“Near the very end of the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae,” Stan began, “there is a very short mention of a person named ‘Archippus’.”
“Don’t think I know him,” I replied.
“As far as I can tell,” Stan responded, “he is mentioned only in passing in one other place in the Bible and that is in Paul’s letter to Philemon.”
Continuing, he said, “But even in the short mention of this person, Paul has an important lesson for me.”
“For you?” I asked. “What could you possibly learn from a person who is barely mentioned in the Bible?”
“It wasn’t him,” Stan replied, “it was what Paul wrote about him.”
Continuing, he said, “Paul encouraged Archippus to pay attention to what God had given him to do so that he would fulfill that ministry.”
“And I think,” Stan said, “that this is an important message for me, as well as a message for each one of us.”
“I am to take seriously what God has for me to do. I am to do it. Period. And, it seems to me, the key to that is how Paul described it as that which Archippus had ‘received in the Lord’. If I have received a ministry from and in the Lord, I am to do it, not just say that I will do it when I decide to get around to it.”
“Is Paul writing about long-term or short-term ministry?” I asked.
“Yes,” Stan said with a smile. “I think this applies to whatever God has for me to do, whether a particular ministry is for an hour, a day, a lifetime, or for something in between. As might be said in a different context, I am to ‘Just do it’.”
And I say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it. Colossians 4:17.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you have ministry for me to do. Thank you that you allow me to receive from you the ministry you have for me. I confess that too often I fail to do what you have for me to do because I do not feel like doing it or for some other self-focused reason. Please forgive me. And please help me to understand that you have ministry for me everywhere I might look. Help me to truly receive what you have for me. Please lead me in being the person you intend, doing the ministry you have for me, wherever and for however long. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.