Thursday, May 2, 2013

EMMDEV 2013-05-02 [Highlights from Colossians] Closing 4: More partners

My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. Colossians4:10-15

There are even more names in this passage... and there are some important lessons:

1. Relationships matter: We don't do God's work alone. There are people who are known to Paul and those who are known to the Colossians and Paul recognizes the value of these relationships.

2. There is restoration in relationships. In one of his earlier missionary journeys, Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways because they disagreed over Mark, whom Paul seemed to consider as unreliable. Now Paul and Mark are working together and Paul asks them to welcome him.

3. There is diversity in these relationships. Among the names mentioned are Jews, people from Colosse, Luke the Greek doctor, and Nympha, a lady who hosted a house-church. These diverse people are brought together by the cause of Christ.

4. There is risk in these relationships. Although Demas is mentioned here, he also gets a sad mention in Paul's second letter to Timothy, where we learn that Demas deserted Paul because he "loved the world." This risk does not prevent Paul from relating to his fellow believers and rejoicing in these relationships.

5. We can learn a lot from Epaphras' prayer: He wrestles in prayer for his people that they "may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured." This is a good prayer to pray for your fellow Christians.

We don't work for God alone. Take time to thank God for those who share in God's work with you. Celebrate the diversity. Pray for them.

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Theo Groeneveld theo@emmanuel.org.za
You can see past EmmDevs at http://emmdev.blogspot.com/

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