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Fair Employment

Colossians 4:1

Slaves do not have rights - they just serve by doing their duty. Paul knows that there are many slave-masters in Colossae, and some of them now believe in Jesus Christ. Interestingly the Apostle does not challenge the concept of slavery as one of the social habits of the day. Instead he challenges the immoral habit of treating the slaves like dirt; like an object or a possession ...

Devoted To Prayer

Colossians 4:2

Prayer is good; very good. The idea of talking to God, pouring out the inner cries of our hearts, exposing our souls to His Divine scrutiny, seeking His will and purpose for our lives, and giving undiluted time to being with Him ... all that is a right and true ambition. Of all the beautiful things of this life, prayer surpasses them all. Like a baby content with its mother, and a farmer delighted with harvest, so the believer is satisfied in the presence of God.

Prayer Opens Doors For Truth

Colossians 4:3-4

The Apostle Paul was an expert evangelist. He had experience, commitment and perseverance. Through his ministry, many had started to follow Jesus Christ and churches had been planted. Despite imprisonment, he continued preaching and sent teaching letters to many places. So why did he ask the Colossian church to pray for him?

Gospel Opportunities

Colossians 4:5-6

How does the gospel spread? How do unbelievers start to follow Jesus? Most are attracted to Christ by the graciously potent behaviour of Christians, who speak about Jesus and answer their questions. We are not alone. Everywhere we go someone is watching and listening: but does what they see and hear attract them to Jesus?

Faithfulness Comes From God

Colossians 4:7-9

This letter to the church, in what is now Western Turkey, had to be delivered. There was no reliable postal service, no electronic communication, only couriers. Although some would have made it their trade to take letters for people they did not know, Paul's message was so precious he sent it with a personal courier, Tychicus. Whenever possible, the apostolic team did not travel alone (Jesus sent them out in pairs); so Onesimus went as well. Both of them had very different backgrounds, but both were described as 'faithful'

Faithful In Service

Colossians 4:10-11

Faithfulness is highly valued. Aristarchus is mentioned here and in Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2 and Philemon 24.

Wrestling In Prayer

Colossians 4:12-13

Epaphras was an evangelist who established the church in Colossae and visited Paul in prison in Rome. He sends personal greetings to his Christian brothers and sisters. But Paul also takes the opportunity to commend Epaphras for his prayer life. What a wonderful friend Epaphras was to the Colossian church. He took prayer very seriously. Indeed he devoted himself to prayer, wrestling over the spiritual issues that beset the church and longing for their full maturity.

Faithful To The End

Colossians 4:14-16

How do we know who will stay true until the end? The answer is that we don't! Luke did and Demas did not. Luke, the author of Luke's Gospel and the book of Acts, had travelled with Paul since joining him at Troas on the second missionary journey (indicated by the change from 'they' to 'we' in Acts 16:11). At the time of writing, Luke was still with Paul.

The End Matters As Much As The Beginning

Colossians 4:17

Archippus was a Christian in the house church in Colossae, which met in the home of Philemon (Philemon 1-2). Some think he may have been Philemon's son, we cannot be sure. However we know that Paul respected him and describes him as a 'fellow soldier'. He had received a special ministry from the Lord, had experienced spiritual warfare and yet stayed strong when trouble came. Paul likens him to a commissioned officer in the army - and gave him the instruction, "Don't quit!"

Personal Grace

Colossians 4:18

When Christ takes hold of a person's life many things change. The grace of God stimulates a different perspective. For Paul in prison, although his body was chained, his heart was free. Prison walls used by God's grace removed other distractions so that he could focus his prayer and teach by writing. And his interest was not just for people he knew. Paul had never been to Colossae but, having heard about the church there, he had taken them to his heart and to the Lord in prayer. That is a mark of grace, to pray with loving desire for those you have never met.