No Unimportant Work

Colossians 4:7-18

As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information.For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him is Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your own. They will inform you about the whole situation here.

10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’ cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); 11 and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of your own, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings, always striving earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and Demas does also. 15 Greet the brothers and sisters who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house. 16 When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part, read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. 17 Tell Archippus, “See to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, so that you may fulfill it.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.


At first glance, the final verses of Colossians seem to have little theological impact. Most of the people listed here, with the exception of Luke and Mark, are unfamiliar. We could easily dismiss these verses, skipping over them to delve into 1 Thessalonians. But these verses carry the subtle message that no ministry is unimportant.

For instance, Tychicus, the first mentioned, played an incredible role—wherever he appears in Scripture, he is running errands for Paul (And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. Acts 20:4; Now, so that you also may know about my circumstances as to what I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make everything known to you. Eph. 6:21;  But I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 2 Tim. 4:12). Thanks to this man, the Colossian epistle traveled over 1,300 miles to its destination, then moved from church to church to be read repeatedly and copied. Without Paul’s conscientious assistant, modern believers might not have this valuable letter.

We tend to judge types of service as important or unimportant. Too often pride inhibits our approval of a particular ministry. We want a big, impressive job to prove to everyone how much we love God. However, what the Lord desires is the exact opposite: He wants our love to motivate us to do anything He asks, no matter how insignificant or unnoticeable it may seem.

What is God asking you to do that you are resisting? Repent of your pride and humble yourself to do all that He desires. None of God’s work is unimportant.

Faith Alone

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Our works will never save us, but true joy and freedom come from trusting in the finished work of Christ. Today, R.C. Sproul presents the doctrine of sola fide—justification by faith alone.

God Is for Us

Romans 8:31-34

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring charges against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Throughout life, there will be times when our sins and failures might lead us to conclude that God is disappointed or angry with us. When that happens, we need to fix our eyes on the truth of Scripture and ask the questions Paul posed in Romans 8:

• “If God is for us, who is against us?” (v. 31).Our heavenly Father proved His loyalty to mankind when He delivered His own Son over to death in order to save us.

• “Who will bring charges against God’s elect?” (v. 33).  No accusation against us can stand, since at the moment of salvation, the Lord justified us. This means we were legally declared righteous, while still in our sinful condition. No one can reverse this transaction and make us guilty again.

• “Who is the one who condemns?” (v. 34). Although Satan rails against us, Jesus’ death and resurrection are proof that we are right with God. Christ took our condemnation and gave us His righteousness in return. Now He sits at the Father’s right hand, interceding for us.

When doubts about the Lord’s love and faithfulness arise, focus on truth. If we judge His loyalty to us by our circumstances or feelings, we will never get an accurate view of God. True security lies not in our good performance but in our relationship with Christ, and no one can take that from us.

Conquering Jealousy

James 3:14-18

14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

What might start as a minor comparison between our own life and someone else’s can all too easily escalate out of control. Envy is like a snowball that grows larger and larger, and its consequences can be spiritually devastating.

Jealousy fills the heart with discontent, anxiety, and bitterness, distorting our thoughts until it’s nearly impossible to keep God’s plan in view. Our focus gets fixed on what we don’t have, which takes us down the crippling path of resentment toward others who have the desired object or trait.

What’s more, jealousy dishonors the Lord and is, in fact, sinful. James says it’s demonic in origin, causing disorder and leading to all kinds of evil (James 3:15-16 above). And Paul lists it as one of the deeds of the flesh (19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions,Gal. 5:19-20). The attitude amounts to finding fault with God—essentially claiming we deserve what someone else has and accusing Him of withholding the better blessing.

If you find evidence of jealousy in your life, follow these steps in James 4:7-10 (Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. ). Submit to God, resist the devil, confess it as sin, and turn away from the temptation of comparison. Focus on God’s goodness, and trust that His plan for your life is best.

In the Workplace

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, 24 knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

God’s plan for us includes work of various kinds. Not only are we to help others and be involved in mission-related pursuits; we’re also expected to serve our employers.

Regardless of your boss’s actions or temperament, the Lord is our ultimate authority, and one way we honor Him is by doing our job with integrity. He expects that whether we work in transportation, technology, education, or any other field, we will carry out our tasks with excellence.


To do anything else dishonors God. Lazy employees might abuse company time, execute duties poorly, or do the bare minimum. Often their focus is exclusively on the paycheck. But work is not simply about receiving a wage; the Lord wants His followers to better themselves and their organization. Certainly, these outcomes are rewards in and of themselves. But God also shows favor to His followers who choose diligence and integrity.


Wherever the Lord places us is where we are to work for His glory. So, as children who want to please our heavenly Father, let’s offer our finest efforts in all we do.

The Message of the Manger

Luke 2:1-7

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all the people were on their way to register for the census, each to his own city. Now Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was betrothed to him, and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Sometimes it is difficult to see, but God can draw value from even the most disastrous of circumstances.

Before the rise of Rome, the predominant world power was Greece, led by Alexander the Great. As he conquered lands, he forced subjugated men to serve in his military and made them learn common Greek. On discharge, these men took the new language home, creating a shared tongue between many people groups. This would become the perfect way to spread the revolutionary message of Jesus a few centuries later.

Then, as the Romans conquered territories, they paved roads and guarded both land routes and seacoasts from encroaching enemies. Doing this enabled early Christian missionaries to carry the gospel to different places. Perhaps Joseph and Mary traveled one of those roads on their trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem. But in any event, God again turned hardship—a forced census—into blessing: Jesus the Messiah was born at precisely the time and place prophesied.

From the moment in Eden when Satan’s defeat was promised until the instant Christ fulfilled that prophecy on the cross, the Father continually brought good from bad situations. In this way, He advanced His plan to save the world. The Romans made the roads, but God paved the way for a Savior.

Let All Our Songs Employ

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:13-14
Have you heard of lip sync? It stands for lip synchronization, referring to people who pretend to be singing but are actually only moving their lips. Performers do this during dance numbers because of the lung exertion needed for physical activity. Vocalists use this method to preserve their voices. But many fans don’t want to pay money to see their favorite stars pretending to sing.
It’s easy for us to engage in a form of lip syncing. We can “mouth” the words of carols without really thinking of the words or absorbing the meaning. How many of us have stood in church and sung while our mind was wandering far away? Or we moved our mouth without truly singing?

Not this Christmas! The wonder of Christmas—the birth of Christ and the hope of salvation—leads us to express our joy through song, just as it was that first Christmas.

Express your joy through music today and sync your heart to heaven’s choirs.

What joy the glorious music of Christmas brings to our celebration of Christ’s birth! No other season offers such an abundance of spiritual enrichment through song.
Kenneth W. Osbeck

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In Christ

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

What does it mean that “there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28)? Today, R.C. Sproul speaks on the gracious blessings and privileges that belong to every Christian.

The Power of Love

God is faithful to His people, even during their times of failure.
The Bible is filled with love. It begins with God’s mighty acts of creation—separating light from darkness, filling the firmament, and creating every living thing, including us (Gen. 1:1-31; Gen. 2:1-25). Even after Adam and Eve sinned, divine love never faltered. Instead of eternally condemning His children, God promised salvation (And I will make enemies Of you and the woman, And of your offspring and her Descendant; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise Him on the heel.”Gen. 3:15; The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Rom. 16:20).

As the story continues, we see love at work as God dwelt with His people in the wilderness, the Promised Land, and in exile. Even when Israel doubted, even when they disobeyed, God remained faithful. And in His love, He led them back and carried them through all manner of suffering.

But He didn’t stop there. Scripture tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God’s love transformed the world. It also transformed us so that we might love more abundantly and fulfill the calling from our beautiful Lord and Savior (Beloved, let’s love one another; for love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God was revealed in us, that God has sent His only Son into the world so that we may live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12).

Think about it

• As Christmas draws near, set aside time to pray, thanking God for His great love. Ask Him to help you receive that love more fully and to present many opportunities for sharing it.

Best News Ever

Now when [the shepherds] had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
Luke 2:17
Human beings are very good at sharing new discoveries or experiences with others. We go to a new doctor or dentist, have a great experience, and tell others about it. We discover a new product that meets a specific need, and we post that product on social media so others can use it. If a group of researchers makes a new medical discovery, they publish their results for the wider medical community to assess.
Ironically, the best news in the world—news which would benefit everyone—is news that we are most hesitant to share with others: the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ. One group that was eager to share this Good News was the group of shepherds who were the first to visit Jesus at His birth. “They made widely known” what had happened to them—seeing the angels and then seeing Jesus. They followed their natural human instinct to share good news with others.

Be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit today. He may present an opportunity to tell someone the best news of a lifetime.

Every believer is a witness whether he wants to be or not. 
Donald Barnhouse

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