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 word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, 4 so that I may make it known as I should. 5 Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. — Colossians 4:2-5
Finding Our Way With Technology (Our Time)
by Gayle Haywood
Technology is an amazing tool. With the click of a button, one can instantly connect with friends via Twitter or instant messaging, or take a picture and post it on Facebook for millions of people to view. In .12 seconds, which is twice as fast as the blink of an eye, one can send a text message or e-mail around the world.
Technology also affords us the opportunity to purchase almost anything without ever leaving our recliner. Amazon, one of the Big Four technology companies and the world’s largest e-commerce business, tries to convince us to save time and money by shopping with them. Recently during their Annual Prime day, according to reports, 398 items per second were sold, with some items selling out within minutes. Technology gives us opportunities unlike anything we have experienced before.
In Colossians 4:2-6, the Apostle Paul talks about another way to spend our time. He challenges us to “use time to our best advantage.” Some translations say “redeem the time,” but the literal translation is “buy back the time.” Paul tells us to “snatch up every opportunity,” to take advantage of every moment, to clearly make Jesus Christ known. In God’s economy, His offer is priceless, literally life-saving, and the deal of a lifetime.
How are we to spend our time? According to Paul, it’s by devoting ourselves to prayer. We are to persevere in prayer. Pray with resolute persistence, being vigilant and wakeful. Our prayers should be vibrant and enthusiastic.
Paul requests prayer, not for himself, but for opportunities to clearly articulate the gospel. He could have asked for release from prison, a successful outcome to his trial, or rest and peace. Instead, he asked for strength and the opportunity to do the work God sent him to do. His consuming interest was for the advancement of the gospel, not his own blessing.
We are to devote ourselves to prayer so that we, too, can clearly and articulately explain the message of the gospel when opportunities arise. We are also told to act wisely, especially toward unbelievers. Paul instructs us to make our speech gracious, kind and respectful. Our words are to be well-chosen and appropriate for each situation, or as Paul says, “seasoned with salt.”
We should be cautious, wise, tactful and discrete in our conduct to avoid needlessly alienating an unbelieving neighbor. We could lose our effectiveness if we are not kind, courteous and respectful. Our responsibility is not just talking about Christ, but we are also to show men Christ. Daily life and work offer us opportunities to witness for Christ and to influence people for Him. We are to live our lives in such a way that we will give the unbelieving, pagan community a favorable impression of the gospel.
There is no time like the present time to devote yourself to prayer, asking God to strengthen you and to open doors of opportunity for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. There is no time like the present time to pray, to send an e-mail, text message or written note of encouragement, or to have a gospel conversation. Take advantage of every opportunity God gives you, as time is fleeting.
- Devote yourself to prayer. Explore prayer opportunities offered by our church. Sign up for our church’s prayer room (www.BrentwoodBaptist.com/prayer). Join others for a prayer walk each Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. Join a prayer group or form one of your own. Or, subscribe to our weekly E-Prayer Connection at www.BrentwoodBaptist.com/subscribe.
- With whom do you have an opportunity to have a gospel conversation today? Pray that God will open doors of opportunity for you.
- Our lives, more than our words, attract or repel others from Christianity. What kind of advertisement are you? Does your conversation and conduct reflect a Christ-like life?
- What would you do if a neighbor criticizes your child’s behavior or your parenting skills? What would you do if a co-worker blasts your report? What if a friend calls you an unflattering name? How should a Christian respond? Would your words and conduct be “seasoned with salt” and honor Jesus Christ?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.