+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening: (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading: Colossians 3:18-4:9 (NLT)
Instructions for Christian Households
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.
Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.
Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.
An Encouragement for Prayer
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Paul’s Final Instructions and Greetings
Tychicus will give you a full report about how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work. I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you. I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will tell you everything that’s happening here.
pray constantly and live wisely
Devote yourselves to prayer….
Live wisely among those who are not believers,
and make the most of every opportunity.
– Colossians 4:2,5 –
In today’s reading the Apostle Paul addresses relationships within believers’ households. He the goes on to urge believers to be devoted to prayer and live wisely among unbelievers. So let’s look at ways we can pray for our households, and live wisely.
- that husbands and wives treat each other with mutual respect and love as unto Christ.
- that children and parents treat each other with mutual respect in obedience to Christ.
- that employers and employees treat each other with mutual respect as servants of Christ.
- that all believers remember we are accountable to God for what we do and say.
- that our households reflect the love of Christ to our unbelieving friends and neighbors.
- that our work reflects the the integrity and love of Christ to our unbelieving world.
Questions for consideration:
- How do you think outsiders view your family? Does your family reflect the love?Please explain.
- For what are you thankful? What needs work? Please explain.
- How do you think outsiders view your work, either as an employer or employee? Does your work reflect the integrity and love of Christ? Please explain.
- When you think of living as a believer in an unbelieving world, what comes to mind? Please explain.
- What opportunities do you have to share your faith? Are you prepared? How can you make the most of these opportunities? Please explain.
For our families:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you set the solitary in families: We commend to your continual care the homes in
which your people dwell. Put far from them every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and true godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy matrimony, have been made one flesh; turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be joined to one another with bonds of loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Merciful God, you desire not the death of sinners, but rather that they should turn to you and live; and through your only Son you have revealed yourself as the God who pardons iniquity. Have mercy on the unrepentant and those who do not believe. Awaken in them, by your Word and Holy Spirit, a deep sense of their sinfulness and peril. Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word. Grant them to know and feel that there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which they must be saved, but only the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so bring them home and number them among your children, that they may be yours for ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
“Number of My Days” – Tommy Walker and Joni Eareckson Tada
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen