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The Scriptorium

Greetings All Around

Be sure to greet a fellow Kingdom-worker today. Colossians 4.12-14

The Work of Love: Colossians 4 (5)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 71.14-16
But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.

Sing Psalm 71.14-16, 3
(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
But as for me my voice I raise to sing in hope and constant praise!
With saving grace my voice will swell Your never-ending grace to tell.
Refrain, v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

Read Colossians 4.12-14

Preparation
1. What did Epaphras desire for the Colossians?

2. Whom did Paul say to greet?

Meditation
Moe greetings to the Colossians from those serving with Paul. Here he mentions Epaphras, who was from Colossae, and may have been the source of Paul’s information about the church there; Luke, Paul’s traveling companion since Macedonia; and Demas, who would shortly quit the field, being too much in love with the world (2 Tim. 4.1).

All these men were important to Paul and his work, and they wanted to be remembered to the church in Colossae. Epaphras especially was burdened for his fellow believers there, praying for them earnestly that they might be made complete in Christ (v. 12). Paul testified to his zeal for the Colossians and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis. Epaphras must have had some familiarity with, and perhaps some ministry to, the believers in those cities as well.

Paul also wanted to be remembered to the believers in Laodicea. He had apparently written a letter to them (now lost), which he urged the Colossians to read (v. 16). He also singled out Nymphas (Greek: Nympha) for a special greeting. The Greek makes it clear that she was a woman, since she hosted a church in her (not “his” as in NKJV) house. Early Christian churches were house churches. But they were true churches, not just Bible study groups. Paul held in high regard those who opened their homes for the churches to meet, worship, and study together, like Nympha in Colossae, Chloe in Corinth (1 Cor. 1.11), and Priscilla and Aquila, her husband, in Rome (Rom. 16.3-5).

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Being a person of prayer is a noble and righteous calling. Epaphras, the bond servant of Christ, always labored fervently for others in prayer, that they may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Somehow, these days, this amazing gift seems to have fallen into disfavor with the go-getters of churchdom. How many times have you heard someone say, or have said yourself, “Well, I guess I can just pray”? Or perhaps a person is shut-in and can’t get out to “do” mighty works of ministry, but oh well, “Shucks, I can pray”. Prayer is the mightiest work of all! And we can all do it; and in fact, are all called to do it. Some people though seem to have a real gift for it. Like Epaphras.

Jesus spent much time in prayer: “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Lk. 6.12). And then we have the loving discourse between Jesus and God recorded for us in John 17 where He is praying specifically for us. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me…” Amazing. There Jesus prayed for us!

Peter said, “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6.4).

Paul encouraged us to “continue steadfastly in prayer…” (Rom. 12.12), “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6.18), being anxious for nothing, “but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving” letting our requests be made known to God (Phil. 4.6); and to do this “without ceasing” (I Thess. 5.17).

We all love to hear that someone is praying for us. Let us also take up this noble calling, and be like Paul’s friend Epaphras, and labor fervently for others in prayer.

Reflection

1. What can you do to be more consistent in your prayer life? Why should you do this?

2. Do you have fellow workers in the Kingdom to encourage you in your walk with and work for the Lord? Whom do you regularly encourage?

3. The first Christians met in homes and turned their world upside-down for Jesus. Why do we feel like we can’t be a church without buildings, programs, staff, and so forth?

The apostle had comfort in the communion of saints and ministers. One is his fellow-servant, another his fellow-prisoner, and all his fellow-workers, working out their own salvation, and endeavoring to promote the salvation of others. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Colossians 4.10-18

Lord, lead me to come alongside a fellow believer today, so that I…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 71.17-24

Whom will you greet in the Name of the Lord today? Whom will you serve with the love of Jesus?

Sing Psalm 71.17-24, 3

(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
O Lord, I praise Your righteousness Who me from youth have taught and blessed.
Forsake me not when I am old, ‘til I Your mercies all have told!
Refrain, v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

Your righteous deeds are great and true. O God, there is no one like You!
Though many troubles I have seen, You will revive my soul again!
Refrain

Increase my greatness, comfort me, and unto You shall praises be.
Your truth I will exalt full well, O Holy One of Israel!
Refrain

My lips with joy and praises ring; to You, Redeemer, praise I bring!
I praise Your goodness all day long; Lord, humble all who do me wrong.
Refrain

T. M. and Susie Moore
You can listen to last week’s summary of our study in Colossians by clicking here.

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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.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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