Read Colossians 4:13 & 16.I wanted to do both of these two passages because they work so well together. It's about the church being the church. You see Hierapolis was about six miles from Laodicea and fourteen miles from Colosse. These churches were relatively close to one another. The church of Jesus Christ was spreading out. How was Paul going to continue mentoring these churches? He does so through letters that Paul sent and they passed between themselves to read to the churches. They provided instruction, encouragement, and hope as young, persecuted believers finding their way.
"I vouch for him (Epaphras) that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis."
I love seeing churches working together - intradenominational and interdenominational. I remember a few years back I was at a Women of Faith conference that met here in my city. During lunchtime, a group of men were cooking for the women from their church. The men's shirts said, "The Church of Modesto." Modesto is a town about an hour away and there is no church there by that name. All the churches in Modesto got together to be the church as one. What on awesome example of being The Church -- working together, side-by-side toward a common goal of sharing the love of Jesus Christ. If we would do that more, maybe the world would stop seeing us as a religion with rules, regulations, and rituals and instead see the power of a love relationship with our Lord.
- Read through Acts. What were the primary purposes for these new churches?
- How is your church doing in being The Church? What can you do to help that?
- What attitudes have to happen to be a cooperating church?