I just finished hemorrhaging over my latest message earlier today. I decided to study and write with a grand opening of our facility service in mind. I felt led to camp out in 1 Timothy 3:14-16. I entitled the message Why Church?: A Case for Christianity in a Many-Gods Age. I worked from the word pictures Paul employs for showing the true nature of the church and why it should compel our priority participation in its ministry.
We still don’t know when we will schedule such a service. It all depends on the granting of a CO by the city and the timetable for “soft openings” so we can get our act adequately together for a “hard opening” service likely to happen no earlier than sometime in June.
But mark my words. Whenever it does happen we have to determine to act intentionally and strategically with a Colossians 4:5 kind of mentality in mind. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Paul actually uses the metaphor of walking in the original for the way we live our lives. He calls for us to walk in wisdom toward outsiders, those who have yet to embrace faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What does that kind of wise walk look like? It involves making the best use of the time. This is an interesting phrase in the original. Literally it reads redeeming or buying up the time or opportunity.
The New Bible Commentary makes this remark on the idea here noting that the word redeem or buy up suggests an intensive activity, a buying which exhausts the possibilities available because they recognize that their time is limited. Kind of like determining to purchase all the remaining copies of some print of a famous painting because you know its a limited edition.
I will pray, nevertheless I am confident that you are equipped for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Will you pray for the rest of us that we would be worthy recipients of God’s message through you, and that we would be ready to assist you in the challenge of ministering to the lost sheep God puts in our path?
I most certainly will, my friend!
Timely, missional advice, pastor! I’ve been thinking about who we’re going to invite…and praying too!
Thanks so much, brother!