What an amazing book and study Colossians has been! There’s been so many rich and glorious treasures that we’ve unearthed, wouldn’t you agree?! Now as we come to the end, there is one last exhortation I believe Paul has for us. It’s the second to last verse in the entire book and, therefore, can be easily overlooked. Nevertheless, I believe that this short exhortation is a timely word for us today.
We’ve come a long ways in the last nine weeks! Now as we stand at the end of Colossians, let’s cast our minds back and review all that we’ve learned from this rich book. We don’t want to leave and forget all we’ve learned. That would be foolishness! Therefore, we need to meditate, to remember, and to grab hold of at least one take-away before leaving this book and moving on to another. So let’s review all that we’ve covered in the last nine weeks.
As we near the end of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we come across his final greeting, which contains the salutations of many of Paul’s companions and co-workers in the ministry. This list of names and descriptions may seem meaningless to you as a 21st century reader, however, within them lies an important and invaluable truth and lesson.
Do you like easy-to-understand, short, applicable advice? Are you one of those people who prefer bullet-point instructions? Would you be excited to learn that with just two simple tools you can excel at all human relations? It’s true. Paul gives us two direct and simple instructions on how to deal with all kinds of human relationships. We looked at the first one last week and will now ponder the second one today.
We’re going to continue with Paul’s short commands today. In chapter three and the very first verse of chapter four, Paul gave a detailed outline of how the Christian household should be run and the way in which relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives, masters and slaves should be conducted. Now Paul gives us a practical exhortation on how to handle relationships with those outside the family and outside the Body of Christ.
As we near the end of Colossians and begin looking at the last chapter, there are several things we’ll notice. First, chapter four seems to be comprised mostly of extremely short exhortation and commands. It’s almost as if Paul was getting tired of writing but had many more important points to share, so he wrote them bullet-point style. We’re going to start looking at one of these short commands today, and will go through more in the coming posts.
The outcome of making Christ our all in all, in letting His life-giving Word richly dwell within us, is the abundant Christian life. However, unlike what most people might think, the abundant Christian life doesn’t mean that all will be perfect, that we’ll not have another care in the world or that life will be easy. On the contrary, the one thing we are guaranteed in this new life is persecution, hardships, and work. Lots of work. But at the end of the day it is all worth it. Why? Because as Paul encouraged us, if we do our work heartily as for the Lord we will receive an eternal reward for our effort.
Do you enjoy where you live? Is your home a sanctuary of comfort, love, and safety? After a long day at work or school, do you enjoy walking through the door and finally being home? I hope so! I know I do. Home is a haven in the midst of the rough world and a place where I am the most comfortable to be myself. But what makes home such a special place is not the location or the building but the people living in it. It is the love and laughter shared, the encouragement given, and the lighthearted teasing and joking that makes our home the place that it is.
As we fix our eyes, heart, mind, affections, and attention on the things of heaven and that which lasts through eternity, we’ll quickly come to realize one thing: we need a new spiritual wardrobe! II Corinthians 5:17 tells us that we are a new creation, a new man, a new person—the old has gone and the new has come. But this new person needs a new wardrobe to go with their new status as child of the living God. Therefore, Paul tells the Colossians:
We’ve explored the glory of God’s mystery, the preeminence of Jesus Christ, and the hope of the gospel. Now it’s time to look at how our lives ought to reflect these wonderful truths. For our lives and actions must match the faith we profess. We must walk the talk and live our lives out in such a way that all those looking on may have no doubt that Christ is risen.