Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:2-6
As Paul concludes his letter to the church in Colossae, he throws in what would look like, on the surface, a simple prayer request – that there would continue to be more opportunity to share the gospel with people. That was the cause Paul gave his life to (and eventually for).
But the prayer request quickly turned into a pastoral caution. It was a caution with a presumption behind it – the presumption that those who would read this letter (to which we can count ourselves as part of) would carry the same burden of responsibility to reach the lost as he did.
Paul knew that Christ had called every believe to shoulder the weight of sharing the gospel. But what Paul observed with this church was that they may not be approaching the task in a way which brought honor to God or effectiveness in their action. So he cautioned them to increase the use of two things: wisdom in their actions and grace in their speech.
I am certain we can all take those challenges to heart for us in our day and age.
You and I are called, beyond anything else, to help spread the gospel to those we know and love.
Let’s apply what we know (wisdom) about how Jesus would act around outsiders towards the the reputation we build in in our work place, our families, our neighborhoods and our social media accounts. If you need help with what that looked like, scan the gospels and take note of every interaction Jesus had with a “sinner”, “gentile”, “tax collector” or “demon possessed” person.
Let’s use grace, not wrath, disgust or gossip, in how we speak about one another and to one another. Remember, we live in a post-Christian society where many times the only view of Christ and His gospel is seen through the lens of their interactions with those who claim to represent Him. And if we spend the build of our actions and words speaking against things instead of clearly articulating what Christ did for a broken humanity, Christ’s message will get lost behind walls of division.
You and I are called to proclaim clearly “the mystery of Christ”. We as the pastoral staff of WSFC are praying for open doors for you just as we ask that you do the same for us. Our city needs to know Jesus and encounter Him in clear and profound ways. And they can as we keep the gospel, not politics or culture wars, at the forefront of our speech, shares and posts.
This week let’s stay in prayer for each other and let God move in and through us to our cities, families and nation.
Pastor Cris Buck