VIDEO Take Heed To The Nudge

And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” Colossians 4:17

Do you ever need a nudge to do something? Psychologists claim that twenty percent of us are habitual procrastinators, and the other eighty percent struggle occasionally with putting things off. Several books have been written to help people overcome procrastination, but those who need the books never get around to opening them! They need a nudge.

So did Archippus. 

This man is mentioned twice in the Bible. He lived in the town of Colossae and attended the church that met in Philemon’s home. Paul called him “our fellow soldier” (Philemon 1:2). But in writing to the Colossians, Paul cryptically devoted one verse to his fellow soldier: “Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord’” (Colossians 4:17, NIV). 

Put your name there. God has something great for you to do. Don’t put it off. God is waiting to use you. View this verse as a nudge, and see to it that you finish your work in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

We can turn an ordinary job into an extraordinary mission if we realize that God has placed us in our work as an opportunity to influence others for His Kingdom.

Os Guinness

Colossians 4 • Final Comments and Exhortations

How to Reflect Christ

God has chosen to make known . . . the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

Thérèse of Lisieux was a joyful and carefree child—until her mother died when she was just four years old. She became timid and easily agitated. But many years later on Christmas Eve, all of that changed. After celebrating the birth of Jesus with her church community, she experienced God releasing her from her fear and giving her joy. She attributed the change to the power of God leaving heaven and becoming a man, Jesus, and through His dwelling in her.

What does it mean for Christ to dwell within us? It’s a mystery, said Paul to the Colossian church. It’s one that God “kept hidden for ages and generations” (Colossians 1:26), but which He disclosed to God’s people. To them God revealed “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (v. 27). Because Christ now dwelled in the Colossians, they experienced the joy of new life. No longer were they enslaved to the old self of sin.

If we’ve asked Jesus to be our Savior, we too live out this mystery of His dwelling in us. Through His Spirit, He can release us from fear, as He did Thérèse, and grow within us the fruit of His Spirit, such as joy, peace, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).

Let’s give thanks for the wonderful mystery of Christ within us.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How do you see Jesus reflected in your life? In the lives of those you love who follow Him?

Jesus, thank You for lowering Yourself and becoming a man, and for living within me. Help me to understand more of Your work in my life

Trusting God’s Love for Us

Romans 5:1-11

When facing painful trials, we may be tempted to doubt God’s love for us—especially if we think peace and happiness are proof His love and trouble is not. In today’s passage, Paul helps us see God’s purpose for difficulties in the believer’s life. Tribulations are meant to produce perseverance, proven character, and hope because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts.

Instead of yielding to doubts, let the following truths about God’s trustworthy love give you hope. His love is …

  • Perfect. He always does what is best for us in order to accomplish His goal of transforming us into the image of His Son.
  • Dependable. First John 4:8 tells us that love is an integral part of God’s nature. It would go against His character not to love His people, and He never contradicts His own being. 
  • Consistent. God works all events in His children’s lives—even the hardest circumstances—for their good. Scripture teaches us to regard hardships as the act of a good heavenly Father who loves us (Heb. 12:6).

If you’re ever in doubt, remember that God orchestrated the greatest demonstration of love possible—His Son’s death on the cross.

Sufferings We Endure

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)

Peter’s first epistle, written during a time of bitter persecution, deals with the matter of suffering. Peter reminds us that Christ suffered for us and that it is a privilege to suffer for Him. We are “called” to suffering and should “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try” us (4:12).

Christ’s suffering was foretold (1:11), as is ours. We see that He had patience, humility, and submission in His sufferings (2:23) in order to bear “our sins in his own body on the tree” (2:24). He suffered unjustly, “the just for the unjust” (3:18), not only in His spirit, but “Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh” (4:1), being witnessed personally by Peter (5:1).

Since we are likewise “called” to suffer, Peter explains that we also will be “suffering wrongfully” (2:19) even “when ye do well” (v. 20). We will “suffer for righteousness’ sake” (3:14) and “for well doing” (v. 17). To avoid being taken by surprise, we are to prepare ourselves to suffer “in the flesh” (4:1), if need be. We will “be reproached for the name of Christ” (4:14) and should “not be ashamed” if we “suffer as a Christian” (4:16). It is much better to suffer in such a way than to have done something evil to deserve it (v. 15).

Suffering while following Christ’s example is “acceptable with God” (2:20), and even makes us “happy” (3:14; 4:14). Through it we can “glorify God on this behalf” (4:16) because it is “according to the will of God” (4:19). There is even a magnificent reward awaiting the sufferer (5:10).

In view of all of this, there is little wonder that Peter says, “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (4:13). JDM

Paralysis from Our Past Mistakes

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

—Psalm 103:11-12

Do not let any of the things of the world or past mistakes paralyze your hearts. I believe there are Christians who have allowed some of their past mistakes to paralyze them. You were so bright and cheerful in your spiritual life once, and then you made some tragic mistake or had something happen to you. You got out of it somehow, and prayed and wept your way out of it. But it did something to you, and now you cannot lick it. Past wrongs that have been done to you, past failures, times you thought you were going to win and did not, or present sins or discouragement—these things are not mental at all. They are deeper than that; they are subconscious, and they prevent us from believing.

I most urgently exhort you, and I trust God Almighty to deliver you; to sponge that out of your spirit; to sponge that out of your heart so you are not hindered by unbelief.   RRR162-163

I pray for all of my fellow servants who need deliverance, who need to have the past sponged out of their spirits and hearts. Amen.

The Voluntary Sellout

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life.

—John 10:27-28

Let no one imagine that he will lose anything of human dignity by this voluntary sell-out of his all to his God. He does not by this degrade himself as a man; rather he finds his right place of high honor as one made in the image of his Creator. His deep disgrace lay in his moral derangement, his unnatural usurpation of the place of God. His honor will be proved by restoring again that stolen throne. In exalting God over all he finds his own highest honor upheld.

Anyone who might feel reluctant to surrender his will to the will of another should remember Jesus’ words, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). We must of necessity be servant to someone, either to God or to sin….The man who surrenders to Christ exchanges a cruel slave driver for a kind and gentle Master whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. POG095-096

The spirit of the carnal mind is an independent spirit….But a sense of perfect dependence is a grateful guest of the broken and contrite heart. DTC120

The Immovable Stone

Matthew 28:2

Every precaution had been taken. Having crucified Jesus, the authorities wanted absolutely no repercussions. People were still talking about the way in which Jesus allegedly had raised people from the dead. All of these reported incidents undoubtedly encouraged the authorities to forestall any possible fulfillment of the prediction that on “the third day He shall rise from the dead”

(Mark 10:34 NKJV). If His disciples had forgotten, His enemies hadn’t (Matthew 27:63).

The hitherto unused tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, as a resting place for the body of Jesus, would have suited the civil powers. A great boulder is rolled across the aperture. Not only can no one enter, but, perhaps more importantly in this particular situation, no one can get out.

Next, the seal is applied. Would anyone dare to tamper with it? All the authority of the Roman Empire is declared in that imprimatur. To see the seal of the Empire would be sufficient to scare off any of the Galilean’s foolhardy followers intent on creating a legend.

The stone said “No Entrance!” It also said “No Exit!” The seal said “No Trespassing!” But, mused the authorities, what if the disciples of Jesus suddenly had a return of courage and banded themselves together to invade the tomb? Well, the legion could take care of that! Some well-armed soldiers could handle the followers of Jesus.

A stone… a seal… soldiers.

And then it happened! The angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it. “The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men” (Matthew 28:4). The seal was broken. From the angel there is a triumphant announcement. “He has risen! He is not here” (Mark 16:6).

Now, men need no longer march into the tomb without hope of egress. The stone is rolled away. The tomb is no longer a cavern without exit, but a corridor to a new and everlasting life! The law of mortality which says that every man who is born must die, gives place to a new law of immortality in and through the risen Lord.

Christ is risen! The grave cannot hold Him. Death is vanquished forever. And the truth of it, the fact of it, will echo again and again. Choirs will sing it. Trumpets will sound it. Bells will chime it, and millions of hearts will witness to it. He is risen indeed!

Arnold Brown, Occupied Manger, Unoccupied Tomb