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Be Faithful        Col. 3:23-25; 4:2-13, 17    
May 22


Introduction 

       The greatest ability is availability. That is especially true if the person available will also Be Faithful.   



1.   Be Faithful . . Conscious of The Lord’s Desires. 3:23-25

       A.   Be Faithful Conscious Of Rewards Of . . Works for The Lord. 3:23-24

       23 Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men,

       24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord—you serve

       the Lord Christ.

 

       B.   Be Faithful Conscious Of Rewards For . . Wrongs Done. 3:25

25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done, and there is no favoritism.


       God promises rewards for His faithful and obedient child, and judgement for the wrong doer. In the liberalism of our day more people frown on any kind of judgement. Tonight I heard a minister-counselor with a PHD Degree say, hell makes God less than a God of love. So we can pay attention to the scriptures are the philosophies of the day. I personally choose the scriptures. If you work for the Lord in obedience to His guidance and instruction you will be rewarded. If you reject Jesus and prefer to have a lifestyle that is wrong you will be punished. 


 

2.   Be Faithful . . Contemplating The Lord’s Desires. 4:2-6

       A.   Be Faithful Contemplating God’s Desires Through . . Prayer. 4:2-4

       2 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray

       also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the

       Messiah—for which I am in prison— 4 so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak.

 

       B.   Be Faithful Contemplating God’s Desires Through Your . . Personal Encounters. 4:5-6

       5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6 Your speech should

       always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each

       person.


       Most Christians know they should pray more and through prayer we place our contemplation of the Lord’s desires in the right place. If we only contemplate what we want or need in our physical desires we will not have an effective Christian life. It will not register as a faithful lifestyle but a selfish one. We can easily say prayer is the key to being faithful. As we go through life we have encounters with non-Christian and brothers and sisters in Christ. The text instructs us to be wise, gracious, and let our speech be seasoned with salt. Of course we need to depend on the Lord for the answers we should give.


 

3.   Be Faithful . . Considerate of Christ and all His Children. 4:7-9

       A.   Be Faithful and Considerate Of The . . Ministry Of Other Believers. 4:7-8a

       7 Tychicus, a loved brother, a faithful servant, and a fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news

       about me. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose,. . .”

 

       B.   Be Faithful and Considerate Of The . . Messages Of Other Believers. 4:8b-9

“. . . so that you may know how we are, and so that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is with Onesimus, a faithful and loved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.



       The respect others maintained for Paul led them to be messengers for him as the Lord directed. Sometimes Paul sent his letters by personal messengers and they carried news about him, his health, and the ministry. Other Christians prayed about and contributed money to his support. To get to see fellow Christians and hear from them blessed the people and their churches. God greatly used the faithfulness of these messengers as He does today. Our church will have a missionary family report to us this summer. We are looking forward to hearing the news they will bring from their first hand experiences.


 

4.   Be Faithful . . Comforting Believers and Contending for the Faith. 4:10-13, 17

       A.   Be Faithful, Comforting Believers and Contending . . Practicing This Ministry. 4:10-11

       Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, as does Mark, Barnabas' cousin (concerning whom you have

       received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and so does Jesus who is called Justus. These

       alone of the circumcision are my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.

 

       B.   Be Faithful, Comforting Believers and Contending . . . 4:10-11

       12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his

       prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. 13 For I testify about him

       that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.

       17 And tell Archippus, "Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can

       accomplish it." HCSB


       When you are confined in someway do you appreciate someone coming to share the comfort of the Lord with you? Faithfulness in sharing in such a ministry is contending for the faith. Being one who comforts can encourage others and help them to contend for the faith. Can you contend for the faith by praying? Paul tells us

Epaphras was always doing this. I think we have too few people who really spend that kind of ministry time in prayer. Most of us believed we needed to be out doing something and thought you can pray when you can’t do anything else. Hopefully we have all learned we should pray first and then do the ministry. That is a better way to Be Faithful. Amen? Amen!