[Extra]Ordinary Faithfulness: In Prayer, Gospel Proclamation, and Relative Obscurity
Topic: Colossians Scripture: Colossians 4:2–4:18
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.”
(Colossians 4:2–18 ESV)
Our lives are extraordinary when lived, by the grace and power of God, in faithful obedience to our faithful God.
[Extra]Ordinary Faithfulness in Prayer
- How is your prayer life? Does the word steadfast define it? Watchful? Thankful?
- Does your prayer life reveal your dependence on God for the success of gospel proclamation?
- Does it reveal your dependence on God for growth in your family, in your work, at church, for your pastor, for your spouse, for your neighbors, for your school?
[Extra]Ordinary Faithfulness in Gospel Proclamation
- Do we live with a sense of urgency in light of the impending return of our Savior? The answer to this informs not only your prayer life but the way you will purposefully interact with outsiders for the sake of the gospel.
- Do you live in proximity to unbelievers? Do they not only see your gracious way among them but feel it? Have you interacted with them enough that they might see and feel and hear the gracious news of the gospel on your lips and in your lives?
[Extra]Ordinary Faithfulness in Relative Obscurity
The history books speak of many people who did many great things. And that’s wonderful. But there are billions upon billions who have lived upon this earth in relative obscurity. We can look in Christian history books and consider great men and women of faith and be challenged by them, but be challenged as well by the ordinary men and women who loved Jesus, loved the word of God, and walked in extraordinarily faithful obedience who we will never know about but who, nonetheless, God used to hand the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to us today.
You and I may never do anything to make the history books. But we can, by the grace of God in Christ Jesus and the enablement of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us - right here in the middle of obscure small town America - live in faithful obedience to our faithful God. And as we live in that manner we spread the fame of the name of Jesus who…
“...is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:15–20 ESV)
And as we spread his fame in the relative obscurity we find ourselves in, we can be assured that that life is an extraordinary life.