God Time

Finishing the Work We’re Called to Do {A Study in Colossians}

By January 10, 2014 29 Comments

A Study in Colossians

One of the Faithful

I have a confession to make. For years, I used to skim over the opening and closing statements in Paul’s letters. I assumed that all the “meat” was in the middle. Once I reached the final few verses, I would tune out.

But one day, while reading Colossians, something caught my eye. Near the end of chapter four, Paul stopped and spoke directly to Archippus. He said:

Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.’ ~ Colossians 4:17

I wondered who Archippus was. So I looked him up.

His name only appears twice in the Bible — once in Colossians and once in Philemon. He was a notable member of the church in Colossae, but we know little else.

But we do know one thing: Archippus received a call from God to do a specific work for the Kingdom. We don’t know what he was supposed to do, but whatever it was, we know that he needed to finish it.

Perhaps Archippus experienced opposition, and he needed some encouragement to press on. Perhaps Archippus simply lost interest in his work, and his fervor sort of fizzled. Perhaps Archippus got busy with regular life, and he just plain forgot.

Or maybe Archippus was still going strong, and Paul just wanted to say: Keep on keeping on, Brother!

Archippus isn’t well-known like Abraham or Moses or David. But he was called by God to a specific task. And he needed to be faithful to complete it.

I’m so thankful that God included someone like Archippus in the canon of Holy Scripture. Archippus is a great reminder that God doesn’t just use “famous” believers who travel the globe with speaking engagements or stadium-filling concerts.

God uses regular folks too.

He uses me. He uses you.

To accomplish His good and perfect will.

God calls all of us — whether famous or nameless — to finish the tasks set before us. These tasks may go unnoticed by human eyes, but that doesn’t make them any less important to God.

And the verse in Colossians 4:17 encourages, not only Archippus, but all of us to finish the work that God has called us to do.

Let’s be faithful to finish well.

What is the task God has called you to finish? What is one “take-away” you have from studying Colossians this week?

What’s Next?

Though our time in Colossians is done, we know your desire to be in the Bible is far from over. To continue spending time each day with God in His Word, here are some studies you might consider:

  1. Team 365 is a group of women spread across time zones and continents who are reading the One Year Chronological Bible (NLT) together. It’s a “big picture” study that tells the Story of God’s redemption — from creation to Revelation — in 365 daily readings. You can find all the details here.
  2. Life Giver is a four-week Bible study on how we as Christ-followers can be life givers in our relationships. Using the acronym L-I-F-E, Lara leads the reader through Scripture looking at practical steps necessary to becoming a life giver. This study is free only through the end of January!
  3. Abundant Living: Pursuing the Fruit-Filled Life is a free, four-week Bible study designed for the busy and overwhelmed who long to be in the Bible. This study gives a lot of guidance and a lot of grace.

The next HelloMornings Bible study will be on Ruth and will begin sometime mid-February. Details on this and more about the next challenge are coming SOON!

This post is part of a mini-challenge to study the book of Colossians. The first post of the series can be read here. A free downloadable study guide is available for all blog subscribers. You can find the study at the bottom of this post in your email or RSS feed. If you are not yet a subscriber go here and follow the instructions. An email with the download link to the study will be sent to you after you confirm your subscription. Enjoy!


  • So encouraging to remember that God uses each of us, no matter where we’re at in life 🙂

  • Jamie says:

    Abundant Living is .99 Did I miss it being free?

  • alyssaz says:

    Colossians had a lot of goodness. 4:2-3 were fantastic reminders of prayer. This is the area I struggle with the most in my Walk. These simple verses conveyed the importance and the how. Just loved them!

  • Bec S says:

    IT struck me how thankful Paul was and how much it is mentioned in this short book. So my take home thought was to be more mindful of being thankful for everything.

    Thank you for a great mini study. I look forward to doing more with you all again later on.

  • This has been an eye-opening and reminder study to start my year. God’s word reminds me of His calling in my life. Praying that God will continue to use you, Denise to bless and encourage a lot of women.

  • phoward336 says:

    Thank you for this study – I really enjoyed the way it was laid out – I liked having questions that I had to “look for” the answers to, and I appreciated the takeaways – how to apply to my own life at the end of each page.

  • Shannon says:

    Thank you so much for this study! I really enjoyed that this was a study that I could download and print out. I find that I get too distracted by “other things” when I use ebook studies. Being able to print it out and physically write out the answers helped me stay focused. I also loved the history and background that you provided for us. It helped me to know what was going on during that time so that I could put his letter in context. Colossians 3:23 is my life verse!

  • Finishing the Work We’re Called to Do! Wow! What can I say. This study has spoken to me in so many ways.


    Colossians 4:2 Lord help me to devote myself to prayer, to be watchful and thankful

    Colossians 4:5 Lord help me to be wise in the way I act toward outsiders, and to make the best out of every opportunity…And my favorite

    Colossians 4:6 Lord let my conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that I may know how to answer everyone.

    I struggle heavily in all of these areas, and this morning’s study has really touched my heart  I am truly grateful.

  • Jessica says:

    The ‘take-away’ that really hit me as I finished this week’s mini challenge (& from my increased time spent in His Word since discovering HelloMornings last Fall!) was the knowledge that God really loves to hear from me!!!! He really wants to hear of my joys, my pains, my trials, my triumphs and even of all the day’s mundane details. He is anxious to listen to my prayers of petition and praise and to RESPOND!….. if only spend time with Him. This realization has brought me such peace and joy and an added incentive to “persevere in prayer”. <3

    • It’s amazing, isn’t it? The God of the universe wants to listen to you — yes, you! He loves you so much, and He’s very interested in the details of your life. He wants to hear from you. That’s the amazing God we serve.

  • Novella says:

    The task God has called me to finish is to continue to get into the word daily allowing it to transform me into the image of Christ more & more each day as well as doing everything ( cleaning, cooking, teaching etc) as if I am doing it for The Lord.

    Colossians 3:23-24
    New International Version (NIV)
    23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
    That verse is also one of the take always I have from this week study.

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