Camping Through Colossians Day 5
Day 5 with Campers
Pray: “Lord, you alone are the giver of love, peace, and gratitude. We are weak, but you are strong. All that we have is from you and for you. Today help us to put on love. Help the peace of Christ to dwell in our hearts. Help our team and the local leaders to be bound together, as one body in perfect harmony. May your peace rule in our hearts. May we be full of thanks. Amen”
Read: Colossians 3:17-4:6
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Rules for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
4 Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 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.
5 Walk in wisdom 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.
Read and Respond:
The order of the contents of Paul’s letters is not by accident, but by design. The beginnings of his epistles are always rich with worship and praise of our God. Paul recounts to his readers the goodness of our Father, the mercies of Jesus Christ, and the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit. Paul always begins with worship.
Remember the beautiful Christology found in Colossians 1:15-20? Return there for a minute and be reminded of the 14 awesome truths about Jesus you found there.
With the preeminence, supremacy, and sufficiency of Jesus in mind, what does Paul mean when he says to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (3:16)?
Yesterday’s passage and the remainder of today’s passage give many instructions for Christian living. It is tempting, in our human power and by our own efforts, to make checklists for right living, rules for good behavior, and to boil down these instructions to man-centered efforts. But Paul keeps saying—do these things by Jesus and for Jesus! His exhortations are Christ-centered not me-centered.
What are the differences between behaving and beholding? In other words, think deeply about the root motivations behind what you do. Are you on this mission trip to earn something? Or are you here because you are motivated by the love of Christ?
Behaving and beholding can appear identical. We can walk in good behavior without ever beholding God our Savior. And it can be difficult to uncover and really know even our own true motives. Ask the Lord to reveal your heart to yourself. Ask him to help you be compelled by love for him, worship for him, a passion that others know his goodness, rather than being compelled by obligation or checklists or right behavior.
Missions exists because worship doesn't.May your worship of God compel your mission for God this week.
The instructions for household living in verses 3:18-4:1 can be summed up in 3:17 or in 3:23, 24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Regarding verse 4:3, has God opened a door to you at camp to share the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, to make it clear (v 4)? If not yet, how might you look for that chance today? Ask the Holy Spirit to make you especially sensitive to his leading in this opportunity today.
Or, if that’s not appropriate for your setting today, think of all the Christians who may be present in the lives of your campers—possibly a neighbor, parent, friend, coworker, fellow student, who might be a Christian. Think about all the ways it must be difficult for them to share Christ in their context. Pause and pray that the Christians in your context would be bold, clear, and walk through the doors God opens for them.
Be reminded and encouraged that it’s God who opens the doors! He calls us to be faithful and clear and to walk through. But he is the only one who can truly change hearts. Rejoice and rest in that.
This week, you are away from home, from your usual life and commitments, enjoying this set apart time to pursue missions. Reflect on life at home and ask yourself if you are walking in wisdom toward outsiders (nonbelievers), making the best use of the time (to share Christ at home). Though it’s a joy and walk of faith to be on a mission trip now, we are called to preach Christ at home on a regular basis. Do you have relationships with non-Christians at home? If not, what changes can you make to your schedule so that you might be immersed in a non-Christian context and shine the light of Christ there? If you do have non-Christian friends are you making the best use of your time in sharing Christ with them?
Sharing the gospel can be scary at home. It’s often easier to do in the context of camp and overseas missions. However, if the gospel is true, the gospel is urgent. Ask God to overwhelm you with compassion for your friends who have not yet been rescued and redeemed by Jesus. You are quite possibly God’s means for their salvation. Pray that the Lord would thrust you into his harvest (Matthew 9:38) and that you would share him by faith.
At camp, between yourself and the campers, and between yourself and other camp workers, has your speech always been gracious and seasoned with salt? What kinds of questions have the campers been asking you? Are you prepared today with gracious answers?
Pray: Pray today’s passage back to the Lord. Ask God to renew you from the inside out. Pray that the Lord would help you prioritize beholding him, over behaving for him. Ask him to help you to do everything for him and through him. Pray for a heart of fervent worship that drives mission. Ask the Father to help you not serve by way of eye-service, as a people-pleaser, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Pray as a team that you all would walk in wisdom towards outsiders, your speech would be gracious, and you would be prepared. Pray for the Christians in your host community, that they would be bold and walk through any doors that God opens for them.