In my article last month I encouraged you to talk to God about people. This is an important part of our mission on this earth. For people to know and receive the precious truth of Jesus Christ, we need God’s gracious intervention! This is what we call and plead for in our prayers on their behalf. This is what Paul did for his unbelieving Jewish family and friends. He wrote in Rom. 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” This is what he calls us to in 1 Tim. 2:1, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men…”. In the Scripture we looked at last time, one specific group that we pray for are “outsiders” (Col. 4:5). We also pray for ourselves in dealing with outsiders (those who haven’t yet trusted in Christ); that we would have wisdom in our walks around them and in our words to them. That is the focus of this article. Not only are we to talk to God about people but we must also be ready and willing to talk to people about God.
Pike’s Scripture verses for 2022 are found in Col. 4:5-6, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Paul encourages believers in this passage to make the most of the opportunity. God has placed opportunities around you for others to see Christ. Wisdom is remembering outsiders are watching and that they are in need of a presentation of Christ. The Lord has ordained and numbered our days. He has filled these days with purpose, people, and opportunities to make the most of! Pastor John Piper said this, “Life is a series of never to be repeated opportunities for buying up spiritual blessings…every hour of your life brings a situation that can be bought up for eternity or missed.” Paul shows us in these verses that a way we make the most of the opportunity is by speaking about Christ to others with grace and salt. If ever we are left thinking, “Should I have said something about Jesus in that conversation?” Hear Paul’s words at the end of vs. 6, “…you should respond to each person.”
That response should be filled with grace. Grace is what Peter described in 1 Peter 3:16 when he said that we should be ready to give an account for the hope that is within us. He tells us there that we should do so “with gentleness and reverence.” That’s grace. Paul says elsewhere that grace is “…speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). But notice, this gracious speech is also to be “seasoned with salt.” There were many uses of salt in the times Paul wrote this. As today, one use was for taste. In Ps. 34:8, the Psalmist proclaimed, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” Are we speaking to others of the Lord in this way? A way that they can taste and see just how good He is! Let’s pray that the Lord would give us wisdom and the words to make the most of the opportunities He gives to us with others.
Praying For Those Opportunities, Pastor Rudy