Thursday, December 15, 2022

Knowledge Of God's Will - Col. 1:9

 ...We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives...

What is the knowledge of God's will?  We sometimes have strange views about the will of God.  We think it is hard to find.  We ask God to lead and guide us in big and small decisions:  should I marry person A?  Have a career in B job?  Live in X city?  Witness to my neighbour?  Have cereal for breakfast or eggs?  Etc.

God has revealed His will in His Word.  If we are not living in the light we have, we do not have the right to expect God to give us further guidance.  For example, a person who prays about whether it is God's to marry a specific person while not maintaining God's sexual standards or knowing that the intended is not a Christian has no right to expect God to answer.  They are not living according to God's revealed will; why should He tell them anything else?

The knowledge of the Will of God comes first and primarily from the Scripture.  God expects us to live according to the standards and rules He has clearly laid out.  If we are going to be filled with the knowledge of God's will, we need to be filled with the Scripture...and order our lives according to it.  

Until that happens, any other seeking after the will of God is simply self-deception.  We don't really want to know the will of God; we want God to approve our will.  We become like the army officers in Jeremiah 42 and 43.

"Then all the army officers...they said to Jeremiah, 'May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us.  Whether it is favourable or unfavourable, we will obey the Lord our God...Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah...When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God...all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, 'You are lying!  The Lord our God has not sent you...'...the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord's command to stand in the land of Judah."

We say we want God's will, but when it turns out to be something we don't like, we disobey it showing that all we really wanted was for God to approve our will.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Praying For People You Don't Know - Col. 1:9

 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you...

Paul apparently had not met the Colossians.  He had only heard about them through Epaphras, yet his pastor's heart went out to them.  He wanted God's best for them.  He wanted them to grow and mature as Christians.  He cared for them.  He prayed for them.

We can easily focus on our families or people we know.  It is easy to have our little circle and not peer too far beyond it...perhaps to a missionary sponsored by our church but not too far.  Sometimes this can be seen in church gatherings.  Friends clump together, talking and enjoying each other's company, while visitors or strangers are not acknowledged or only given a passing 'hello.'  [Unless, of course, it is our 'job' to be a greeter.]. I admit this is one of my weaknesses that I have to work on.  I tend not to be outgoing unless it is part of my professional persona [I work in retail].  I [and we] need to be more like Paul, concerned and involved in the success of others, especially in the Christian faith, whether we have a personal connection with them or not.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Book Updates

 The Gallant Mystery has been submitted to a professional editor to review.  I will probably receive the corrective ideas in late January.  In the meantime, I am working on a revision of The Disappearance Of Captain Danson.  

Two-Way Helping Col. 1:8

 ...and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

Epaphras wasn't just ministering for Paul to the Colossians, he was also taking encouraging news about them back to Paul. Sometimes we are so focused on working for someone or helping them that we forget they need encouragement too.  Helping is a two-way street.  Not even the strongest pastor or leader stands alone.  They need encouragement as well.  Sometimes in the midst of the struggles they face, they can lose sight of the people they are helping.  A word of encouragement is always in season.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Working For Christ - Col. 1:7

 ...who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf,

Epaphras was a faithful person, but it is essential that we be faithful to the right cause.  Many people push hard on causes damaging the kingdom of God.  Virtue is only valuable if used in a God-honour way.  

Epaphras knew that he was, first of all, serving Christ.  He was working on expanding God's kingdom for God's glory.  He did not have the 'Me and Jesus' attitude.  He was representing the ministry of Paul and his team as they ministered for Christ.  He was content to be a faithful servant.  God has made some people to be leaders under Christ, but He has made more people servants and assistants.  We need to be faithful in that role.  True leaders will grow through first being faithful servants, but not every faithful servant will develop into a leader.  That does not make them any less valuable.  A leader is hindered or helpless if he or she does not have trustworthy, reliable people around them.  

Writer's Resources

 I have just added a page that lists recourses to help you build your writing skills.  Writing seems simple until you try to do it.  Then th...