- What can happen when our Christianity leans too far to doctrine and theology and away from the practical?
- What can happen when our Christianity leans too far to the practical and away from doctrine and theology?
Pastor Kevin broke down Colossians 4:2-6 into a five-fold formula for practical faith.
- Be prayerful – what gets in the way of you making prayer a habit? What benefits have you had from a committed prayer life?
- Be mindful – in what areas of your life are you prone to “fall asleep” and be susceptible to the Enemy, who is prowling around like a lion?
- Be thankful – how might a year-round focus on gratitude and Thanksgiving transform the heart of a believer?
- Be evangelical – what is your story of faith? (If you’ve never shared your testimony, write it down first. You want it to be something you can easily remember and relate in a clear, concise format should the Holy Spirit prompt you to share it with someone)
- Be relational – how might your approach and interactions with non-believers need to be different than your approach and interactions with fellow believers?
Pastor Kevin reminded us that when a list of names in the Bible we should pay attention to it these people matter to God and people today should matter to us as well. In examining the list, Pastor Kevin noted 11 types of people God uses.
Dependable (Tychicus) Transformed (Onesimus)
Committed (Aristarchus) Reconciled (Mark)
Present (Justus) Dedicated (Epaphras)
Skilled (Luke) Redeemed (Demas)
Hospitable (Nympha) Unified (Church of Laodicea)
- Where do you see yourself on this list? How has God used you in this way?
- Think of your spouse, close friend or family member, or person you admire… where do you see them on this list? What is something you can say/do/pray that would build them up or encourage them in this?
- Looking at the list, which type of person is the least like you or is something you’d like to improve upon? What might be keeping you from growing in this area?
Onesimus was a runaway slave whom Paul was sending back to his “master” Philemon, now his brother in Christ and member of the Colossian church (Paul’s brief letter to Philemon is in the New Testament right before Hebrews).
- From Onesimus’ point of view, what past mistakes have you had to own up to and make amends for with those you’ve wronged? How did God use that process to grow you?
- From Philemon’s point of view, when you’ve been wronged, are forgiveness and reconciliation easy for you to do or hard for you to do? Why? How has God used that process to grow you?
Archippus was a member of the church whom Paul specifically singled out in his letter. These letters were read aloud to the entire congregation, so Paul really wanted everyone to know that Archippus had a calling from God and that he needed to see it through.
- What calling have you received in the Lord? Are you being faithful to that calling? If so continue on! If not, what has been the obstacle in the way? How can others pray for you so that you can fulfill your calling?
- Who is someone in your sphere of influence with a clear ministry calling? How can you can encourage this person to fulfill their ministry calling?
- As we close out Colossians, and thinking back to the Maturity University stages of spiritual maturity image Pastor Kevin has shared, what stage of maturity do you find yourself at right now and what next steps do you need to take to advance to the next stage?