This past weekend we wrapped up the book of Colossians and saw Paul’s final exhortations to this church. In short, he was pushing the church in Colossae, because of their faith in Jesus, to make their mission the pursuit of Jesus and to make Him known. In the context of the Lordship of Christ, we saw what missional living looks like.
Missional Living: v.2-6
Will Pray Steadfastly: v.2 This first truth is a crucial one. One of the greatest acts we can do to expand the Kingdom of God is to be in relationship with God. This cuts against so much of how we think and operate in our task-oriented society. But Paul begins the conversation about missional living in prayer. This is the starting line for missional living: steadfast, devoted, persistent prayer! We have to be a people who will pray. We must be a church that prays. This is where missional living begins.
Will Proclaim the Gospel: v.3-4 Paul then moves to the second aspect which is the proclamation of the gospel. We must be people who are willing to share with others the finished work of Jesus. It’s not our job to make them like it, believe it or even to understand it. Our job is to make Jesus known! If missional living is tied to proclamation, are you sharing the gospel? What lengths are you willing to go to in order to see the gospel proclaimed? Let’s be people who share the gospel.
Will Walk in Wisdom: v.5 To walk in wisdom is to conduct ourselves in the wisdom of God. Our lives will give credibility to what we proclaim. But not only that, we must get the sense of urgency that Paul references in verse 5. To make the best use of the time is to understand that we currently live on the short side of eternity and we would do well to keep that in front of us.
Will Speak Graciously: v.6 Finally Paul references speaking graciously to others. He’s not primarily concerned with us being kind, polite or…gracious. Instead, he’s addressing the content of what we say, not so much the manner in which we say it. In short, he’s calling us to be people who speak about the things of Christ.
Examples of Missional Living: v.7-18
In the final section, Paul is issuing farewells and final instructions. But there are a few examples of missional living that are worth highlighting briefly.
Tychicus: v.7-9 Paul mentions Tychicus and tells us three things about him: He’s a beloved brother, faithful minister and fellow servant. I was struck by the fact that this man’s life was summarized in a sentence. If your life was to be summarized in a sentence, what would it be? It’s a sobering thought to consider the whole of our existence being reduced to a single sentence, but it also gives us pause to consider what we are investing ourselves in.
Epaphras: v.12-13 This is the guy responsible for planting the Colossian church. He struggles for them in prayer that they may stand mature and fully assured in Christ. This is really the point of the book; maturity and assurance in Christ. I’ve wondered if the book of Colossians is the answer to Epaphras’ prayer.
As we closed, we spent time thinking and reflecting upon a few questions with respect to mission. I’d encourage you to revisit these and what God prompted in you this past weekend.
What has been the mission of my life? Be real, raw and honest as you answer this. You can’t make changes if you don’t first own your issues.
What will be the mission of my life? Moving forward, what will your life be about?
What aspect of missional living does God want to push you forward in?