Posted in believers, church, discipleship, encouragement, letters, ministry, prayer, tagged church, help, ministry, prayer, relationship, support on May 9, 2011|
Leave a Comment »
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, of which you heard before in the word of the 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. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Paul opens his letter to the believers at Colosse (Colossae) with an prayerful appeal. In verses 3 through 6, he offers prayerful thanksgiving for the believers themselves and their faith and “love for all saints.” He shares that he is thankful for what God has done with these believers and through them in the form of “bringing forth fruit.” In verses 9-14, he shares that he and Timothy (Timotheus) have prayed for the Colossians to continue living by faith by “being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” He shares his thankfulness to the Lord for what He has done among these believers and his trust in the Lord for what He will continue to do among and through these same believers.
He asserts his authority of “an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” within the very first words of the letter. As a missionary, he educated these believers and some like Epaphras, his “dear fellow servant” educated Paul and Timothy of the people and their “love in the Spirit.” As a minister, Paul sought to soak the Colossians down in prayer for the sake of the gospel so that they could live on as testimonies of God’s tremendous work. He was purposeful in his prayer for these believers, sharing that he truly hoped that the Lord would help them to grow stronger in faith and their knowledge of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior.
What if we prayed with more purpose regarding our fellow believers? What if we thanked God for what He had already done for them? What if we offered God our prayers, fully trusting Him to supply and strengthen our fellow believers? Imagine how much more unity we would experience if we expressed that prayerfulness for our brothers and sisters in Christ openly and publicly, standing together as one body, the Body of Christ.
It is my belief that we would experience more power if we would become both prayerful and purposeful. We need to become more prayerful, praying for one another. We need to become more purposeful, recognizing our God-given purpose to serve the Lord and support one another. That would help us to live a little more like Paul, Timothy, Epaphras and the believers in Christ in Colosse.
Read Full Post »
Posted in believers, change, Christianity, encouragement, inspiration, letters, love, new nature, relationships, study, tagged Bible, change, Christ, glory, redemption, relationship, restoration, service on March 19, 2010|
Leave a Comment »
But because I love you, I am pleading with you instead. I, Paul, an old man now and also a prisoner for Christ Jesus, am pleading with you for my child Onesimus, who became my child while I was in prison.
Philemon 9-10 (NCV)
I’m back in school (Yes, again). Now, I am finishing up my general ed courses in order to complete my degree, so I need a Bible class. Why not Biblical Perspectives? It is a major effort with some serious coursework that keeps me in the Bible and my study texts. We recently looked at Philemon, something I really hadn’t given too much atention to in my personal Bible study. After completing the assignments, I read the epistle again and gained some new insights.
Paul appeals to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus, a runaway slave of Philemon’s and a convert under Paul who is in prison. Paul shares that he desires that Onesimus would be received as a fellow Christian brother upon his return and not as a slave. Yet, Paul reveals a real doctrinal secret when he says that Onesismus,whose name means profitable or useful, was once useless to Philemon but is now useful to both Philemon and Paul (v.10). Isn’t that how it is with all of us? We were once enemies of God, not doing the things of God which are good for the sake of God and others. I was shocked because Paul showed me some real truth about salvation and change. What if the thug who broke into your house was converted? Do you believe that God could make you useful? What about the woman who slept with your man? Can’t God do something and make her into someone who is useful for Him? What about you? You know you better than anyone. Didn’t God make you useful after you were useless to Him?
Read Full Post »