Taking the Message to the World - Colossians 4:2-6
Many of us gravitate toward the stories of those who overcome the odds; people who go from a place of tragedy to a place of triumph. We find these stories compelling. We are drawn in as we hear of those who were hopeless and yet found hope. But how often do we consider the reality that as Christians, this is our story.
The Scriptures are clear that we are all born spiritually lost, poor and without hope, but through Jesus we can be given new life (Colossians 1:13-14, 21-22, 2:13-14). But how often do we stop and stand in awe of the change that we have experienced? Or, to go a step further, how often do we share our story of redemption with others in hope that they will see their own need for salvation and believe?
Colossians is a letter about Christ and His work of changing people. Paul has dealt thoroughly with the redemption of believers in the first three chapters, but as he moves toward his conclusion he encourages the reader to consider their own responsibility in sharing the Good News.
In this short paragraph Paul speaks to three areas of life that we must consider if we are serious about sharing the Gospel: The way we pray, the way we live and the way we speak.
The Way We Pray – If we are serious about sharing the Gospel we must consider the way we pray (4:2-4)
- We should pray with a focus on the work of the Gospel in our own lives (vs. 2)– After spending chapter three giving instructions on Christian living Paul offers a reminder about the importance of prayer. As we focus on living like Christ we must pray constantly, watchfully and thankfully.
- Pray Watchfully – Pray with awareness of the work of God in your life now and with an eye toward His return (Col. 3:3-4).
- Pray Thankfully – Pray with gratitude as you remember the work of the Gospel in your life (Col. 1:3, 1-12; 2:6-7; 3:15-17).
- We should pray with a focus on the spread of the Gospel to others (vs. 3-4)
- Pray that God would provide opportunities for the Gospel Even while Paul is in prison he wants to share the Gospel and he asks God to open doors for the message (Phil. 1:12-14; 2 Tim. 2:9). We must remember that God is the one who governs all things and only He can give us opportunities for the Gospel. Knowing that, how often do you ask God to open doors for the Gospel?
- Pray that God would give us clarity with the Gospel – Paul is arguably the greatest missionary of all time, but he asked God to help him speak the Gospel clearly. We should be faithful in asking God to make our message clear and trust that He can speak through even our weakest attempts (Ephesians 6:19-20).
The Way We Live – If we are serious about sharing the Gospel, we must consider the way we live our lives (4:5)
- Live with wisdom in the world – Living with wisdom means knowing how to live in a way that is consistent with who we are in Christ (Col. 1:9-10). As those who are in Christ we must live in a way that reflects the salvation that we’ve experienced. Others are watching and our lives should be a testimony to the change of the Gospel.
- Live with purpose in the world – Paul provides this important reminder: time is limited and fleeting (James 4:13-14). As we seek to be faithful with the Gospel we must be good stewards of the time and opportunities that we have. We should also be creative in finding time and opportunities for the Gospel.
The Way We Speak – If we are serious about sharing the Gospel, we must consider the way we speak (4:6)
- While we should pray for opportunities for the Gospel and we should live in way that proclaims the Gospel, we must always remember that the Gospel must be spoken. Paul gives us two admonitions about the way we speak the Gospel:
- Speak with grace – The Gospel is a serious and often offensive message. With that said, we must never water down the Gospel, but we should share it with kindness and grace.Speak the truth in love.
- Speak with readiness – As those who have experienced redemption ourselves we should always be prepared to tell others about the salvation we have found. Be ready to share the hope that is in you.