Final Instructions

Rooted Part 14

This is the last installment of the ROOTED series; I hope it has been helpful!  Paul, guided by the Holy Spirit, gives us his final instruction on the importance of prayer, wisely conducting ourselves with outsiders and connecting deeply in Christian community.

NOTES

Rooted: Grow Deeper. Live Taller.

Part 14 Final Instructions Col 4:2-18

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Nov. 20th, 2016

 

Intro:

  • Overview of the entire series – Rooted: Grow Deeper. Live Taller. We have covered a lot of ground: foundations, the results of the gospel taking root (inward possession of faith, outward demonstration of love, upward expectation of hope), Paul’s profound prayer (know his will, walk his way), the uniqueness and characteristics of Jesus, what the whole gospel is, what life in Christ looks like (by receiving him as lord, walking in him and being rotted, built up and established), what we have in Christ, how to live free in Christ (warning agents legalism, mysticism, asceticism), how to be an “all in” Christian, playing in the “Major Leagues” and last week how to live  redeemed relationships.
  • Today we are going to look at Paul’s final instructions to us all as he closes out this letter.

 

Continue steadfastly in prayer

 

Col 4:2-4 ESV

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

 

  • Continue steadfastly in prayer – devote yourselves to prayer – this being the highest priority, this getting God directly involved, this giving us perspective and wisdom, this being the primary source of change in us and around us, this strengthens and deepens our primary relationships (with God and those we are praying for). – Il. what I have been doing lately in prayer
  • Being watchful in it – being awake/alert/attentive – paying attention to what is going on around us and for the enemy – where could he be working??? – don’t be afraid but aware (1 Peter 5:8-9

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. NIV)

  • With thanksgiving – gives us perspective and expresses our faith (I typically start all my prayers this way – most of the psalms start and end this way)
  • Pray for us – This is Paul’s personal prayer requests
    • God will open the door of opportunity “That God may open to us a door for the word” –through prayer (that means the door is not always open) – to share the word and specifically to talk about Christ.
    • On account of which I am in prison – I am committed – I’m all in – (he still recognizes his need for God’s help in the ministry – that he can’t do it on his own).
    • I will open my mouth with clarity – “That I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak” – wisdom to be clear in every context . . . Make the message clear

 

Conduct yourselves wisely

 

Col 4:5-6 ESV

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

 

  • Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders
    • Why? – because their existence and eternity is in the balance
    • How?
  • Making the best use of the time
    • Not “our time” but “the time” – being between when Christ came the first time and when he will come back the second. Our primary focus of our faith should be in making disciples of all nations . . . and we each have a role . . .
  • Let your speech always be gracious – we need to have grace in our words – even giving people what they don’t deserve (with outsiders) seasoned with salt – and let the have an element of enhancing their lives and preserving them from decay
  • So that you may know how you ought to answer each person
    • Really work on understanding people – so you can know how to respond to each accordingly

 

Connect deeply with others

 

Col 4: 7-9 ESV

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

 

  • In these last paragraphs of this letter, Paul lists 11 people by name and lists 2 people who know everything Tychicus and Onesimus which tells me he is deeply connected and invested in people.
  • Why is being deeply connected with others important?
    • For a witness to your life
    • For reference of your character
    • For comfort when you are in pain
    • For strength when you are week
    • For encouragement when you are down
    • For perspective when you cannot see clearly
    • For conformation of what you have done
    • For correction when you are out of line
    • For counsel when you are confused
    • For connection when you are drifting
    • For stability when you are shaken
    • For balance when you faltering
    • For partnership in sharing the load
    • For companionship to enrich your experiences
    • For accomplishment in getting things done
  • We are hardwired for relationships – because we are made in God’s Image
    • Example of the trinity, example of Jesus
    • Examples from the Bible: Paul, Daniel, Moses, David, etc.
    • Examples from history: founding fathers, (Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Handcock), Luis and Clark, the Wright brothers . . .

 

  • If we had to do your funeral this week, who would share about your life, and what would they have to say?
  • Is there anyone in your life that could tell me everything about you? Do you have anyone who knows everything?
    • We are way to disconnected, unknown, walled off isolated and vulnerable
    • Get two people . . . to deeply connect with
    • Be intentional, transparent, and truthful
    • Connect yourself with a group of people you can run with.

           

Col 4: 10-18 ESV

Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions— if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

 

18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

 

Conclusion

  • Continue steadfastly in prayer, Conduct yourselves wisely, Connect deeply with others
  • Jesus is our ultimate example in these things, for He did them perfectly. And because of his deep love and connection with us, he voluntarily gave His life for us, so that we can be free from sin and its condemnation and that we can live as a redeemed community with Him for all eternity.  He is the pinnacle person in all of creation.  And that is why we are told to remember him with communion.

 

Communion