Scripture Reading: Colossians 4:7-18
“I have sent him (Tychicus) to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that has taken place here.” (Colossians 4:8,9)
When we read the final verses of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we can learn about God’s design for ministry. Ministry is relational in nature. It involves a genuine concern for people. As you read the names Paul wrote in these final greetings, you notice his love and concern for people. Paul not only recorded their names, which have been preserved in sacred Scripture, but you can tell that he genuinely cared about them.
Ministry involves partnerships with others. Paul developed many co-laborers who faithfully served with him. He acknowledged their service. He could have easily taken credit for the successful ministry he had; but he didn’t. He recognized those who served with him and he honored them. In fact, Paul used a common word throughout the passage — “fellow.” He spoke of his “fellow servants” (v. 7), “fellow prisoner” (v. 10), and “fellow workers” (v. 11). Though Paul was unusually gifted, he shared ministry with others and gave them proper credit for what they had done.
As you study the passage carefully, you will see God’s design for ministry. Ministry involves partnerships with others. It involves encouragement. Ministry requires forgiveness and acceptance. Ministry must be undergirded by prayer. Ministry is about spiritual formation. It may involve suffering and disappointments. And the bottom line is that ministry is totally dependent upon God’s grace.
Lord Jesus, I know that you call all believers into ministry. Thank You for the ministry You have given me. Thank You for the many fellow laborers that You have brought alongside of me. Equip me for the tasks You have for me this day and may I be a faithful minister to those I come into contact with.
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