Lord, You are the Creator of beating hearts and the Healer of bleeding hearts. Amaze me today with Your presence.
Read Colossians 4:2-6
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Gentle words are a tree of life” (Prov. 15:4, NLT). In a world of harsh words, we are called to bring words of hope and healing.
Apparently we speak about 16,000 words every day. Some of us more than others! But we know from the apostle James that how we use words matters. Today’s section reminds us of two good ways to use words, both of which concern “outsiders” (5).
First: speaking to God. As in all his letters, Paul urges us to pray with determination and resolve (2), to pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17). We all wish we could do this better. Speaking to God must be an everyday occupation, the air we breathe and the conversation that dominates life. Such committed prayer is to be carried out with an eye on the future–perhaps the hope of Christ’s return or, at the very least, with a sense of expectancy and thankfulness that God will do his work as we devote ourselves to prayer (3). (Incidentally, since the call to prayer is tough, it’s worth noting that the verbs here are plural. Devotion to prayer is often easier with others.) Perhaps being watchful might also imply our availability to answer our own prayers, as God opens the doors. That’s what Paul asks for himself (3). He longs that the Gospel would advance and that the doors would open to new territory. Maybe the Colossians could pray that his prison doors would open too!
Second: speaking to people. A high proportion of our words today will be in interaction with others, not all of whom are believers. So we need wisdom in the way we speak (5,6), whether in proclaiming the Good News or in everyday speech, reflecting our Christian commitment and worldview. We need words matched by godly behavior, well-chosen words that grasp the opportunities, winsome words that God can use to open hearts and minds. Let’s use the 16,000 today to good effect!
Think of some practical ways in which you could become more devoted to prayer, and resolve, in God’s presence, to strengthen this aspect of everyday life.
Merciful Lord, I am grateful I can communicate with You, and You communicate with me. I am waiting before You now.