Colossians: Day 4

A Holy Calling

by

Today's Text: Colossians 1:24-2:7, 2 Timothy 1:8-10, 1 Corinthians 15:10, Isaiah 11:1-2

I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known.

- Colossians 1:25 -

Situated right near the bathroom, our side of the dorm floor drew high traffic. The sound of laughter competed with the high whizzing of the blow dryers. Bits of conversation could be overheard each time the door squeaked open. Constant commotion filled the halls, day and night.

This particular Friday afternoon an abnormal hush permeated the hallways. My roommate, like the rest of the girls on the floor, had left for the weekend. My door was left open out of habit. I paced back and forth inside the room, talking under my breath, and glanced up from my notes when I heard a knock. Kimberly, from down the hall, popped her head in and asked, “Hey! What are you doing?”

“Oh, I’m just practicing for a talk I’m giving tomorrow on training people how to communicate about their relationship with God. Wanna listen and give me some feedback?”

I tried not to look surprised when she nodded and plopped down on my bed. I invited all the girls on my floor to our dorm Bible study every week, but Kimberly never showed interest.

I was just a young college girl, still learning the depth of the gospel, but even then I knew I played a part in a holy calling: “to make God’s message fully known” (Colossians 1:25).

As I went through the presentation, Kimberly smiled and nodded, playing the part of supportive, interested listener. I finally reached the part explaining two circle diagrams. One circle had Christ on the throne inside the life and self surrendered to Christ. The other had self on the throne and Christ outside the life.

“Which circle best represents your life, Kimberly?” She pointed to the circle with Christ outside.

“Which circle would you like to represent your life?” She pointed to the circle with Christ on the throne.

At that point I put down my notes. “Kimberly, really, you’ve been so great listening and paying attention and all. You don’t need to pretend about the circles.”

But Kimberly wasn’t pretending. She wanted to know Christ, and I had the joy of introducing her to Him. We talked for a bit more and then, with tears in both our eyes, we prayed together as she surrendered her life to Jesus and joined God’s family. And the hallways around the dorm floor filled with angels celebrating new life (Luke 15:10)!

Like Paul, our holy calling is to make the gospel known wherever we are, to proclaim Jesus—not empty doctrine, not some moral or ethical code (Colossians 1:28, 1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul’s letter to the Colossian Christians is infused with rich language focused solely on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Note how many times “in Christ” occurs in today’s reading. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (v. 2:3). We are to walk in Him (v. 2:6), be rooted and built up in Him (v. 2:7). The focus and source of life is found in Jesus.

As believers, new and seasoned alike, we have the privilege of proclaiming Christ to those around us, to help them grow in their understanding of Him. Whether the dorm floor or workplace, neighborhood or soccer field, we are placed there by God to point others to Him (Acts 17:26)! He is our holy calling.

May we faithfully proclaim Him, so that others might see Christ in us, “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

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  • I strive to live a life whom others can see Christ in my life. I fall short most days but this is the perfect boost I need to look into my daily routine and change some of my priorities to let Him shine.

  • Rachael S

    This has been on my mind a lot this month. Sharing Christ. Making my home a place to gather, to share and to experience Gods love.

  • Sarah Yetter

    Love how you saw God move outside your plans and expectations here. My context with living in a low income neighborhood while interacting with a lot of wealthier parts of LA means that proclaiming this gospel looks different, very different, for these various circles. The biggest surprise for me has been the ways that the wealthy connect to our work with our youth center in terms of social justice this has led to conversations about the Lord. May I be faithful and ready when I have those chances to share!

  • Dear Lord, give me the strength and courage to proclaim your glory boldly and fearlessly. Rid my life of hesitation and doubt. Let His will flow through me. Thank you for Paul’s letter, this day, & Jesus. Amen.

  • Heading back to school tomorrow, I need the strength of God and the encouragement of his church to help me be bold this year!!!!

  • Monique Summers

    Very fitting devotion as my family prepares to go out of state on a mission trip today- may we just show them HIM!

  • Andie Walton

    Dear Lord, thank you for your wisdom and please help me to be rooted in you at all times!

  • Nikki Falvey

    I am an archaeologist and work around mostly critical, hedonistic atheists or outspoken, luke warm new agers. It can be very intimidating sharing the gospel among such a crowd and even more difficult to practice what I preach! It can also be difficult to know when is an appropriate time to share, especially at work. I know many of you are in difficult positions as well. Praying that the Lord gives us the strength and joy to proclaim His Glory with our words and actions in whatever venue He’s given us.

  • As a science teacher, it is so hard to have to bite my tongue, metaphorically, when asked if I believe in God. I find myself sharing bits and pieces as days go along. One day a student was talking about speaking in tongues. The students of the class we starting to give her a hard time because they wanted to her to do it right then. As a Pentecostal believer I felt God calling me to speak up and to give her some help. So I explained that it’s not something you just do. A lot of students are either Catholic or Baptist (which I was born and raised), so they couldn’t understand the power of speaking in tongues, but it planted a seed. Hopefully through little opportunities like this I will be able to share Jesus love for others.

    • Angela

      Awesome! I am also a Pentacostal believer, and that topic isn’t always easy to talk about. May God guide you and encourage you as you step out in faith and obedience! God bless :)

  • 1 Corinthians 15:10- any newness, any change, any transformation in me is solely and fully because of Jesus. I am far from where I was, and I praise Him for that. But I am also aware of my constant and desperate need for Jesus. I am confident that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion. My life is evidence of what Jesus can do. Why would I not want to proclaim that deep joy to everyone I possibly can? Praying that Jesus would make all of bold and brave enough to proclaim His name fearlessly and with joy, wherever we may be.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you for your words Madison. You captured exactly all of my thoughts and prayers. God bless.

  • Wow this message is crazy timing! I work for Intervaristy Christian fellowship, a college ministry and I am leading a dorm bible study for college students. There are many people who don’t know jesus in that dorm and I have been challenging my students to reach out to their friends and we are beginning to see fruit! Pray for me tonight as I lead a study about the Good Samaritan that I would feel the Spirit leading and guiding my words as we may have people who need to follow jesus this very night. I believe God will work miracles on this little campus in PA!

  • Beautiful message!

  • I’ve been hearing this message a lot about it not mattering who you are or your experience or where you’re from. Bottom line is that when we are in Christ we have the obligation to share the good news. Obviously God is speaking to me on this!

  • Jennifer

    There is a purpose and a reason you are where you are. And when we begin to put God first and surrender completely to Him it becomes more clear what exactly that purpose is! And that is when joy comes…knowing that no matter what happens God is in control and He is at work in you!

    • Kylee

      Exactly! No longer needing to worry about being in the right place at the right time, but trusting that God has placed you exactly where you need to be. Amen.

  • Ladies. I need prayer I haven’t confessed this sin to anyone but I feel God telling me to confess to you and ask for prayer. I’ve been looking at inappropriate things online. It’s shameful that’s why I haven’t confessed but I want to be clean and not turn back. My mind feels horrible after viewing such things. I need your prayers.

    • Geri

      Lynn. I’m praying for you sister. It was very Brave of you to confess this to others. Stay strong and stay in His Word so that the enemy doesn’t have a chance.
      You are Loved ❤️

    • Erin

      Oh Lynn, praying right now for you. My husband struggles with a porn addiction that started over 20 years ago and praise the Lord he has been freed of the bondage in recent months. But it’s a daily choice and struggle. Praying for strength and courage to ask a friend for accountability. There are online programs/apps that notify your friend when something inappropriate has been viewed. A church near where I live even has a support group for women with this struggle. Maybe there is one near you. Baby just woke up but I’ll continue to pray for you, Lynn.

    • Kylee

      I’m praying for you, Lynn!

    • Rachel Marie

      Lynn, I understand your struggle, my fiancé has struggled with a porn addiction and it can be so hurtful and terrifying but always know that Jesus is on your side and he has forgiven you. He’s walking with you in this time of need and he’ll never leave your side. Accountability is key, try out x3watch.com, it’s a wonderful resource.
      I’ll be praying for you❤️

    • Princess

      I went through that too and I feel ashamed of it. When I finally decided to truly surrender my life to Jesus, I have asked him to help me guard my heart and my thoughts. You see, our minds are the devil’s playground. He puts in evil thoughts and pushes us away from God. I decided to NOT LET HIM anymore. I have understood that Jesus wants us to honor our bodies because it belongs to Him. I have little struggles the first few times but He has delivered me from that struggle. What’s important is your willingness to surrender that weakness to Him. He did it for me, He will do it for anyone who asks. I will pray for you Lynn. I’m also praying my husband will fully turn away from it. We are a work in progress. God bless you.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    Which circle do you want to represent? Just a good challenge!!! I love this! http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Cynthia S

    Heavenly Father, help me today to actively pursue speaking to others about You. Holy Spirit, fill me with holy boldness and courage to share your message of love and grace to those who don’t yet know you fully. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

  • Praying that your incredible story will be told again!

  • sometimes reading a story like this makes me feel guilty, like I’m not doing my job because it’s been a while since I led someone to the Lord like that. But I was reminded this morning that it doesn’t always look exactly like that, sometimes we get to take part in simply the seed planting…other times the harvest or maybe both! Our job is to be filled with the Spirit, like a sponge that leaks his presence and power whenever we go. Sometimes we have great influence when we don’t even know it! God is always working in a willing vessel

    • Hesaved83

      “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
      I Corinthians 3:6-11 NKJV

  • Gina Gomez

    Lord spark that fire in me again and put a burning desire in me to share your word and your love with those around me. Help me to be bold in your name. Amen
    When I gave my life to the lord years ago, I was on fire for Him. There was no one I wouldn’t talk to about the lord and what he did in my life, set me free from drugs, alcohol and being verbally abusive to my daughters. Through the power of God and me being bold in sharing Jesus many of my family gave their lives to the lord. It’s been quite a while since I have shared my testimony with anyone and I have not had the privilege of leading someone to Christ recently. I pray that fire is sparked in me again.

  • Awhile back I heard a sermon series on the book of Jonah called “Them.” I have recently gone back to listen to it again. Throughout the series the question was, Who is God calling you to be a part of their eternal story? When I think of that question it makes even a grocery store trip have purpose. Who is God calling me to be light to? God gives us this gift of the gospel wrapped in a bow..waiting for us to give it to people. We are just called to be faithful…we aren’t more faithful if we share Jesus and someone falls to their knees and repents..we are the same faithful. We aren’t less faithful if it goes horribly wrong…we are the same faithful! Praying that I will just be faithful w the gospel that changed my life! What an awesome God we serve who desires everyone to have the opportunity to respond to His truth!!

  • I work in a community ministry and have the privilege of sharing Jesus with young women often. I love the idea of the circle diagrams and wondered if they’re available to use, perhaps through Cru?

    • Allison

      The tool in which this diagram used for Cru is called the KGP (or Knowing God Personally Booklet) which is essentially a gospel tract, which you can order here: http://crupress.com/products/knowing-god-personally/

      I’ve actually used it before and it is super helpful in explaining the gospel clearly. Here is a link to some questions you can ask while going through the booklet (if you get it) that are super helpful too! http://crupress.com/products/knowing-god-personally/

    • Emily

      Yes, they are! If you download the app “GodTools” you can see them in the a”would you like to know God personally?” Booklet. They are super simple to draw. I’ll see if I can find a picture to share.

  • I am reminded that seeds are sown with every step I take.

    I pray that every step I take be worthy of His calling, so that others may see Christ in me.

  • This year has been an especially unusual year for my walk with Christ. It has most been me wanting to pull away from Him and not acknowledge His existence unless something bad happened l, then I could attribute it to Him. As I mentioned before, in recent months I’ve had nothing to do with my walk with Christ, no praying, skipping over verses whenever I saw them, etc. I was repulsed by God. Then out of nowhere, I was presented with the opportunity to share my “nonexistent” faith with an acquaintance. The Lord prompted me with an opportunity that I could not shy away from. He enabled mento share the simple truth that Jesus is accepting, that no matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, He loves you. I was able to share that it’s not about religion, it’s about relationship. No amount of good works, or religious sacraments will save you, just the knowledge that Christ died of n the cross for our sins so that would not have to pay for them ourselves. God really has a sense of humor, not only was I able to share the truth with someone who was not familiar what so ever with Christianity, but I was able to remind myself of God’s grace, love, and affection for everyone. I ask whoever reads this to pray for KC, that the seed that has been thrown, fall on fertile ground and that God will cultivate.

    • Alexis

      I will keep KC in my prayers. Awesome testimony; I loved that you were able to share your faith with her when you felt out of step with God yourself.

    • MissM.R.

      Dear Lord Jesus thank you for Nata sharing you with others even when she felt far from you. You remind us over and over that though we may leave you, YOU will not leave us. How beautiful you are Lord, how faithful you are when we are faithless. I pray that you would continue to speak sweetly to Nata and that your word would be living and active, that it would transform her heart so that what she believes is what she thinks is how she acts…out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. I pray specifically for KC that you O Holy Spirit will continue to work in the heart of this person, that this person’s heart would not grow hard but instead be that fertile ground. I ask that KC be continually bombarded with these truths: That You God exist, that man is a sinner, You are Holy and must judge sin, that contrary to mans way You and You alone have provided a way to reestablish that broken relationship/payment for sin through the death burial and resurrection of Your Son Jesus. I pray that KC will confess with their mouth, believe with their heart and receive Jesus as LORD today. IN your precious Name- Amen

  • I am both embarrassed and thrilled to say that I am technically “starting from scratch” when it comes to the gospel. I grew up attending private schools but over the years the lessons and teachings fell by the wayside. These days, I am so passionate and determined to learn! Not only for myself but to share the Good News with others. I am patiently waiting and praying for guidance and slowly but surely steps are being revealed to me; I recently started a spiritual bookclub, I signed up to be a lector at my church, and low and behold, a coworker of mine who has studied the bible for years agreed to do so with me. I am so thankful.

    • Daniela

      I can completely agree with you! Grew up in private schools and church and it almost seems like I’m starting from scratch as well. Learning fundamental gospel principles and how they should be impacting my every day life.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Joanna! Grace, grace, grace to you! So excited to hear about your thirst for God’s Word. Grateful to read it with you and continuing to pray for your journey.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Kylee

      I relate so much to your story! I grew up in a Christian home but feel like I’m completely starting over in the faith since recommitting my life to Christ as an adult. Praying blessings over you as you grow in God’s grace….I’ll be right here with you!

  • Colossians 2:6-7 are some of my newest favourite verses. Really been impressed on me this summer/fall. I love the image of life in Christ being like a tree- we are to grow our roots down into him, and then with the foundation of his truth, we bear fruit, overflowing with thankfulness!

  • Missy CM

    I love the simplicity of 1:28-29 from the Message: “We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.”

    This week I´ve had physical therapy every day with a cousin of my mother-in-law´s. My husband and I go together and have a blast chatting with this older couple as my ankle gets worked on. A couple days ago his wife wondered about the salvation of a recently deceased family member and commented that he was baptized and must have been saved then. My husband (this is all in Spanish, so I left the crucial moments to his native tongue) stepped in and super gracefully laid out God´s plan for salvation: Christ. Not religion or steps, but Christ. This shocked them, and left them pensive for a bit, but I can tell the seed has been planted.

  • churchmouse

    God is working through SRT right to me this morning! I’m part of a small group Bible study which has been meeting year round for nearly five years. We are extremely close, having shared deeply with one another as we go through the Scriptures together. One from the group told an acquaintance about our group and she asked to join. She apparently has been looking for such a group for some time and has a lot of questions. Oh. My. I admit I was hesitant to welcome her because of wanting to protect the group dynamics we have built over the years. BUT GOD spoke to me through this devotion this morning and so… Invitation extended! Thanks you SRT, for speaking the Truth and reminding me of our calling to share the Gospel to whomever, wherever, however. I needed that nudge!

    • She Reads Truth

      Love this so much, sweet friend. Thanks for sharing your heart with us today!

      Grace and Peace,
      Kaitlin

  • “By the grace of God I am what I am!” ~1 Corinthians 15:10. Thankful that it’s not because of anything that I’ve done to get to where I am today. Thank you, Lord, for getting me to the place I am right now and let me serve the ones around me and point others to Him through my words and actions. Amen!

  • Wow! Just wow! What an impactful way to start my day! I loved this reading and I cried! Praise God He is so good and the way He works is so mysterious but so beautiful!! I’m fully captivated and in awe and just coming along side all who have read this today… Praise Him! That we have this life and we have this calling and we can instill hope in others! Thank you Lord for letting me be alone for 20 years before hearing your story, that I can relate so well to life without you and share how much you have changed my life! Thank you Father for this God Sized purpose to share your glory and your hope. Thank you SRT for these amazing readings especially today’s. I’m burning with purpose and worth today! Thank you Jesus! Amen!

  • So many amazing nuggets in this portion of Colossians 1. 2:2 Reads this way NLT, “I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.”

    And so I think to folks who have said in years past that they just didn’t get it, they never understood what the “secret” was. There have been times, I didn’t have a great response to them over the mystery of understanding, of connection with Christ, of helping them to know Him. This portion of scripture is reminding me that it is just about knowing someone and sharing with others someone you love. A good start in explaining and introducing someone to Christ is in the knowledge that it’s simply about meeting and getting to know Him. I think to the manners we so work at teaching our children. Specifically meeting someone new. We explain that it is important to acknowledge them, even ask how they are doing and often it includes questions so that we may better learn about this new person. If we brought someone new to a play date or dinner with a friend, we would immediately introduce the two and share bits of info that might connect them. It would be incredibly impolite and awkward if this third person remained unintroduced and unattended to. As I am in Christ, He is always with me, I need to remember that introducing someone to Him is as simple as sharing a new friend, someone we really like and are excited to connect others with. Almost as if saying, “Hey friend, I brought someone I want you to meet and I think you two will really hit it off!”. It shouldn’t be intimidating because we *know* him, we *know* how great relationship is with him, why wouldn’t we want to introduce others to this relationship? I’ve rambled about this idea, but I am prayerful that I remember it is simply introduction, the weight of the relationship doesn’t fall on me, but I can do the introducing. Prayerful that I help connect others, that I look forward to sharing Christ and that in doing so help others know Him, that there is no great secret, Christ is the key! ~ B

    • DebBlack1

      What a wonderful way to describe telling others about Jesus! It really is as simple and uncomplicated as introducing two friends! I love this – your description of not introducing a third party at the dinner table will be one that I remember and share.

      The great ‘secret’ is Christ!

      Thank you for sharing

    • Carrie

      Thank you for this advice, B. It is such a blessing to me this morning, as I prepare to go out into the world today.

    • Shannon H

      What an encouragement you have been. To me this morning ~B~,…as simple as introducing my friend…of helping to make a connection so their relationship can begin…Lord, give me boldness and courage to introduce you to those around me….help me to hold fast to your word of truth!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      What perfect advice! THANK YOU!!!!

    • Debbie

      Beautiful B!

    • K

      Love this! Thank you for sharing!

    • Marcie

      We do have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. Thank you, B, for reminding me that sharing Christ wih others doesn’t have to be complicated.

    • Carly B

      I love this description, B. It’s such a helpful way of looking at it.

  • Paul left nothing back when it came to spreading the Gospel and encouraging maturity in the church. As a small group leader, I am super pumped after today’s reading. I am challenged by his devotion to growth in the church at Colossae. I claim 1:28 and 2:2 as a mission statement for my group. Present everyone as mature in Christ, hearts may be encouraged, we may be knit together in love, and reach a full assurance and understanding of God’s mystery in Christ. This is a mission worth my life.

    • ~ B ~

      2:2 really stuck with me today. What a great scripture to use as a mission statement. I may need to share it with my comm group/family as well. ~ B

  • I love Paul’s passion both to tell people about Jesus and to see the believers growing strong in their faith and confident in living it out.
    V29 stood out to me: “That’s why I work so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” I think I tend to either work hard and try to do it all in my own strength or sit back and do nothing and expect God to do everything, but it’s interesting that his power and our efforts are meant to work together, and both are needed. Of course God could do it without us but he has chosen to work through us and given us a part to play in telling others about him.

    • Kelly S

      Jerry Bridges uses the example of a farmer to explain the relationship between God and the believer, faith and works. The farmer plows the field, sows the seed, and tends to his plants. God provides the sun, the rain, the growth. If the farmer works apart from the supernatural work of God, there is no growth. If the farmer sits back, expecting God to grow without his efforts, there is no growth. The Holy Spirit goes before us, preparing hearts for the Gospel. An obedient word or deed from us can plant the seed. How exciting to be able to be a part of the growth in others!

  • Courtney

    I’ve struggled a lot with evangelism. I come from a church that expects everybody to be out on the street constantly witnessing to strangers and doubts the purity of your faith if you don’t. Because of this I have not had a right attitude toward evangelism. I have done it out of fear for my own salvation which I now believe has ironically prevented me from sharing the full message of God’s grace to the people that I have witnessed to. I lost focus of the true beauty of the gospel. That my works (including evangelism) cannot save. They do not bridge the gap between me and my God. Only Christ and His blood. Nothing I’ve done. But His freely given sacrifice. It’s taken years, but tonight I think I am starting to understand.

    • Tamara

      It also helps to realize that we don’t have to convert people. All we have to do is being a witness of Christ. That’s our only responsability. God will do the rest

    • Kelly S

      Courtney, I am sorry you have been under the heavy weight of works. That’s not what Jesus called us to; “My yoke is easy, My burden is light.” Lifestyle evangelism is so much more effective than cold-calling strangers. Building relationships with others so they can see the Light of Christ in you gives you spiritual credibility. Vivian’s story is a perfect example. Kimberly saw Vivian walking the walk for weeks, maybe months, before she would sit and listen to the WHY behind the way Vivian lived. You ARE an evangelist to the people already in your life. I pray that God would open both of our eyes to the opportunities to share the hope of the Gospel with the people we encounter today!

      • candacejo

        Perfect.♥

      • Emily

        There’s still something to be said about sharing with strangers. I firmly believe that you can build a friendship with a person in minutes, so they aren’t a stranger anymore. I’ve had the privilege of meeting and Sharing Christ with lots of “strangers.” Some have even accepted Christ on the spot! But I hold to this definition of successful evangelism – “stepping out in faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and leaving the results up to God.”

        It’s not about me, it’s about Him. And I can be freed up to share without fear of failure. Take heart, Courtney! God loves you and his love for you isn’t dependent on your “witnessing.” Follow God’s lead, wherever and whomever He calls you to talk to. :)

        • Emily

          And I agree with Kelly – I’m so sorry you’ve been under such a heavy yoke. Don’t ever forget who God thinks you are!

  • ❤️Love reading Paul!

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