Paul’s Team

Paul's Team

“This salutation by my own hand – Paul.
Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen”
– Colossians 4:18 –

From verses 7 to 18 of Colossians 4, the apostle mentions ten people on his team:

  1. Tychicus: He treats him as a fellow servant and puts him on his own level. He was the bearer of the letter and a personal message from  the apostle.
  2. Onesimus: He was a runaway slave from Colossus, converted in Rome, but Paul considers him a beloved and faithful brother.
  3. Aristarchus: Always beside Paul in his most difficult moments. Collaborator and a slave of his own free will.
  4. Mark: He was secretary to Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey, but abandoned them halfway when they needed him most. Paul forgave him, included him again in the mission, and recommended him. Paul did with Mark the same thing God does with us (see Acts 12:25; 15:36-39; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phil. 24).
  5. Jesus, called Justus: It is the only mention of him in the Bible. What would they say about us if they had sum us up in three words?
  6. Epaphras: He was one who never forgot about the Colossians. He was the leader of a district, who prayed and worked for the churches.
  7. Luke: He was a beloved physician, the author of the Gospel by the same name and the book of Acts. He had given up his lucrative career to attend, comfort, care for, and strengthen Paul in order to fulfill the mission.
  8. Demas: He was a faithful brother, but who did not remain faithful; he abandoned the apostle and the Lord because of his love for the world.
  9. Nymphas: A faithful, dedicated, and missionary sister who offered herself to the cause of the gospel, she and her resources. The small church of Laodicea was started in her house.
  10. Archippus: Philemon and Nymphas had opened their houses to establish the church, and Archippus was a leader in the church that operated in Philemon’s house. In its early days, the home and the church were the same thing and should remain so. The family is the first church.

As we can see, Paul has a team of various people. There was a fugitive slave to a medical writer. A place for each one and each one had their talents.

As a great disciple, Paul integrated and traines everyone
for the mission with the visionof a prophet, the mind of a scholar,

the heart of an evangelist, the discipline of a soldier,
the faithfulness of a friend, and the love of a father.



“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt,
that you may know how you ought to answer each one”
– Colossians 4:6 –

Beyond the abuse of the consumption of salt and how detirmental it can be to our health, we cannot deny its benefits. Sea salt has numerous virtues for our health, as it provides minerals, provides the necessary magnesium, regulates blood sugar levels, and determines the water of our body.

Sodium chloride is essential in order to produce some acids that allow us to digest proteins and enzymes, regulates the balanced functioning of the brain, increases and improves the immune system, and consequently, resistance against infections. Baths in water with sea salt improve circulation, promote the healing of skin diseases, and moisturize the skin.

Why did Paul say that our words must be graceful, seasoned, and convenient? It is clear that there are ways of saying things, which we can invalidate or validate truthful content in the way we express it.

On the other hand, Jesus Himself showed us that salt (which gives a pleasant taste to food) is the symbol of God’s children, whose life and testimony must be full of flavor and be attractive. The believer is the salt of the earth. There is nothing more bland, tasteless, and fatal than Christians without influence, whose lives do not bring relief and their words are empty of meaning.

Just as salt stops things from going bad and at the same time produces the need for water; the believer is a brake on corruption and produces thirst, leading people to turn to Jesus, the Source of Living Water.

Paul encouraged that the way for Christians to speak be “seasoned with salt,” a metaphor that meant a healthy and engaging attitude. When the Christian opens his mouth, pleasant, fruitful, and uplifting words should flow out. Such was the importance of salt that for many centuries it came to serve as currency.

When we utter meaningless and silly words we encourage others to indulge in the same kind of conversation… The only words that should come from our lips should be pure, unmeaning words… Every word you speak is as a seed that will germinate and produce either good or bad fruit” (The Faith I Live By, p. 236).

Only from a life seasoned by the constant presence of Christ
can seasoned counsel and words come forth.

The Art of Making the Most of Our Time

The Art of Making the Most of Our Time

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time”
– Colossians 4:5 –

In 1987, American Airlines took a particular step: it put one less olive in the salads it served on board each of its flights. With that it managed to save forty thousand dollars per year.

In all areas of life, we create, search, and make the most out of every opportunity to take advantage of and make business more sustainable. So how much more relevant it is to do it on missionary levels, where both lives are at stake, the one who needs to receive as well as the one who has to share.

The term “take advantage” comes from the field of administration and finance. It means “using, profiting, applying, dedicating, achieving, getting, producing, being fruitful, accruing, and benefiting.”

These meanings have given rise to expressions such as “feathering one’s own nest.” These artifacts are used to grind grains and an can be moved thanks to the action of water, among other factors. That type of mill needs water to be directed toward it in order to make it work.

Meanwhile, when a person does good business, it is said that the person “makes hay while the sun shines.” There is also a popular expression in Spanish that alludes to doing the August plowing, referring to the harvesting of cereals, olives, grapes, and other fruits from the countryside during the most fruitful season and by extension, to the benefits that are obtained from the sale of a good harvest.

For Paul, to walk wisely means living in such a way that nothing hinders the proclamation of the gospel. For him, taking advantage of the time to seize opportunities to preach.

We need to be attentive to the opportunities given to us in order to present the message for this time:

Let them be quick to seize opportunities to speak to people. Accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, let them meet the people with the message borne by John the Baptist: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The word of God is to be presented with clearness and power, that those who have ears to hear, may hear the truth. Thus the gospel of present truth will be placed in the way of those who know it not, and will be accepted by not a few, and carried by them to their own homes in all parts of the earth” (Colporteur Ministry, p. 40).

Let us take advantage of this time of opportunity
to do what we have to do!

Dont’ be discouraged, be blessed!



“But above all things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also
you were called in one body; and be thankful”
– Colossians 3:14-15 –

Love is the grace that crowns everything, it is a rich garment that covers and gives brilliance and worth to all other virtues. For the Hebrews, a ligament or bond indicates something that united, binds, and is cohesive.

“Without the belt of love all other virtues are useless, that is, they hang from the body, dangerously loose, about to fall,” E.F. Scott said. “Love is the motivating power of faith, it is the supreme Christian grace, that is why love does to one’s neighbor only that which is good,” said F. Bruce. It is this love that unites, that binds, that enhances, that gives value to all the virtues in one person, the same love that binds us to other people, in the same bodyof believers.

In the letters of Philippians and Corinthians, Paul refers to peace as a guardian, or a protection. When love and bitterness contend for supremacy, peace is the arbiter to define struggle and resolve the conflict; both internal as well as external conflicts or in the individual with themselves or in their relationship with others.

Being at peace with oneself is the fruit of the relationship of communion with God, of living in God and with God. Being at peace with others is the fruit of the horizontal relationship. Rules by peace, to live and live together.

As Christians we live in peace and in gratitude. Philo, writing about the early Christians, says that they often spent the night singing hymns and psalms of gratitude. Pliny, sending a report about the early Christians to the Emperor Trajan, wrote: “They gather at dawn to sing hymns to Christ as God.” Gratitude is born in the recognition of who I am and who the othr is.

“Begin to thank the Lord for your home and your pleasant surroundings,
and the many temporal blessings He gives you. By returning thanks
to the Lord for His goodness, you can do something for the One
who has done everything for you. Contemplate the depths
of the compassion that the Saviour felt for you.
For you He gave His life, suffering the cruel death of the cross”
(This Day with God, p. 45).

Thistle and Nettle or White Rose?

Thistle and Nettle or White Rose?

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another”
– Colossians 3:13 –

Being a support means giving encouragement, a foundation on which others can build and grow. Paul said in today’s text that we must bear with one another. This is not only a task of mutual building, but also a duty that we have as Christians.

God’s forgiveness for us inspires and commits us to forgive others. We have received such great forgiveness, so how can we not forgive those who offend us? The way, the quantity, the depth with which we forgive establishes the sincerity of our request to the Lord: Forgive us as we forgive our debtors. Forgiveness is the bridge that we ourselves have to cross to attain God’s forgiveness.

“It is most difficult, even for those who claim to be followers of Jesus, to forgive as Christ forgives us. The true spirit of forgiveness is so little practiced, and so many interpretations are placed upon Christ’s requirement, that its force and beauty are lost sight of. We have very uncertain views of the great mercy and loving-kindness of God. He is full of compassion and forgiveness, and freely pardons when we truly repent and confess our sins” (That I May Know Him, p. 180).

Cuban politician and writer José Martí published the poem entitled “Growing a White Rose” in Versos Sencillos [Simple Verses] (New York, 1891). It emphasized the value of true love and friendship.

“I grow a white rose,
in June as in January,
for the sincere friend
who gives me his honest hand.
And for the cruel one who rips out
the heart with which I live,
I do not grow thistle or nettle,
I grow the white rose.”

It is easy to give a white rose to the one who lives by giving us white roses; the hard part is giving a white rose to the one who lives by filling us with nettles. The first can be a transaction or commercial exchange; the second is transformational. Only the presence of Christ in one’s life makes it possible.

Life is too short to live with enmity. Therefore, write the name or names of those from whom you are estranged for some reason on a piece of paper and pray for this or these people.

Then, if possible, make a call or send a message to this or these person(s).

Grow a white rose! May the Lord bless you…

Verb and Adverb

Verb and Adverb

“Put on tender mercies, kindness,
humility, meekness, longsuffering”
– Colossians 3:12 –

The basis of Christianity is relationship. Religion is community, communion with God and communion with our neighbor. Living and living together. Communion and relationship.

When Paul wrote this, the suffering of animals and that of the sick was not taken into account. The sick and wounded were allowed to die; nothing mattered. The way they treated the mentally ill or the disabled was completely discriminatory and ruthless. Women were simply objects. Elders had no place in society. The apostle challenged all to have mercy, kindness, consideration, and endearing affection.

It is also challenged them to cultivate goodness. This is pure Christianity. Falvius Josephus used the word when describing Isaac’s habit of making wells as he looked for water and then gave them to others to take advantage of and enjoy. It is one thing to find water and another thing to make wells for others.

In addition, he asked for humility. It was not anout being considered less as a person or of subservience. Humility is based on the sense of creature. The human being is a creature of the Creator God. We can feel nothing but humility before Him. Considering that we are all creatures and dependents of the Creator, we must express humility before others because we are all needy and dependent children, as well. There is no room for arrogance.

On the other hand, He requests meekness. This is a particular feature that strangely combines firmness with sweetness. The person is controlled because God controls him. “Meekness is the absence of self-justification, the opposite of aggression. It is a sweet, kind equanimity. Our Savior was the perfect example of true meekness” (SDA Bible Commentary).

Finally, he advised having longsuffering, patience. Just thinking about the patient way God has treated us makes us comitted to being more patient with others.

Gerson, a noted fourteenth-century French theologian used to say that God takes adverbs more than verbs into account in our lives. What did he mean by this? It is simple. Verbs indicate action, and adverbs point to how we perform it.

God does not only look at action;
He also looks at what motivates us to do it.

What motivates you today? Be blessed…


E. H .B.

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved”
– Colossians 3:12 –

If we continue doing what we are doing, we will continue getting the results we are getting.

It is clear that things are not working well in our society. The family, as its foundation, is going through its deepest crisis. We have to do something. That something has to be different from what we have done so far. God’s purpose for the Christian family is not that it should end well, but that it should last forever, for all eternity. We cannot be content with fighting for one year, or many years; we have to fight all our lives in order to be part of a glorious eternity with our loved ones and with the Lord.

However, how do we strengthen our family bonds? Paul challenged us to live as E.H.B., that is God’s Elect, Holy, and Beloved. These three words were the favorites of the Jewish people. They considered themselves the elect (chosen) people, the holy nation, and the beloved of God. Paul, a Hebrew among Hebrews, took these three words and applied them to all people. God’s love and grace had spread to the ends of the earth.

Choice is always a divine initiative. The starting point is God’s sovereignty. His purpose is holiness, that is, setting apart the chosen to live a different life, set apart by Him and for Him as children and a peculiar people.

Holiness is the manifestation of a life in perfect harmony with God. He has created and redeemed us so that our lives may have purpose.

The famous Italian violinist Nicolò Paganini asked that, after his death, his violin be placed in a display case in his home in Genoa so that it would never be touched again. Unused, the instrument was eaten away, ruined, and became an unused old relic. That wooden violin could only have been kept in good condition if it had been used constantly.

Life that is not spent in service to God and our neighbors
hardly serves as a relic iin the display case,
but that which is spent on Christian witness
sends a music whose chords are projected for eternity.

Are you the instrument that is being used, or an unused old relic?

He Saved More than 1,000 People!

He Saved More than 1,000 People!

“If then you were raised with Christ,
seek those things which are above, where Christ is,
sitting at the right hand of God”
– Colossians 3:1 –

Colossians 3 is a precious and motivating document for the true Christian life. The apostle Paul began by challenging the brethren: If you were spiritually resurrected in Christ, then live as He wants. That is, think of the heavenly things and not the things of this earth.

What is it like to live with heavenly things in mind? It is fleeing from all sexual immorality and evil desires. It is fleeing from anger, from wickedness, from blasphemy, from obscene language. It is not lying.

However, living with heavenly things in mind is not just about not doing things. It is also having a lifestyle marked by compassion, kindness, humility, patience, meekness, and forgiveness. It is practicing the love of Christ.

The apostle Paul had clear guidelines for the husband and the wife (truly love and depend on each other), for children (obey their parents) and for servants (obey and be sincere). The principle for relationships is this: whatever you so, do it from the heart as for the Lord. That is right: we should not do things while thinking about pleasing people, our boss, our friends. We must do everything while thinking about pleasing our God.

German businessman Oskar Schindler dedicated his life and resources to rescuing Jews from concentration camps. In that way, he saved 1,100 people during the Nazi Holocaust. His body is buried in Jerusalem in memory of a life of compassion for others. He was honored with a pplaque with the following inscription: “He who saves a life saves the whole world.” However, rather than feeling praised by the 1,100 people he had saved, he said to himself: “Maybe I could have saved on more and I didn’t do enough.”

It is clear that what God planned for us is not this world full of sin and death, but a transformed world. We have to walk in this world with our eyes looking toward Heaven.

“There is not one inactive in heaven, and no one
will enter the mansions of bliss who has failed wo show love for Christ,

who has put forth no efforts for the salvation of others”
(Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 207).

How many more people can you save by the faithful testimony of your life?
God bless you…

The Power of Love

The Power of Love

“For I want you to know what a great conflict
I have for you and those in Laodicea,
and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh”
– Colossians 2:1 –

The apostle Paul gave a serious warning in Colossinans 2: Beware lest someone deceive you with false and persuasive arguments from false teachers. What deceptions would these be? The deceptions that lead people to live a Christianity that is far from what Christ taught.

Jesus Christ had to be the pattern for the Colossians to walk in. He was the root from which they were to take sap and nutrition. He was the living Rock, the firm Foundation on which both Jews and Gentiles built. Why was Christ all that? Because He was fully God, according to Colossians 2:9.

Because He is who He is, Christ gives us life. He forgives our sins because He paid our debts of sin.

In verses 16 to 18, Paul returned to the false teachers and warned the brethren of Colosse: Do not allow false teachers to take you back to Jewish ceremonies. These ceremonies, which included food, drink, and feasts, were now a shadow of the fullness of what Christ had accomplished with His death on our behalf.

Paul said that there was no sense in returning to the rudiments of Judaism because the death of Christ had eleminated all ceremonial things. What was left were the moral commandments. In addition to the ceremonial commands, nothing would help in our fight against the inclinations of the flesh, our sinful nature.

When we live in Christ, our focus is not living ceremonies. Life in Christ leads us to live what is essential: love for God and love for people.

It is said that Napoleon was looking out to sea while captive on St. Helena, where he died in 1821. There he told his faithful collaborator, General Bertrand, “Jesus Christ is not a man. His birth, the story of His life, all this is a wonder, an inexplicable mystery. Alexander, Ceaser, Charlemagne, and I founded empires based on strength and power. Only Jesus Christ founded an empire based on love, and millions of people would be willing to give their lives for it.”

Napoleon was right, While others were moved by the love of power,
Jesus Christ was moved by the power of love.
Only Christ can make a conquest in such a way.
What moved your life, love of power or the power of love?

May the Lord fill you with the power of His love, today…

What I See and What I Don't

What I See and What I Don’t

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities
or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist”
– Colossians 1:16-17 –

The origin of life is like a war between two gardens. The Garden of Eden represents those who believe that the human being was created by God in His image and likeness. The zoological garden represents those who believe that the human being was the result of a long evolutionary process. The former argue that the creature has devolved because of sin; the latter claim that it has evolved from a lesser being to a higher one. The paradox is that some think that the last position is totally endorsed by science, while the former requires faith to support it.

However, it is worth nothing that true science points toward the existence of God and validates faith in Him.

Arthur Compton, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927, said: “Faith begins with the realization that a supreme intelligence gave being to the universe and created man. I have no trouble having that faith, because the order and intelligence of the cosmos bear witness to the most sublime declaration ever made: ‘In the beginning, God created.’ 

Ernst Boris Chain, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945, said: “The probability that the origin of DNA molecules took place by pure chance is simply too minuscule to be considered seriously.”

Arthur L. Schawlow, the co-inventor of the laser, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981, stated, “As one if face-to-face with the wonders of life and the universe, he inevitably wonders why the only possible andwers are religious… I need God both in the universe and in my own life.

Derek Barton, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1969, said, “There is no incompatibility between science and religion… Science demonstrates the existence of God.”

Albert Einstein, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, argued, “I barely trace the line that flow from God.”

Paul said that all things were creted in Christ and that He was before all things and that all thiings consist in Him.

“The hand that sustains the worlds in space,
the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement
and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God,
is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us” (Education, p. 132).