Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.Conduct yourselves 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 ought to answer everyone. -Colossians 4:2-6
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We are called to live in clarity.
When Jesus says that He is the "way, the truth, and the life," I believe this refers to so much more of our everyday reality than we tend to think.
With blinders on, our world walks. With shaded perceptions, our world talks, slanders, jokes, and lies. With darkened views, our world operates, thrives, and lives.
But you and I - as new creations, people enlightened, transformed, and redeemed - have the ability to walk, see, talk, joke, operate, thrive, and live in clarity. Jesus' way, His truth, and His life reverse the altering effects of the fall.
And this is such a needed truth and passage for our day and age.
Paul starts off with a challenge to engage in "alert-filled" prayers. These are genuine prayers - not late at night mumbles whiles we are dozing off or quick "thanksgivings" before a meal. They are earnest thoughts, heart-felt remarks, authentic requests, and humble intercessions done throughout our day - continually.
And as Paul often does, he gives the reader something to focus on in these moments of clarity: "Pray that God will open a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ..."
So before we continue, I would love for us to pause.
In a prayerful conversation with our God, I challenge you pray for the open doors of the gospel. Pray for the leaders in your life - those sharing their stories of faith. Pray for your friends, families, and co-workers who are in the faith. Pray that they would have confidence, peace, eagerness, and ultimately the same clarity of purpose and mind that you seek to have.
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Now, with a greater clarity given through our prayers, let us continue. And I must be honest, my heart breaks and churns at the real-life necessity these next few verses are to our modern church.
Let's read them again: "Conduct yourselves 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 ought to answer everyone." (Colossians 4:5-7)
In a world that speaks death, brokenness, and pain, our newness offers life, hope, and healing. But ask yourself this: In your conduct towards outsiders, have you displayed this level of life, hope, and healing?
Another way to think of it is this... Is what I produce full of life? My words? My actions? My tweets? My posts? My snaps? My images? My comments? My likes? My messages? Is all that I produce consumed by the freeing and hope-filled life that Jesus gave to me?
Often, our social media accounts boldly answer no. Often, our reactions toward our family - our parents, kids, siblings, or spouses - powerful answer no. And often, our treatment (or blatant unawareness) of the "less-than" in our communities humbly answers no.
But because of the blood of Christ, we now have the amazing ability to speak something other than sin and death in this world. This is precisely why Paul urges us to make the most of our time; to speak with wisdom, grace, and truth.
And what we have to offer are words that satisfy, words that strengthen, words that preserve, and words that transform.
Notice what Paul is not saying here... He is not telling you to have all of the answers to every theological debate. He is not telling you to join in on a Facebook argument. He is not telling you to grow in knowledge so that you can answer with cunning words.
He is simply telling us to have words of grace, words of life, and words of hope. We often overthink the answer...It is not with "theology," it is with life. It is not with arguments, it is with grace. It is not with knowledge, it is with hope.
Picture the man of Jesus. He responded to others with life - life stories, life experiences, and life struggles. He reacted to the world with grace. And He spoke boldly of hope - hope in a coming kingdom, a living water, and a second birth.
With Him in mind, let us live accordingly. In response, how has the grace-filled words of another person changed your life? We would love to know!
As always, have a blessed day. And if you enjoyed today's devotion, please pass it along with others by using the social share icons below!
Greg, Declare Glory