now that ties into our teaching this morning in colossians chapter four verses two through nine. You can go ahead and open your bible there, but this Sam being one of our community group leaders. We gather monthly with our community group leaders and we do some teaching there. It’s a little bit of iron sharpening iron. We want to help equip those guys to be more effective leaders within their community groups. But we’re also looking for guys who might aspire someday to to be an elder, someday to be a church planter or someday just someone who wants to be a part of a new plant that God may do in this area or in the surrounding area. And so we’re thankful for men like Sam who have have answered that call to want to go since the call and want to answer that call to go and see God do a new work. And so this whole church in colossians began because of the path, he was a man that paul reached in Ephesus, he was probably from colossi, but he was reaching the Ephesus and he went back to Colossi and planted a church gospel centered church and the church had come under attack. The church had come under the influence of some false teaching over time. And so paul then writes this letter to help win the hearts of the people back to christ in the absence of a path for those who probably rejoin paul or another missionary group to plant more churches. And so this whole letter is centered around this very idea of what we’re hoping to see become a reality through the Larson family, through the relationship with country bible there uh in the Hickman area. So be praying for that God is so good. And we just trust that God whatever happens there, that God will be glorified through this whole process of pursuing this gospel opportunity. Amen man. Now, I wanna invite you to stand with me. I want to read the passage that I wanna read it in your standing in your hearing. If you’re able to stand, please stand with us as we read the Word of the Lord again, this is colossians. Chapter four verses two through nine continue steadfastly in prayer. Being watchful in it with thanksgiving at the same time pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mystery of christ, on account of which I am in prison, that I may make it clear. Which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer. Each person will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I’ve sent him to you for this very purpose that you may know how we are, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts and with him, our faithful and beloved brother who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. Church as the word of the Lord. Let’s pray father, thank you for your word. Thank you God that you are still planting churches, raising up disciples. You’re still in the process, God of sending out your people to be salt and light in the world and this world desperately needs the truth of christ to be proclaimed in it and for your people to adequately represent him faithfully. Stand for him and speak for him as the body of christ here on this earth and God, we aspire to be such a people. But we need your help. We need your word to be clear to us. We need your spirit to work mightily in us. And so would you help me this morning to teach it with clarity as I ought to speak. And would you help us as a people to embrace your word and to walk in it as we ought to walk in it and pray this in christ’s name. Amen. Amen. You may be seated. But if you’d like to stand, you’re welcome to do that as well because I was contemplating a title for today’s message. The word seasoned with salt or the phrase season with salt caught my attention. So I was reflecting on this passage this morning and teaching this passage and thinking about the title and being seasoned with salt. And the image of the Salt Bay came to mind you guys know who the Salt Bay is. He’s not worth looking up. I’ll just explain to you what he did. Alright, He’s this famous chef, he does this little deal with his with his knives, he cuts up the beef, and then at the end he takes salt and he kind of lets it Sprinkle down from his forearm onto the meat. And so he developed this name, the Salt Bay, and he’s always doing it with sunglasses and a white t shirt. I don’t know why, I mean, you think bloody meat, sunglasses, indoors and sprinkling salt on the meat. That just wouldn’t come together. But that’s his whole persona. And then when I thought about that as a title for this message, I said that’s probably inappropriate. We’re not going to be talking about the Salt Bay anymore. So what would you call this message? Well, when I’m thinking about what paul is after in this message, and think about the people, he commends, I think about how this church began. It’s clear to me that paul believes that the church needs to take on a particular mindset that the the church here in colossi needed to have the mindset that God used the faithfulness of certain brothers and sisters to see this church began. And God also intends to use their faithfulness in proclaiming the Gospel to win others to christ. And that’s a message for us today too, that God used someone’s faithfulness to christ and to the gospel so that you might be here and God intends to use your faithfulness to christ and his gospel so that others will also join you here. And so when I think about this passage this morning, I think it’s appropriate for us to understand that we’re called to be salt and in this dark world, somebody needs to pass the salt but not be salty, someone needs to pass the salt but not be salty salt in the sense of an attractive testimony to christ, attractive testimony to the goodness of christ, the holiness of christ, the worthiness of christ lies that reflect his worthiness, his goodness, his holiness. Salty. On the other hand, you’re just unnecessarily angry and bitter all the time. God wants us to be salt in this earth, but not salty. So pass the salt, but don’t be salty. And when you look at the first couple of verses, verses two all the way through four paul is calling the colossians to be watchful in prayer. He’s calling them to be watchful in prayer for the purpose of the mission that we as a people have been called to. So he says in verse two, continue steadfastly in prayer. Now he has to say that because we are tempted than not be steadfast in prayer to not continue in prayer. Now, if someone were to ask you should you be steadfast in prayer, your response would be yes, I am to be steadfast in prayer. If someone were to ask you should you pray as a christian, you say yes, we should pray as a christian and then life hits you and then you wake up in the morning and life is hitting you and then by noon you have realized you haven’t even prayed and then by evening you say man, I’m gonna pray before I go to bed and then life hits you some more and then the whole day has passed you by and guess what you haven’t done all day long, You have not prayed. Has that ever happened to anyone? And so when paul says, continue steadfastly in prayer, his intent is not to heap guilt upon your condemnation upon you, but it is to make you aware of the reality that you need to be a person in prayer. But why why do you need to be a person in prayer? Well, the whole book is about the supremacy of christ the God, man who came, who restored us back to the Father. That’s what the gospel tells us, making atonement for our sins, making it possible for our sins to be forgiven. Now we have this relationship with the Father because of christ because we’ve been joined with christ, there’s a union with christ. And now prayer is the most gracious privilege that could be given to us God. Our father leaves in our direction, waits for us to open our mouths towards him. You should pray because it’s a wonderful privilege. It’s an incredible grace. It reveals the amazing benefits of a relationship with the God of the cosmos. He says continue in it be stead fast in it. Don’t let life push you and and distract you from this amazing privilege that you’ve been given I heard and I’m struggling to recall the all the details so I want to be careful here. But there were tests done on how many times a person touches their cell phone in a day it’s like thousands of times. It gets to the point where it becomes like a psychological effect on the soul where people would have these phantom vibrations that they would feel in their pocket like their phone isn’t even notifying them of a response but they think it is they then my phone and they pull it out and they look at no notification but it felt like a notification. Like they’ve been so trained by we can’t stop touching that little device. I wish we were like that in prayer. I wish I was like that in prayer always in it never ceasing to pray. Always thinking of him as he said in chapter three having this mindset, this heavenly mindset always being mindful of him and as we looked at last week in terms of the heavenly mindset being mindful that heaven has a view of us that we matter to God, that God leans in our direction, open your mouth, pray to him so he says, continue steadfastly in prayer, it says be watchful in it with thanksgiving. He wants you to be aware that it’s gonna take a little bit of effort to continue steadfastly in prayer and then he wants it to have an effect on you that it would make you watchful with thanksgiving, watchful in the sense that you might be alert. It’s the same word in the sense that your eyes are open, that you are not asleep. He uses the same reference in Ephesians 6 18 peter uses the same verb in first peter 58 and it has to do with this being alert being sober minded eyes open. Who says you gotta do a little bit of work to be faithful to be steadfast in prayer and he wants it to have this effect, that your eyes would be open. And then he says with thanksgiving. Now it’s possible you could make an application here for spiritual warfare, you can make an application for, you know, just praying for God to answer a prayer, desire of yours for an opportunity, work for an opportunity if you’re a single person for a spouse. Um it’s possible you could apply it in that way, but here is the context verse three that a door would be opened for the word. So paul not only thinks we should pray, we should work at praying, that it it should take a little bit of effort out of us. And as christians, we shouldn’t hear that in a legalistic way, but in the sense that it’s a great privilege to us to pray to God. But it takes a little bit of work and in it our eyes should be open, we should be filled with thanksgiving and we should be thinking about gospel opportunities, gospel opportunities, watchful alert with thanksgiving. He’s mentioned Thanksgiving throughout Chapter three, he’s mentioned it in the context of what Christ has done for us in terms of our salvation. He’s mentioned it in the context of our worship. He’s mentioned it in the context of our serving and now he’s mentioning it in the context of prayer and gospel opportunity, being thankful so powerful, especially when you consider The one writing this letter, Paul, As he says at the end of Chapter three, he’s in prison, he’s in chains, let that sink in for a moment. He’s a prisoner. He’s a prisoner to the most powerful empire on the planet at that time. He’s not sure what his future is going to look like. If you were in that situation. I’m sure if you were a prisoner, you might have an awareness of all of the opportunity to be steadfast in prayer. And I’m guessing that your prayers would be what got to get me out of here every day God get me out of here, God get me out of here and that’s okay to pray and I’m sure paul prayed that, I’m sure paul asked others to pray that, I’m sure that’s on paul’s mind, but it’s not the only thing on his mind. In fact based on this letter and what he’s saying here, gospel opportunities are on his mind and then he says to do it with thankfulness, Are you kidding me? You know how many people? As soon as something bad happens to them, you know, they say, man, I’m trying to serve God, but as soon as this bad thing happens, why did God allow this to happen to me? I can’t believe God would allow this to happen to me. I’m trying to serve him and they turn their backs on the Lord. They have a moment where they were timeframe where they just indulge in and rebellion and sinfulness just kind of as a way in their own teenage hearts, you know, by teenage, I mean, spiritual teenage, right, not just numerical, but in terms of your maturity before the Lord in that moment, just acting out the rebellion is a way to kind of God didn’t seem to care. So I don’t seem to care. That’s not what paul is doing. He’s in prison wrongfully, his conditions, his circumstances are not ideal and yet he’s praying for gospel opportunities and is thankful, being thankful, think about what that does to us, Being thankful, Being thankful humbles us because it acknowledges that something good has been given to us. Something good has been made available to us. It opens our eyes as he says, being alert, being watchful to the grace of God and the goodness of God. Even in that situation, even in those circumstances, there is a humility and the opening of the eyes that you know what, even though things are bad, God is still good furthermore, because you are in this place of gratitude for your own salvation for the many blessings that are around you. It makes you ready to extend the same to others or to help others to see the same. And so it points you upward to God and his goodness and then it orients you to want to see others experience the same goodness. I love it. When paul was giving his defense to the roman rulers who would you know, they took him out of Jerusalem, there was a plot to kill him in Jerusalem and then they bring him and he’s presenting to these governors and he says to them, I wish that you were like me except for these chains for being a prisoner. I wish that all of you were like me knowing the goodness of God, knowing the God of the universe, his forgiveness of sin and being adopted into his family. I wish that you were all like me is what he said. Why? Because he had learned to be steadfast in prayer alert with thanksgiving, opened his eyes to gospel opportunities. There’s been a few times where I’ve had to just repent before the Lord about not seeing the gospel opportunities before me just this past week, there were, there’s so many of these gospel opportunities that were coming my way and I realized like man, I’ve been reading this passage, studying this passage, getting ready to preach this passage and I wasn’t thinking about the reality of living it up, being ready myself and it helped me to wake up and be able to step into some of those those opportunities. It’s a ball. He says, man, pray pray for us, pray that God would open a door for the word, he could have said, pray that God would open the door for me to get out of this prison cell that had happened before. Right, here’s his prey for the word, pray that an opportunity for the word would present itself that I would see it and I would declare the mystery of christ mystery as a theme he touches on throughout this book. We’ve covered that in previous chapters, in the unfolding of the fact that jesus the savior, this jewish man. It was also savior of the gentiles as well. And then in verse four, just that I might make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Don’t just gloss over that or fly by that last phrase there, this is the apostle paul God used him to write 2/3 of the new testament in terms of the epistles, he’s praying or he’s asking for prayer that he might make the gospel clear as he ought to speak. It. The foremost church planter of the first century is praying and asking for prayer to make the gospel clear as he ought to speak it. Have you ever prayed that? Has that ever been your prayer? It hasn’t, it needs to be done. Additionally, I wanna look at this some more. I mean by way of confession here, paul demonstrates that he is a human being like you and I who needs the gospel. He needs the gospel in order to be saved. He needs the power of God’s spirit, to be faithful to step into every gospel opportunity like you. And I need God’s spirit. He needs the spirit to help him to communicate it clearly not to be overtaken by his circumstances or his feelings of fear or whatever, or anger or whatever. Maybe, you know at play in the circumstance or situation he’s in. He needed that. So do we we need the same gospel that he preached and believed in. We need the same spirit to work in us, to be faithful to those opportunities and we need to be aware of our temptation to water down the gospel to be afraid of the gospel, to muddle the gospel. We need God to help us. He needed it. And so he asked for prayer. He asked for prayer for his team and by way of example, he’s saying we should be praying and asking for the same prayers that our eyes would be open and we’d be filled with thanksgiving that we would step into every gospel opportunity and to preach the gospel with great clarity. And then he moves on in verse five, verses two and four. He wants us to be watchful in prayer in verse five and six, he wants us to now walk in wisdom. We’re essentially to walk with a sense that what we’ve prayed for, God’s gonna give us opportunities to step into it. Very practical here. Sometimes our prayers aren’t practical, are they get a young person maybe praying a single person to be praying for purity. God help me to live pure walk out of that prayer session and do nothing to put in place the various restraints, accountability checks to walk in purity. Not very practical, are we? What does it say? It says, I’m I’m just not, I’m just a little ignorant or I’m just giving lip service to it. one of the two and paul here saying no, pray for these things and then be prepared for walking it and you need the wisdom of God to walk in it. This is a reference to his own prayer for the colosseum church in colossians 19 when he talks about, they’d be filled with the Holy spirit and all wisdom and knowledge and understanding. And then in verse 10 that they will walk, there will be a walking in christ that there would be a walk in a way that honors christ that is worthy of christ and that it’s pleasing to the Lord. And so when he says walk in wisdom, this isn’t an ambition. Uh, an ambiguous statement here of like any kind of wisdom will do, this is a walking in the Lordship of jesus christ. This is a walking in the one who is wisdom, jesus christ, This is a walking in union with him. This is a walking being mindful that everything you do glass in street with all your heart pleasing him, looking to please him. So when he says walk in wisdom toward outsiders, he’s not saying walk as a people pleaser towards outsiders, that’s Chapter 3: verse 22, where he says, that won’t do, but he’s saying walk and wisdom toward outsiders, demonstrating that your life belongs to jesus, that you live a life worthy of that name, that you represent him. No, immediately when we hear that our minds go to perfection because he is perfect and you will stumble and that’s why you need to be in prayer. But this walking and wisdom are walking with the Lord and in the Lord for outsiders ultimately is that commitment to making sure that your reputation, your conduct, your speech reflects jesus is Lord. So we’re to walk in him, we are to represent him among those outside the faith. Because your faithfulness. God wants to use your faithfulness, your faithfulness to christ your readiness to preach the gospel. God wants to use that to bring others to the Lord. You know, the word Angel means messenger. And part of the colosseum heresy is that some of this mystical religion involved the worship of angels or the worship of these messengers. Now they are God’s messengers, Those who are on the Lord’s side, those who are of the Lord’s, his particular host, right? They are his messengers, but they aren’t called to preach this Gospel. You know who is you and I were called to preach this Gospel were called to be the messenger. Even the word, you know, in terms of heralding the gospel and the whole term evangelical and you and Gillian all of that is the calling of people to preach the Gospel. Were called to preach the gospel to people God and sent angels here to do our work. Were called to preach the Gospel. So so he says, walk in wisdom toward these outsiders, not as people pleasers, not with eye service, but with the Lord as his agenda was his name, with his glory on your mind. And then he says, making the best use of the time, which could be read as seizing the opportunity that you’ve been praying for ready to seize it. Step into it with the Gospel, to lean into it with the Gospel because he then he leads into verse six saying, let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person as you talk about this gospel, as you talk about your faith in christ as you represent, christ as they become curious as to why you are willing to forgive them though they feel like they don’t deserve your forgiveness. You use it as an opportunity to say I’ve been forgiven and I did not deserve jesus made it possible for me to have forgiven. Now there’s also an application to apologetics and some other aspects of the faith there. But when you hear what he’s saying, the speech that is seasoned with salt, walking in wisdom towards outsiders, seizing the Gospel opportunity. He wants us to be mindful that we have a mission as a people that we are. We are ambassadors, were sons and daughters of a king and you don’t have to be a pastor. The herald the Gospel, Your job as an ambassador is to be a willing herald for every opportunity that presents itself. And so he says, be seasoned with salt. He didn’t say over season it with salt because we don’t want to be salty, right? But it needs salt, there’s a preserving aspect to salt. There’s a flavor that salt adds, There’s a lot of qualities that salt brings to the table salt, man, there’s so many benefits to it. But you don’t want to oversell, you want to make it too salty, you don’t wanna be too salty. I like to draw a bit of a contrast between are calling to be salt and I’m gonna pick on tofu if you like tofu, you have my blessings on you, thank you, eat it all up, get rid of all of it from the planet. I bless you in there. I am not hating on you if you enjoy tofu, but tofu takes on the flavor of whatever it’s next to salt adds. So we walk in wisdom towards outsiders, not becoming like them, but adding salt christ his life, his truth, whatever environment in whatever contacts God has placed us in, so I’m not hating on tofu, but God has called us to be tofu, christians, paul is saying, we we pray for these opportunities. We walk in these opportunities, trust in God’s spirit to empower us, help us to make the gospel clear. And then as we we look at verses seven through nine, we see some individuals that paul is commending to colossus to the, to the church in colossi as men who or practicing these things, they may not be perfect in them, but they are trustworthy. They walk in a manner worthy of christ. Can you imagine the enormous burden you would have felt as a disciple of christ and the apostle paul handing you a letter and you’ve got to travel hundreds of miles to deliver letters to the churches. What kind of man do you need to be for paul to entrust you with that responsibility, You can’t be a tofu christian, you can be salty, you’ve got to be trustworthy. So it says sending Tyke is with this letter to the church in Colossi and he probably delivered a letter to Ephesus, which was about 100 and 20 miles from Colossi. Probably delivered a letter to Leo Decia as well. And we know he delivered a letter to Philemon And that’s why the end of Chapter three and the first verse of Chapter four addresses slave owners and slaves is honest, thomas who is mentioned in this letter ran away from Philemon and at the time was an unbeliever but became converted to christ. Mr paul speaks to both he and Philemon and Philemon about what it means to have christ as your master, but what it means to treat one another as being in the Lord together. But I don’t want to miss the fact that he is highlighting these men as being faithful as being fellow servants, as being beloved because of their faithfulness. They are worthy witnesses. They are men who are practicing what it means to seize the opportunity and to be salt in whatever situation God is putting me forth. And by way of implication, he was commending the church to be like them. I didn’t commend the false teachers in Chapter two. But here he has commended several faithful brothers and sisters, people who are worthy to take on the name of Christ? He’s already mentioned the path is the one who planted the church in Chapter one. And now he’s referencing these guys, the ones who are delivering the letter, this world is full of darkness, Sin is being glorified in ways in which it ought not to be. And boy, does it ever need christians to be sold? Now is the time for someone to say pass the salt past the soul? We need christians who are watchful in prayer, who are walking in the Wisdom and Lordship of jesus christ, who are giving themselves to be his worthy witnesses. If God used the faithfulness of someone else to bring you to a place to see christ in the gospel, God intends to use your faithfulness as well to help someone else see christ in the Gospel that you preach and represent in closing, I want to ask you two questions. The first one is this, who are you praying for? Who are you praying for? Who needs the Gospel? Who is a partner with you in the Gospel? Who are you praying for? You may have heard this question being asked repeatedly within our community groups various settings. I think it it’s good though to be confronted with it again and again and again and again be reminded that we are people we’ve been given a mission and that mission is to glorify christ? So who are you praying for secondly, what are you known for? What’s your reputation among the people who spend the most time around you outside of church and home that matters in the home matters in the church. We covered that last week. But here I want you to think about outside of the home. Are you a tofu christian or do you stand in those environments being mindful of the Lord jesus christ, ready to be salt in that context? What are you known for Church in a dying, sin filled world? I want to return to a passage we read a few weeks ago chapter one as we think about our call to be sold as we think about the gospel opportunities that are before us. I think this passage is fitting. This is verse 27 chapter one to them. God chose to make known how great among the gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery which is christ in you the hope of glory, that’s who you are. The hope of glory, christ in you. Salt. Whatever environment God has placed you, let’s pray father, you are so gracious and merciful. You forgive our sins in christ jesus, you bestow an honor upon us that we could never earn and you do it because you have chosen to set your love upon us. You’ve chosen to reveal your love and your glory through the lives of your people and now you call us to be your ambassadors. God. May we never we never shrink back from the darkness, the Brokenness of this world. But may we always remember that you are the sovereign God and king and creator, that nothing is impossible with you and they are confidence. Rest in. So send us out to be your salt, your light, revealing the hope of glory christ. It’s in his name. We pray. Amen.