Episode #182. Today we’ll read Colossians chapter 4 together. In this closing chapter, Paul encourages us to pray, to speak graciously to others, and offers some final greetings.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #182. Today we’ll read Colossians chapter 4 together: In this closing chapter, Paul encourages us to pray; to speak graciously to others; and offers some final greetings.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
I’m saying it again! Congratulations on completing another book in the New Testament! What did you think of this little book? It was a heart-felt letter, wasn’t it? I mean, Paul made some very serious points and passionately described Christ’s honored position. But it was full of love for the Colossians too.
Did you see the similarities between this book and the book of Ephesians? And how about those false teachers who were scaring the Colossians with the claim that a person had to have some secret knowledge in order to attain salvation? Boy, I’m sure glad that’s not true!
It’s All About Jesus
What was it that Paul said it in chapter 2; verses 9&10? For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. And 1:15-20 seems to say all we need to know:
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
For everything was created by him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities —
all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and by him all things hold together.
He is also the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
so that he might come to have
first place in everything.
For God was pleased to have
all his fullness dwell in him,
and through him to reconcile
everything to himself,
whether things on earth or things in heaven,
by making peace
through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians Chapter 4
Masters, deal with your slaves justly and fairly, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven.
Speaking to God and Others
Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known as I should. Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.
Tychicus, our dearly loved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and so that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, a faithful and dearly loved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.
Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin (concerning whom you have received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), and so does Jesus who is called Justus. These alone of the circumcised are my coworkers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. He is always wrestling for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis. Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas send you greetings. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her home. After this letter has been read at your gathering, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And tell Archippus, “Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it.”
I, Paul, am writing this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
So if we look closely, we have another template for prayer here. And not just prayer, but devoted prayer. We start with thanksgiving and rightly so…there is always something we can thank God for. And we’re to pray for others and for the Gospel to be spread. To me, the most interesting addition to Jesus’ original teaching is to stay alert in our prayer. What do you think that means? The first thing that came to my mind was to go straight to prayer with the news of the day. Be alert to what’s going on and then take it to the throne of grace.
Now, we see some instruction on our speech to each other too. Grace seasoned with salt. I always linger on the salt line. What does salt do? It preserves and adds flavor. So, we are to speak kindly to each other while not overlooking urging each other on to good works, whether that be actual works or rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
And finally, toward the end of the greetings, I caught something in my study notes that I had not seen before. Apparently, it is widely accepted that the letter to the Laodiceans that Paul encouraged the Colossians to read was the letter to Ephesians. I learned that the oldest manuscripts do not contain the words ‘in Ephesus’. Who knew? That’s the mystery! How can I continue to see things in passages I’ve read over and over?
Actually, there’s no mystery, the Word is living and active. We’ll see that in the book of Hebrews. We’ll get there. Let’s pray.
Father, I thank You that Your Word is always relevant from day to day. I praise You that You are so vast that knowing You takes a lifetime. In this age of boldness and online anonymity, we confess there are times when our speech to each other is not gracious, Lord, and we ask Your forgiveness for that. Help us to be kind while at the same time spurring one another on to good works. Finally, Lord, help us to stay alert and to be constantly devoted to our conversation with You. Amen
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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