Our faith in Jesus Christ is under assault in our country every single day.  That in a day of “tolerance” the world is intolerant of the truth of Jesus.  We have a responsibility to our God and how we live that out around us.

Jesus does not allow compromise in His message.

  Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Devoting ourselves to prayer is not just the activity of prayer.  But is broader in being connected to God to know His truths. We are then able to be watchful of our surroundings with eyes open and not able to be deceived.  We cannot be a low-informed Christians.  We want to be well-informed as we interact, teach, and lead.  And when we find ourselves in any situation, we are thankful because we are able to operate in the relationship we have with God.

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

When Paul was writing to the Colossians, he was restricted in his movement (probably not jail, but more likely house arrest.)  As we are in tough situations, we are to pray for God to work through us and in those situations.  We are going to find ourselves in stressful situations.  Paul is saying, let it happen!  We are going to fly in the face of religious and civil leaders and groups.  But we cannot back away or compromise.

 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.

Each situation is different.  We need to pray that we can listen to God’s direction and are able to speak into those situations.  We are not cookie-cutter Christians.  We respond in a way that is consistent, but also relevant.  We need to pray that God opens the doors and that we walk through them.

 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Be aware of what is going on around us.  Be aware of the people involved into those groups outside of the truth of Jesus.  And we are to make the most of every opportunity.  If we are not connecting to the Holy Spirit through prayer, how can we expect the Holy Spirit to work through us?

 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

This does not mean that we coddle people with flowery words.  Salt in the first century was used to preserve food.  We want our words to be lasting in those around us.  When we look at Paul’s work throughout the Bible, we see an example of someone who is true to God’s word, but also gives hope to those reading his letters.  Speaking with grace does not mean that we accept what people say to make them feel good, but it reveals that there is a truth that builds people up.

As we interact in the world, we need to first connect with God.  Then we can be wise with every single opportunity that God presents us with, and we can salt our conversations with lasting truths no matter who we are talking with.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (ESV)

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— (ESV)

that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. (ESV)

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. (ESV)

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (ESV)