Text: Colossians 4:2-6

With God - Colossians 4:2-4

Christians should be devoted to talking with God through prayer and always watchful for opportunities to pray (Ephesians 6:18; Romans 12:12; I Thessalonians 5:17). Paul’s statement also carries the connotation that we are not to be careless in our prayers but instead to be like a guard who is on alert regarding what he can do (Mark 13:33).

Behind all our prayers should be an attitude of thankfulness (I Thessalonians 5:18). We don’t want to be like the Israelites who approached God to complain (Psalms 116:12-13,16; Philippians 4:6). Paul is returning to the same topic he mentioned in Colossians 3:15-17.

In particular, Paul asks for their prayers regarding his work (Romans 15:30; I Thessalonians 5:25). Even though he is currently in prison, he desires opportunities to teach the gospel (II Thessalonians 3:1; I Corinthians 16:9). He also desires to teach in a clear fashion when those opportunities do arise (Ephesians 6:19-20).

With Men - Colossians 4:5-6

We live in the world and so we must deal with those who do not live the Christian life. We must use wisdom in dealing with such people because our interactions with them are opportunities to spread the gospel (I Thessalonians 4:12). Thus, we need to consider whether the opinions we express will interest people in the gospel or drive them away (Proverbs 18:2; 20:3; 29:11).

Each of us has a limited amount of time, so how are we making use of opportunities when they arise (John 9:4)?

Our words need to be seasoned with politeness to make the things we must say more acceptable (II Timothy 2:23-26). As Jesus said, “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Different people will require different approaches (Jude 22-23). It takes wisdom to know which approach might work best with which type of person.

For discussion:

  1. Consider the article "I Got Sick of the World" which is about Gerry Sandusky’s conversion. Think about what you learned from it. What was done well? What could have been done better?
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