Category: Colossians

Further Instructions

As I reach the final chapter of Paul’s words to the church in Colosse, I find Paul giving some lasting instructions to his brothers there. He wants them to pray, to watch and to be thankful and not just for themselves but also for himself. Paul wants them to pray that he may proclaim the good news clearly and that others will hear and understand the message that he brings.

May this also be for us. We should pray that we can proclaim the message, but also that our pastors and lay people can speak the truth and it will be heard and understood. We should take time to pray for our pastors on Sunday morning before we go to church. Pray that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit and able to spread the message to the people of the congregation.

Paul continues on about making the most of every opportunity. Whenever the opportunity arises to share your faith and your relationship with Jesus, seize the moment. Someone very wise once said to me, “your relationship with Jesus should be personal, but NEVER private.” Smart words to live by!

Finally, make sure all of your conversations be full of grace and seasoned with salt. Gossiping, talking down to someone, coming across like you know it all are all bad ways to have conversations. We need to be vigilant about how we carry ourselves in public. Our conversations should always be uplifting, and they should always reflect our beliefs and how much we care for others.

Work Ethics

I’ve heard it said many times and I have even said it myself way too many times that good help is hard to find. Employers are always looking for good people with good work ethics. But when you hear “work ethic,” what do you think of? Someone who is nice to fellow workers, on time, does what is asked of him/her? I think it reaches beyond all of that.

I have had the opportunity to work with people that follow the phrase, “while the boss is away, the people will play.” I think we have all met people like this. At some point I get swept into feeling this way as well. However, Colossians 3; 22-24 tells us how we should truly act in our work life.

We are to do what is asked of us, not just when our boss is watching, but when they are away as well. Just because the person who is responsible for your employment is not is sight of your work, does not excuse you from doing it. We need to be vigilant about getting our work done.

In verse 23, it says that whatever it is you are doing, do it with all of your heart. Do it as though you are working for the Lord, not for men. Don’t give half heartily. Give 100+ percent of your efforts. I know that when it comes to working for the kingdom of God, I don’t want to be known for working only as much as I can get by with. I want to be sold out in everything I do.

These verses also apply in our christian lives and the work we are doing for God. We are to be working towards bringing people to a relationship with Christ and just because Jesus is not physically walking the streets of Rockford, Illinois or wherever you are, does not excuse us from trying our best and working our hardest to spread the good news. Work at all times to bring others to the family of believers and one day we shall hear “well done good and faithful servant.”

Rules for Living

Colossians chapter 3 begins with some rules for holy living. Rules to help us live together in harmony and peace. Surround yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

It also asks us to forgive others, oh how hard this can be sometimes. In today’s world it is so easy to feel that we are entitled to be angry and hold grudges. I mean what else could we talk about around the coffee pot or “water cooler?” If we actually forgave those who have done something wrong to us, we could actually focus on our good relationships.

Our most important relationship is the one we have with God. However, if we are focusing all of our attention on what happened to us today, we will never have enough time to spend with our savior. Don’t get me wrong, focusing on some things that happen is ok, but if we dwell on the negative, we will have problems maintaining our relationship.

Forgiving is hard. Forgiving people who have done bad things to us is hard. Forgiving ourselves is sometimes harder. But to forgive as the Lord has, is that even possible? God forgives us and then forgets about the sins or the wrongdoings. Can you remember the last time you forgave someone for something they did to you or someone you love? Did you forget about the action? Or did you bring it up as soon as the opportunity came up? It is amazing how the human brain works. We can say that we forgive people only to bring up the past at just the opportune time.

The next time you have the opportunity to forgive someone, try also to forget the wrong doing. Don’t bring it up again. It you feel the urge to bring it up, give yourself a timeout and pray that God will take the thoughts away from you. It will probably one of the most difficult things to do. This is what God does with us everyday! I am so thankful for God’s grace that allows for this forgiveness. There are so many things that I do everyday, even as much as I try, that falls short of God’s plan for me and He forgives everyone! Then He forgets them! All of them! I’m speechless.

Instructions for Life

Beginning the book of Colossians, I find Paul expressing the way to live life. Paul speaks about many things, including; bearing fruit, growing in knowledge and giving thanks to God for all things in life.

We need to bear fruit. We can reach out to everyone around us like a tree spreads it’s branches but if the tree does not bear fruit, it is cut down. Likewise, if the people we touch aren’t inspired to either strengthen or start a relationship with Christ, we need to rethink our approach and begin again. We are called to witness to everyone about our relationship with God so that they might want what we have.

Growing in knowledge requires reading and studying God’s word. Good preaching also helps in this learning. Find a church that you feel comfortable with and attend regularly. I would also encourage everyone to join a small group study of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a bible study. A small group that studies topics relevant to today’s challenges and how they relate to the bible is a great way to learn and grow in a group that can hold each other accountable as well as help in tough times.

Finally, spend some time in prayer. Thank God for all things in your life, not just the good things. There are many things that God wants us to learn and sometimes the only way to learn is through tough times. It can’t always be about the good times because you will never learn to appreciate the mountaintop experiences without going through the valleys.