Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Confident Expectation - Col. 1:5

 ...the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven...

The word "hope" in Scripture is the confident expectation of something that is going to happen.  It is not a wish or something you simply want to happen.  You know it will happen; it just hasn't happened yet.

The confident expectation of being with Jesus and experiencing all that He has promised in the future is a motivation for our faith and love in this present world.  Because we know this world is not all there is, we can make sacrifices joyfully now as in investment in what is coming.  

Sometimes we feel guilty about thinking of rewards in heaven, but it didn't bother Jesus.  He spoke of rewards and treasures.  So did Paul.  Having confidence in the future gives us strength in the present.  If we have no faith in a rewarded future, we will be much more susceptible to temptation now.  Why do many parents get their children involved in sports?  Because they know if their children have goals and dreams, they will be less likely to give into peer pressure, drugs etc.  The same s true of us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Love God's People - Col. 1:4

 ...and the love that you have for all God's people...

It is easy to love God.  After all, what is not to love?  And we can keep our love in a theoretical area, can convince ourselves that we love God and all is right with the world.  However, God is always practical, and He links our love for Him to several things - one of which is loving the rest of His family.  

God has an intense love for each of His children.  When we treat other Christians with disrespect, contempt, gossip about, or even ignore them, God sees it as how we treat Him.   Stop for a minute and think about how you treat that Christian that you don't get along with or dislike.  Is that the way you would treat Jesus?  In God's eyes, it is.

These Colossians had proven that they loved all God's people.  This is one of the things that Paul complimented them on.  We like things to fit our concept of 'spiritual,' but spirituality is practical, and if it's not practical, it's not true spirituality. 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Faith In Christ Jesus - Colossians 1:4

  ...because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all God's people...

Our faith is to be in Christ Jesus, not in our circumstances or in other people.  It must be in Christ alone.  If it is in anything else, it will eventually fail.  It is so easy to be distracted, but Jesus must remain the Center of our lives.  We not only believe in Jesus for our salvation, but also for our sanctification and glorification.  He is all we need.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Christian Life Is Not Easy - Colossians 1:4

 ...because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all God's people...

Paul had heard of the faith of the Colossians Christians.  That is why he was praying for them.  He knew they would face trials from without and from within.  His own life had shown him that the Christian life is not easy.  Anyone who thinks true Christianity is a bed of roses or a crutch has not tried it.  Christianity teaches a person to stand on their own feet and do the impossible through the power of God.  It is getting to know God and working for Him.  It requires courage, self-control and perseverance.  Paul knew they would need prayer support and was willing to invest his time in them.  Are we investing our time in helping others through prayer?  Do we even believe in the power of prayer?  These are questions we all need to wrestle with and answer for ourselves.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Praying For You - Colossians 1:3

 ...when we pray for you...

Notice the word "when" not "if" we pray for you.  These we not even people Paul had met personally.  He had only heard about them and their faith, yet he prayed for them as a man of genuine compassion and concern.  And not just Paul, but "we."  In other words, he prayed with Timothy and probably others about them.

We do not have to know people to pray for them.  We do not have to be personally involved in situations to bring them before God in prayer.  We can pray for missionaries we have only heard about.  We can pray for Godly organizations that we know are doing a good work.  Our prayers do not have to be limited.  Let's open our arms and embrace much more than our personal circle of family and friends or personal interests.

Faithfulness - Col. 1:7

 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ... Faithfulness is often an undervalued virtue....