Summary: Paul concludes his general call by setting forth the dynamics of life with a mission. He speaks to them as a partner in ‘manifesting the mystery’ of Christ to those around them. The dynamics involved include: prayer, sacrifice, seeking opportunities,
Theme: Paul concludes his general call by setting forth the dynamics of life with a mission. He
speaks to them as a partner in ‘manifesting the mystery’ of Christ to those around them. The
dynamics involved include: prayer, sacrifice, seeking opportunities, and sensitivity (i.e. appropriate
Intro – Every life longs for a mission… to be a part of a larger story… something that gives it
If we don’t find ourselves part of any compelling drama… we watch Jerry Springer… or 24… or
create drama from what really doesn’t matter..
As we conclude our series entitled The Liberated Life based upon the letter to Colossi… or
what is commonly called the Book of Colossians… Paul brings us into a life filled with
Paul has spoken of the grand drama… how this new life in manifest in our relationships… and
now he closes his general call to that of how this is manifest in relationship to the larger
world…. the larger community of lives who do not yet know of this new life. Here we hear
something of the great drama and mission of life.
These are the words of one who knew he may be at the end of his earthly life… so what he says
is reflects a desire to convey what matters most. He wants to help every life discover and develop
what matters most.
Colossians 4:2-6 (NLT)
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 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. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. 5 Live wisely among
those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be
gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Here Paul sets our minds towards the mission that animates his life… and it is that of making
the mystery of this new life known.
Up until now… he’s been explaining the grand drama… now it’s as if he says… so are you
ready to really join it?
Illustration – It makes me think of the famous part of the Mission Impossible show.. when they get
the explanation of what is really going on… and then come the famous closing words of the
instructions…which say, “Jim, should you choose to accept this mission…’. It was a mission. With
the knowledge few others were aware of… came a mission… a mission that had to be accepted…
that one had to choose.
That is how Paul relates to what he has come to know of the work of God to bring new life in
Paul has no savior complex… he has gotten over any sense that he is the hero of the story…
and we need to get over that too. He sees his life not as an answer to what others needs… but
as a bridge… a bridge to hope.
• Important… because any assumption that those who claim to receive this life of Christ are
superior will deflate everyone… because we know it’s just not true.
• If you are hear today… perhaps just exploring… I’m sorry for the way you may be made to feel
like you are not as good or smart as those who claim to know Christ.
• Paul held no such pretense… referring to himself as the ‘chief of simmers’ …one who was
simply met in God’s timing and plan.
• God did something to get a hold of him… but also brought people to help him understand
what God was doing.
> It’s his relational emphasis that is important to hear. While programs can serve the personal
nature of relationship… there is no substitute for the relational spreading of this new life.
We become a relational bridge in the grand drama that we are living in… a bridge which can
manifest and make clear the mysteries of Christ.
If we are going to discover and develop this life of mission… there are four elements involved.
(While not listed as some kind of formula… they are the four qualities which we find most
consistently in both Jesus and now taken up by Paul.)
Discovering and developing a life of mission involves…
1. Praying that engages us in the mission
It’s probably only natural that we should be called to begin in prayer.
This mission brings us into the spiritual realm. Paul had come to grasp that we live in the
intersection of two dimensions… and relate to both. This is what the disciples of Jesus had begun
to recognize was at the center of his life. So they ask him.. ‘Lord teach us to pray.’ And his model