Open your bibles or your bible App to Colossians Chapter 1 vs. 1-8 or read below:
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, which you heard before in the word of truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.”
Lessons from today’s scripture: (Some notes taken from the Life Application Study Bible)
- The city of Colosse was a trading center, a crossroads for ideas and religions. Paul had not yet visited this church that was started by Epaphras, one of Paul’s converts. Paul was writing this letter to refute false teachings about Christ that were causing confusion among the Christians there. There was a belief it took a “special knowledge” to be accepted by God; for them, even those who claimed to be Christians, Christ alone was not the way of salvation. In his introductory comments, therefore, Paul commended the Colossians for their faith, love and hope as they looked forward to heaven. Many believe he deliberately omitted the word “knowledge” because of the false teaching that a person had to have special knowledge before they could receive salvation. While we are admonished to dig into the scripture and learn, it’s not what we know that brings salvation – but WHO we know! Knowing Christ is knowing God. You accept that free gift of salvation and then you start growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus as you dig into Gods Word.
- Wherever Paul went he preached the gospel. To Gentile audiences, to hostile Jewish leaders, and even to Roman guards. Whenever people believed in the message that Paul spoke, they were changed. Who are we sharing the hope of the gospel with? Do we share it with everyone, or do we have a pre-conceived notion of whom we should share with and whom we should not? I believe many are drawn to share with the obvious broken and hurting… the addict, the alcoholic, the poor and homeless. But what about the business executive in the suit and tie? What about the lady who appears to have it all together? Just because a person has financial stability or appears to have it all together doesn’t mean they are not carrying that hole in their heart that only Jesus can fill. The transformation of a life and heart is for EVERYONE. Be bold enough to share Jesus with everyone you meet.
- Because of love for one another, Christians can have an impact that goes far beyond their neighborhoods and communities. Christian love comes from the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). The Bible speaks of it as an action and attitude, not just an emotion. Love is a by-product of a new life in Christ. (See Romans 5:5 and 1 Corinthians 13). Christians have no excuse for not loving, because Christian love is a DECISION to act in the best interest of others.
- “Praying always for you” – how often do we pray for our Christian brothers and sisters when they are not sick or asking for prayer? We should be praying for our Christian friends often int he manner below:
- Be thankful for their Faith and changed lives.
- Ask God to help them know what HE wants them to do.
- Ask God to give them deep spiritual understanding.
- Ask God to help them live for him.
- Ask God to give them more knowledge of himself.
- Ask God to give them strength for endurance.
- Ask God to fill them with joy, strength, and thankfulness.
How many people in your life could be touched if you prayed this way? This was very convicting for me this morning and I plan to start praying for my Christian friends in this manner. We get so focused on the prayers for the sick, or tough situations they are in, that we forget to pray for their growth and strength in Jesus. I will welcome any you want to send up on my behalf as well! 🙂
Happy Monday friends – may the start to your week be blessed!