Highlights In Today's Reading:
Christ is Supreme (1:15-20). Enemies now friends (1:21-22). Paul instructed to reveal "The Secret" from God to Gentiles (1:25-26). Know what it is (1:27)? Dead in . . . sins, alive in Christ (chap. 2). Live the new life in Christ (3:1-17). What is a Christian household (3:18-25)? We're encouraged to pray (4:1-4).
Paul wrote to the church in Colosse from prison (4:18). Although he had never entered that city (2:1; 1:3-8), he wrote to the church out of his deep concern for their spiritual welfare. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints. . . . we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you (1:4,9).
Paul could look beyond his persecutors because he knew that he was suffering as a servant of Christ. Consequently, he could rejoice in his sufferings. The secret to this overflow of joy and his strength to live victoriously was the indwelling Spirit of Christ who was in control of his life. At some point in our lives we may face problems that seem too great for us to overcome. By not knowing the Word of God and His plan for their growth and usefulness, we can be caught off guard, become discouraged, and complain, asking: "Lord, why is this happening to me?" Paul prayed for the Colossians: That ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding . . . being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness (1:9-11).
Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (2:2-3), dwells within the weakest Christian, providing us the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7). Christ makes His wisdom and power available to every Christian who, by faith, looks to Him through prayer and in harmony with His Word. As long as our faith is in Him, we will never be overcome regardless of what we face. As Christians we are called by God to know His purpose for our lives. We find the answers in His Word, the Bible, where we are instructed to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (II Pet. 3:18). Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (Col. 3:16).
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10).
Thought for Today:
The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way (Ps. 25:9).
For Col. 2:11: See Deut. 10:16. Col. 3:23: See Eccl. 9:10. Col. 4:6: See Eccl. 10:12.
1:12 meet =sufficient; 1:13 translated =transferred; 1:23 settled =firmly grounded; 2:4 beguile =deceive; 2:23 will worship =self-inspired efforts at worship; 3:5 Mortify =treat as dead; concupiscence =uncontrolled desire for what is forbidden, especially sexual immorality; 3:22 singleness of heart =sincerity, honesty, not hypocritical or self-seeking; fearing God =out of reverence for your Lord; 4:1 give . . . that which is just and equal =do what is right and fair.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Government Official: Sec. Ray LaHood (Dept. of Transportation) • Country: Nauru (11,000) in the central Pacific • Major languages: Nauruan and English • Religious freedom • 57% Protestant; 24% Roman Catholic; 10% Buddhist and Chinese folk-religionist • Prayer Suggestion: Study and heed the instruction of the Word of God that your prayers may be heard (Prov. 1:28-30).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 18:34