Message Series // Colossians – Part 5
Message Date // March 15, 2020 (Scotty Priest)
We come to the end of Paul’s written letter to the Colossian church. Paul gets the opportunity to share his final thoughts for these people he so desperately wants to stay focused on Christ. Through these last words, Paul reminds us to stay prayerful, stay wise, and stay connected to other followers of Jesus.
“I’m signing off in my own handwriting — Paul. Remember to pray for me in this jail. Grace be with you.” – Colossians 4:18 (MSG)
Read Colossians 4:2-18. In verses 2-4, Paul asks the church to stay prayerful. Not to have prayer be a side activity or an after thought, but to actually be devoted to prayer. What does Paul ask the Colossians to be in prayer for? Why do you believe Paul would specifically ask for prayer with these things?
Read verses 5-6. Paul asks the church to not only be prayerful, but also to be wise in the way they act toward “outsiders”. (When Paul uses the term “outsider”, he is referring to someone who is not yet following Jesus. Not only is Paul trying to communicate this with the term “outsider”, but it comes with the posture of seeing that person as a “guest”.) He asks the church to “make the most of every opportunity” because people are watching our lives…and we represent Someone bigger than us. Paul also challenges their conversations because the way we say things matters. Why is Paul’s advice in these two verses spot on? How have you seen ways Christians speak and live turn “outsiders” off to the message of Jesus?
For the most part, people tend to skip over the last parts of Paul’s letters…because it’s only the “final greetings”. But take a look at verses 7-18 and notice the people Paul mentions. Also pay attention to what he says about them. Paul ultimately reminds us that it’s all about relationships. Considering Paul’s ministry, and especially since he is writing this letter from prison, why was it important for him to stay connected to other followers of Jesus? For you, why is it crucial that you stay connected in relationships with those who are pursuing Christ? How can your small group potentially meet this need?
As we consider the current global pandemic situation the Coronavirus has presented, in what ways do Paul’s written words offer great advice? How can you personally learn from Paul’s teaching and apply it to how you approach the reality of the Coronavirus?