Today’s Reading: Colossians 3:25-4:6
Yesterday we talked about the daily struggle some of us have in picking out what to wear. I always gravitate to my favorite sweater or my favorite jeans and I have to remind myself that just because it’s clean again doesn’t mean I should wear it twice in one week. Do you have a favorite sweatshirt or favorite shoes you like to wear? Paul ends chapter 3 by talking about favorites.
But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites. – Colossians 3:25
Wait. I don’t have an automatic “in” with God? But I am a pastor’s wife, a pastor’s daughter, a good girl, a nice person. Hey, I’m the CEO of an amazing ministry that is daily changing lives! But Paul was pretty clear. God does not play favorites. He loves ALL of us and He loves us enough to require us to devote our lives fully to Him. He wants ALL of us ALL the time in ALL that we say and ALL that we do.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. – Colossians 4:2
Paul is instructing the believers to not only take time to pray but to DEVOTE themselves to prayer. That is a much stronger word and I have to ask myself if I am truly devoted to prayer. Will it take top priority in my day?
Then Paul adds to pray with a thankful heart. Oh how I love to thank God, to stop and consider all I have to be thankful for and praise Him for the many blessings He gives me every day. This is an element to my prayers that I not only NEED to add, I WANT to add. When I come to God with a thankful heart, it affects my attitude toward everything else.
The NLT Study Bible explains that “with an alert mind” is referring to the Greek verb used in the New Testament exhorting Christians to be watchful in light of Christ’s return. I have to admit that I rarely think of Christ’s return. I stay focused on today and prepared for tomorrow without considering the possibility of His second coming. But Paul is asking the Church to keep their mind alert to the possibility that Christ could return at any moment. The next verses explain why this is important.
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 so that you will have the right response for everyone. – Colossians 4:3-6
This puts new light on Colossians 3:24, which we looked at yesterday.
Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. – Colossians 3:24
When we keep the reality of Christ’s return as context for our day, we see the non-Christians around us differently. An urgency to lead them back to God flavors our day. When we make it a habit to ask God every day for opportunities, we will be more likely to see those opportunities throughout our day. The literal translation of this is to ask God if He might open for us a door.
Be devoted to prayer.
Pray with an alert mind.
Pray with a thankful heart.
Pray for opportunities.
Pray for clarity in our message.
Pray for wisdom.
Pray to maximize every opportunity God gives today.
Pray for right responses, for gracious and attractive conversation.
Dear Jesus, help me to see doors today that you have placed in my path and lead me through them. Give me the right words so that I might present your message as clearly as I should. Give me wisdom as I live among those who are not believers and help me to wisely make the most of every opportunity. May the words from my mouth be gracious and attractive so that I may always have the right response. Thank you in advance for the opportunities you are going to give me today. Amen.