Watch the most recent sermon on 11.28.2021 Go Now!
This weekend, we concluded our series, “Unrivaled,” as Pastor Doug Sauder shared from Colossians 4. In this message, we discovered how God opens doors for us to walk in His will. We also saw how He equips and empowers us to go into our world and influence others with the gospel.
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your group! Check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
Click below to watch this past weekend’s message in its entirety.
Below you’ll find a recap of the key discussion points from Pastor Doug’s message and a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.
Ice-Breaker: Share a time when someone helped you by opening a door for you—gave you an opportunity to get your foot in the door somewhere.
Key Verse: Colossians 4:2
Main Thought: Look for an Open Door
Discussion Point: Prayer opens doors! In the Book of Colossians, Paul bookends his letter by emphasizing one of the most important and indispensable aspects of the Christian life: prayer. At the head of this letter, Paul greets the church with his characteristic wishes of grace and peace. Quickly, he transitions to prayer for their present and future, that they may discover how to walk firmly in the will of God (Colossians 1:9–12). And then concluding his letter, he circles back and provides a three-fold model for prayer to help set the stage for our quiet times with the Lord (Colossians 4:2). Taken together, Paul’s instruction for prayer provide us the cannons with which we barrage heaven’s door.
The model is as follows . . .
Devote: This isn’t a passive mindset. Strong’s Concordance defines “devote” as unremitting care, meaning we pray steadfastly. It’s been said that if God’s Word is our daily bread, then prayer is our oxygen.
Watchful: To keep alert, to stay awake (Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane contrasted with His disciples who fell asleep). It means to give strict attention to. Think of a traffic officer standing in the middle of an intersection directing vehicles. If that officer averts his attention, chaos could ensue! Prayer keeps our focus on God, deriving all we need from Him. Devotion to prayer ensures we or those we pray for are not overcome.
Thanksgiving: This speaks not just of being thankful for what God has done, but for what you trust He will do. Because God’s plans are good and His ways are righteous, our prayers should reflect gratitude, trust, and stand as an act of worship.
These bookends of prayer binding this letter reveal God’s desire for us to stay in close communion with Him.
Discussion Question 1: Why is devotion to prayer so important to your Christian walk? What steps can you take to remain devoted to prayer?
Discussion Question 2: How are you keeping yourself alert?
Key Verse: Colossians 4:3–6
Discussion Point: For Paul, seizing the opportunities presented each day isn’t about packing in enjoyment, pleasure, riches, and experiences for ourselves. It’s about God and others! The advice Paul gives to “make the most of every opportunity,” is sandwiched between two instructions:
1) “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders.” Making the most of every opportunity is directly tied to the way we treat and interact with those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as Savior. So, these opportunities he’s referring to are opportunities to draw people to Jesus, to be His hands and feet, to plant good seeds, and to make the gospel attractive.
2) “Let your conversation be always full of grace.” Anytime we talk to someone who doesn’t know Jesus, they should leave feeling as though they were loved well, heard, valued, and shown empathy and respect. They should feel a peace and uplifting they can’t explain. People should be able to see there’s something unique and deeply beautiful about the way we speak to and treat them. And that unique, beautiful thing is the presence of Christ in us. Paul then describes this grace by saying we must be “seasoned with salt.” Salt makes things taste better; it brings out the best in food. It brings depth of flavor, which produces greater enjoyment. In essence, when someone who doesn’t know Jesus leaves a conversation with you, a believer, they should be left with a good taste in their mouth.
Discussion Question 3: How are you being wise with your interactions with people who aren’t Christians? In what ways can you ensure you season those interactions with salt?
Key Verse: Colossians 4:7–18
Main Thought 1: God Often Uses Disappointment to Open a New Door
Main Thought 2: Open a Door for Someone
Main Thought 3: If God Opens a Door, Walk Through It
Discussion Point: Paul wrote this “in chains,” from prison, but he saw his chains not as a hindrance to spreading the good news of Christ, but rather as an opportunity to continue his mission in a new and unexpected way.
Discussion Question 4: How has God used this season of your life to bring about new passions and opportunities for you?
Pause: Has this season felt like a hindrance, a bunch of closed doors, or an open door to operate in your calling? Or a little bit of both? Why? How are you seeking Him through prayer to discern which doors are open and which ones are closed?
Ponder: What doors has God been opening in your life that were previously closed?
Practice: Dream big for this upcoming season! Pray about doors you desire the Lord to open over the next few months in your life, in the lives of those around you, and in your church!
Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.
Discussion Question 1: Do you like to talk with God? Why is it so important to talk with Him? What do you like talking to Him about?
Discussion Question 2: Can you think of ways you can keep your focus on Jesus?
Discussion Question 3: Do we treat Christians and non-Christians the same way? What ways can we show who Jesus is to those who are not Christians?
Discussion Question 4: During this time, can you think of new interests or things you have enjoyed doing that God has brought into your life?
Come along with us and dozens of other churches in South Florida as we take a 21-day journey exploring the mission of the Christian community and how we can live on mission. Discover what biblical unity looks like and how we as a community of believers across denominations can be used by God to draw people to His Son. To subscribe, click here.
Kicking off “Undivided,” a special three-week series alongside dozens of other churches in South Florida, this weekend Pastor Doug Sauder will share how Jesus brings unity between us and what we can do to maintain unity in a world that seeks to divide us.
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Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.