Our Method for Ministry - Colossians 1:24,28,29 & 2:1.
June 8, 2022, 9:24 AM

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. 2:1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.

The method of sharing this message, as Paul reveals, it is unusual. First Christ in us must be seen by responding to situations in powerful ways so that people will know that something is different and special about Christians. Look again at vs. 24. Paul is suffering and rejoicing for "filling up in his body what is lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of the body."

When I was a chaplain student at Hennepin County General Hospital, I was part of a group of four who met daily for study and evaluation. There was the supervisor, who I would describe as a liberal. A catholic priest who was home from a missionary assignment from the Fuji Islands, the third member was a catholic Nun from a down town parish and I was the fourth member, an evangelical Baptist. What an interesting class!

We obviously discussed the topic of physical suffering often. The catholic theology was different than I imagined. They believe this verse means that when we suffer physically, we have a divine purpose as Christians. In our suffering we are identifying with Christ on the cross. The cross was the beginning of redemption, but we humans are completing redemption of the world by taking some of Jesus sufferings upon ourselves which completes what is needed for salvation. They rejoice in suffering because it means redemption for both themselves and others.

The Bible teaches there is nothing we can do to add to Christ's suffering. It is complete in and of itself. He paid the price. As a sinful man I cannot suffer for the redemption of the world, but I can suffer in order that the world might know the Gospel and come to believe it.

Sometimes I would hear people, who are suffering with a disease say, that it would be worth it if some people could get saved as a result of the witness. I pray this prayer will be answered. I pray that people will see the faith that is real in us in our suffering situations to bring people to God, whether in miraculous healing or faithfulness in suffering, however, our suffering does not complete what Jesus did on the cross.

Christ suffered for two reasons. He suffered for our salvation on the cross to complete the righteous requirements payment for our sin. Christ did that alone. Secondly, Christ suffered because of righteousness. Godly people will be persecuted in this sinful world and often experience this in this world.

Application: How can you get the message out in your community? Are we willing to accept the methods the Bible says are necessary?

Lord, when I remember that all the disciples of Jesus suffered persecution so the church might be established and that people like Stephen suffered so other could here, it moves me to pray regularly for those who are even today persecuted because of their faith in you. As we are all in the body of Christ, if one suffers, we all suffer. Help me to be like Paul and “labor, struggling with all energy” so that the world might know the gospel and believe it.

If you wish to get the fuller version of this daily devotion, send a request via email to pastordale@outlook.com