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Fair Employment

Colossians 4:1

In the times when Paul was writing, slaves did not have rights - they just kept out of trouble and received some benefits by doing their duty.  Paul knew that there were many slave-masters in Colossae, and some of them had come to believe in Jesus Christ.  Philemon was one of them (Philemon 1:8-16).  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.  It was an integral part of Jesus’ lifestyle (Luke 2:49; Mark 1:35).  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 ...

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.  Yet, he was not ashamed to ask the churches he had planted or encouraged to pray for him (Romans 15:30; Ephesians 6:19; Philippians 1:19).  Even though he had probably never directly ministered to the Colossian church, he also asked them to pray for him.  Did Paul have a problem?  Was he distressed or depressed?  Were h

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?  These verses are a wake-up call: be alert to those around you!  Every encounter with an unbeliever is an opportunity to show the difference that Christ has made.  Make the most of it.  Where selfishness is expected, serve; where hard negotiations are expected, be gene

Faithfulness Comes From God

Colossians 4:7-9

This letter, from Paul who was imprisoned in Rome, 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 trusted personal courier, Tychicus.  Whenever possible, the apostolic team did not travel alone - Jesus sent disciples out in pairs (Luke 10:1); so Onesimus went as well.  The two men had very different backgrounds, but both were described as 'faithful'.

Faithful In Service

Colossians 4:10-11

Faithfulness is highly valued.  Aristarchus’ parents obviously had high hopes for their son because his name means ‘high ruler’ or ‘high prince’.  He was born in Thessalonica, believed the gospel, and  then travelled with Paul as one of his assistants, and faithfully shared in his suffering - including being arrested in Ephesus  (Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4).  He accompanied Paul on his journey, under Roman guard, to Rome (Acts 27:2).  From the same prison as Paul he now sent greetings to the church in Colossae and to Philemon (Philemon 1:24).  

Wrestling In Prayer

Colossians 4:12-13

Epaphras was an evangelist who established the church in Colossae, and later visited Paul in prison in Rome (Colossians 1:7-8).  We do not know how, but having visited Paul, Epaphras also became a prisoner (Philemon 1:23).  Through Paul, he sent personal greetings to his Christian brothers and sisters back home.  

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 and remained committed to the task of completing the Book of Acts.  

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 1:1-2).  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 (2 Timothy 2:4) - and gave him the instruction, ‘Do not give up!’

Personal Grace

Colossians 4:18

When Christ takes hold of a person's life many things change (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The grace of God stimulates a different perspective.  For Paul in prison, although his body was chained, his heart was free (1 Peter 5:10).  Prison walls were used by God's grace to remove 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 (Colossians 2:1).  That is a mark of grace, to pray with loving de