December 8, 2002


Volume 12 - Number 48     

Communicating the Gospel

Colossians 4:2-6

The success or failure of any endeavor is influenced by circumstances and conditions surrounding it. As Christians we should be concerned about being successful in communicating the gospel to as many individuals as possible. What conditions are favorable to the advancement of the gospel? In closing his letter to the Colossians, Paul mentions three such conditions.

PRAYER FOR OPPORTUNITY (4:2-4)

The Colossians were to “continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (v.2). The word “continue” involves the idea of perseverance and steadfastness in prayer. To be “vigilant” is to be watchful, to keep awake and alert. Prayer is ever to be with “thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:20)

Paul wished to be remembered in their praying. (vv.3,4) “That God would open to us a door for the word.” (v.3) Doors of opportunity must be opened by God’s providence. (1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:1) Preachers, and all other brethren, need not only prayers for their health, etc., but also that they might have opportunities to communicate the gospel. Paul was “in chains” (v.3), but he still was seeking fruitful opportunities. He found work to do, even in prison. (Philippians 1:12-14) We, too, can find opportunity even in difficult places!

Paul did not merely wish for opportunity - he knew the need to be prepared to use the opportunities that came. He wished to “speak the mystery of Christ” (v.3). (Romans 16:25-26; 1 Corinthians 4:1; Ephesians 3:3-6) He wished to “make it manifest” (v.4). Manifest = clear, plain, understandable. The child of God is responsible for making God’s word clear and plain. Even when the consequences may be serious, he must speak so as to be understood. (Daniel 3:16-18; Matthew 14:3-4) Paul recognized that he “ought to speak” about the gospel. (v.4) (Acts 4:20; 1 Corinthians 9:16) Whether the gospel has “free course” (2 Thessalonians 3:1) depends, in part, on whether Christians pray for opportunity.

WISE LIVING (4:5)

The spread of the gospel also is influenced by whether Christians “walk in wisdom toward those who are outside.” (Matthew 10:16) How do Christians do this? By humility, avoidance of self-righteousness. (Luke 18:9-14) By careful, consistent conduct which does not prejudice people against the gospel. (Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Peter 2:12) By maintenance of a good reputation. (1 Timothy 3:7) By intelligent rebuttal of error. (Titus 1:9) By the ability to recognize opportunities. We cannot simply wait for opportunity to fall into our laps, but must learn to see it wherever it is, even when it may be disguised!

The Christian has the duty of “redeeming the time.” This means buying up every opportunity, taking full advantage of every one that presents itself. (Ephesians 5:16)

CAREFUL SPEAKING (4:6)

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt.” (4:6)

The Christian’s speech is to be tactful, courteous, sensitive. (Luke 4:22) It is not enough to know what to say. One must also know when and how to say it. Just like food, speech must have “salt” to be agreeable.
“That you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

The Christian must be prepared to “answer.” (1 Peter 3:15) The response of the Christian to the outsider must always be courteous and respectful, even when under fire. This is not always easy! Answers often have to be adapted to the individual questioner. Tact and judgment are needed qualities.

The gospel is “the power of God to salvation.” (Romans 1:16) CHRISTIANS MAY HELP OR HINDER THE GOSPEL’S POWER BY THEIR CONDUCT. Colossians 4:2-6 teaches us that praying for opportunity, wise conduct, and careful speech toward outsiders can contribute to the advance of the gospel.

May we all give serious consideration to the ways in which our prayers for opportunity, our conduct, and our speech influence the non-Christians around us each day.

Author Unknown


Eye Surgery Needed

Edward N. Quansah

Edward N. Quansah, a gospel preacher in Ghana, is needing eye surgery to remove a tumor.

$ 1100.00 is needed to cover the cost of the surgery and resulting medical costs. Without the surgery the doctors tell him that he will go blind in that eye and it will then begin affecting his other eye.

I can't think of any better way to help someone during the "holiday season". If you would like to help please
send you contribution to:

GHANA MISSIONS
Church of Christ of Venice
4301 SR 776
Venice, FL  34293

Thank You for your prayerful consideration of this request. Please remember bro. Quansah in your prayers.

Ted Wheeler


Holiday Party

December 7th, 2002
Time: 5:00 PM
Place: the Wheelers

The food theme for this occasion is finger foods and appetizers.

At our party we are having a Gift Exchange, If you wish to participate please bring a wrapped present with a maximum cost of $5.00.

R.S.V.P. by November 30th.
Sign-up Sheet in the foyer.

If directions are needed please let us know. Hope to see you there.


Sympathy

We extend our deepest sympathy to
Charlie White and family
with the passing of Charlie's brother, Bob.

Funeral services were Friday in St. Paul.


AM SERMON:
"Tossed To & Fro"
Ephesians 4:14
PM SERMON:
"Looking Back on a Forward Glance"
Genesis 12:1-9

“If you want your neighbor to see what the Christ spirit will do for him, let him see what it has done for you.” -- H. Beecher

 

SERVICE OOPPORTUNITIES

 

Remember in Prayer

Announcements:

 Wayne Vowell

 


Clarence & Dee Riggenbach
Sybil Wheeler
Mary Gloster
Melissa Keyso
Frank Small
Bill Sherman
Mike Weber
Iva Turner
Art Stapleton
Walt & Jeanette Thompson
Arlene Flanagan
Edward N. Quansah

Ushers:

 

 Delbert Leavens

 

Morning Services

 

Bible Reading:

 Dale Schwartz  

Songs:

 David Coffman  

Sermon:

 Ted Wheeler

 

Closing Prayer:

 Clarence Riggenbach

 
     

Evening Services

 

Opening Prayer:

 Carl Rigney

 

Songs:

 David Coffman

 

Sermon:

 Ted Wheeler  

Closing Prayer:

 Jim Dougan

 
Our Record - Last Week

Communion

Attendance:
82
Delbert Leavens
David Riser - Kerry Keathley
Dick Navarre
Contribution:
$ 0000.00
Budget:
$ 2695.00
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