Response to the Topic of Colossians 4:2-6 Life Application (Aug23 CSLI)

A Monthly Reflection

This month is a direct reflection regarding life application of the Scriptural text of Colossians 4:2-6.

2        Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 

3        praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so

that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 

4        that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. 

5        Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 

6        Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know

how you should respond to each person.

This month we shift to living out our gift of grace from our Father as a call to share with others while abiding in His love for his guidance, strength, ability to make the most of every opportunity.

The call, in summary, from these few versus is four-fold:

  1. Pray all the more about the following points and our attitude
  2. Make the most of our time on Earth for others in witnessing
  3. Be gracious in our speech with outsiders with clear and lovingly gentle answers
  4. Listen instead of speaking to understand and be more relevant

Starting in verse 2, we have the challenge to devotion through prayer and an attitude through thanksgiving.  A great place to start in everything we do from the time we get up till we lay our head on our pillow is to pray.  Prayer is grounding because it shows and reminds us of our position with respect to our Heavenly Father.  Additionally, it shows our weakness to be able to handle any task without Him and thus should lead our heart and actions to gratitude for who He is to us and what He gives to us.  We are lost and utterly desperate without Him.

This is the fuel to drive us to share Christ with others.  How we find the Way to our home.

If we are so moved, so touched with humility for our condition and truly recognize that others need Him just like we do – then we will want to witness to others through speech and in action.  Thus, verse 3 explains that we need to make the most of our time sharing the Gospel with others.  As I mentioned (I hope) in previous reflection papers, my mother was an evangelist and would love to share Jesus with others.  I, on the other hand, am learning slowly what this means – not in idea but in application.  I typically don’t just go up to a stranger and say something like this, “Hey, do you have a few moments to chat about G-d and who He is to you?”

I am more reserved.

Yet, even within the last couple of weeks a pair of practical wake-ups to me have occurred.  The first happened when I believe the Holy Spirit nudged me internally to reach out and speak to another patient at my daughter’s oncology treatment office.  Waiting in the lobby, while my daughter was going through a pre-treatment procedure, I felt called to kindly ask a simple question, “What’s your story?”  A simple question elicited quite a big response about how this woman found out through a chain of events that she has breast cancer and is starting, like my daughter, to have radiation treatments.  What a powerful witness this was to me and hopefully to her and to my daughter.  I could have just sat there and not engaged and brushed off the nudge, yet it felt good to try to reach out.  We did not directly talk about much Christianity but the concept of prayer was mentioned and hopefully some love flowed between Heaven and Earth that day.

Step forward a few more days and while at Sunday school – another wake-up moment transpired and what a follow-up blessing yet again.  The concept for being an evangelist can be really simple.  Ask their story – share your story.  Your testimony.  I can do that.  I may not have a great put-together story chronologically in order but I can ask them – What’s your story?  And hopefully respond in kind.  I succeeded at trying this out already for the lady aforementioned and what a good result, and what a great start to, I hope, many opportunities.

Verses 3 and 4 of this Scripture focus directly on this.  We need to listen frequently and with respect allow the other person time to share their unique life situation and history.  Each person probably has a story to tell if given the opportunity and with love and attention we can respond with a powerful witness of Jesus and how He cares for us. 

While they are sharing their story, we can be praying for them and/or allowing the Holy Spirit to work on their heart and our speech.  We can be an effective witness just by sharing some compassion and asking if we can pray for them. 

This is our call – our challenge: trust and obedience to our Father and action to shine His light to others.  This month’s book assignment, “Telling a Better Story”, from Joshua D. Chatraw, explains when we listen to the other party explain their worldview, concern, issue, or other life belief then we can have a basis to explain:

  1. How their idea, could when drawn out, leaves much to be desired and falls flat in value.
  2. How the Christian narrative and story explain much better the answer that the person is searching or trying to answer.

This book explains a few different facets of how to engage people on these grounds, what their viewpoints are and what is some of the reasoning behind such views, as well as a seasoned-with-salt approach of gentle answers to these topics.

Next up, is more of the first but with notes and growth.  Over time there will be more opportunities to take notes of what the Holy Spirit has worked out, communicated to you, or lessons learned.  Take notes.  Pray for more opportunities and better speech in love.

We might even be such living examples that we do not even know that we are serving Jesus.

Consider this:

            WHEN DID WE FEED YOU?

I think that every prayer which is sincerely made even to a false god or to a v. imperfectly conceived true God, is accepted by the true God and that Christ saves many who do not think they know Him. For He is (dimly) present in the good side of the inferior teachers they follow h the parable of the Sheep & Goats (Matt. 25.31 and following) those who are saved do not seem to know that they have served Christ. But of course, our anxiety about unbelievers is most usefully employed when it leads us not to speculation but to earnest prayer for them and the attempt to be in our own lives such good advertisements for Christianity as will make it attractive.  

From a letter to Mrs. Johnson, 11/08/52 C.S. Lewis

Thank you, Abba, for your love and I pray for all of us saints that You will be our guide in these areas of evangelism, discipleship, and apologetics to help You rescue via a mighty harvest.

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