Summer Daily Devotional - Colossians 4
Don't Waste a Moment
Colossians is loaded. A hard-hitting, fast-paced, concentrated bundle of truth.
So in that spirit, here are 5 short takeaways as you run into your day.
#1 Every prayer makes a difference, so pray away.
Colossians 4:2… “Devote yourselves to prayer…”
Paul was a rational man with razor-sharp logic and a Belgian Horse work ethic. He did not mince words, and he didn’t waste effort. Which means he wouldn't ask them to do something that didn’t work. He was a spiritual man, but he was also a results-oriented pragmatist.
Here he exhorts them to devote themselves to prayer. Not “throw up a Hail Mary if you happen to think of it” but devote yourself to it. For Paul, prayer was more than a pre-meal exercise. It was a war-time lifeline, essential to winning the spiritual battles that each of us face every day.
#2 Every person matters, so make it count.
Colossians 4:5…“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;”
Paul assumed that Christians would be daily interacting with those outside the faith. And it was these interactions that would lay the groundwork, till the soil, and perhaps water the seed of the gospel he was preaching.
So he exhorts us…be wise. Don’t be indifferent, don’t be gullible, don’t be mean, don’t be judgmental, don’t be unwise, don’t be undiscerning, don’t be mindless. Be wise.
Think about it. Pray about it. Ask for discernment in every situation. The guys on the team. The people at work. The neighbor across the street. Don’t just treat them like random interactions. View them as gospel opportunities. Which leads to his next point…
#3 Every minute is a gift, so don't waste them.
Col. 4:5 “…make the most of every opportunity.”
How many opportunities do we miss, pass up, or squander every day? Paul is exhorting us to have spiritual eyes to see every moment as an opportunity to be taken full advantage of.
Some moments are opportunities to love; others are opportunities to be patient.
Some moments are opportunities to turn the other cheek; others are opportunities to be courageous.
Some moments are opportunities to speak the truth; others are opportunities to listen in love.
Some moments are opportunities to take a stand; others are opportunities to endure.
But each moment, as redeemed by God’s Spirit in you, and responded to in wisdom, is an opportunity to be taken full advantage of. Which means, in God’s world, there are no wasted moments.
#4 Every word matters, both in what you say and how you say it.
Col. 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Such great encouragement here. For those who would lean towards cowardice, he exhorts them…be prepared! If you get a question, give an answer! (side note…Paul assumes you’re living a life that would generate questions).
And for those who are tempted, in the name of “truth,” to open up a can of whoop on social media, his gentle exhortation is also clear…boldness is important, but grace is everything. It’s not just what you say but how you say it. We should be known as people of truth, AND we must always be known as people of grace.
#5 You have the ability to encourage and affirm people into the Kingdom of God.
By my count in the last 12 verses, Paul mentions 10 different people and 3 different churches by name.
Greet that person.
Tell so-and-so I love them.
Be sure to pass on to what’s-her-face that she’s doing a great job.
Don’t forget to help such-and-such church.
It’s like he’s herding them into the Kingdom of God.
Nobody left out!
Encouraging, honoring, affirming, loving…Paul was a constant source of relational warmth and life.
Such a powerful example.
Think about it. The great rational and theological mind of the New Testament was not a relationally dysfunctional brain-on-a-stick. He loved people. He cared for people.
His theology was relational in its orientation and outworking. Not facts for facts' sake, but truth for the sake of transformation.
And that is the end to which our theology leans….love for God and love for people.
I’m praying our lives reflect this kind of life…devoted in prayer, careful in speech, wise in dealings, loving in relationships, eternal in perspective, relentless in our service to Jesus the King. Not wasting moments but making them count.
May it be so.