Colossians – Christ in us!
Paul spends as much time as an Oklahoman in saying goodbye. How do I know? I grew up in Oklahoma where our family walks guests right out to the car with our farewells, words of “be safe, be careful, love you and see you later”. We could (and still do) spend at least another 30 minutes until the motor starts and our guests pull away in their vehicle. It’s tradition. It’s love, extending peace and encouragement, until we meet again.
As Paul signs off we see that kind of love he has for the churches who will receive his letters and for the messengers who will carry the words he has written. He speaks well of all those who have joined God in His invitation to tell others about Him. “My good friend Tychicus…is a trusted minister and companion in the service of the Master.” “Epaphras…says hello…what a trooper…he’s been tireless in his prayers for you…praying you will stand firm and confident…” We feel like we know these people because of Paul affirmation of them.
We would do well to affirm each other in this way among other believers. Speak words of love over each other. Build each other up specifically and sincerely. Look for the good, the “Christ in us”, and affirm each other with “I see Jesus in you when you __________” Fill in the blank with what you see in others. Pray for each other to do their best work in Christ with enthusiasm and praise for Christ, giving Him all glory and honor.
As I sign off, I praise God for all of you who read this and occasionally comment on God’s Word. This ministry of writing each morning belongs to God, our Father and is led by His Holy Spirit for encouragement to you (and I) and honor back to Him. Many of you are called to my mind and when God does that, I pray for you. “Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can’t quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you!” In Jesus Name, Amen
Colossians 4, The Message
The Finale-Signing Off…for now.
7-9 My good friend Tychicus will tell you all about me. He’s a trusted minister and companion in the service of the Master. I’ve sent him to you so that you would know how things are with us, and so he could encourage you in your faith. And I’ve sent Onesimus with him. Onesimus is one of you, and has become such a trusted and dear brother! Together they’ll bring you up-to-date on everything that has been going on here.
10-11 Aristarchus, who is in jail here with me, sends greetings; also Mark, cousin of Barnabas (you received a letter regarding him; if he shows up, welcome him); and also Jesus, the one they call Justus. These are the only ones left from the old crowd who have stuck with me in working for God’s kingdom. Don’t think they haven’t been a big help!
12-13 Epaphras, who is one of you, says hello. What a trooper he has been! He’s been tireless in his prayers for you, praying that you’ll stand firm, mature and confident in everything God wants you to do. I’ve watched him closely, and can report on how hard he has worked for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
14 Luke, good friend and physician, and Demas both send greetings.
15 Say hello to our friends in Laodicea; also to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, make sure it gets read also in Laodicea. And get the letter that went to Laodicea and have it read to you.
17 And, oh, yes, tell Archippus, “Do your best in the job you received from the Master. Do your very best.”
18 I’m signing off in my own handwriting—Paul. Remember to pray for me in this jail. Grace be with you.
Remember to pray….
Dear Heavenly Father,
I praise You for what you have done, are doing and will do in our lives as we look up to you, love you first, then look around to extend love to others. Help us to affirm each other more as we realize all the hope and peace you give to affirm us in our walk with you. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen