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“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

Devotion to Prayer and to Each Other (Col. 4)

Devotion to Prayer and to Each Other (Col. 4)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – I’m dealing with several issues today – pastoral, relational, and business issues – that require more wisdom, maturity, and insight than I have. And I realize, again, that I’m just not up to the task. As Paul said, “Who is adequate for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:16).

So once again I throw myself completely on the grace of God: “Lord, if You don’t come through in these situations; if you don’t steady me and show me and lead me by the hand; if you don’t directly intervene in the circumstances and lives I’m dealing with; and even with all that, if you don’t make up for the imperfect ways I’ll handle these things – then I’m in a mess and Your people will be less well-served than they should be.”

I realize by faith and experience that this is a good place to be. It’s a place where I can hear Him say to me as He did to Paul: “’My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me … For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 2:9-10).

WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – So today I praised the Lord for all of that. Then I opened today’s chapter, and God showed me three things I can do to make it easier for Him to meet me in these places of need. You may find them helpful, too.

Pray! – And don’t just pray, Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). As my dear friend and fellow laborer Joseph Oppong reminds me, “When we work, we work. When we pray, God works.” I’m grateful for the difficulties beyond my abilities that call me to my knees for devoted, alert, thankful prayer.

Ask others to pray for you.“Pray also for us that God may…” (Col. 4:3). Ask them to pray for the things you’re pretty sure you need and for others you don’t yet realize you need. Paul asked them to pray, “that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ … that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak” (Col. 4:3-4). By the way, you can always pray that for me – and whenever you want, let me know you’re praying it.

Be sure you’re part of a fellowship of fellow servants. – Paul was never a Lone Ranger. He always served with a team whose members were deeply committed to the Lord and to each other. He lists some of them in this chapter, and you can sense the depth of the relationships that undergirded the apostle in every difficult situation:

  • “Tychicus, our dearly loved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord…
  • Onesimus, a faithful and dearly loved brother…
  • Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner…
  • Mark … welcome him…
  • Epaphras … a servant of Christ Jesus … always wrestling for you in his prayers…
  • Luke, the dearly loved physician…
  • These … are my coworkers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.” (Col. 4:7-14).

I’m so grateful for coworkers for the kingdom who have been a comfort to me these past 50 years. Many of you reading this are among them – thank you. And, if you’re not part of such a fellowship, that’s probably your next step in the Lord.

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