Good Words from Colossians 4
commit effort and affection
communion with God and intercession for others
attentive to God’s voice and
to what’s going on in the world around us ~
ready to respond appropriately
gratefully aware of blessings (even in disguise)
and acknowledging their source
DOOR FOR OUR MESSAGE:
a divine opportunity to move into
a fruitful communication of grace
call attention amid the distractions of the world
and then share the details of the gospel
a story unfolding to open hearts,
not immediately clear but progressively revealed
carefully thought through
and then carried out
the chances and choices are there ~
what will we do with them?
out there interacting, not in isolation,
not a lecture but a dialogue
SEASONED WITH GRACE:
attractive ~ inviting ~ savory ~ intriguing
KNOW HOW TO ANSWER:
intelligent ~ informed ~ listening
appreciating nuances ~ responsive
constant ~ diligent ~ active
on behalf of real people with real needs
spur others to faith, love, and courage
in the inner core ~ it flows from there
friendliness sent forth ~
“I am thinking of you and I care”
“well come” ~ make it a good and gracious arrival ~
not awkward but accepting with open arms and hearts
KINGDOM OF GOD:
where our citizenship belongs and our loyalty is due ~
what are our responsibilities?
we all need this, from the timid to the zealous ~
a place for soul to rest ~ embrace grace ~
be filled with peace
“in the Lord” and “of Christ” ~
action with humility
“in all the will of God” ~
time to sink down roots ~
grounded in truth learned through study
not presumptuous or hasty or naive,
but confident and patient ~ seasoned
letting faith seep in and
fill up the crevices of doubt ~
convinced through testing
going the extra mile ~ above and beyond ~ pressing onward
COMPLETE THE WORK:
follow through ~ get it done ~ persevere
REMEMBER MY CHAINS:
know the injustice which exists in the world
so you can intercede and intervene
When I went to the Refresh Retreat a few weeks ago, we were each encouraged to take most of our time there to read through the book of Colossians and journal our responses. I finished up through chapter 3, jotting down key "Good Words" on one part of each page, a “Jesus Is…” list in another area, and tucking in “Exhortations to Me” and other notes wherever they fit. It’s a good thing my newest journal has big pages! I used some of my good words on my Kaleidoscope picture.
I’ve been meaning to get back into Colossians to journal through chapter 4. Yesterday, while I was waiting for my children to get out of youth group, I took out my journal and my iPod Bible app and worked away. This time, at least so far, I only did the “Good Words” section, and didn't even finish that much until today. I decided to expand this section, and write a brief impression of each key word or phrase. That’s what you see above. Obviously there is much more to Colossians 4. You'll have to read it yourself.
I also thought about what I would write in an “Exhortations to Me” section for this chapter. I think the main gist of it is to be fully engaged with my Christian life, to be immersed in fruit-bearing spirituality and ministry, not as a hobbyist but as a disciple of Jesus. It means living authentically and on purpose, looking for opportunities to serve and share. It means not letting myself drift into apathy or empty busyness. It means doing my part, with my unique gifts and sphere of influence, to extend the Kingdom of God through the good news of truth and grace. It means multiplying these efforts by equipping and encouraging others to do these same things in their own way with their own gifts. In my life, so many of those “doors for the message” are right in my own home with my own children. So much of that depends on living with Christ at the center of my life, which can be the most powerful example in word and deed. I’m certainly not there yet, so this is a lot of meat to chew.
I have more to say, perhaps in another post, but for now, a few extra encouragements for you:
- Read all the way through Colossians. It’s a wonderful book, full of both inspiration and practical instruction. Take it a little section at a time. Meditate on it. No need to hurry. When you are done with that, work through the Gospel of John.
- Jot down your impressions. It doesn't have to be formal or fancy or even terribly profound.
- How do the words speak to you right where you are at in life?
- While the words in this chapter were written in the context of a larger ministry setting, how can you, as a mother, apply them as you seek to disciple your children?
Nurturing your own spiritual life:
- Busy, Dizzy and In a Tizzy: Christian Contemplation for Moms
- Words of Promise, Comfort and Encouragement
- Sanctuary (Big Words)
Teaching children spiritual truth:
- Teaching Our Children to Walk With God
- The Thessalonians Prescription
- Bella Sophia (Lady Wisdom Sets Her Table)
- Trust and Obey
P.S. The photos are from the EPCOT Italy pavilion. I thought I had lost them, so I didn't use them in my other photo post here: Impressions of EPCOT