Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.” (Colossians 4:17)
Before us today is a word of both comfort and caution, given by the apostle Paul to Archippus, Paul’s fellow laborer and fellow soldier in the Lord, who is also spoken of in Philemon 1:2. Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul provided a cosmic caution to his friend that is as appropriate to us today as it was to Archippus 2,000 years ago. We are all called by God to “complete the ministry we have received in the Lord” . . . and that caution is also a comfort. Why do I say it is a comfort? Because we all have been given a ministry in the Lord to complete.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are in full-time ministry, whether you are a stay-at-home mom, the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, or a full-time vocational leader in your church. All of God’s children have been called to serve God wherever they have been planted. As a believer, you have been given at least one spiritual gift to complement the myriad natural talents and abilities you have received to do all God has called you to do to expand His kingdom in this world.
Is it not a great comfort to know that the God of the universe has called you into His service? Think about it this way: to be called into service by God, who doesn’t need your service but actually wants your service, is a cosmic comfort of unimaginable proportions.
So . . . how are you doing in your ministry of service to your Savior? Are you busily engaged in doing all God has called you to do for His glory? Or have you become distracted by the world, the flesh, or the devil? Remember, God will never force you into faithfulness. Faithfulness is a choice—not only daily, but moment by moment. What you do is your decision, and it is a decision that echoes in eternity.
Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, began his eulogy of Dr. D. James Kennedy with Acts 13:36, one of the most stirring verses in all of Scripture: “When David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.” David completed the ministry God had given to him, then he “fell asleep” (died) and crossed the Jordan into heavenly glory.
Wouldn’t that be well said of all of us? But the only way that will be said is if we stay focused on the ministry God has given to us. Mind you, we don’t focus on the ministry He has given to others. Far too many people are far too focused on someone else’s ministry, and all too often they are jealous of it. May God forbid that for us! We are to mind our own ministry and fulfill our own calling. When we do, we can be assured that we are living lives that truly matter, making an eternal difference in this world for the good of others and for the glory of God.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!