“We always thank God , the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all the saints-the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” Colossians 1:1-8
Remember the last time someone thanked you for an act of kindness or gentle word? When was the last time you said “thank you” to someone that had made a small but impacting difference to you? The Spirit of thankfulness is like fresh, cold water when your throat is aching from being dry. It is like the soothing of chap stick when your lips are cracked and screaming for moisture. A simple and genuine act of “thank you” maybe one of the best forms of encouragement in a culture that beats each other down trying to get ahead.
In this passage, Paul writes to the church in Colossae and reminds them that not only is saying “thank you”, he is thanking God for them and lifting them up to His care. It begs the question of how intentional I am in praying for others; sitting before God and appealing to Him for the ministry and vocation. These prayers are not for health and provisions which is what our context of prayer tends to be-it is for fruitfulness in ministry! Paul is praying and thanking God for their effectiveness!
Ponder that. How often are we getting together as Christians and sharing about the ministry God led us to that week? Who did we get to befriend? Who did we serve? Who drew closer to Christ because of our presence? We are eager to talk football, travel teams, and the latest meal we concocted (and there is nothing wrong with this), but is there something more? Do we want more of this rich Gospel-because to get it is to give it. A group went out and served with Ms. Lillian last Saturday and they always talk about the joy and the love she shares with them. They come back rich and it spears their prayers even more. Our other encounters could have great intentionality about them in that way.
So, this week, I pray a fire is set in your soul to want more of God-so that we can be effective and fruitful in ministry. Ministry is not for full time pastors and paid ministry staff-it is for all of us! God’s blessings for this week- I will be praying for you all!