Read Colossians 4:7-9 (NKJV)
Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.
Context: This is Paul writing from prison, coming to the end of his letter, making some connections between himself and the Colossians. Tychicus is sending letters to the Colossians, sharing some news about Paul. He mentioned Onesimus who He says is going to visit Paul.
Read Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Q. What does it mean to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God?
To go beyond of what you’re naturally capable of doing. Focusing on God every day and keeping focused on God.
By surrendering your will to Him, giving up your own. Praying that our desires align with God’s desires, and that we are satisfied in that.
Q. What is the definition of Perfect?
The English and Greek definition are different. The world tends to see perfect in the English definition, whereas the bible speaks about perfectness in the Greek definition.
English term for ‘perfect’:
1. having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be
2. bring to completion; finish.
3. free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless.
Greek term for perfect: téleios:
1. complete and always part (wholeness, healing and satisfied)
2. fully grown/fully aged (maturity keeps growing and maturing – is endless, whereas the English definition of perfect has an end, if you’re perfect there’s no room for improvement, and we can never be this type of perfect)
Being perfect in a biblical perspective is more about being complete, grown and in our intended place - knowing where we are right now is exactly where God wants us to be. It might not be the greatest place right now, but it’s all part of God’s divine plan.
It’s not about being sinless.
Spiritual maturity is something we should all want. Having the mind of Christ allows us to do things as Jesus would do.
Q. Is that what God wants from us?
Reference: Matthew 5:48
You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
(When we feel like we should constantly aim to be perfect, could actually be quite damaging if we are not doing it in a biblical way.)
Read Colossians 4:14-18 (NKJV)
Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfil it.” This salutation by my own hand—Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.
Q. What does it mean to fulfil your ministry?
Completing the task that God has given to you.
Ministry: meeting the needs of others.
Q. What stops us from fulfilling our ministry?
- Discouragement from ourselves and other people when you’re not seeing progress. -Our ministry isn’t not growing, or your vision isn’t coming to pass so we give up.
- Our own characters and behaviours can stop us from our calling, by distractions and falling into sin.
- We get side-tracked and procrastinate.
- We burn out because we are doing things in the flesh and not with God’s strength.
- We decide to quit because we aren’t getting the praise we expected or think we deserve, forgetting that we are doing it for God and that He should get all the glory.
Q. What does ‘Remember my chains’ mean?
Paul is telling us that sometimes ministry comes with suffering, but God will never give us adversity we cannot.
Heavenly father, we thank you that you have made us ministers. I pray that you bless our ministries, encourage us and you remind us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We rely on you for our strength and that we don’t need to be perfect in the eyes of the world but that we continuously strive to have the mind of Christ, surrendering our lives to your will.
In Jesus name, Amen.