The Work of Love: Colossians 4 (2)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 1.1, 2
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
Sing Psalm 1.1, 2
(St. Thomas: I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord)
How blessed are they that shun sin’s vain and wicked ways.
For them has Christ salvation won; He loves them all their days.
God’s Word is their delight; they prosper in its truth.
In it they dwell both day and night to flourish and bear fruit.Read Colossians 4.5, 6
1. How should the Christian “walk”?
2. What kind of speech should we strive always to have?
Paul offers advice for how believers should conduct themselves “toward those who are outside” – that is, outside the faith of Jesus (v. 5). Your Personal Mission Field will include believers and unbelievers. We are to be clothed with Jesus so that He can knit us together in love with our fellow believers. Relating to unbelievers requires no less love, merely different expressions of it, especially wisdom and grace.
We are walking in wisdom as we walk in Jesus and His Spirit (cf. Col. 2.2, 3; Gal. 2.16-23). Put on Jesus to go out among the unbelievers of your world. Make the most of all your time; and when your time brings you in contact with unbelievers, they will be more likely to see Jesus in you.
And if you have an opportunity to talk with unbelievers, let your speech be gracious and seasoned with salt – edifying (Eph. 4.29) and plain, to make them thirsty for more of the Good News of Jesus (v. 6). If we concentrate on love and speech that edifies, we will always have something worthwhile to offer the unbelievers in our lives. We don’t have to answer all their objections, clear up all their confusion, or make the Bible make sense to them. We must love them and speak the grace of Jesus. He’ll take it from there (Acts 17.32-34).
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Pirates and parrots come to mind when we think of salty speech.
But Paul uses the term in a different way: Our speech should be so salty that it makes people thirsty for the Jesus that lives in us. And this will be so because it is the seasoning of grace.
And we understand grace to be the undeserved love that God shows to us, that we in turn, show to others.
Who wouldn’t want to participate in this flavoring of life?
This grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ (Jn. 1.17).
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12.28).
“…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Pet. 3.18).
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you as you walk in wisdom toward those who are outside the faith (I Thess. 5.28; Col. 4.5).
1. What can you do to make your speech more consistently “salty”?
2. What kind of speech edifies you? Encourages you?
3. Why do we need both deeds and words in our witness for Christ?
Redeeming the time . . . is nothing else than making the seasons that are the most difficult, inconvenient and adverse to our salvation advantageous and opportune. Such were the times when Christians lived in the midst of the cruelties of idolaters; such also are now, when we live in the midst of the seductions of heretics and profane scoffers of God and religion. John Davenant (1576-1641), Notes on Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 4:5
Make me gracious in deeds and words today, O Lord, as I…
Closing Prayer: Psalm 1.3-6
Pray for opportunities to share the grace of Jesus with specific people today.
Sing Psalm 1.3-6
(St. Thomas: I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord)
Firm planted on the banks of God’s great stream of grace,
they raise unending praise and thanks to His great glorious face.
The wicked are not so, but, driven by the winds,
they fall and perish, weighed with woe, when once God’s wrath begins.
In Jesus’ righteousness, though sinners fail and fall,
His flock He will preserve and bless, who on His favor call.
T. M. and Susie Moore
You can listen to last week’s summary of our study in Colossians by clicking here.
Looking to Jesus
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Personal Mission Field
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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.