Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

Living Gospel Growth

Colossians 1:6-8
… In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. (NIVUK)

All biologists know that growth is one of the properties of living organisms.  It usually occurs by cell division and multiplication, so that new cells are formed, the body increases in size and learns how to coordinate its activities so that it functions effectively.  The template for this behaviour is in the DNA which provides all the messages to tell the new cells how to function.
The gospel of God's grace is not sterile information but is vibrantly alive. It contains the message of salvation which, when grafted into the heart of those who believe it, will reproduce the eternal life of God in a human being. Wherever the gospel is explained, those who are hungry for truth will understand it (Acts 20:24). Wherever the seed of God's Word finds receptive soil it will germinate, grow and be fruitful (Luke 8:8). That is what happened at Colossae.  Epaphras, who had been converted under Paul's ministry in Ephesus, took the message almost 200km east along the trade route, and preached the good news about Jesus in Colossae.  Those who believed were born again by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).  They became the church (ecclesia - the 'called-out ones') and started living differently, because they had received the life of Christ.
In the same way that parents are excited at the wonder of a new life forming during pregnancy, so the Apostle Paul was excited to see how the gospel had produced the same life-changing effect in Colossae as it did wherever it had been preached.  He commended Epaphras, calling him a 'faithful minister of Christ'.  All he did was to deliver the message accurately, persuading people of the need to respond to Jesus.  But its effect was profound, because it contained God's living Word (1 Peter 1:23).  And the effect of the Holy Spirit's presence in these people was unmistakable!
Evangelism is not complicated.  It is the simple task of delivering the truth about Jesus.  In Paul's day the gospel travelled as people moved along trade routes; today it is transported wherever Christians go, and increasingly along the internet through email and apps like Word@Work.  Although some people are 'full time' evangelists, every Christian carries the vital seed of gospel truth.  But most believers do not realise the potency of the truth in their hearts and minds.  If you know what it is to be saved through the cross of Jesus, are you telling other people?  If not, make up your mind that you will ask your friends and colleagues if you can tell them.  If you need a little help, click on www.crosscheck.org.uk and watch the presentation together with them.  Then see what God does as they start to engage with the truth!

My Lord and my Saviour. Thank You for saving me through the sufferings of Jesus on the cross . And I am grateful for the people who first told me and explained how I could become a child of God. Forgive me for the indifference, laziness or fear which has stopped me from telling others. Forgive me for listening to Satan's lies, telling me that other people can do it better or that I am too weak a believer to be a credible witness. Thank You that Your life is in the message, and its potency does not depend upon me. So, help me to resolve to take the opportunities You provide to tell the gospel to my friends and colleagues. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams