In Colossian 4:17 the apostle Paul sent a direct message to a first century believer who was on the verge of failing to finish something he had started. The issue at stake wasn’t a book. It was his ministry. Here is what Paul said, “And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.’”
Archippus was a leader in the church at Colosse (Philemon 2). While we do not know the exact nature of his ministry, we know that having started strong he was slowing down and showing signs that were concerning. So Paul sent this wake up call, “Take heed.” A spirit of apathy can creep in unawares and cause a person to lose interest in the very thing to which God called them.
Paul called Archippus to re-engage in the ministry which he had received in the Lord. Maybe you are serving in ministry today because you were asked by a pastor, or elected by a board or congregation, or recruited by a lay-leader. But in truth, you received your ministry from the Lord. Behind the human instrument that got you there is the God who called you there. That puts it in a whole new perspective.
Whether your ministry is small or large, visible or not, Paul said, “fulfill it.” The Greek term means – finish it, accomplish it, complete it. Then what? Drop out of ministry? No way. We are simply reassigned to a new ministry. Ministry is what Christians do.
Don’t set your God-given ministry opportunity aside like a half-read book. Instead, “be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Pastor Todd Weston