Proclaiming Christ And Serving Him Together
“. . . For you serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:24)
By Rich Carmicheal
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3
A few months ago during a morning devotional time, the Herald staff sensed the leading of the Lord to devote an issue of the Herald to themes from the third chapter of Colossians. We thank the Lord for enabling this present issue to be the fruit of that time with Him. We encourage you to take that chapter (as well as the rest of Colossians) very much to heart as you make your way through the various messages. While not all of the themes could be addressed because of space limitations, we trust the Lord will use the messages that are included, along with your reading of His Word, to draw your attention and heart to all of the wonderful truths in the chapter.
Christ Is All
The main truth that stands out in Colossians 3 and in the pages of this issue is the centrality of Christ. As the Apostle Paul declares in verse 11, “Christ is all.” Notice all the references to Christ in just this one chapter: We are raised up with Christ (v. 1); Christ is above, seated at the right hand of God (v. 1); our life is hidden with Christ in God (v. 3); Christ is our life (v. 4); Christ will be revealed and we will be revealed with Him in glory (v. 4); Christ is all, and in all (v. 11); Christ is the model of forgiveness (v. 13); His peace is to rule in our hearts (v. 15); the word of Christ is to richly dwell within us (v. 16); we are to do all in His name, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (v. 17); Christ is the One we serve (v. 24).
Of course, the focus on Christ is predominant throughout the letter to the Colossians. As believers, we are “in Christ” (1:2); our faith is in Him (1:4); He is God’s beloved Son and we are part of His kingdom (1:13); He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (1:15); all things have been created by Him and for Him (1:16); He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (1:17); He is the Head of the church (1:18); He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence (1:18); He is the source of reconciliation with God, having made peace through the blood of His Cross (1:20); Christ in us is the hope of glory (1:27); He is the One we preach (1:28); the goal is to be complete in Him (1:28); His power works mightily in us (1:29); in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (2:3); He is the Lord (2:6); He is the One we are rooted and built up in (2:7); in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (2:9); in Him we are made complete (2:10); He is the Head over all rule and authority (2:10); God raised Him from the dead and we are buried with Him and raised with Him (2:12); we are made alive together with Him (2:13); He has disarmed the rulers and authorities, triumphing over them through the Cross (2:15); and He is the true reality (2:17).
What a glorious Savior is our Lord Jesus Christ! No wonder the Apostle Paul counted all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ, of gaining Christ and of being found in Christ! (see Philippians 3:7-11).
Mutual Encouragement in Christ
In light of all these truths about Christ (and the many other truths about Him!), we consider it a tremendous privilege to join together with you through the Herald ministry to encourage and strengthen one another in our relationship with Him. What could be of any more importance and consequence than to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him, to minister in His name, and to prepare ourselves (and others) for His Return? May the Lord give all of us more grace to faithfully proclaim Christ, doing our part to admonish and teach every man, “that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Col. 1:28). And may His power work mightily in us to that end! (1:29).
Upholding the Herald Staff and Ministry in Prayer
With all of this in mind, the Herald staff asks for your prayers for a fresh and deeper anointing upon the staff and the ministry, including the other language editions and workers. We believe the Lord is leading us to take some time for rest this summer and to seek Him for renewal. To that end, we are combining the July and August issues of the Herald into this present edition, and will not prepare and mail a separate August Herald. Please remember us in prayer during this season, that the Lord will work in us and prepare us for all that is on His heart for the future of this ministry.
Several years ago we included a prayer in the Herald that was sent to us by a dear friend of the ministry. Recently, another friend mentioned how she regularly prays this prayer over us, and she suggested that we include it again to encourage others to pray for this ministry. This seems like a very appropriate time to once again share the prayer. We invite you to lift up this prayer (and your own prayers) before the throne of grace on the Herald’s behalf:
Thank You for the years of Your keeping, guidance and blessings upon this ministry.
Lay Your hand [anew] and continue to fulfill Your mission calling through these paper publications in different parts of the world. Bless each publication.
Prosper each passage of the Scriptures used. Anoint each message chosen for printing.
Uphold the personnel whether in the management, editorial team or voluntary staff.
Provide for the printing, paper, packaging and postage.
Prevent each paper from being wasted or lost.
Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ through each publication.
Fully accomplish the divine purpose to each individual for whom You have prepared the paper.
So direct each paper as an arrow released from the quiver of fasting and prayer.
Prosper its task of revival for Your people and redemption for precious lost souls.
Move this ministry ahead with its high and holy calling till You return for us.
For Christ’s sake, in Christ’s name and for His glory alone. Amen.
Much Fruit unto God’s Glory
One of the prayers we pray in the Herald office is that the latter days of this ministry will be more effective and fruitful than the former days. We realize that this is impossible from man’s perspective, but not impossible for God – for all things are possible with Him! And certainly there is the need for strong, clear, Bible-based, Christ-exalting, Spirit-filled messages to encourage and challenge readers in these last days and to promote repentance and revival. Our prayer is that the Herald will be one of the Lord’s instruments for such messages, and that the pages, though printed in a very plain and simple format, will nevertheless be filled with life and fire from the Lord. Please join us in praying for greater anointing and effectiveness for the ministry in the days ahead, that Herald of His Coming may bear much fruit for the glory of the Lord in anticipation of Christ’s Return!
We Appreciate Your Partnership!
We are admonished to give thanks to God through Christ in Colossians 3:17, and we certainly offer thanksgiving through Him for all of your prayers and other participation in the outreach of the Herald ministry. As Lois Stucky, the former editor, once wrote, “The marvelous message of the Gospel with its proclamation of the wonderful, sufficient Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, must be shared! Today God is counting on us, His people, to do our part to share this glorious news with our generation. While each of us is limited in what he or she can do individually in light of the vast need for the Word of God in the world, together we can make a significant impact.”
We Hope to Hear from You!
Even though you will not receive a paper from the Herald office until the September issue, the staff will be blessed by any contact and encouragement you may be able to offer this summer. One of the joys of this work is the opportunity to hear from readers about how the Lord is working in your lives.