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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Series! EFFECTIVE FAITH - Colossians 4

New Series called Effective Faith - Colossians 4
Hey there bloggers! I am finishing up Colossians with a 3 part mini series on Paul's final exhortations to the Colossians regarding prayer, your witness, and speech. Here is the first part of the series I call "Effective Faith". I call it that because effective means something what works! Faith that works is effective which impacts other peoples lives. I am looking foward to see what you all think. It has been encouraging to go over these studies and be exhorted as if I was receiving this letter from Paul personally. God bless you all and have a good week!

Title: Effective Faith
Text: Colossians 4:2-4

At the end of Colossians, Paul closes his epistle by writing his farewell to the church at Colosse with words of encouragement. Also he gives specific encouragement to people serving in the ministry.
Colossians 4 is a combination of exhortation and salutation. He encourages the believers to live holy by having an effective faith that demonstrates the grace of God to all men.
The main theme of these verses is be active and ready in Christ, living with an effective faith that changes peoples live through the Gospel.

Last three commands by Paul
for effective faith:

1. Pray Continuously (v.4:2-4)
2. Walk Wisely (v.4:5)
3. Speak Graciously (v.4:6)

However, we are just going to cover the first one because it is the most important and the priority to having an effective faith. It is six letter word called PRAYER!

What is prayer?
“Prayer is surrender – surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat hook from my boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.” – E. Stanley Jones.

“Prayer is that activity of believers whereby they communicate with God, worshipping him, praising him, thanking him, confessings to him, and making requests known to him.” – Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Pray Continuously (v.4:2-4)

This meanings several things:
1. Be faithful in prayers– Never give up.
2. Be diligent in your prayers – Maintain consistency.

A. We are to pray with urgency (v.4:b).
Vigilant – means being alert, having urgency and give strict attention to the things around you.

Jesus said in Mark 14:38, “"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

B. We are to also pray with thanksgiving. (v.4:2c)
Why do we have to pray? And why do we have to pray continuously, with urgency and thanksgiving?

Because it is the will of God!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 declares, “Always rejoice, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer is at the core of our faith. Everything in this live is livin’ on a prayer!

What are we suppose to pray about? Paul asks the Colossians to pray for ministry opportunities for him and themselves:

Pray for Ministry Opportunities - Evangelism
1. Pray for doors to open to share the Gospel with Jews/Gentiles (v.4:3)
2. Pray for the Gospel to change hearts through the clarity, conviction, and certainty of Paul’s preaching (v.4:4)

Paul was in prison during this time, so that is why he said “I am also in chains.” (v.4:3). But the passion of his heart was for the lost to be saved in Christ. He wanted to opportunity to preach the Gospel to them so they could receive salvation in Christ!

Wrapping Up.
After looking at prayer as the primary element of an effective faith, we need to ask ourselves these questions:
What are you praying for?
How many times do you pray each day?
Rating from 1 to 10, how would you rate your prayer life?

New Year’s Resoultion.
Have a more consistent prayer life.
Have a more diligent prayer life.
Have more of a priority towards prayer.
Have more of a passion for prayer.

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