Summary: How many times, or even years, have you been praying for a loved one to come to Christ? Paul says, 'don't give up'. This is a message of encouragement and lessons learned from Paul about taking opportunities to share Christ with those around you.
2011.10.23.Redeeming the Time
Colossians 4:2-6, 17
How many times have you prayed for something and given up? Have you ever grown tired of praying for someone or something. Colossians 4:2 Paul says, ‘keep at it’. Continue in prayer.
Persistence to continue praying shows our faith that we believe that God will answer our prayers.
Faith shouldn’t die because the answer didn’t come immediately. The delay may be God’s way of working his will in your life.
When you are weary in your prayers, know that God is present, always listening, always acting. Maybe not in the way that you hoped for, but always in ways he knows best.
LESSON 1: Don’t be weary in prayer, keep at it. Watch for God’s answers and be thankful when they come.
4:3 Don’t forget to pray for us too, that God will give us many changes to preach the Good News of Christ for which I am here in jail.
Paul’s words should be a lesson to us as well. It should be our own prayer that God would give us many changes to share the Good News of Christ, no matter where we are today. Paul was in jail, and yet he asked for God to give him opportunity to share Christ’s salvation to whomever God placed in his path.
4:4 He continues. Pray that I will be bold enough to tell it freely and fully, and make it plain as well I should.
Here Paul asks for prayer that while he is in jail, he would have opportunity and be bold enough to speak about Christ and be able to speak so that others would understand.
4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
LESSON 2: Make the most of the opportunities to tell others the Good news. Be wise in all your contacts with them. Walk in wisdom. Know that God is giving you opportunities wherever you go.
Our prayer should be: LORD give us opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus. Give us boldness to speak freely and fully of you.
Know, walk in wisdom, understand that there are those around you who need Christ. Redeem the time. Find the time.
Redeem->Purchase-> Make the time to tell them of Christ.
4:6 Graceful speech, tasteful, not tasteless. Know how to give an answer, courteously.
LESSON 3: When we tell others about Christ, it is important always to be gracious in what we say. No matter how much sense the message makes, we lose our effectiveness if we are not courteous.
Just as we like to be respected, we must respect others if we want them to listen to what we have to say.
Colossians - Paul makes it clear that Christ alone is the source of our spiritual life, the Head of the Body. He is LORD of both physical and spiritual worlds. The path to deeper spiritual life is not through religious duties, special knowledge or secrets. It is only through a clear connection with the LORD JESUS CHRIST. We must never let anything come between us and our Savior.
From the 3 lessons above come 6 final points.
1. PRAY and keep at it.
Don’t give up. Look for answers and be thankful
2. PRAY for the opportunity and boldness to speak the Gospel message of Christ to others
3. UNDERSTAND that there are those around you who need to hear the Good News.
4. REDEEM the time. To redeem is to purchase or set aside time and ultimately to TAKE the time. Take the opportunities as the Holy Spirit directs.
5. SPEAK in love and respect for others, be courteous and kind.
6. FULFILL the instructions you have been given. "Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature."
4:17 as Paul instructed to say to Archippus, we can take it to heart as well.
“Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.”
The LORD has a purpose for you in ministry to those around you. Fulfill HIS mission in Ministry.
Ephesians 5:16-17 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.