Summary: As believers we have the call of God on our lives, and are equipped by the Spirit for a particular ministry that we should do well to take heed unto.
Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen. Written from Rome to Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus. Colossians 4:1-18 KJV
And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. Colossians 4:17
The ministry was received from The Lord. Pay attention to it. Fulfil it. Work to complete it. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity for God does all things well! Paul also reminded young Timothy: But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5
Take heed...be aware, pay attention, be careful. The same word is used elsewhere by the Lord and others.
Paul knew Archippus personally and referred to him as a fellow soldier:
Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Philemon 1:1-2 KJV
He directed an individual, particular message to him. What prompted that message? We can speculate and theorize but regardless of what we conclude, there are some essential pieces of information encapsulated here that may very well apply to our lives as well.
It's a special word to an individual, for God always has special individual words to each of His children! God said not to cast pearls before swine and He performs His own Words! So since we know we are not swine, but His children, therefore we have received something precious from Him… a ministry specifically made and particularly tailored to fit our special persons before Him!
1. Take heed to the Ministry
3. You have received it in the Lord
4. Fulfill that ministry!
The church at Colosse was directed to encourage Archippus in the ministry so that he could fulfill it.
You've probably heard it before but I say it again...preachers and pastors can get discouraged in a big way. Discouragement may result in various reactions in addition to the drastic decision to drop out! Some preachers and pastors not liking the idea of "dropping out" may approach discouragement by adopting various innocuous seeming divergent activities. Many have given up the message they have been called to deliver, being instead, content with people pleasing addresses that often leaves a congregation feeling good about itself, but deprived of the actual living, life giving message from God. Many have fallen into the habit of preaching people empowering messages to a congregation, that knows not the conviction of sin produced by the Holy Ghost, working in lives to effect eternal transformation.
1. Pay attention to what you are doing for the Lord.