Raise your hand if you’ve:
- Already read the book of Colossians several times.
- ‘Done a Bible study on it?
- Heard countless sermons where the text is taken from that popular letter of Paul’s?
Then join me in being somewhat astonished that there’s always something new to learn there. Here’s what I read today:
“Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.’” (Colossians 4:7).
Now, I’m just guessing here, but since Paul saw fit to include that line in his letter, maybe Archippus was tempted to quit. Quit what? Who knows? But whatever it was, it was a task the Lord had given him, and one he was meant to complete. And, evidently, he needed a bit of solid encouragement and direction to do just that.
The work you have received from the Lord. What work have you received from the Lord? Ah, yes, we all take on tasks we shouldn’t, maybe out of pride or greed or simple American ambition-on-steroids. That’s a lesson for another day. I’m talking about work you know in your heart the Lord wants you to do. It might be a life’s work. It might be an afternoon’s calling. Some versions of Colossians 4:17 use the word “ministry” instead of “work” to describe what Archippus needs to keep doing. I believe all work the Lord calls us to do, whether lofty or lowly, is really our ministry. So, no matter what the task might be, don’t quit!
- Is it slow going? Don’t quit. God’s timing seldom matches our own. Be patient. Trust. Worship as you wait.
- Is it hard? Hard is okay. Hard just reminds us that we need Him. Ask the Lord to equip you.
- Is it obvious that the outcome will be far different than what you expected? That’s okay, too. ‘Better His outcome than yours, even if that’s a tough truth to swallow.
Paul’s directions to Archippus don’t make it onto many Bible memory programs, but I hope you’ll work on committing his words to memory this week anyway. Let them soak into your soul so they can pop into your mind just when you need the encouragement to persist. Here they are one more time:
“Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord’” (Colossians 4:7).