"And say to Archippus, 'See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.' " - Colossians 4:17 ESV
Isn't that a great example of the writer's heart? Couldn't we put different names in there?
Don't quit. See things through to the end. You are a steward of a ministry that God has given you. It is a ministry of reconciliation. It is unique to your life and relationship to God. Fulfill it.
Pastors and discerning people have used this phrase in key moments throughout the ages but in this case Paul is talking to Archippus and we know a little about this person from elsewhere in the scriptures. Here is some backstory from the book of Philemon.
"Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you - I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus - I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart." - Philemon 1:1-12 ESV
Beautiful isn't it?
Onesimus is mentioned in verse 9 of this same chapter in Colossians.
People get into complicated situations, don't they? How do we go forward? 'Fulfill the ministry' is great advice. It takes forgiveness to do that. It takes faith in the one who has given us the ministry.
Why don't we just put our name in there today...
"And say to ________, 'See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.' " - Colossians 4:17 ESV
God. You sit on a throne far away but your words of encouragement have reached our ears. You have given us great gifts. Please strengthen us. Keep our eyes on Jesus. Make us good stewards of Your ministry. Thank You God.