Daily Devotion - November 11, 2020 - Devote Yourself, Pray and Act Wisely

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – November 11, 2020
Reading:
Colossians 4:2-18
Weekly Theme: See...Judge...Act
Today: Devote Yourself, Pray, and Act Wisely

When I was in college, I dated a guy who was a recent convert. He had been raised in the Catholic Church and although I certainly believe that Catholics are Christians, he had never fully understood what it meant to be in a relationship with Christ. We spent a lot of time together and talked about our faith, went to some campus ministry meetings together, studied God’s Word together and had a close spiritual relationship. But over time, he began to see things in me that contradicted the life of a Christian as he saw it. He, as a new Christian, was watching me to see if my actions matched my words and unfortunately, at this time in my life, they did not match. He “called me out” on the inconsistency between my claim to be a Christian, and my actions. In his eyes, my words did not match the way I conducted myself at times. This was a very convicting moment in my life.

In today’s passage, the apostle Paul concludes a very personal letter to the people of Colossae and advises them to do three things --- devote themselves, pray and to act wisely. Being a Christian is a commitment to Christ first and foremost. To devote means to dedicate, to offer, to give yourself to Christ. It also means to dedicate and offer yourself in certain activities that will nurture your relationship with Christ, beginning with prayer. Prayer is the manner in which we communicate with Christ and is something we should do before we do every other spiritual act --- we should pray before we read Scripture, before we worship, before we serve others and before we engage in fellowship with others. Prayer should be continuous. It is therefore, important that we devote ourselves to Christ first and long to be in constant and consistent, ongoing communication (prayer) with him. With this great devotion and with prayer, we are then made more aware of how we act.

Acting wisely as a Christian begins with awareness that we are witnesses to our faith. Other people are watching us to see how committed we are to who it is that we claim to be. Acting wisely involves paying attention to outsiders and making the most of our time with those who do not claim to know Christ, or those who are seeking, or those who have just come into a relationship with Jesus. When we pay attention to all those who are around us, we are more aware, through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, to live a life that that is full of faith, love, tact, and grace, yet also is seasoned with flavor that reflects a life of one who follows Jesus. In doing this, you are sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who need to know.

In verses 7-15 of this passage, Paul lists several examples of those who devoted themselves to prayer and acted wisely. Paul wrote this letter to the Colossians from prison and pinned it personally so that they would understand and see his devotion, his prayerful life and his wisdom, and then share it with other churches as well. As I reflect on my college days and my relationship with my then boyfriend, I could begin to feel guilt and shame for not being a better example. I have even looked him up on social media to see if there is any evidence of his relationship with Jesus and sadly, there is no mention of Christ. But instead of being stymied by my guilt, I look forward to and devote myself to a life of prayer for him and any others I may have misled by my actions. And I devote myself to a strong commitment to act wisely now and always, so that I might share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with all others. Won’t you join me in doing the same?

Dear God, thank you so much for the ability to reflect on our past and move forward with intention to share the good news of your gospel with others. Forgive us for those times in our past when we have not been good witnesses for your kingdom. Help us to move forward by devoting ourselves to you, praying and acting wisely as we share the good news of the gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

 
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