October 16, 2013
Colossians Chapter 4, verse 1, the Bible reads,
“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”
Now this verse talking about the relationship between a master and a servant is interesting because a lot of the modern Bible versions will actually change the word servant unto slave in the Bible. Have you ever noticed that? Sometimes the modern versions and even popular preachers today have written books that even have slave in the title and talk about how we are slaves of Christ and in Romans 1:1, it'll say, for example, you know that Paul, the Apostle Paul, is Jesus Christ’s slave. Okay and a lot of people will also say the Bible teaches slavery. Have you ever had you know atheists and people tell you well, the Bible teaches slavery, the Bible was… but here’s what’s interesting, in your King James Bible you'll never find the word ‘slave’ one time; so, I don't know where they're getting this that the Bible is just constantly talking about slavery. Maybe if you have one of these new perversions of the Bible it does but if you notice here, it says, “Masters give unto your servants that which is just and equal knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”
So, therefore our relationship with Christ as being his servants and he's our master is likened unto the relationship between masters and servants on this earth. And notice what it's saying here, “Give unto your servants that which is just and equal”.
So are these people that are just slaving away and working for free? Something that we would think of as a slave, somebody who is not getting paid at all, somebody who has no freedom. Go over to Ephesians if you would and flip back just a few pages if you would and keep your finger there in Colossians. There's a parallel passage in Ephesians Chapter 6 where the Bible reads in verse 5, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling and singleness of your heart as unto Christ. Not with eye service as men pleasers but as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the Heart. With goodwill doing service says to the Lord and not to men knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth the same shall he receive of the Lord whether he be bond or free. And ye masters do the same things unto them for bearing threatening knowing that your master also is in heaven neither is their respective persons with them.”
So when we look at this description here of servants and masters in Ephesians 6 and then we look at the passage in Colossians 4 verse 1, this is a similar relationship that we're reading about to what we would consider an employer and an employee. Now I realized that in the Old Testament there were indentured servants that would be a servant for three years or for six years where they are giving up a lot of freedom. But in this passage here when we look at the description of a servant here we see that this is somebody that's like a modern day employee. I mean this is somebody where they're being paid and what God is saying in verse 1 of Colossians Chapter 4 is that employers or masters should give unto their employees or their servants that which is just and equal. What does that mean? That means that as a business owner you should not seek to just pay people as little as you can possibly get away with paying someone. Right? You shouldn't just say ‘Okay what's the least that I can possibly get away with paying someone to do this job’. Instead you should rather think,’ what is a fair wage for this job? What is a just wage? What is a fair price for the work that I'm getting out of this person? What is a good wage that matches the work that's being done?’ And that's what the Bible's commanding masters here to be fair and to treat people fairly and to pay them well and to pay their employees well. And it says,
“Knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven”. If we compare that with Ephesians 6, it said the same thing about our Master in heaven. What does that tell us? It's not saying that we're Jesus Christ’s slaves because Jesus even told his disciples, he said,
“I've called you no more servant I’ve called you friends. The servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth but I told you all things”
So if anything we're closer to the friend side of being a servant than the slave side of being a servant. Because the word servant can encompass a spectrum of one who is fully indentured, one who is just completely lost all freedom to being one who is just very loosely employed, okay. And we see here that Jesus considers us friends not his slaves and here's the important thing. When we look at Colossians four one he's saying, “Give your servants that which is just an equal. Just like I give my servants”
And there's a doctrine all throughout the New Testament that's very consistent that God will reward us for the works that we do for him. So just as the servant gets paid by his master the Bible's very clear that any good work that we do, The Bible says the same shall we receive from the Lord. Whether we slave or freed. Jesus Christ talked about it when he said about that one sows and another waters and another reaps. When we talk about getting people saved. Jesus Christ talked about the field being ripened unto harvest and I was reaping a great harvest and He said that we've entered into other man's labors meaning other people have sown seeds other people watered and he said this, “He that gathereth” Meaning the one who goes out and wins people to Christ. “He that gathereth, He said is reaping wages unto eternal life.” OK. And God said that “He is coming quickly and his reward is with him to give unto His servants according as their work shall be”
So God will reward us for the work that we do. Why is that so important? Because salvation is not of works. Salvation is a free gift. Now if we went out and did a bunch of works for God and God said well I'm not going to pay you because you've already got salvation. That would almost be like we were paying off our salvation like we were earning our salvation. Do you see what I mean? If God said well I will save you for free and then when I did works then that was just kind of applied toward paying off the debt that we owe Christ because of our salvation. Just to make sure that we understand that salvation is a free gift with no strings attached. Not only did he save us for free but then he said, “If you do work for me I'll give you wages. I'll pay you. I will reward you, I will reward every man according as his work shall be.”
He's an employer in a sense just as the earthly employer and employee is discussed and in Colossians 4:1. So this doctrine of us being Christ's slave is not legit. That's not a Biblical doctrine that's not the right wording to use. It's not the biblical wording and it does not describe the relationship that we have with Jesus Christ as master and servant and really as friend with friend. It says in verse number 2, “Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving with all praying also for us that God would open unto us the door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ for which I am also in bond.”
So he's telling us continue in prayer similar to the statement’ pray without ceasing’. He says watch in the same with thanksgiving. What does the word ‘watch’ normally mean when we see it throughout the Bible? Stay awake, right? When they're falling asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane he says, “What could you not watch with me for one hour?” Watch and pray lest he entered in temptation. When he talks about the end times and Bible prophecy, He often uses the term watch and he often talks about. “Therefore we do not sleep. Let us not sleep as do others but let us watch and be sober.” Watching is the opposite of being asleep.
Have you ever been praying and you've fallen asleep? Probably anybody who has done any serious amount of praying has fallen asleep while praying because just like Peter, James and John did, it's something that happens sometimes when you're praying and so God is saying watch in prayer. If you jump down further in the passage it mentions prayer again. It says in verse 12 “Epaphras who is one of you a servant of Christ saluteth you always laboring fervently for you in prayers that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God”
What this tells me is that praying can be hard work because he says he's laboring in prayers for you. He’s saying look, Watch and pray. And it takes great effort to pray like we should. It takes effort to stay awake, to stay focused and to do the work of praying I mean prayer truly is work. I mean it truly takes effort; it's not easy is it. I mean it's more difficult than reading your Bible. It’s more difficult than a lot of things in the Christian life but God commands us over and over again twice in this Chapter he exhorts us to pray and he says continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
Now prayer means to ask for something. If you basically get on your knees and say Dear Jesus thank you for this, this and that amen, you haven't really prayed because to pray means to ask for something. That’s what the word pray means. So what the Bible is saying here is that we should pray and that we should do it with thanksgiving meaning that we should constantly be asking for things from God, asking God to do something and then thanking him for what he has already done. Now Paul here gives a prayer request for himself to the Colossians and he says with all praying also for us that we would get a better car. Praying for us that we would be wealthy. No, he says, “Praying for us that God would open unto us a door of utterance.”
Utterance means speaking. They want to preach the Gospel; they're going to give the Gospel to somebody. To speak the mystery of Christ for which I am also in bondage. You say, why does the bible use these big words, ‘utterance’? What in the world does that mean? But do you notice how the Bible defines it right here? What does it say right after utterance? To speak, right? So acts like the Bible are so hard to understand and I don't want to have to have a dictionary with me when I'm reading the Bible but usually the Bible is kind of its own built-in dictionary. So maybe reading the Bible actually expands your vocabulary so that you can get beyond texting language and actually you know speak with a good vocabulary and actually know the words of the English language. Every single word that’s in the King James Bible is in a modern dictionary. I mean you could go buy the brand new 2013 Webster and I'm not saying you have to get the big giant one. Even if you just get the small the little desktop dictionary it has. I've never ever opened the small little desktop Webster College Dictionary and ever found a word in the King James Bible that wasn't in there. It's always in there and usually words that people will claim have changed in meaning usually definition number one is the King James definition even if it's not the one we hear the most in public. Usually definition number one is the King James definition.
So this thing about the King James Bibles language being so archaic? No, it's just that we've become dumped down as a society. T.V and magazines and everything have just dumped us down so that when we read an intelligent book like the Bible, it goes over our head. Look we're not going to dump down the Bible for you. You need to get smarter. You need to stop rotting your brain in front of a television, you need to hit the books you need to do some studying you need to study to show thy self approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth and you should make time to learn the English language and one of the best ways to learn is by reading the Bible itself. Because the Bible defines it so much that you'll rarely ever have to reach for that dictionary if you just consistently read your Bible cover to cover. So he says, ”Pray for us that God would open the door for us to be able to preach the gospel”
Is what he’s saying that he would open us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ for which I am also in bondage. That’s why I'm in prison right now. So this book is being written from prison He’s saying I'm in bonds. “That I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.” Manifest means its plain, it's clear it's easy for people to understand. Okay and Paul tells us in first Corinthians Chapter number fourteen that “Except we speak by the tongue. Words easy to be understood we shall speak into the air.”
So we need to use words that are clear words that are easy to be understood. You say well a minute ago you said …. Look the words in the Bible are clear words that are easy to be understood. Words that are not easy to be understood are words that are hazy and foggy. For example people will often use words that are euphemistic of things that the Bible's very clear about. For example a lot of people don't like to talk about hell, right? Some of the people think that Hell is a cuss word. I remember one time I was in a youth group as a teenager and the question was asked you know basically where we be without if Christ had not died for us where would we be? And I said we'd be going to hell. And somebody literally went ahhh, like I just said an obscenity.
But yet the word hell is used fifty four times in the Bible that is a biblical clear word. Today we're seeing that word replaced in many circles with unclear words. You look at these modern Bible versions in the Old Testament for example the E.S.V. which is really popular the English standard Version changes into Sheol. S- H- E- O- L. Is that a word that's easy to be understood? That's not even an English word. That is the Hebrew word that no one knows. And people are talking about Sheol this and Sheol that when hell is the word that people actually understand. Okay, another word they’ll use is Hades. That's not a clear word because a lot of people think of Hades as the Greek underworld. That's what it has historically meant in English. We're talking about English now in English, get an English dictionary that's definition number one the Greek mythical underworld of the Greek god.
Okay, so these are not clear words. Other people will sometimes just constantly refer to hell as a Christless eternity. Instead of saying that people are going to go to hell people are going to be damned to hell. They’re going to say you know they're going to face a Christless eternity. That's not easy to understand. That's not even biblical because the Bible says that the people in Hell are tormented in the presence of the Lamb. They're in the presence of the holy angels in the presence of the lamb so it's not even Christless. So that's just something that they say because they don't want to say what the Bible says, they don't want to make it clear that I want to make a point. Other people don't want to be clear about the gospel. They don't want to say that it's just by faith that were saved and the Bible's clear I mean “By grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God not of works”
The same answer (unclear 15:13) Bible is about salvation is by faith, salvation is not of works. We had to make that it clear as we can and not just kind of say ‘well you know there's faith and there's works and you know’, you ask somebody, ‘hey is it possible to lose your salvation? ‘Oh man it will take me three or four hours to answer that question.’ I literally I saw a famous preacher recently and they asked him and they said can you lose your salvation? It will take me more than ten minutes to answer that. That could take me three or four hours. It’ll take me three or four seconds. NO. I wasn't even three or four seconds I was trying to drag it out but I only got like a second and a half out of that. But anyway I'm just saying. No, no! See how clear that is? No. No and then I can even back it up in a really short time too.
“I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish neither shall any man put them out of my hand. Verily, verily I say unto thee he that heareth my word and believe it on him that sent me had everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death until life”
Look, you shall not come into condemnation if you believe you shall never die. You have eternal life. You have everlasting life. No man can pluck you out of a sin. You are sealed by the Holy Ghost unto the day of redemption. Okay, what am I going to do for the next three hours? Because I explained it too fast but I take three or four hours because they don't want to take a side. So they just want to get all convoluted and equivocate. When the Bible we need to make things manifest, preaching should be manifest. Man, I mean there's a great name for a church: Manifest Preaching Baptist Church. Just clear preaching. I mean no one should ever walk out of this church and be ‘I wonder where Pastor Anderson stands on that? I don't I just don't know you know, he's preaching about salvation but I just don't know where he stands. I mean he was preaching about baptism but I'm just not sure where he stands.’ We should always understand you might not always like it but you should always understand it, should always be clear it should always be manifest. Preaching is taking that which is complicated and making it simple. Teaching is taking that which is complicated and making it simple.
Have you ever known teachers or preachers who take that which is simple and make it complicated? That is the opposite of teaching. What a preacher and a teacher should be doing is taking something that's hard to understand and making it easy to understand using parables, using illustrations, comparing Scripture with Scripture to enlighten the mind not to create clouds of mist and darkness, that will cause us to have less understanding than when we started listening, okay. We want things to be clear we want it to be manifest. Now, in the parallel passage in Ephesians 6 he asked for a similar prayer request and he says, “And for me that utterance may be given unto me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.” So here he says I want to make the Word of God manifest in Ephesians 6, he says, “That therein may I speak boldly as I ought to speak?”
So bold preaching is manifest preaching. Okay, so if you want preaching that's bold, you’re talking about preaching that's clear and easy to understand and manifest. Those two things are being used synonymously because when you see preaching that's not bold it's when they beat around the bush. Bold preaching just tells you’ hey look this is what the Bible says, this is where we stand, this is right this is wrong, this is good this is bad.’ So he says I want to make it manifest as I ought to speak verse 5 “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without redeeming the time.” What he's saying with ‘redeeming the time’ there is to make the best possible use of your time. So he says, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without redeeming the time let your speech be all way with grace. Seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer every man”
Let me ask you this. How good of a use to you make of your time? And a lot of people ask. Well how do you have time to go to church three times a week or how do you have time to read the Bible every day? How do you have time to go soul winning every week? How do you have time to do this or do that? But it's really just about making the best possible use of your time. There's a lot of time that we waste without even thinking about it that can be used for something better. And honestly, if we were to make things a priority, we have one 168 hours in a week. So out of 168 hours in a week, can we spare 3 hours of church and plus maybe, travel time and whatever, 5 to 6 hours a week to be in church at all three services, Sunday mornings, Sunday night and Wednesday. You got 168 hours. Can you spend 5 hours just getting your family in church? And can you spend say, at least a half hour a day reading your Bible? Can you do it? And sometimes you can even do that with an audio Bible on your drive to and from work.
I mean think about this: do you drive to and from work every day? Do you drive fifteen minutes each way perhaps? Think about this: you could get a half hour of Bible reading if you would get the Bible on CD or a Bible app. And I mean now you can download a free app to your phone sometimes. It’ll read the Bible to you and you can do an audio Bible fifteen minutes there fifteen minutes back. You know thirty minutes of Bible reading you're going to get through the Bible twice a year just on that audio let alone when you pick up the book and read it. Just on that audio. And you know what most people do though on that drive they’ll sometimes tune in to some morning talk show, tune in to just some nonsensical talk radio or just some boring, whatever or listen to music or just whatever. I mean that's a key time that you could be using that you're wasting in many cases. Okay, just putting a New Testament in your pocket will allow you to read your Bible sometimes while you're waiting, while you're in an elevator, while you're at the post office. Just read a few verses meditate upon them and think on these things. But if we were to actually look at the scripture for its context, he's talking about soul winning because right before this he's talking about utterance. He’s talking about speaking the mystery of Christ right after this; He's talking about answering every man talking about answering the unbelievers. He talks about walking in wisdom toward them that are without outside of the faith. Redeeming the time, making the best use of our time. Look we need to make time to go soul winning number one.
Make time to go soul winning and you know we try to make it as convenient for you as we can at this church by providing all different times throughout the week different days of the week, even different parts of town so that you don't have to drive a long way to go soul winning. You live in Tempe you can go with Brother Miller on Monday night, you live out on the west side you can go with Brother Romero on Thursday night as a whole group that goes at these times. There's a group in Gilbert. I mean we have all different times and places where you can go out and learn how to get the gospel to people and win people to Christ and you can make time to do it. So number one we just obviously we need to make time to do the soul winning. But number two let's make the best use of the time we spend soul winning. What does that mean? Not wasting too much time talking to people that aren't even interested or that are just set in a false belief and are not going to budge. That's why the Bible says a man that is a heretic. What is a heretic? Somebody who believes a warped doctrine or false doctrine. The Bible says “After the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such a subverted in sin of being condemned of themselves”
So if you have somebody that is just upset in a false religion and you give them one scripture they ignore the truth. You give him a second scripture they ignore the truth then it’s just have a great day to you see you later on to the next person. But sometimes the tendency is to want to get an argument with somebody and debate with somebody for an hour or two hours. When somebody down the street is interested in hearing the Gospel and actually wants to get saved, you're debating with the Mormon elder that the seventeen year old Mormon elder, you're debating with him for an hour. You're debating with some hard core Pentecost, some hardcore Jehovah's Witness for an hour when somebody down the street actually wants to hear the Gospel. So I when I go soul winning, I’ll give somebody a verse. They don't listen they reject it. I give him a second verse. it's time to just move on because the Bible says,
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs neither cast your pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you.”
So we want to make the best use of our time to even make time in our schedule for soul winning and then we want to make the best use of our time out soul winning. Speaking to people to whom God’s leading us not to just people that the devil putting in our way to argue with us and contend with us and when we need to shake the dust off our feet. There are a lot of things in our schedule that are just a waste of time. Because if you look at a typical day it has twenty four hours in it. So even if you get your eight hour beauty rest, which is great, be healthy get your eight hours, okay. Even if you sleep for eight hours and even if you then work for eight hours right? You have an additional eight hours in that day and obviously some of that time is spent you know maybe driving to and from work, eating meals, whatever. But, come on, a half hour to and from work okay you got seven hours left. Okay an hour preening and grooming yourself. You got six hours left. An hour of eating meals you got five hours left. An extra hour just for whatever, you got four hours left. What are you doing? What are you spending that time on? Now look if you're working twelve thirteen hours a day you don't have as much time but a lot of us have more time than we think. We just spent a lot of time checking Facebook, checking out, just checking news websites and I'm not saying that those are bad things. I'm not saying it's bad to do those things. I'm not saying it's bad to just relax a little bit. I'm not saying it's bad to play a board game. I'm not saying that it's bad to just sit around and talk with your family and relax and spend time with a friend. I'm not saying that any of these things are bad. But what I am saying is when you're saying that you don't have any time to come to church read your bible or go soul winning, your priorities are wrong because you could probably cut out some other junk and make the time.
And you know what's a way to just guarantee that you'll always have time to read your Bible is to do it first thing into the day. If you do it first then how can anything else get in the way? And so just think about your life and think about whether the things that you're doing are profitable. The books that you read, the T.V. that you watch, or hopefully don't watch because I don't think that there's anything on T.V. worth watching. It's all of sin and the devil. But the thing is you know even the books that you read I mean I read a lot of books but I usually look at the books that I'm reading and ask myself, what is this book going to do for me? What is the purpose that I have in reading this book? Just evaluate your life whether you're redeeming the time. What's the opposite of redeeming something? Letting it go to waste. So just think about that and I understand the need for recreation and blowing off a little steam and having fun. I'm not against that. I'm just saying that when you all the sudden out of your hundred sixty eight hours a week, forty of which are spent working, you know fifty six of which are spent sleeping, you still have a lot of time left. What are you doing? Why can't you make it to church and read the Bible and pray and do some soul winning. It’s your reasonable service. It's what the Bible says. So think about that. But he says, “Let your speech be always with Grace seasoned with salt”
It’s interesting, ‘salt’ in the Bible. It's something that is symbolically used to represent grace. Throughout the Bible you'll see these things representative of one another. So he says your speech should be always with grace and then he restates that by saying seasoned with salt. Now it's interesting I meant to look it up before the service and somehow it slipped my mind. But back when the children of Israel, notably the children of Judah, are coming back from the captivity in Babylon and they're building the temple and they're building the wall in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. I remember a scripture from back in that part of the Bible where the King is talking about how he's going to provide them with the supplies that they need which is just an act of God that that the heathen King would even be willing to help them out in their project of rebuilding the temple and rebuilding the city of Jerusalem and building the wall and so forth. And he's telling them all it is one of those passages that people often might skip over because he's just talking about the amount that he's going to help them and he’s listing off amounts of cattle and grain and everything and at the end of this list of supplies. He says “Salt without prescribing how much”
He says all these different animals for sacrifice and he says salt with just an unlimited amount of salt and that is symbolic in that passage for just God's grace, that there is no limit to God's grace. See it says in Romans Chapter 5, “But the law entered that sin might abound but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Did you hear that? ‘Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.’ So the more sin that we have, the more God's grace is sufficient to cover our sin. Now the Bible follows that up by saying,
“what shall we say that shall we continue in sin that grace may abound God forbid. How should we that are dead to sin live any longer therein” And so the Bible's not saying that we should go out and commit sin. Obviously we're going to be chastened and chastised if we sin. Obviously God doesn't want us to sin. Obviously we're not to let sin reign in our mortal body. But theoretically the Bible is clear in Romans 5 and 6 that the more we sin; the more God's grace is there to be sufficient for us. And that's why the doctrine that teaches that you can lose your salvation is such a false doctrine. Because God's grace has no limit, it has no bound. There is no prescription of how much. It’s not like you know where you can sin to a certain point and then he’s going to cast you out. No he said “In him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Okay and so God's grace is always sufficient for us and the salt illustration helps illustrate that in the Bible. Look at verse 7 it says, “All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here”
Now it's interesting when you see the word Onesimus there. In verse 9 that probably makes you think of another book in the Bible. What other book in the Bible do you think of? Philemon right. And what's interesting is that a lot of the people that are mentioned in Colossians Chapter 4 here actually correspond with the book of Philemon and as you read this it becomes obvious that Philemon actually lived in Colossi. Okay now let me show you some of the names we have in verse nine. Onesimus and not only that but it says that Onesimus is a faithful and beloved brother and it says who is one of you. So that's saying right there that Onesimus is one of the Colossians right? But it's not just Onesimus. Look at verse 10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner saluteth you and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas. Jump down if you would to verse number 14 it says, “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you”
Jump down to verse 17, “And say to Archippus , take heed to the ministry which that was received in the Lord.” But all of these people are mentioned in the book of Philemon. Now turn to the book of Philemon. Let me kind of show you the relationship between the book of Colossians and the book of Philemon. Because by comparing these two books we can learn a little bit about both of them.
Now Philemon is often referred to as one of the Pastoral Epistles, they talk about first and second Timothy, Titus and Philemon as being the Pastoral Epistles but honestly we don't really know that Philemon was a pastor. There’s not really any evidence necessarily that Philemon was a pastor. I think the reason that people have conjectured that Philemon was a pastor is because he has the church meeting in his house. So I think they may just look at that and thought okay, he's the pastor. We do know that Philemon must be a wealthy man if he has a house big enough for a church to meet in it. He’s probably a wealthy man and he also had a servant Onesimus. People who have servants are usually wealthy. Look what it says the very beginning of Philemon, It says “Paul a prisoner of Jesus Christ”
He is also writing from prison here “And Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved and fellow laborer and to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus, our fellow soldier and to the church in thy house.” Okay, and then if we jump down it says in verse 10, “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I've begotten my bonds which in time past was the unprofitable but now profitable to thee and to me.” Then jump down to verse 23 and we will see all the people’s names from Colossians 4. All of these people in verses 23 through 25 are mentioned in Colossians. It says, “There salute thee Epaphras, My fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus. Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow laborers the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit, Amen” So we see a lot of names that overlapped a couple people and Philemon that are different like Apphia for example but most of the names overlap between the two. Now when we look at Colossians 4, it can help us understand that probably Archippus was the pastor of that church. Because in verse 2 of Philemon it says, “To our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church in my house” But when we look at Colossians Chapter 4 in verse 17 it says, “Say to Archippus , take heed to the ministry which thou was received in the Lord that thou fulfill”
So when we read Colossians 4 it's clear that Archippus is in the ministry. And so when we see Archippus in the ministry in Colossians 4 and then we think about out how Philemon is really only being addressed to 3 people individually and to the church. Because he says he's writing to Philemon and Apphia. And Apphia is a woman's name. So that's probably Philemon’s wife. Because he’s writing to Philemon, Apphia and then Archippus. Why would he single out Archippus? Some theorize that that’s Philemon’s son maybe he’s talking to the family. But when we look at Colossians 4 it seems more like he's probably addressing Philemon and his wife and the pastor of the church and then also just the church in the house. Now a lot of people also mistakenly think of Philemon as just being a personal letter written to one guy and so it's not really written into the church but in reality he greets Philemon, Apphia , Archippus and the church in his house. So it seems like this book is profitable for all of us to read. So it's written to all of us.
Okay, now what is the book of Philemon about? Let me just give it to you quickly in a nutshell. Philemon is about a servant Onesimus who had been unprofitable in the past to Philemon. He was a bad servant. Okay, he was a poor servant. Now he's in jail and Paul meets him in jail and Paul wins him to Christ. So we can kind of theorize what probably happened is that perhaps he ran away perhaps he was you know indentured or under some kind of a contract to work for Philemon. Maybe he ran away from Philemon and he's arrested for something unrelated or arrested for having run away or perhaps he'd stole may be stolen from Philemon. Okay, we don't know the Bible doesn't tell us exactly what happened but we do know that Onesimus had been an unprofitable servant unto Philemon. Maybe he ran off. Maybe he stole something from him maybe just did a really lousy job at work. And Paul doesn't even really know the extent, to which Onesimus has wronged Philemon because Paul even says, “If he has wronged thee or oweth thee ought”
He says “I will repay it” So Paul offers to pay for whatever Philemon would have you know stolen or just whatever it cost him when Onesimus was a poor servant. So Philemon had a servant known as Onesimus. Onesimus ends up in prison. Paul's in prison for preaching the gospel. So Paul and Onesimus meet in prison and Paul wins Onesimus to the Lord so he calls him his son that he begat in his bonds by winning him to Christ. And Paul is sending Onesimus back to Philemon with instructions to receive Onesimus and to forgive Onesimus and to now receive them not as a servant but as a brother beloved.
Okay, so this guy's a new believer, Onesimus and basically maybe Onesimus was just nervous about going back to Colossi and seeing Philemon and trying you know he wants to go to church and he wants to get together with the brother in there. But Paul sends him this letter the book of Philemon as a way to introduce Onesimus back unto them as a new believer, a brother in Christ. Sort of like a recommendation saying ‘hey look forgive this guy receive this guy and if he's wronged you I’ll pay for it.’ Okay, so what's interesting is that when we read Colossians Chapter 4 is that Onesimus is mentioned in verse 9 it says, “With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother.”
So let me ask you this, which book was written first, Philemon or Colossians? Because in Colossians Onesimus is referred to as a faithful and beloved brother. Obviously that’s later on because Philemon is when this guy just got saved and he's just coming back to Colossi. well here in Colossians 4 but he's shown himself a full meaning that you know you've been saved for a little while he's shown himself to be a papal brother in the Lord. He's one of them. He's sending him with the letter in fact. Take a kiss in verse 7 and an Colossi in verse nine. “Are delivering Colossians unto the Saints and faithful brother in which read Colossi.” Okay so let's keep reading here in Colossians separate for
“Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you and Mark Sister son of Barnabas touching whom you receive commandments if you come unto you receive them.” Now if we remember who Marcus is, sister's son the Barnabas what we call a sister's son? A nephew, right? Well if you remember in the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas had taken Marcus with them on one of their missionary journeys and partway through the journey Marcus bailed out and went home. Because these missionary journeys were very rough. I mean this isn't like today's missionaries sometimes that are just in the lap of luxury. Okay. I mean these guys were on a very hard journey and they're facing a lot of persecution, a lot of hardship and so Marcus just couldn't handle the rigors of this missionary journey or maybe he got homesick. But he departed, he bailed out partway through he didn't finish the journey. And Paul was not happy about that.
So Paul, Barnabus and Marcus go on the journey. Marcus bails out. Well then the next time the next missionary journey comes around and Barnabas says ‘hey let's take Marcus’. And Paul says ‘no we're not taken Marcus. He bailed on us last time. I'm not going to take this guy what he's going to turn around and leave again. We can't rely on him and he's not faithful.’ And so Paul and Barnabas get in a big argument and the Bible says that the contention between them was so sharp that Paul and Barnabas don't even end up going on the journey together. I mean Paul and Barnabas who had been partners on so many missionary journeys just over the issue of whether Marcus is coming or not, they split up even from each other and go two separate ways. And Paul ends up taking Silas and then Barnabas ends up taking Marcus you know and they go two different directions. But what we see is that later on both in Ephesians and in Colossians Paul says in these for example “Take Mark and bring him with thee for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”
So we can see that Paul has forgiven Marcus by the time Ephesians 6 rolls around and then right here what does he say about Marcus he says, ” touching whom” Verse 10 in the latter half “Touching whom you receive commandments if he come unto you receive Him” So he’s put his stamp of approval on Marcus again in Colossians Chapter 4. That should be an encouragement to us. That just because we fail it doesn't mean that we're done serving God. A lot of people have bailed out of church. A lot of people have been really faithful to church and they're there they're coming to church the reading their Bible there will be regret and then they bail. They get backslidden and maybe for a while we start just barely seeing them you know we see them once or twice a month at church and then the next thing they're just gone you know that is the Marcus of this world who basically just can't take the heat so they get out of the kitchen.
But what the Bible shows us in the life of Marcus is that he was a guy who didn't just quit. He dusted himself off and he got back in the fight. He came back and he bounced back to the point where Paul is specifically naming this guy, he's profitable to me for the ministry. I want Mark to come along. Mark what I mean is before he was so vehement about Mark not coming he split from his buddy Barnabas over that very issue. But then later on he’s saying, man bring him he's profitable so that shows how it's never too late for us to get back in the fight, if we get backslidden if we quit if we're like Demas or Marcus these people who bailed at different times we can it's never too late come back to church and look somebody in this auditorium tonight is going to get out of church at some point. I mean just if history can be any guide and we look around thinking I know everybody's going to keep going. But honestly some of the most faithful members that we've had over the years have gotten backslidden and gotten out of church. I mean people who you thought would never quit going to church. I mean these people were zealous they're dedicated good people, they love the Bible, they love the Lord they love soul winning, they love our church, but you know what? Some people get backslidden and then they get out of church and I've seen some of those unlikely people get out of church and that's why chances are one or several people that are listening to me tonight will eventually get out of church at some point, will eventually bail out. And it's sad I hope that that never happens.
I hope that everybody stays in the fight and everybody stays serving God and stays reading your Bible and stays in church but you know what if history is any guide somebody’s getting out of church. I just want you to know if you ever get out of church don't ever feel bad to come back if three or four months go by and you know what? By the way when somebody's out of church for three or four months and they show up don't go to them and say where have you been? Where have you been all this time? ’Oh well, I was out of church’. Nobody wants to be confronted like that. Here’s what I do. If somebody's been out of church for a few months and they show up, I just act like they've been here all along and I just say hey, I might just be a little more happy to see them but I don't ask what’s your deal because did you go to some liberal church? Were you going to a good church during that time or did you just get backslidden I mean are you just really unfaithful? Okay? Obviously it's better to just ‘hey it’s so good to see you, how’s things going? Great to have you!’ And not make a big deal about the fact that they've been gone
Look I promise you that if you ever quit the church and then come back six months later I won't make big deal. I'll just be happy to see you. And I'll just be ready to welcome you with open arms. You know what we ought to be, and even if you left on bad terms. You know what I mean there's always a place in Christianity for us to forgive our brethren in Christ and just accept them back and you know what I've had some pretty sharp words with people that have quit the church and then they've come back and we were great friends after that. You know what I mean? And I've had sharp words with people over the years and then just completely been restored to fellowship with that person because it's not the end of the world. Like sometimes people think it is, when Marcus quits the journey. He can still come back. Okay, so don't get discouraged and you know what you say why doesn't apply to me I'm in church. But some day I want you to think back and remember that I said that in this sermon so that you’ll feel comfortable coming back because I think a lot of people, it's just hard for them to come back sometimes and really it shouldn't be. It should be easy for you to come back.
So it says “Onesimus Sarkis Marcus” jump down if you would to verse 11, “And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision” You may say wait ‘Jesus’. Is that talking about Jesus Christ? No it's not. This is a guy named Jesus. this is Jesus called Justus who is one of the circumcision it says, one of the fellow laborers one of the fellow workers. Now look this is like in Spanish a lot of people are named Jesús. It doesn't mean that they are Jesús Christos. They are just Jesús. But here's the thing that goes to show you that what Paul said in second Corinthians about there being another Jesus, can come true. Now, I know there are a lot of Jesus's in South Phoenix, the Jesus' .
But what I'm saying is that just because somebody’s name is Jesus that doesn't make them the Jesus of the Bible. And the reason that that's important to realize, we all realize that the guy down the street named Jesus is not the Jesus in the Bible. But, what about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? The guy that they're worshipping is no more Jesus then Jesús that mowed your lawn is Jesus. Okay, than Jesús that your buddy down the street is Jesus. He ain’t Jesus because you know what? Jesus is the Son of God. Okay?
Jesus is not a son of the many gods in the many planets and the Mormon Jesus is a totally different Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible does not have a brother named Lucifer. Okay but the Jesus of Mormonism has a brother named Lucifer. It’s just a different guy. It’s a different religion. So just because somebody used the name Jesus doesn't mean that they're believing in the Jesus of the Bible. We need to make sure that our faith is placed not in a mythical Jesus of our own imagination but in the biblical Jesus.
There’s a mythical Jesus out there because there are a lot of people out there that will just tell you well Jesus said and they’ll just start saying random thing that Jesus never said. I mean you know that's true. They’ll just say things and say well, ‘Didn't Jesus teach ‘and then they just make things up. ‘Didn’t Jesus teach us that we should be accepting of gay people?’ It’s like what? What are you talking about? But didn't Jesus teach this and that and they just put words in and it's just a made up person to them. Well, Jesus would have never done this, this and this and its stuff that he actually did. Jesus would never call anybody any names but Jesus calling people a fox and viper and he's calling them serpents and Whited sepulchers and fools and hypocrites, whatever, Jesus would never, my Jesus would never call names. Well, you’re Jesus doesn't exist or he speaks Spanish but he's not the Jesus of the Bible because honestly can somebody explain to me why so many people who speak Spanish name their child Jesús? What is going on with that? It’s crazy. Is that a Catholic thing? Name the kids Jesus. What's worse is when they give a boy a middle name of Maria. That’s weird. Okay but I think it's a Catholic thing. But anyway if you're a Baptist and if you're Hispanic in your Baptist I don’t think you should name your kid Jesús. I mean that's the name that’s above every name. I would just reserve that and one time I met a guy named Jehovah. I thought that was very strange. I mean I think we should reserve those names for the people to whom they refer and not name people that. But anyway and don't name a boy Mary. Okay but it says,
“That And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision? These only are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras who is one of you, a servant of Christ saluteth you always laboring fervently for you in prayers that you may stand perforating pleading in all the world got for I bear him record that he hath a great zeal for you and them that are in Laodicea and them in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you”
Now that Luke right there the beloved physician is actually the man who wrote the gospel according to Luke and the Book of Acts because if you remember the Book Of Acts to the continuation of the Gospel of Luke and what's interesting is that when you read the Book Of Acts, it's written in the third person meaning that it everything is he did this and he did that and they did this and she did that. But as you get toward the very end of the Book of Acts, it starts saying we did this we did that and we went there. That's because that's the point at which Luke is with Paul. So basically in the early days, Luke’s not with Paul but then as you go further toward the end of the book of Acts Luke is traveling with Paul. so I don't know why Paul had Luke traveling with him maybe just as a fellow worker, fellow soul winner, fellow preacher but maybe it was just you know the fact that it's good to have a doctor around, a physician around. Now I don't have anything against doctors honestly because there are good doctors in the Bible.
For example, Luke the beloved physician. So he was a good doctor right. This is a good guy. But my philosophy on doctors is what Jesus said. “They that be whole need not a physician but they that are sick.” So I'm not one who just constantly goes to the doctor whether I need it or not. I don't go for the well-baby checkup or whatever. I don't go get a physical because honestly I just believe they to be holy and not a physician and I like what Hippocrates said the Father of Modern Medicine. He said “when the physician can do nothing to help, he must be kept from doing harm.”Okay, because there are a lot of Physicians that can actually harm you and create problems and make things worse in your life. And so my philosophy is if I don't need the doctor I'm not going to go to the doctor. I go to the doctor if I need something like for example we were hiking and Brother Danny he injured his finger he needed a doctor. okay because honestly neither Scott nor Quinn nor I knew what to do with Brother Danny’s finger that was sticking out a weird direction and what I mean it looked bad and I could say that now that at the time I’m like’ that looks bad’ he's like’ don't say that, he's like trying not to look at it.’ He’s like’ I can’t look at it’ and I'm like ‘oh man it looks horrible’ He’s like ‘don't say that you’re going to make me throw up. ‘
I'm telling him like ‘oh yeah it's not too bad it's not too bad’ but you know I'm looking at Scott I'm like Scott do you know what to do no, Quinn, do you know? No and I’m like ‘Oh man maybe I should have taken that first aid class’ or whatever. And he needed a physician and he took it to the physician, even the physician had to really work. I mean it took three tries to get his finger lined back up. Thank God for anesthesia. Can you imagine having to go to the doctor before anesthesia? Here drink this and bite down on this and I mean that would've been awful at least I mean at least he was anesthetized but it still hurt when they were jacking his finger around. So I'm not against doctors. I do take my children to the doctor when they need it I do go to the doctor myself if I need it but I'm not one of these it is I the sniffles, let's go to the doctor.
I'm not one that goes to the doctor at the drop of a hat and I do believe that a lot of the practices of modern medicine are barbaric and almost medieval. Okay because honestly when you look at modern medicine there are a lot. You say come on Pastor, what you know about these things. Well I know that one third of babies are cut out of their mother's womb. That can't be normal and look I'm not saying that a C section is never necessary because you know there are times when a C section could be a lifesaving procedure and a C section could be helpful and necessary. But let me tell you something. It's not forty percent of the time. I mean something is wrong when forty percent of births. My wife keeps statistics on babies that are born in our church. Does any woman in our church that has a baby, she just basically keeps statistics on how many babies have been born and how many have been by C section or how many have been born at home how many have been born hospital births.
I believe we've had nineteen babies born in our church so far. One of those was by C. section and it was because the mother had already had two previous C. sections. Okay, so one out of nineteen and it was probably mainly because of the fact that she'd already had two C. sections. Okay now think about that is not the national average. Okay, at all and again I'm not again I'm not trying to make people feel bad that had a C- section or anything. And look there could come a day when my wife has a C. section. I'm not saying that that's not part, of course that happens. But what I am saying though is that something's wrong with our medical world when just forty percent of births or thirty three percent of births and those are the type of statistics that you see in a hospital birth are being born by C-section. I mean something is off there. That's not normal. That shows me that they're just really eager to start sharpening the knives and basically just maybe it has something to do with the fact that a C. section costs twice as much money. Or maybe that has something to do with the fact that medical students and interns in order to become a doctor have to observe or participate in a certain amount of c-sections. So just let's provide them with a lot of examples.
And then there are a lot of there are a lot of women who do strange things like they schedule a c-section on Friday so they can be back to work on Monday. Okay they’ve got their priorities way out of whack. Okay, they need to obviously stay home with their child and not. And I mean that's just not good for your body. I mean after you have a baby you're supposed The Bible talks about the recovery after giving birth you know resting and bed rest and recovering from the major strenuous task of giving birth. So what I'm saying is that that's just one area of medicine.
Let’s not even talk about cancer treatment that pretty much kills you faster than cancer would. Let's not even talk about all the other crazy things that the medical establishment does. But I mean that's just one area, Obstetrics and Gynecology where we see that there that something is not normal about the way they're doing things. If they are having a thirty three to forty percent c-section rate something's wrong. some of this might be going over your head if you're not you don't know about these things but honestly there is something to be said about the medical industry that it’s got a serious problem there.
Here's what I think the problem is, they don't believe in God is a one of their big problems. So they basically think that they have to fix things that aren't really broken because God created our bodies as the marvels that they are. And science just doesn't necessarily always have faith in the fact that God created our bodies in a right way. For how long did scientists have all these parts of your body where they said ‘oh you don't need that part of your body’ The vestigial organs and they said’ oh there's all these tons of parts of your body that are just relics of evolution like you know saying that we've evolved as we don't need these things anymore. Let's just remove them.’ But then now as we learn more we realize that a lot of those things were helpful. You look at these organs that they say have no purpose like for example I heard that they said in the past had no purpose. Your appendix or something well you don't need it. Yeah but it's a place that absorbs some of the garbage that filters it out. And I'm not an expert on science or anatomy but I will say this, the tonsils being removed at the drop of the hat is not helpful. I mean the tonsils are there for a reason. Okay. And the appendix is there for a reason. The gallbladder is there for a reason and sometimes these things have to be removed for whatever reason but they shouldn’t be removed at the drop of a hat.
Because honestly, they are there for a reason. God put them there for a reason. But this godless philosophy that is based upon the idea that we evolved from animals over billions of years, obviously if you start on that foundation which is a foundation of sand. You're going to end up with a lot of false science. If you started out on the rocks saying well God created us and then you even use the Bible and the wisdom from the Bible as a foundation for building up your medical knowledge then it would be more legitimate. Okay, but most doctors are not Christian. Most doctors and even if they are Christian they are educated in a heathen institution that did not believe in God.
And the biggest reason, so those are a few things that could be wrong with a medical establishment but I think the biggest thing wrong with the medical establishment is the money aspect. The love of money is the root of all evil. And doctors are just like anybody else. They're there to make money and I don't think, there’s anything wrong with making money. I mean there's nothing wrong when a fire alarm guy wants to make money or a carpenter wants to make money or plumber wants make money but I mean everyone should be paid for the work that they do. And doctors should be paid and it's not even necessarily the doctor's fault because a lot of time the doctor, they're spending so much money on overhead and on their insurance and their bond and their license and all their overhead that they're not really making that big of a profit as you think or as they used to.
So then sometimes they have to kind of find ways to make money. Selling a lot of drugs or selling certain drugs where the drug companies giving them an illegal kickback. That happens all the time. Or for example drug companies will give them free samples then they'll turn around and sell the free samples and bill Medicare. Happens every day happens all the time. So they will get just tons of free samples from a drug company and then they sell the free samples. And bill the government I mean the government will buy a fifteen thousand dollar toilet seat. They just print more money, just print the money. Nah man! Don’t get me started, that I could take the sermon in a whole other direction. Let me make a note-to-self-preach a sermon against the government. Okay, all right. So but anyway I'm just saying you know Luke was a good doctor. That doesn't mean every doctor is a good doctor but it does prove that every doctor is not a bad doctor. Right? Okay? So anyway there's a time and place for doctors. Hopefully we can eat an apple a day keeps the doctor away is our goal..
But anyway look what the Bible says a verse 15 “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.” This doesn't mean that the guy staying home from church and meeting with his three buddies. This just means that the church is using his house as their building. So it seems that there are, basically there's a church meeting in a house in Colossi for sure at least one and then there's also a church meeting in a house in Laodicea. Because we got by Philemon’s house and then we've also got the house of Nymphas having the church in his house. Look what it says in verse 16 I got to hurry I'm almost out of time.
“And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.”
Now is there a book in the Bible called the Epistle of Paul unto the Laodiceans? But let me ask you this do you think somebody probably after reading this, has gone out and written one? Because that's what everybody does. Whenever there's any book mentioned in the Bible that we don't have, obviously the devil and his minions are going to think ‘hey let's go write one and let's put a bunch of false doctrine in it’ right? And you can always tell these false books of the Bible these phony you know these fraudulent Gospel of Thomas or the Epistle to the Laodicean’s or whatever. And I've never read it or looked at it but I do know that there is a book out there claiming to be the Epistle to the Laodicean’s. Anything that's mentioned in the Bible the Book of Jaysher, the book of Enoch. the Bible never mentions the book of Enoch but just because it talks about something Enoch said it's like ‘oh let's go write a book of Enoch lets write this’.
So there's all this fraudulent stuff out there. It's always easy to tell when it's fraudulent. Why? Because the Bible is so powerful and so amazing that no other book can ever come close to it. And books try to imitate it whether it be the more Book of Mormon, the Qur'an whenever you start reading them you're like no, not even close. Try to read the Apocrypha. No, you know you can tell. I mean you say well who picked which books were going to be included in the Bible? Look it's obvious because they are ten times better than all the other books that were not included.
Now you say well why didn't God give us the Epistle to the Laodicean’s? Well look, let me give you a few thoughts on this. Now some people have theorized and said well when Paul said the Epistle unto Laodicea he's talking about the Book of Revelation. That's what some people theorize because as you know, the Book of Revelation is addressed unto the Church of Laodicea and was sent to Laodicea. I personally think that that's probably not what he's talking about because it seems to me that he's talking about letters that he wrote. I mean that's theory is possible. I'm not against that theory. It's a possibility but I would tend to say no. Because the Book of Revelations is written by John probably not what he's referring to. Could be but probably not. But what I think is going on here is that we have in the Bible fourteen epistles of Paul we've got Romans we've got first and second Corinthians, we’ve got Galatians. How many letters do you think Paul wrote in his life? Fourteen? Probably hundreds right? I mean how many letters have you written in your life? Oh yeah that's right you just text and e-mail. But anyway, I'm sure that Paul wrote hundreds of letters. Now does that mean that all of those letters were under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost that they were all God's Word? Everything that Paul ever said or wrote was God's Word. No.
So perhaps the letter to Laodicea was just not something that was God's Word. Maybe it was just something that was a letter he wrote. although when we look at this passage though it seems like it probably was God's Word because of the fact that he kind of putting it in the same category with the epistle to the Colossians because and he's saying ‘hey look read because of the Colossians at Laodicea and read the Epistle of the Laodicean’s to Colossians, it probably was God’s word. But what I would say is that it probably just didn't contain anything that's not already contained in the other fourteen long epistles that we have from Paul. So God didn't feel that we needed it because he said the same thing everywhere else. I mean look how much overlap there is between Colossians and the Ephesians. There's already a lot of overlap. I think probably the Epistles of the Laodicean’s could have overlapped with one of the other epistles whichever one you want to theorize it could have overlapped with, something that was written to the Thessalonians or the I just believe that the information was probably covered somewhere else and that's why we didn't need it. That’s why it wasn't preserved.
Could there be fraudulent scriptures? Before you want to worry about finding all these missing books of the Bible why don’t you just study and read these books. We know these are God's word and I think after you've read these ten times and then you examine these other candidates that have not been preserved. When God promised to preserve His Word? these ones that have not been preserved you'll see a difference because you'll have discernment. But if you're some new believer that’s never even read this book one time you might get confused. So that's why you should read this ten times before you even think about that and even then don't even think about it because you’re wasting your time. Anyway the last verse or last two verses “And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen .”
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer, father thank you so much for this great book of the Bible Colossians and thank you for all the things we can learn about being fair with our employees for example and remembering that we are your servants and that you will pay us a good wage so therefore we should pay others a good wage and help us to be faithful help us to be good servants and good stewards of all the things that you blessed us with and all the things that you've given us Lord. And please just help us to make time for the things that matter most especially for giving the gospel unto the lost. And in Jesus' name we pray.