12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
My goal this semester is to become more like this guy named Epaphras. Not very much is written about him, but the fact that He is known for wrestling in prayer for those he loves pierces my very soul. The concept puzzles me and exhausts me at the same time. I try not to think about it because I don't understand how to get there. Then a day like today happens and I see the sheer necessity of wrestling for one I love. If I don't, I believe their lives will be effected forever. So...I'm asking tonight for a wrestling spirit. God, please teach me how to wrestle in prayer for those I love. Help me die to myself and obey you and become a woman who fights on her knees.
Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
I really would have liked to meet this guys Paul addresses in Colossians 4:17. Our of nowhere he feels it is important to remind him to complete the ministry he had received from God. That poses numerous questions for me. Was he not doing it for a reason? What happened? Did he just need encouragment? What ministry was it?
This week I felt like Archippus. I felt tired and felt like I was a failure and not very effective in anything I did. Sometimes in my down times, I wonder if it's worth it. When I read this scripture this Tuesday, it felt like God was speaking directly to my heart. He simply said..."It's Ok Janene...go ahead and complete your ministry." He was saying to take heart and fight for the confidence He has in me. He reminded me in his gentle way that it is worth it.
I'm learning that sometimes walking this road is difficult. Sometimes it doesn't make sense and it feels like maybe it's time to quit. Then He breaks through the clouds with a gentle prod and says keep walking and complete the ministry I gave you. Someday...somehow it will all make sense and you will see the big picture. And for tonight...that is enough.
Ø Put yourself in the picture. Ask who is in the picture with me and what are we doing? Is God in the picture? Is God speaking to me in the picture?
Ø If I were a painter, how would I put what God is saying to me in this passage on the canvas?
Ø If I had been there in the same situation described in this passage, how would I have responded?
Ø Is there a modern day experience where the truth in this scripture could be applied?
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
This evening I'm mindful of the importance of first setting my heart on His things and then setting my mind. For me they are 2 very different processes. My heart is the difficult one. And, if I can be successful in setting my heart...my mind usually follows.
I think He worded it in this order because He knew I would struggle with trying to set my mind without having my heart set. He knew I would do the right things for the wrong reasons with an ugly heart. But, He also knew that If I get my heart right and set it on Jesus...my mind will easily follow.
Tonight...I wish it weren't so hard.