September 27, 2015

Colossians 1:28-29 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

It’s not surprising that Paul would try to cover all the bases in writing to a group of people he had never met, but Colossians certainly is loaded! This particular passage should be operative for every minister of the Gospel. It is a reminder that whereas the power is from God, we’ve got to give it all we’ve got. It’s not much use having power available if it isn’t put to use. However, at times it is generally hard work, and anyone who would serve God must not shy away from that. The content of the work is expressed in the first half of this passage: proclaiming Christ, admonishing, and teaching. The goal of that is also made clear: the maturity of every believer. (The Greek can be taken either as “perfect” or as “mature,” and the Japanese here goes with “mature/adult.”) That indeed calls for wisdom; we can’t be stupid about it. A discussion of wisdom would be another complete Bible study, at least, but we’ve got to remember that it’s God’s wisdom that is called for, and not humanistic thinking. As with the power involved, God supplies the wisdom but we’ve got to use it. Unwise ministry is all too common! Being God’s instrument of ministry is glorious, but it calls for full commitment, diligence, and faithfulness.

I think my biggest problem in all of this is laziness. I get tired, and at times I am tempted to chuck it all. That wasn’t Paul’s attitude, and it shouldn’t be mine. There are those who applaud my faithfulness in ministering in Omura for 34 years, so far, but longevity by itself isn’t that admirable in my book. The question is, what have I done with myself and my opportunities during that time? God is the Judge, and I’ve not been without fruit, but I don’t see any room for personal pride. After all, Jesus said that “You also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” (Luke 17:10) I don’t know that I’ve really done my duty, and I certainly haven’t done everything I could have. I need to remember that God’s wisdom and power are always available and not shrink back from any task He gives me, so that His will may be done on His schedule for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me not forget such things as the book You’ve had me start. Help me be diligent indeed, appropriating all of Your provision and applying it as You intend, building up the Body of Christ for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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