Who Are You People?
3/19 – Making the Most of the Moment (Colossians 4:2-6)
Introduction — Here Paul begins to wrap up his letter to the church. In this brief section, he gives them three vital actions. First, Paul urges the members of the church to devote themselves to prayer. He wants them stay alert in prayer (with a thankful attitude). And he wants them to ask God to open a door for the gospel, so that his team can clearly speak the gospel. Second, Paul urges the church to conduct themselves with wisdom toward outsiders. Third, Paul urges the church to let their speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that they will know how to respond to each person. Permeating each action is love flowing from intimacy with Christ. Paul knows that Christ is their life. Paul knows that those who are in Christ will make the most of every moment for Christ. How about us? Do we devote ourselves to prayer? Do we stay alert in prayer? Do we pray with thankfulness? Do we long to see the gospel spoken clearly? Do we conduct ourselves with wisdom toward those outside the church? Do we always speak graciously to others? Do we redeem the time? Do we make the most of the moment?
Christ is our life, so let’s make the most of every moment He gives us! What does that look like for the church?
We will devote ourselves to prayer. (2)
Comments: Paul urges the folks in the church to devote themselves to prayer. The basic idea of being devoted means to “adhere to,” or “persist in,” [and] came to be used of a boat that always stand ready for someone (Mark 3:9), or an activity that one is devoted to or busily engaged in. (Peter T. O’Brien, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 44. p. 237). So, Paul directs the church to be ready for prayer, to engage in prayer. In other words, they are to persevere in prayer. How do they devote themselves to prayer? One, they must keep alert in prayer with a thankful attitude. Two, they must pray that God will open a door for Paul and his team to speak the gospel with clarity. Paul wants this church to be fully devoted to prayer. To be all in with prayer is one clear way to make the most of the moment. Questions: Do we give ourselves fully to prayer? Do we make time for prayer? Do we schedule prayer? Do we work diligently at prayer? Do we stay alert in prayer? Do we overflow with thanksgiving to God in our prayers? Do we ask to God open doors for the gospel? Do we pray that we will speak the gospel often and with clarity? Illustration: . . . we have not ceased to pray for you . . . (Colossians 1:9-12)
Application: Let’s give ourselves fully to prayer. Let’s be diligent to prayer. Let’s remain alert when we pray. Let’s overflow with thanksgiving when we pray. Let’s ask God to open doors for the gospel when we pray. Let’s ask God to help us speak the gospel often. Let’s ask God to help us speak the gospel with clarity. Let’s pray in the morning. Let’s pray in the evening. Let’s pray when we’re working. Let’s pray with our spouses. Let’s pray with our children. Let’s pray with our friends. Let’s pray in our worship. Let’s pray. Let’s pray. Let’s pray. Let’s pray.
We will conduct ourselves with wisdom. (5)
Comments: Paul now urges the church to walk in wisdom, especially toward those who are outside the church. To walk in wisdom is important for this church. Paul prays for them to have godly wisdom (1:9). Paul urges them teach and admonish one another with wisdom (3:16). Paul wants them to be bold, yet tactful with those who are not Christians. This church is to show the wisdom of Christ (2:3) to those around them. The church must redeem the time. They should snap up the time with people in godly, Christ-honoring, gospel-centered actions. They must not do anything to discredit the name of Christ (3:17). They must conduct themselves with wisdom. To walk in wisdom is a second clear way to make the most of the moment. Questions: Do we conduct ourselves with wisdom? Do we walk wisely toward those who are not Christians? Do we make the most of every moment? Do we snap up the time with people in urgent and winsome conversations? Do we act like Christ before other people? Do we show the love of Christ? Do we shine the grace of Christ? Do we walk in the wisdom of Christ?
Illustration: . . . Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3-4)
Application: Let’s walk in wisdom toward those who are outside the church. Let’s pray for godly wisdom. Let’s place the word of Christ in the center of our thoughts and actions. Let’s teach one another with godly wisdom. Let’s see that Christ is the source of our wisdom. Let’s look to Him. Let’s live for Him. Let’s remember that Christ is our life. Let’s do all things for the sake of His name. Let’s make the most of our encounters.
We will always speak with grace to all people. (6)
Comments: Paul compels the church to let their speech always be with grace, seasoned like salt. He wants their conversations infused with lively, exciting, gracious words. Paul directs the church to speak with grace since they are holy, chosen, and beloved people rescued by God’s grace. “Here Paul is indicating that not only the content but also the manner of speaking are important when it comes to the influence the believer exerts on outsiders.” (Peter T. O’Brien, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 44. p. 242) The church must converse graciously so that the church will give an appropriate answer to all people. This is non-negotiable. To always speak with grace is what the church must do. To always speak with grace is a third clear way to make the most of the moment. Questions: Do we speak graciously? Do we speak appropriately with others? Do we speak as though their eternity matters to us? Do we speak like we care? Do we speak with enthusiasm about Christ? Do we make much of Him? Do we give wise answers? Do we give godly answers? Do we build up or tear down? Do we speak hope? Do we speak love? Do we speak faith? Do we speak grace? Do we speak life? Do our words direct people to Christ? Illustration: . . . Christ in you, the hope of glory. And we proclaim Him . . . (1:27-28)
Application: Let’s always speak with grace. Let’s speak with care. Let’s always speak in ways that honor Christ. Let’s always season our conversations with enthusiasm for our life in Christ. Let’s not be ashamed of the gospel. Let’s speak with love. Let’s speak with hope. Let’s make certain that the way we speak matches the message we speak. Let’s stop grumbling. Let’s start gracing people with the good news. Let’s speak the grace of God for the glory of God. Let’s make the most of the moment. Indeed, let’s make the most of the moment.
Word Study for Colossians 4:2-6
2 devote (proskartereo—persist; persist obstinately in; persevere; endure; spend much time in; hold fast to)
2 alert (gregoreo—be awake; watch; become fully awake; be alive; stay on the alert)
3 at the same time (hama—at once; both; all together; together with; at the same time with)
4 make clear (phaneroo—make known; make manifest; cause to be see; to reveal; make visible)
4 ought (dei—be necessary; bind; time; should; it is needful to; it is proper to; one must)
5 conduct (peripateo—walk up and down; behave; walk about; live)
5 outsiders (exo—outside; outside of; without; away; foreign; outer)
5 making the most of (exagorazo—purchase; buy from; buy up; make good use of the opportunity; redeem; gain)
5 wisdom (sophia—insight; skill; specialized knowledge; prudence; learning; sound judgment)
5 opportunity (kairos—time; season; period of time; good occasion; proper time; right time)
6 speech (logos—word; statement; message; gospel; account)
6 always (pantote—always; at all times)
6 grace (charis—kindness; favor; goodwill; gift; benevolence; thanks; graciously give)
6 seasoned (artyo—make salty; to prepare; spice)
6 know (oida—see; understand; remember; honor; know how to; comprehend; perceive)
6 respond (apokrinomai—answer; reply; speak)
Application for Colossians 4:2-6
Let’s devote ourselves to prayer.
Let’s keep alert in prayer.
Let’s overflow with thanksgiving in prayer.
Let’s pray for God’s will.
Let’s pray for open doors to proclaim the gospel.
Let’s pray that we make the gospel clear.
Let’s walk in wisdom toward folks not part of the church.
Let’s make the most of the opportunity.
Let’s always speak with grace.
Gospel Connections for Colossians 4:2-6
Jesus made the most of the moments in His life. Jesus devoted Himself to prayer. He stayed alert in prayer. He gave thanks to the Father. Jesus urged those closest to Him to pray with Him and to pray for Him. Jesus spoke clearly. Jesus spoke the gospel clearly. Jesus always showed grace to outsiders. Jesus showed grace. Jesus spoke with clarity. Jesus knew how to respond to every person. Jesus made the most of the moments of His life on earth.
Thoughts and Quotes for Colossians 4:2-6
You may delay, but time will not. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Time is what we most want, but what we use worst. ~ William Penn
Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to work to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
~ Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can’t Wait
No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere. ~ Leonard Ravenhill