“Complete The Ministry!”

Silverstone Inn, Lancaster County, PA 2/7/19 (click to enlarge)Yesterday we drove by the Silverstone Inn, Lancaster County, PA
No matter the season, whether clouds or sun, Silverstone always captures our attention and we can’t resist yet another current photo.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
“Complete The Ministry!”
Message summary:  “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
Listen to our message on your audio player.
“Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord'” (Colossians 4:17).
Don and Tabitha visiting with RickYesterday we had breakfast with some new friends, Don and Tabitha Nguyen. Don was born in Vietnam and left when he was 13 years old in 1978 on a fishing boat along with his older sister to Hong Kong. There he spent three years in a refugee camp prior to relocating to Canada where he met his future wife. They both have amazing stories we hope to share in a future message.
Don is a physician who practiced medicine here in Lancaster for ten years. For the last ten years they have served as missionaries to Vietnamese who live in Cambodia. But they have temporarily suspended this aspect of their ministry for a season as they have returned to Lancaster to care for Don’s aging parents. Don is able to resume work as a physician during this period.

Don visiting Vallorbs employee 2/7/19

But they certainly are not off the mission field!  They both express a vibrant faith and desire to share the message of Christ wherever they are, whatever they do. Yesterday, after getting more acquainted during breakfast, they joined us for a visit in a company that has quite a number of Vietnamese employees.
It was heartening to observe the joy on the Vietnamese faces while Don and Tabitha communicated with them in their own language and showed personal interest in them. Although in our chaplaincy service we seek to reach all language groups by expressions of care, it’s not nearly as effective as communicating verbally in one’s native language.
Don and Tabitha have a ministry they have received from the Lord. They may have temporarily suspended their work in Cambodia but they are seeking to fulfill the ministry God has called them to no matter their location.
Earlier this week we had two messages about Epaphras who was from Colossae and from whom we could observe several teachable characteristics. Paul typically mentions names at the end of his letters, most of whom we know little about. In fact in this chapter of Colossians we read that Luke was a doctor (v.14).
The last name mentioned in Colossians is Archippus who apparently lived in Colossae. Paul instructed the Colossian believers, in this final portion of the letter, to “Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.'”
No other biographical information is provided concerning Archippus but this somber challenge, which we all do well to heed regardless of the manner in which we serve the Lord. “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
I find it helpful to change the challenge slightly to make it personal as an expression of my personal resolve. “I will complete the ministry I have received in the Lord.”
Friends, when God appoints us to ministry our appointment is not over until we draw our final breath and step on heaven’s shore. Let us be faithful to His calling in our lives till He calls us home.
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we’ve learned this week of Epaphras who understood the gospel of grace and passionately shared it with others and wrestled in prayer for those who were in his charge. What a shining example to those in the church of Colossae, including Archippus whom Paul specifically called out by name to remind him of his duty as a minister of Christ – to be faithful and complete the calling You placed upon his life. It is a reminder for each of us to be faithful, not slothful, doubleminded or pulled away by worldly desires, as we carry out the mission of the gospel of Christ. We don’t want to fall away like Demas* who later abandoned his spiritual post, but we want to be faithful till our final days here on earth. Amen.

* Demas is also mentioned in the final part of Colossians: “Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings”. Later we have these sad words: “Demas, because he loves this world has deserted me” * (2 Timothy 4:10).
Another reference to Archippus is here: “Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home” (Philemon 1:1,2).

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Satisfied”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band
Vietnamese Cambodians refer to ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia. They have a very hard life.