My husband and I once had the opportunity to travel to Italy with some of his business associates and their wives. We visited Sicily, Rome, and the Vatican. After dinner one night, one of the wives said to me with sincerity, “There is one thing I don’t understand about Christians. Why do they have to tell everyone about Jesus?” I kindly told her, “If I believe everything in the Bible is true, how could I not tell everyone?” A lively discussion ensued. I’m not sure if hearts were changed, but I was deeply grateful to share Jesus.
- Think of a time God used you to tell someone about Jesus. What did that look like?
READ THE WORD: COLOSSIANS 1:24-29 (ESV)
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
- What was Paul’s mindset about his sufferings? For whom was he suffering?
- What did Paul want to make known (vss. 26-27)? Among which people group?
- Paul instructed the Colossians to proclaim Christ and to warn and teach everyone with all wisdom for what reason (vs. 28)?
- As he toiled and struggled, who did Paul say worked within him (vs. 29)?
- How have you suffered and struggled to tell someone about Jesus? Were you able to draw strength from God at that time?
RESPOND TO GOD
Our fellow business travelers may have scoffed at my faith, and their opinion of me may have shifted, but I did not suffer as Paul did for sharing Christ. He was persecuted on all sides. What he preached turned Judaism on its head. Christ for all was indeed a revolutionary idea, even among Jewish Christians. He rejoiced in knowing Christ was with him in his suffering and was fueling him to do the work of discipling all people.
- Thank God the Father for sending Christ, and ask him to make known to you, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
- Ask God to show you where and how you can proclaim him and share Christ with others.