“Word for Today” – Colossians 4 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com
Today, we come to the end of Concordia’s “Word for Today” readings for 2009. Over the past twelve months, we have read together through the New Testament, one chapter a day. For me, this program has been a tremendous blessing as I have been able not only to read these chapters, but also to write on them. As 2010 begins, we will once again be reading through the New Testament in a year. You can pick up a copy of the “Word for Today” reading schedule at Grand Central in the narthex, or you can download it as a pdf at ConcordiaLutheranChurch.com. We will also be re-posting the pastor’s daily blogs there as well as adding some fresh comments on particularly difficult or confusing sections of Scripture.
As for this blog, you will see some new features for 2010! As we seek to be a church that faithfully teaches God’s Word, I will be beginning a series of “ABC extras” on Mondays. These will feature thoughts and comments from my weekend Adult Bible Class, as well as some extra material that I didn’t have time to cover over the weekend. Yes, it’s true! Even after I talk for an hour, there are still things I don’t get to on any given text. This blog will provide a forum for me to cover this additional material. It is my prayer that this will be another tool to help us dig deeper into God’s Word.
I also regularly receive theological questions, my answers to which I plan to post on this blog over the coming year. If you have a theological question that you would like to see answered on this blog, email me at email@example.com and type “Question for Blog” in the subject line.
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Now, as we wrap up our “Word for Today” readings, we finish with Colossians 4. Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae was probably written some time around AD 60 while the apostle was languishing in prison in Rome awaiting a hearing before Caesar, after being accused by his fellow countrymen of “teaching all men everywhere against [the Jewish] people and their law” (Acts 21:28). Aware that his death is likely imminent, Paul appeals to the Colossians:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (verses 2-4)
Paul, while he is unjustly incarcerated, asks the Colossians to devote themselves to prayer and, specifically, to prayer for him. He asks that they would pray that “God may open a door” (verse 3). But fascinatingly, he doesn’t ask them to pray that “God may open a door” in prison so that he may gain his freedom; rather, he asks that they pray that “God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ.” In other words, Paul, even while he is in prison, does not ask for prayers for his own wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ! For Paul, proclaiming the Scriptures is more important than his personal safety, comfort, or even life! For Paul, it’s all about proclaiming God’s Word clearly!
What is the center of your life? Is it the God’s Word? Or, do other personal preferences, concerns, and comforts get in the way? As we enter 2010, before any other prayer, may Paul’s prayer be your first: That God would open a door for you to proclaim the mystery of Christ clearly, as you should. For there is no greater treasure on earth than God’s Word and Gospel.
“Whoever believes and holds to Christ’s Word, heaven stands open to him, hell is shut, the devil is imprisoned, sins are forgiven, and he is a child of eternal life. That is what this book teaches you – the Holy Scripture –
and no other book on earth.”
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