Week 13: Colossians 4:2-6
Our faith in Christ transforms us. When we join God’s family we are also invited into the family business – the reconciliation of all things. God is in the business of putting everything right through Christ. This transforms how we should think about the world around us. God in His wisdom has decided to communicate the mystery of Christ through each believer’s living testimony. He has entrusted us with this gospel message. Yet, the Lord does not leave us on our own. He opens doors of opportunity to share the gospel. He helps us to know in each moment how to communicate it clearly. And when we are fully yielded to the Holy Spirit living in us, He gives us a distinct boldness to proclaim this good news in word and deed. The full alignment of our actions with God’s actions requires good communication. Hence, Paul calls all believers to persist in fervent prayer. He also calls us to walk through life with wisdom, grace, and a ‘saltiness’ that will make the gospel attractive to those around us. We have a new purpose in Christ. Let’s focus our prayers and our interactions with others toward that end.
Do you tend to see the non-Christians around you as a challenge to your faith or as an opportunity? Why?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Colossians 4:2) Paul uses three words to describe the kind of prayer life we should cultivate: steadfast, watchful, and thankful. What does each term add to the full picture of how we ought to pray? Given the context of this passage, what do you think the purpose of these prayers should be?
2. (Colossians 4:3-4) Paul is writing this letter from prison. In light of that, how is his prayer request somewhat surprising? What specifically is he asking God for? What can we take away from this regarding how to pray effectively in the middle of difficult circumstances?
3. (Colossians 4:5-6) Describe the contrast between walking in wisdom toward outsiders and walking through life in an unwise manner. What is the reason for the urgency implied in Paul’s instruction to make the best use of the time (ESV) or to make the most of every opportunity (NIV)? What qualities of speech does Paul recommend when interacting with nonbelievers? (Salt here refers to engaging, interesting, or flavorful in a positive sense.) How do we develop these habits in an authentic way?
1. Would you describe your prayer life as steadfast, watchful, thankful, and purposeful? Which of these attributes would you most like to grow in? What next step can you take this week to do that?
2. What stands in the way of you walking through life in the ways Paul describes in this passage?