Friday, January 27, 2017

Who Me? Beyond My Door?

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.  (Colossians 4:2-6)

This Sunday evening is the Mission Banquet.  Once or twice a year, we have a church-wide mission focus.  But the real mission work we are called to do by Jesus Christ is in our lives, 365 days of the year, and outside the walls of our homes and churches.  The scripture above tells of the church of Colossae and how it had been infected with the leaven of false philosophy and the religion of knowledge. The result was the undermining of the Person of Christ and the perversion of the purpose of Christianity. Believers exalted their minds and sat on their "salt".

To this church, Paul proclaims the undeniable deity of his Lord Jesus Christ, and the essential essence of conducting or "walking" in Him. Paul exhorts the Colossians, as well as us, to "walk worthy" and to "walk wisely." The course of that movement is to be directed by the One in whom we walk.

Knowing must never replace being.

Even "living water" can stagnate if it simply pools together and stands for too long of a time without any activity that allows the God-intended flow to move "toward them that are without". Paul is writing from prison and is unable to "walk" about as he would like. He is writing to a people that are free to carry the gospel to others, but have chosen to be "knowers" and not "doers" of the Word.  What begins with prayer (talking to God about men) ends with evangelism (talking to men about God).

(PRAY) To pray for the lost beyond our doors –

Paul calls the Colossians to be continually devoted to prayer as they should, but he also calls them to pray for them and for open doors of utterance.

Most corporate prayer time is dominated by crisis prayers of sickness or distress. Paul is charging the church to engage in Kingdom prayers that will advance the gospel of Jesus Christ – we too, must learn to pray beyond ourselves towards those without Christ.

(GIVE) To give to the work beyond our doors –

Paul desires for the church to partner with him in missions and ministry - That I may make it manifest; as I ought to speak.

When we give to the Cooperative effort for mission we place ourselves in a partnership.  It is as important that I give as it is that they go.

(GO) To go to the fields beyond our doors –

Paul instructs the Colossians to "walk" in wisdom toward them that are without. The term without has a double application – those without or outside our walls; and those without or outside of Christ.

If we are to engage the lost, we are to engage them beyond our doors. We are to go where they are and present Christ in grace and with salt. In other words, our speech and lives should produce a thirst for the Living Water of Jesus Christ.

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