Summary: The reason we are not making the most of our opportunities & just sleeping through so many other opportunities is because we have made a division between the life of faith & our daily life. We are to seek to serve God continually in our daily life
COLOSSIANS 4: 2-6 [Christ Above All Series]
BEING ALERT FOR OPPORTUNITIES
Has your Christian Life lost its excitement? Has the fire gone out and you sense yourself just going through the motions? You know that the Christian life is the right way to live but the enthusiasm you once had and know you still should have has waned. Is your church experience dull? Has boredom set in even about worshiping God? Then today we need to look into God’s Holy Word and find out what is keeping us from experiencing the joy of constantly walking in the wisdom of God.
The reason we are not making the most of our opportunities and just sleeping through so many other opportunities is because we have made a division between the life of faith and our daily life. We are to seek to serve God continually in our daily life (CIM). If we don’t, we will be living life for ourselves and not for God.
How can you expect to experience full-time joy and peace of the Holy Spirit when you are only a part-time Christian? How can you expect to be always rejoicing in the Lord when you are living life for yourself? Will the Lord continually fill a life with the Holy Spirit when our aims and purposes are so similar to those of the lost people around us? The Christian life is an adventure for all who will venture to take their faith into the market place of daily opportunities!
Our text divides naturally into two parts.
I. SPEAK TO GOD, 2-4.
II. SPEAK TO OTHERS, 5-6.
Today’s Scripture has much to say to us about persisting in prayer until people come to know Christ. Let’s see what we can get out of today’s Scripture that will help us share our faith more effectively in the week ahead.
As the letter nears its end the emphasis on speaking to God so that we might properly speak to others is stated. Verse 2 opens by encouraging us to devote our self to watchful and thankful prayer. “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with [an attitude of] thanksgiving;”
To devote [proskarteô] is “to persist, to give constant attention to, to give unremitting care, to persevere, to be in constant readiness for, to endure in.” Devoted to prayer refers to a God consciousness that comes from walking with Him and relating each experience in life to Him.
Prayer is the most important expression of the New Life in Christ. It is the means of obtaining for ourselves and others the satisfaction of needs both physical and spiritual. It is a divinely appointed weapon against the sinister attacks of the devil and his demons. The vehicle for confession of sin. The instrument by which a grateful soul pours out spontaneous adoration before the Throne of God on high. [A.C.T.S.]
It is also THE power behind people coming to Christ. The importance of prayer in seeing people come to Christ is often minimized today in our fast-paced society. That is probably why people are not moved by the Word and message of God. Their hearts have not been prepared first by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to see their need. They believe they don’t need to go to church, don’t need the Lord. They think they can handle life by themself.
Next verse 6 tells us how to keep alert [ or “keeping spiritually awake,” grçgoreô, where the name Gregory comes from] in our new life of devotion to God. Our prayers are to be offered “with thanksgiving.” This is the seventh time thanksgiving is emphasized in Colossians [1:3, 12; 2:7; 3:15, 16, 17]. To maintain spiritual alertness in prayer and life we must be continuously thankful or have a zeal for thankfulness. [God will not only be keep you alert in praying if you are thankful, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you need for which we don’t know how to pray as we ought (Rom. 8:26).]
All those who serve God need to be remembered in prayer. In verse 3 Paul requests that they pray for him personally. “praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the Word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;”
Paul expresses a personal and specific request that God would open a door for him to share the Gospel. Even though Paul wrote these words from a prison in Rome, he still had a burning passion to see people saved. You would think that imprisonment would have been a down time for him as far as seeing people come to Christ. Paul, however, was able to continue his work not only during the best of times but also in the most unfavorable circumstances in which he found himself. He had a real desire to get the good news out to people because of what the Lord had done in his own life. He had a genuine experience with Jesus. His life had been wonderfully changed by Jesus. How could he not tell people wherever he went about what God’s grace had done for him? He wanted others to have this precious new life also. Paul had learned how to shared his faith in all kinds of circumstances.