today?

Children…work

20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. 22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

How did you SOAP these verses this morning?

  •  Children (those under financial responsibility of parents) are to be obedient.
  •  Be obedient in all things – pleasing to the Lord.
  •  Fathers, – don’t frustrate your children.
  •  In work – do everything with sincerity of heart.
  •  Do I fear the Lord in my work.

I will admit that my SOAP today was hard – it seems like and we know that Paul was writing to encourage the believers in Colossae –and we also know that he wrote much more on these topics in Ephesians. If you need to go deeper or see more of my thoughts and/or teachings, look at the “tags” for Ephesians Week 13 (bottom of blog!)

What did God show you today?