Verse of the Day Devotion: Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.
Paul here is encouraging the Church to be wise in their dealings with non-Christians. What he means by this is we are to conduct ourselves upright and honestly with them. For if we do not, the unbeliever may have an occasion to reproach or speak negatively regarding Christianity. The Church in Colossae was surrounded by pagans who served their own gods rather than the true God. Therefore, we must act with prudence and propriety toward them; and there is perhaps mot a more important idea in the New Testament than this, for if we do not act wisely, we could destroy any opportunity to speak the truth to them and show them the reality of the gospel of Christ.
So, we must be careful how we approach them. First, it is important to understand that people in the world judge religion not based on the profession of a believer, but from the life of its followers. Regarding religion, people are looking for reality more than just talk. They judge religion not from preaching or books, or from the conduct of its Founder and his followers, but from what they see in the daily walk and conversation of the members of the church. Do we walk the walk, or simply talk the talk? Many who are in other religions understand what religion is about, and why people believe them. They do this so well that they know when church goers are or are not consistent with their profession.
Unbelievers will set a much higher value on honesty and integrity than on the doctrines and practices. and if the professing Christians are destitute of the principles of truth and honesty, they will believe they have nothing of any value. They may be very devout in church; very regular at prayer-meetings; very strict in the doing of Christian things – but all these are of little worth in the estimation of the world, unless attended with an upright life.
The most important calling we have is to go out and proclaim the gospel to all the world. And in the process making disciples of Christ. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20. It is important that we go out and show the world the truth of the gospel for the times are getting short and more evil. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16. We can go out and share the gospel all day long, however, if they have seen us doing evil while calling ourselves Christians, or if we have participated with unbelievers in sinful acts while professing faith in Christ, we may have destroyed any opportunity to help them be saved. And worse, they may never listen to any Christian present the gospel because of what they remember.
Our enemy, the devil, is always looking for ways to diminish our impact to a lost world of unbelievers. And he will do all he can to make this happen. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9. Let us not destroy the light we shine in a dark world that need to come to Christ by foolish and sinful activities that destroy our witness to those who need us. What happened before our salvation can be explained and understood. But it is far different for deeds done after our salvation when we profess Jesus as Lord.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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