Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23 - Colossians 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is Colossians 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In the end of his letter to the Colossians, Paul gives a few pieces of critical advice that apply to all followers of Jesus, and then sends a bunch of personal greetings.
  • Paul stresses the importance of prayer for believers.
  • And Paul stresses the importance of how believers pray for, live in front of, and speak to non-believers.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Making prayer a priority is essential for living life with God. Paul tells us to be devoted to prayer, and to keep our eyes open for things to pray about and be thankful for.
  • Paul wants everyone to know Jesus, so he asks the Colossians to pray that he'll have opportunities to share Him with others effectively. But it's not just Paul's responsibility, it's for every Christian. So Paul urges the Colossian believers to be very careful about how they live, since people will form their opinions about Jesus by those who claim to follow Him. He also asks them to be careful in how they speak to non-Christians.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Instead of just having a "prayer time," how about this week you try to devote yourself to prayer: keeping God in your thoughts and talking to Him as much as possible throughout the day?  Why wouldn't you choose to do that?  And if you do choose to do it, what might help you to keep remembering to stay focused on God and praying to Him?
  • Do you "make the most of every opportunity" with people who are outside the faith?  Are you careful about how you act with them and speak to them, so that you're setting a great example for Jesus?  Do you try to find ways to have spiritual conversations with them ("always full of grace") so you can help them know Jesus, or invite them to church so they can come to know Jesus?  What opportunity (and with what person) could you use this week?