“Why would God have given us this new building - debt-free don’t forget - this new building, at this time, unless he wants us to seize this season?” Pastor Christian
water cooler conversation:
Do you remember your dreams when you wake up? What’s the most vivid dream you’ve ever had?
What’s one thing that given another chance you’d do differently? It doesn’t have to be a life-changing moment, any moment at all - what’s your “do-over”?
did you know…
During this time of house arrest in Rome, along with Colossians, Paul writes Philippians, Ephesians, and Philemon. While on house arrest, Paul would have been guarded by Rome’s elite Praetorian Guard. The Praetorians engaged in espionage, intimidation, arrests, and assassinations all in the name of protecting the interests of Rome and its emperor.
Along with traditional law enforcement roles, they served as firefighters and a select number were chosen to be “speculatores” an elite group of intelligence operatives who would disguise themselves as ordinary citizens at gladiator contests, at the theatre, and other public events so they could arrest anyone who criticized Rome or the emperor himself.
The Praetorians kept track of suspected enemies of the state, collecting evidence and sometimes killing the traitor – including several sitting emperors - Caligula, Commodus, and Caracalla.
unpack the message:
Are you awake? Colossians 4:2
Paul instructs us to devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful, and thankful. We sometimes fall into the trap of praying only when we want or need something instead of starting from a place of gratitude. Nowhere in Scripture are we instructed to thank God for everything, but we are told to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). What’s the difference?
Why are you here? Colossians 4:3-4
Paul refers to the “mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” We know from chapter one of Colossians that the “mystery of Christ” refers to salvation through Christ.
Paul understands his incarceration is more than just a prison sentence. Instead of focusing on what he’s prevented from doing – traveling to different cities to preach – he seizes the opportunity to preach and teach through his letters. Soon he’ll stand before the Roman government to answer the charges against him so Paul chooses to see his imprisonment as an opportunity to advance the gospel in ways that would otherwise not be possible.
Sometimes our lives are a mess because of the actions of others, but more often it’s the messes we make for ourselves that are our downfall. Instead of self-pity, choose self-examination. Have you ever asked God to use the uncomfortable circumstances of life to advance the gospel? Why is it sometimes difficult to surrender to His purpose in those seasons?
What does it mean to “live out the gospel” to those around you? Does the way you live change the way people see Jesus and the gospel? How?
Have you seized the season?
Chronos refers to chronological or sequential time, and kairos refers to a specific, opportune moment in time. Think of it this way - our physical lives are measured by Chronos, our spiritual lives by kairos. What kairos moments stand out in your mind? Can you think of an example of a time you saw God working in your life?
Salt is essential for life. It symbolizes taste, preserves food, and is even used in mummification. In Scripture, it also symbolizes purification – Sodom and Gomorrah were purified with salt, and Lot’s wife is reduced to a pillar of salt for her sin. On the other hand, too much salt can be deadly. It kills weeds, is corrosive, and makes water non-potable. It’s part of our vernacular - we refer to bad language or bad attitudes as being “salty.” Paul warns us to “Let our conversations always be full of grace, seasoned with salt.” Seasoning here implies being intentional. Think about how you speak – is the language you use salty or seasoned? If a stranger overheard you speak, would your conversation stand out as someone who is a believer?
Are you sure? Look back over your last ten, tweets, Instagram, or Facebook posts and consider them from someone else’s perspective. Does your social media reflect “conversation full of grace, seasoned with salt?”
What does Paul mean when he closes verse four with the words “so that you may know how to answer everyone?
Have you “seized this season?” What challenges are you facing now that you can ask God to turn into an opportunity?
make a move:
Choose an action step based on what you’ve learned this week.
Pray that God softens the hearts of those around you so that you can begin witnessing to them. Ask Him to show you how to live out the gospel to your family, friends, and coworkers.
Pray that you begin to see the lost and hurting world around you through His eyes.
Pray about your place of service in this season at GMU and how you will serve at the new property on Braddock Rd. Ask God to show you a need you can meet and how you can use your gifts and abilities to advance the gospel from this day on.
Take the Great Commission as a personal message from God’s heart to yours. Ask Him to help you feel the urgency of standing between your loved one and eternity in hell. Pray that this urgency overcomes your fear or hesitancy to be bold in your witness.
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