Monday, October 27, 2008

10 27 08 A Clear Message

“Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us too, that God may open a door for the message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may make it known as I should. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:2-6 NET)

Paul ministers to the church at Colossae (a city on an inland road from Ephesus to the Euphrates River, sharing the beauty of the Lycus Valley with its sister cities Hierapolis Laodicea ) through Epaphras as he was in Rome around C.D. 60-62. Though Paul had never visited this church, through the witness of Epaphras, he was concerned about the false teachings there. In this epistle, Paul gives perhaps his most Christ-centered writings, concentrating on the person and the preeminence of Christ and the believers’ desire to run after Him in demeanor and temperament.

As Paul instructs the believers there, he also asks for prayer for himself. Taking nothing for granted, though well educated and experienced, Paul still seeks the prayers of others for the success of reaching others for Christ.

What a great example for us today. Through all the education and training we may have, it is by prayer and the guiding of the Holy Spirit that our speech and other forms of instruction are received and perceived. There a re many gifted speakers today, but unfortunately many are clanging symbols, talking loudly and often but saying very little.

We believers need to send A CLEAR MESSAGE with not only our words, but with our actions: It’s all about Jesus! He is the reason we live and breathe. He is the Lord of our lives. He alone is our hearts’ desire. As Paul encourages the Colossians, we must be careful that our speech, our actions, and our motives reflect Christ to all we come in contact with. We must not waste any opportunities. Our daily speech…every idle word, must be so seasoned as to cause others to see a difference, because of the Christ in us. We need to prepared to answer others when they ask why we do the things we do.

How can we always be ready? Prayer is the answer. We must be in constant contact with our Lord and be fully aware of His workings within our daily lives. There is no down time when it comes to our witness for Christ. It has to be our motivation when we get up in the morning, as we go to work, as we sit down for lunch, as we shop, as we speak with our families, and even in our most private times. We must send A CLEAR MESSAGE in this perplexing world: Jesus is the answer!

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