Rocks and Hard Places
Ask the Lord to shine light in the dark places of your past or your present as you meet him in his Word.
Read Colossians 4:2–6
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectSuffering and pressure can leave you feeling isolated and forgotten. Bring to mind times when you have felt like this.
This vibrant and dynamic letter was written in an unusual place, although not so odd for Paul. Like Philippians, Philemon and Ephesians, it was authored in prison, most probably in Rome. He is nearing the end of his life but writes with a passion which suggests he is there with them. His knowledge of this church, however, has come from a man called Epaphras. Mentioned in 1:7, 4:12 and Philemon 23, Epaphras is a native of Colossae who probably planted the church during Paul’s two-year period in Ephesus. Many scholars have surmised that Epaphras may also have been under house arrest with Paul for some of the time.
But Paul’s tone is hopeful in the face of a shrinking future. He asks that his readers pray for opportunities to share the Gospel effectively in prison (3,4). He could of course have asked for safety, comfort, justice or a long life. His heart and mind, however, are captivated by the greatness of Jesus, and even in chains he is motivated by declaring freedom in Christ.
Paul’s only ambition is to make Christ known. Now look at your own ambitions. Are they led by the right motivation?
Father, may my life be led by one desire—to honor You. Do whatever it takes in my life to bring the most glory to Your name.