Serious Wake Up Call

Has God ever gotten a message to you, specifically?

It doesn’t happen often; typically God speaks to us via the
Bible, as we open and study it.  His Word gets specific to us when we
apply what we learn to our daily lives.

But imagine this: you’re reading the Bible, perhaps not
quite as focused as you ought to be, when your name appears in the
text.  Not just someone else who has your name.  Your name. Like
God is, in front of all the millions of other Bible readers, giving you a

Would you pay attention?

I think I would, and for a first-century fellow named
Archippus, he got just such a wake-up call.  At the tail end of
Paul’s letter to the Colossians, this verse appears:

“And say to Archippus, ‘Be sure to carry out the work the
Lord gave you.’”

Think about the context here.  Paul sends his
letter to the church, and the pastor gets up to read it aloud.  After
about an hour of reading about the joys of Christian living, the suffering of
Jesus, the way of good character, and a little deep theology, the pastor pauses
for a moment, as if his eyes don’t quite believe what they’re seeing. 

“Um.  Archippus?  O.K.  It
says, ‘And say to Archippus . . . “

I can picture all the heads in the room turning toward the
poor guy, who is now frozen in his seat, his eyes wide.  Talk about

Of course, it doesn’t stop there.  Copies of that
letter were circulated to other churches, and many Christians made copies for
themselves and to share with friends.  And on each of them, the
message rings loud and clear to Archippus; in fact, it is still printed today –
in hundreds of languages across the world.

It would be hard to ignore the message.  I imagine
he achieved some level of local fame, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was
asked regularly, “Hey Arch, how’s that ‘work the Lord gave you’ coming

The Bible doesn’t record what happened, but my hunch is that
he took the message to heart.  Wouldn’t you?   In
fact, we don’t even know what the “work” God gave

Archippus was. Church-planter?  Doctor?  Family
man?  Food service? Accounting?  Men’s ministry?  Business
owner? Small group leader?  There’s no way to know. 

This story begs an interesting question, though.  What
work has God given to me?  To you?

Although it doesn’t appear in our Bibles, I think it’s
legitimate to substitute our name in for Archy and consider the verse
carefully.  God says, “Tell ____________,  ‘Be sure to
carry out the work the Lord gave you.’”

I know a lot of people who are willing to do God’s work, but
they don’t know where to start.  They’re not sure what God has called
them to do, so they’re in a holding pattern.  Others have an idea,
but they’re afraid to take action.  Today is the day, “Archippus.”

Begin by reading Colossians 3 in the Bible.  God
has already given us instructions to follow.  When we begin to take
them seriously, I’m confident he’ll pass the specifics of his plan along as
well.  If we aren’t obeying what we already know to do, why would God
tell us more? 

Next, read Matthew 28:19-20 carefully and ask this
question: “How, in my life, can I fulfill this commission?” Make a list of
ideas and have the courage to try them.

Finally, pray for God’s direction and power.  Pray
that He will use you to make a big impact on the world.

Do that, and you’re well on the way to carrying out God’s

Take it as a wake up call.

Archippus?  Are you listening? 


Steven Michael said...

How many people of today are given the name Archippus?

DanJ said...

I've never heard of that name being used these days. Maybe "Archie" on occasion.
I wonder if 2000 years from now people will laugh about our strange names.

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