The Alpha and Omega’s solemn pronouncement to the Church in Sardis. I hold the seven spirits of God and the seven stars and thus can see your vulnerability. Your walls appear strong and impenetrable but the enemy without sees with his binoculars that your watchman failed to stay alert. While retrieving his dropped helmet, he revealed your secret entrance and now the enemy has infiltrated your midst. Take a lesson from Habakkuk who stood at his watch without wavering.
To the outside world, your church appears alive but inside, I who searches the mind and heart see that you are like whitewashed tombs with dead men’s bones. Like the Pharisees of old, you are a hypocrite because you do not hunger and thirst for righteousness. Instead, you have a high opinion of yourself and are relying upon your works to earn your salvation. In addition, I see your Christmas traditions with the nativity replica but the manger is empty. Where am I? Will you invite me to your Christmas celebration?
Oh Father, forgive us for relying on traditions, lights, and gifts which are temporal rather than on the Eternal Wonder of Your coming to earth as Emmanuel. Forgive us for being satisfied with the victories of the past and failing to see the fields are truly white for harvest. Come and fill our manger hearts with your presence.
There is an old adage which says “open mouth, insert foot” which has the meaning of speaking before thinking. So how does that fit with today’s reading in Colossians? It shows us that no matter where God has placed you, you can be a Paul! Sequestered in a Roman jail, Paul used every opportunity to teach his beloved followers so that they may carry on the work. Thus, Paul gives his readers three imperatives with one need:
Imperative: Be devoted to prayer. The word devoted has the idea of pursuing a particular passion. The synonyms of dedicate carries with it a solemn purpose and consecrate gives us the idea of being set apart. Believers are to determine that they will be devoted. Adam Clarke: “Prayer requires more of the heart than the tongue.” This prayer devotion must be accompanied by alertness and thanksgiving which reminds us of Jesus in the Garden prior to His trial. Mat 26:41Stayawake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Need: Pray for us in your time with God. Pray that God will open a door for us so we can proclaim the message of Christ. Charles Finney “ Effective prayer is prayer that attains what it seeks. It is prayer that moves God, affecting its end.”
Imperative: Conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders. You may be the only Bible unbelievers read so be on guard as you walk and talk and 1Pe 3:15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.
Imperative: Let your speech be seasoned with salt. As you season foods to preserve them and to add flavor so you should be seasoned with the Fruit of the Spirit. We might ask ourselves: Are we just tasty enough to lead people to crave more? That is the picture Paul is presenting here.
Today, did you spend time in prayer for yourself, for others, for the lost? Watch yourself today and listen to your words. Be on guard as the world is watching and the time is short.