Continue in prayer and watch
Paul was in prison…..he had lived two years in his own hired house, when first brought to Rome. He had four guards around him all the time….but now circumstances in the Roman guard hierarchy had caused him to be moved into a prison cell.
At this time he was still permitted visitors…..and some did still come to see him and tell him what was going on in the churches.
But though he was now in a cell…..his influence for the gospel had not stopped.
We know he spoke of Onesimus, and those of Caesar’s palace who believed because of hearing him.
His judgement before Caesar was coming up and he asks these Colossians to pray for his release….which he felt would happen (it did)…..and for an “open door” for the gospel.
Colossians 4:3-4 “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
Here is the apostle Paul…..yet he asks for prayers that he might speak….”as I ought”.
Paul is looking to the glory of God….he is looking for the furtherance of the gospel…..he is looking to speak with boldness, though he is in chains.
How important is our speech! And how we should be praying for faithful ministers and preachers to preach the gospel with boldness….
….and to watch for ourselves our witness to others.
Then Paul turns back to exhort the Colossians on this point…..”redeeming the time”
Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
In our everyday interactions, we are walk in wisdom towards others.
Simply, we are to keep before us that we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ……
……and that our speech is our most readily available means of spreading the gospel, and telling others what Christ has done for us.
We are to redeem opportunities….for in a world under the Adversary, the devil’s power….there will not always be such opportunities.
We must be ready….
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
We must be ready, listening in the Spirit for guidance….for prompting….for boldness.
“Let your speech be alway with grace”……Our speech is to be in the power of the Holy Spirit. The divine influence in heart and the reflection of that in our lives.
Our speech and our lives should agree.
(My husband had a message on the Lord’s words…..
Matthew 12:36-37 “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
We think of “idle words” as just silly conversation with no meaning……but “idle words” are those words spoken that are never done in our lives.
How many times have we said we would become more diligent in our spiritual lives……yet hesitated,….questioned the Holy Spirit’s guidance….or just put it off?
How many times have we given a testimony of God’s goodness with little joy and rejoicing?
Idle words…..those that never got put to use in our lives…
…for by our words we will be justified in the judgement…..because we have lived them…..
….or our very words will condemn us at the judgement seat.)
“Seasoned with salt”….our speech is to be “preserving” others.
(In the sacrifices of the Old Testament….every sacrifice was to be sprinkled with salt. In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth:…” Matthew 5:13)
….our speech is to be “preserving” others from darkness, with light and truth.
….our speech is to be “preserving” others from the confusion and fear of this world’s influence by peace…showing the peace of Christ by what we say.
…..our speech is to be “preserving” others from Hell.
Jude 22-23 “And of some have compassion making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
Some we are to speak to with compassion…..others speaking as though we are pulling them out of the fire right then….with urgency and boldness.
Psalm 141:3 “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips”
We are asking that the Holy Spirit watch our tongues…..and warn us.
Paul, the Apostle asked for prayer that he might speak…”as I ought”;…..and so should we.
“O Lord, let our tongues we used for your glory…..and let us speak according to Your Spirit…..preserving those we come into contact with, with Your truth and Light.”