1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

COLOSSIANS - God's Top Ten List

Don’t you sometimes wish that you had an owner’s manual for Christianity?

An easy little list of "do this/do that" to follow?

God’s Top Ten List???

Of course, the life of faith does not unfold in simplicity – and so, a list could never cover all of the circumstances that life throws our way…right?

And yet, God’s Word has SO many things to teach us about what it means to be believer.

When I read today’s "Bible Pick ‘Ems" I was struck with this thought – this sounds like a wonderful list! A wise guideline to follow. Good instructions from the "owner’s manual."

"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Jesus Christ…Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers…Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." (Colossians 4:2, 3a, 4, 5a, 6)

Let’s explore this passage together.

Devote yourselves to prayer…

Do you ever get tired of praying for something or someone? In this passage, Paul is calling us to devoted prayer. Devotion – concentrated, committed, single-minded pursuit. We need to pray with persistence, expressing our faith that God answers our prayers – understanding that His answers might not look like what we had hoped for – and they might not arrive when we want them to. But, He is always listening, and He will answer in ways that He knows are best.

…with an alert mind and thankful heart.

Two key ingredients in our prayer life. First, be alert – to me that means checking our motives, asking for God’s wisdom and discernment, watching out for the enemy’s lies – keeping our eyes open to all the possibly distracting things that keep us from praying. The evil one does NOT want us to use this weapon. Second, have a thankful heart. It doesn’t do much good to come to God with a begrudging spirit, or a heart full of doubts. He isn’t a vending machine – plug in a prayer, out pops an answer. We should be mindful to be thankful – so very thankful – that He cares for us, that He listens to us – that He loves us enough to NOT give us everything we ask for.

Pray for us, too…

Intercessory prayer is so important. We need to marshal our resources, using prayer as a way to support each other in the Body of Christ. We can’t control all the circumstances of our lives, but we can pray about them. We can’t always fix the people we love – we often can’t even influence them much. But we can pray about them, pray for them – and we must.

…that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ.

It is good and right to pray for opportunities to tell others about the Good News. Salvation is a simple thing – and yet, it is mysterious. In this life, we will probably never understand the full gravity and wonder of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. And yet, we know the result. We were made right with God. That is something worth talking about. And we should ask God for MANY opportunities to spread His Word to others.

Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Most people don’t need, and don’t want, a huge dissertation on God and His plan of salvation. That is what is so wonderfully good about the Good News. God chose to make His message "simple" – His wisdom chose profound simplicity. We need to ask God to give us the right words to say – clearly understood words. He will.

Live wisely among those who are not believers.

We’re all looking at "the other guy." We all evaluate those around us – comparing ourselves to others. It’s human nature. And when you identify yourself as a Christian, the stakes go up. We are being watched by the world. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we live according to the grace by which we’ve been called. God sends us out "into" the world, while at the same time commanding us to not be "of" the world. We are God’s representatives – we should live accordingly.

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive…

It is always important to be gracious in what we say. We lose our effectiveness if we are not courteous and respectful. Though we may not agree with another person’s views, we can be kind in our disagreement. Jesus did not "bash" people with His Truth. He made it attractive, compelling. The Greek word here for "attractive" means "seasoned with salt." Doesn’t that sum it up perfectly? Salt adds flavor, making something tastier. We want people to desire to know more about what we believe.

…so that you will have the right response for everyone.

It’s important to know what you’re talking about. It’s important to know Who you’re talking about. But it’s also vital to know who you’re talking to! The Holy Spirit is the one who speaks through us, and we need to seek after and claim His power. Right words, spoken at the right time, in the right manner, make for a message that reaches hearts. So we must be ready with a response when people ask us what and why we believe what we do.

You know, that’s a pretty good list!

Pray devotedly.
Be alert.
Be thankful.
Pray for others.
Ask for opportunities to spread the Good News.
Speak clearly.
Live wisely.
Be kind.
Be "salty."
Think about your audience.

And never forget, we do not labor alone. We have the Spirit of the Living God within us, and we have each other…

"When in doubt, search God out"

(I am linked up today with Super Sunday, hosted by Peggy - and Spiritual Sundays, hosted by Charlotte and Ginger!)


  1. Just so you know, I made a special effort to come cybering this morning just to see this. I don't generally come near the computer on Sundays, especially in the mornings, because it's jam packed.

    But I did, and I really like this! I'm in transition with my SS class and need some lessons independent a larger exegesis. This would be a great passage and lesson.

    Loved it.

  2. Ohhh SUPER BLESSINGS Sharon... What a GREAT LIST of TOP TEN from Colossians!

    The breakdown of each verse was excellent and so refreshing. I could hear my spirit saying "yes, yes"... and I'm so thankful for His Spirit alive and living in me. I am such a "devote yourself to prayer" person that sometimes I can't understand why others aren't praying more for each other.

    I admit that I do get weary after years of praying for salvation to move on some but I know and believe in God's timing, it's just I do not like the human stubborn free will. Keeps me wondering but always praying!

    So very true each and every insight on these verses! I love this! and especially needed to hear:

    "Right words, spoken at the right time, in the right manner, make for a message that reaches hearts"

    Trusting God to give the right words at the right time and to be more salty and kind (just a pinch not a whole spoonful)! Precise and concise. Love your Bible Pick 'ems! Fresh and anointed! Thank you!

    May your SONday be SUPER and SPIRITUAL!

  3. Wondeful list. There are so many times that I feel rushed or lost to make a decision. Your list helps me refocus and regroup. Thanks :)


  4. That is a great list. Have a blessed Sunday.

    Loved the list and the breakdown of the word!
    Love you too, and how God uses you!

  6. Colossians is a favorite - jam packed with practical Christianity...just like your post today!


  7. I love reading your posts. A person may ask themselves how it is that you consistently write excellent, refreshing, reviving and encouraging words. And guess what? I have an answer! It's because you follow Jesus, who is excellent, reviving,refreshing, encouraging and much more! Your love of Him spills out into your words - words that are really His that He gives you.

    God Bless You, Sharon.

  8. Debbie - I DID notice, and I appreciate it! Feel free to borrow any thoughts. I just know that you can expand on them and make a GREAT SS lesson out of them. You're just so good that way!

    Peggy - You are too funny! "(just a pinch not a whole spoonful)! Precise and concise." I especially loved that line!! I share your thoughts about praying for certain things - it does get discouraging sometimes. But we know that God hears, and I believe that He is working, even when we don't see it...HANG IN THERE!

    Apron Senorita - Thank you for stopping by today! We all need to "refocus and regroup" from time to time, don't we? I found these Scriptures to be so helpful. Glad you did, too!

    Donnie - Thanks for stopping and leaving a comment. I had a wonderful Sunday. I trust that you did, too. And I'm so glad you liked the list!!

    Janet - Thanks, my friend. We serve a wonderful God, don't we? And His "owner's manual" is JUST THE BEST!!

    Mary - You are so right! I love Colossians, too. God really used Paul to speak so many truths to us, didn't He? It's such wise advice - and we would be wise to follow!

    Shay - I am so touched by your comment. I am blessed more than you know that you SEE my love for God. Oh, how I do!! And you're so right - they are HIS words. I'm just pleased to share them with others (as they speak to my heart, too!)

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Sunday - and may we always remember the Lord's love and kindness as we go out into the world.


  9. I love this post. Thank you for sharing.

  10. you've reduced everything to the least common
    denominator brilliantly! bravo and thank you!

  11. Ken - Thank you so much. I found this Scriptural "top ten" to be so helpful. They centered me on some tangible purposes. I'm glad that you liked them! God's Word is such a blessing, isn't it?!

    Letters to Emily - Thank you so much for stopping by! Sometimes we can complicate Scripture so much. God's Word works in profound simplicity, don't you think? These are great "guidelines" to help us walk our faith journey. I'm so glad you enjoyed them!



"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!