Devotional: May 28, 2020
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, 4so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.
Conduct yourselves wisely towards outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.
Colossians 4: 2-6
“Make the most of the time.” Paul’s words still ring true today. We all have 24 hours in our day. During different times in our lives, we are busier than at other times. Yet no matter what, we need to make good use of our time. Prayer needs to be a part of that time.
Perhaps Paul was especially aware of time because of where he was when we wrote these words. He was in prison! Although his confinement was horrible, and most likely debilitating, he was even more aware of the importance of prayer. He knew that if he could do nothing else, he could pray and connect with the Lord. He may not have been free physically, but he was free to pray. Through those prayers, he heard God’s word and wrote some of the most encouraging and affirming letters, reminding us to take advantage of every opportunity to pray, and to spread God’s word.
Time, to spend or invest as we choose, is perhaps our greatest gift and resource.
For Paul, making the most of the time revolves around three things:
The first was prayer.
According to Paul, prayer was not really optional for believers. They should not only practice the discipline of prayer, they should be “devoted to prayer.” (Verse 2). Of all the things we could go overboard with in our lives, prayer is the least harmful. It comes with the greatest potential for us to help ourselves, and others.
Secondly, Paul desires wisdom for all of us, particularly as we make decisions on how to react to others, especially those people who are outside the church.
He wants us to be good witnesses. We do not want to bring scandal upon the church, but rather to inspire people to ask us about our faith. Indeed, Paul is hoping for an opportunity to evangelize even while in prison. He encourages the Colossian church to pray for him to have opportunities to evangelize to those outside the faith. He knows that wise words from believers can sometimes reach, and persuade those who are not believers. We want them desire to seek and find out more about our Lord. Thus, he prays for the ability to have “wisdom towards outsiders”.
Finally, he asks not only for wise actions, but also for gracious words.
He knows that words of grace, and forgiveness, and love are often rare in the world. They flavor the world with the love of God, like a little salt gives flavor to food. So, he prays for the Colossian church to have gracious words.
It can hardly be overstated how important gracious words are, more than ever these days. Pop culture seems obsessed with those who spout words which are mean, unforgiving, entitled, and hypocritical. It doesn’t take long for those things to go viral with social media. Wouldn’t it be nice if the things which went viral were good, spiritual, kind, decent and thoughtful?
We are called to make the most of time, by being devoted to prayer. Coupled with lives of gracious speech and wise actions, our words just might help us to reach a lost world. Reaching people who are lost with the good news of Jesus Christ: investing our time in that worthy cause is certainly “making the most of the time!”
Jeana has a sign in her sewing room which says, “If your day is hemmed in with prayer, it is less likely to unraveled”
God of all time,
Sometimes we feel like our time is limited. Help us to carve out the time in our busy lives to meet with You, and to pray. Help us to invest our time wisely for Your sake, and for the cause of loving our neighbors. May our devotion to prayer help us to be wise and gracious in our speech, so we may bless others, through You. We offer ourselves to You. Help us to make the most of the time we are given. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name.