Wired For Sound

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.    Colossians 4:2-6
 
Sunday, I reminded us that motion pictures started as silent films.  There would be action then a slide would cut in with words all the while, a Wurlitzer would be playing dramatic music to go along with the movie scenes.  Then in 1927, everything changed.  My grandmother, Mary Ann was 15 years old.  The technology for talkies was unveiled.  The action, the words and the music were all in sync and all internal on the film.  Motion pictures were wired for sound.  And there was no turning back!
 
This was the Apostle Paul’s point exactly!  With the accounts of the Old Testament, words were on scrolls and people were reading them but there was little action.  They certainly did not make a significant sound.  It was not until Jesus came on the scene that the words and the actions were in sync.  Suddenly, Jesus’ followers were wired for sound!  Jesus not only told us how to live but showed us how to live!
 
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul assured the followers of Christ that they could go into this resistant community and share the Gospel.  This was possible because, through Jesus, they were already wired for sound and in sync with God through pray, in their walk with Him and their ability to speak up about the Gospel.
 
First, we are wired for prayer!  We are equipped to not only speak to God but to also hear from God!  When we are willing to listen, God will give us insight into particular situations.  God will open doors for us!  I like to call this tactical prayer.  It’s more than praying for what another person needs (God already knows that!).  Instead, it is praying that the Holy Spirit will touch you to influence lives around you for Christ.  Here’s a motto: Pray and don’t fuss!  God wired us for sound prayer!
 
Second, we must walk in wisdom!  Paul told the Colossae people: Walk in wisdom with outsiders, making the best use of your time.  The word “walk” in this context means simply to live our lives.  So, as you go, walk in wisdom!  I am at times ashamed at the amount of time I waste worrying or doing mindless things, when all the while God wants you and me, ordinary Christians, to intentionally demonstrate Christ’s teaching.  Honestly, we are it!  (Remember, we are plan “A” and there is no plan “B.”)  It’s not complicated; God has already wired us.  If we pray and we listen we can go on and live our lives.  As we go, we are called to just stay tuned in to God…intentionally making the best use of our time!
 
Finally, Speak Up!  Paul says in verse 6: Let your speech always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  O-Oh, a lot of people think that when Christians talk with people that we are not very “Christian;” that our tone is harsh and words and attitude, judgmental.  We must prove the so called Christians wrong because that’s not what Paul says or what he understood Jesus to mean!  Paul insists that our speech should leave the resistant world wanting more!  Paul goes on to say: so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.   Introvert or shy Christians do not worry; there is no cookie-cutter approach to sharing the Gospel or your love for Christ.  And, yes, we will get questions from those who have been hurt by Christianity and may even be hostile.  The answer is that we don’t need to know all the answers.  Our call is to show GRACE!  
 
Still, we are called to grow in our ability to answer these questions – that’s why we must pray tactically and walk in wisdom.  Rev. James Dunn, a New Testament professor in England puts it this way: Paul expects the Colossian church to hold its own in the social setting of marketplace and meal table and to win attention by the attractiveness of its life and speech.
 

So, people of Christ, use your words.  Be gracious and winsome, and speak of Jesus.  Paul had every confidence in us.  He knows that God will use ordinary Christians even in a resistant setting.  Try this: wake up tomorrow (or do it now…why wait!).  And saying to God: Put me in places today where I can wisely exercise my grace and show people how love goes!  Seriously, since we are wired for it, why not live it?  Live in such a way that is compelling and attractive! This is what it will take in a resistant culture.  Can you imagine the number of people we would touch as people who speak of the love of Jesus?   Do this: pray, walk in wisdom and speak up and then, watch and wait; grace will abound and people will want to know what’s going on! 

 

I just love being your pastor!   

Joy, joy, Pastor Alexis


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