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
Gods 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 Gods 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 Christians 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 GOSPELS 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.
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:
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.
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
Sign-up Sheet in the foyer.
If directions are needed please
let us know. Hope to see you there.
extend our deepest sympathy to
Charlie White and family
with the passing of Charlie's brother, Bob.
services were Friday in St. Paul.