Sunday, February 17, 2013

On 2-24-13, Colossians 4:2-17 or 4:2-6 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Disciplined for Life aka Spiritual Disciplines for New Life

Disciplined for Life aka Spiritual Disciplines for New Life Colossians 4:2-17 or 4:2-6
International Sunday School Lesson
February 24, 2013

Jed Greenough

At first glance it would seem that I would have to write two very different commentaries for those who are only looking at verses 2-6 as compared to those studying all the way to verse 17.   In fact the message Paul was delivering here to the Colossians was showing us repetitively in all these verses what they were all to be about.  The they being the Colossians, Paul, Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Demas, Nympha, Archippus, the Laodiceans and all who are Christian in performing the work of the Gospel.
Paul wanted all those who heard his letter and not just the Colossians who received it first to do what he instructed in the letter: be devoted in prayer, to be thankful, to be watchful for opportunities so that the opportunity would always be seized to share the gospel, to communicate the news about those who were spreading the gospel away from where the reader or listener were located and to encourage others.
Probably most of us do a pretty fair job of praying for those who staff our places of worship but I think it might also be fair to say that we start falling off as we start ticking off the other areas Paul had mentioned.
It is important that we not lose sight of our individual roles outside the church to prepare ourselves to share the gospel.  Being alert for those opportunities and then when they arise to have the words ready in our mind to talk about Jesus in a coherent manner.
And what about those as Paul listed who were out there doing the work elsewhere?  Have you come to rely on the committee where you worship to be up on those outside ministries your church supports?
Your place of worship may do a great job at supporting ministries that are doing the work of the gospel but Paul demonstrates you should be in prayer for them on a first name basis.  Aware of who they are and what they do and what they are going through and what their needs, success and failures are.
We have grown by huge numbers since Paul wrote this but the intimate nature of awareness and prayer must be regained.  If those who make up our churches cannot be more involved due to the sheer size of where they worship than the church needs to think about downsizing instead of growth.  Plant a new church where everyone is needed and known.  Make individual efforts to know who and what your church supports and offer suggestions about others.
Imagine if everyone who made up the church today was as intimately familiar as the recipients of this letter were and were doing what Paul was teaching in these verses how much sooner our fullness would come in and thus hasten our Lord Jesus return!

For Discussion:

1.      Discuss the awareness of those where you worship concerning those your place of worship supports.
2.      As a class come to know, pray for and support a ministry.
3.      Encourage your church to bring in on a regular basis during times of worship and fellowship those ministries your church supports.
4.      Have at least quarterly a class for people to attend to help them to clearly know how to share the gospel.
5.      Discuss how your church can be more visible to outsiders.
6.      Form and become acquainted with sister churches then be in prayer one for the other.
7.      Discuss ways to make as many people as possible familiar with different ministries that exist.

Upcoming Adult Sunday School Class Commentaries

3-3-13:     Daniel’s Vision of Change Daniel 7:1-3, 9-14 or 7:9-14
3-10-13:   Daniel’s Prayer Daniel 9:4-14, 17 or 9:4b-14
3-17-13:  Gabriel Interprets Daniel’s Vision aka Gabriel’s Interpretation Daniel 8:1, 15-26 or 8:19-26
3-24-13:   The Lord’s Supper Luke 22:14-30

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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