What is your life mission?
What is your life mission? Have you thought about that? What is your purpose in life? There are lots of ways to answer that question…. “I want to live my best life!” or “I want to be a good mom or dad for my kids.” or “I want to build healthy, enduring friendships” or “I want to work hard, retire and enjoy the fruits of my labor!”
All that sounds great and no doubt all of those things matter! In fact, we’ve learned a lot throughout this series as we’ve unpacked Paul’s letter to the Colossian believers about how to build healthy relationships in our homes, our marriages, even our workplaces!
But now, as Paul moves toward the end of his letter, he teaches about living with a purpose that is greater than the here and now; he teaches about our ultimate purpose in this world… Reaching people who are lost and far from God; or as we say at Watermark, making an impression and leaving a mark for Jesus Christ!
How can we make an impression and leave a mark for Jesus Christ with people who may not yet believe? In Colossians 4:2-6, we discover a number of effective tools for reaching lost people!
Pray like your life depends on it! 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, Col. 4:2a The word “devote” in the original language means “to be courageously persistent” or “to hold fast and not let go”. The picture it paints is like a rodeo bull rider! Would you get on one of those hulking beasts?! If you did, you would know exactly what it means to “hold on fast and not let go!” That is how devoted, persistent, committed to prayer we are to be; and especially praying for people in our lives who may be far from God!
Pray with purpose! 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful… Col. 4:2b. In the most general sense, “being watchful” means: “Stay awake; don’t fall asleep while you’re praying!” Paul had in mind the idea of staying alert, being watchful for specific needs, rather than being vague and unfocused… that is to pray with purpose! Are you praying with purpose, especially as it relates to reaching lost people?
Pray with gratitude! 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Col. 4:2. The call is for us to pray persistently with alert minds and grateful hearts… to have an attitude of gratitude! What kind of attitude do you have these days? It is easy to find ourselves down, depressed, disappointed in life… Life gets crazy sometimes. Yeah, it’s easy to say “be thankful”, but sometimes that’s not easy. But God knows that too! That’s why He inspired these words; to shift our attitudes from the worries and stresses of life to the reality of Who He is and what He has done for us. To challenge us to put our trust, hope and faith in Him and to know that He will never let us down! (Deut. 31:8). When you remember that, it will prompt an attitude of gratitude when everything around you may seem like it is falling apart or coming unglued.
Pray that God will open doors for you to share the gospel! (Col. 4:3-4). Remember, Paul was in prison, “in chains”, for proclaiming the gospel when he penned this letter. He was looking for open doors while he was there; not open doors so he could escape, but so he could share the gospel! Are you looking for and praying for open doors too?
Paul finishes this passage with three very important reminders about the impressions we are making on others…
Watch the way you act! (Col. 3:5a). The opposite of wisdom is foolishness. The picture here is that we would avoid making foolish choices that dishonor God or leave the wrong impression. In other words, we don’t want to do anything to damage our testimony or the power of our witness with people who don’t yet believe. That can be devastating!
Take advantage of every opportunity. (Col. 3:5b). There are opportunities that you will get in the course of a day or week to make an impression and leave a mark for Jesus Christ… Maybe a co-worker shares a challenge at home or a neighbor tells you about their ailing parent, or a client or classmate is clearly down and discouraged. Would you seize those opportunities to share a word of hope and even offer to pray with those folks? Keep your eyes open this week… let me know what you see!
Make your conversations an inspiration and a blessing to others! 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt… Colossians 4:6a. We use salt to add flavor, but salt is also used in another way… to preserve. Salt keeps meat, like country ham, from spoiling or being “corrupted.” The idea here is that our conversations would not be corrupted, but instead that they would be filled with grace! What kind of impression are your words making on others? What kind of impression are your social media posts making? Are they an inspiration and a blessing?
Most people want to live with purpose, and with purpose that is bigger than the here and now. Why not live with a purpose that can make a difference in someone’s life, not just for today, but forever! Be committed to reaching lost people, like the Apostle Paul. Commit to share the gospel with people in your life who are lost and far from God!
For much more, click here to listen to: Steadfast: Part 10 - Living with Purpose.