Colossians 1:3-14 "It's All About Christ!" - Part Two
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1:3-14
In Colossians 1:3-14 we read how Paul complimented the church at Colosse for their relationship with God and then how he encouraged them to go deeper in their love for the Lord. I praise the Lord that the more we know and experience God, the more we realize that this is to know and experience. The key to spiritual growth is to keep our focus on Christ and not to be self-satisfied with our so-called achievements. The theme, "It's All About Christ!" will direct us properly to glorifying God with our lives and will reap a harvest of blessing for us and our families.
Paul compliments the Colossians in 1:3-8. They have a strong faith in Christ Jesus and a love for all the saints. Their faith and love originates from their hope in the Lord that is stored up for them in heaven. Their "faith" in the Lord reveals their turning from their old nature to Christ and their desire to live daily for Him. Their "love for all the saints" then is a practical expression to those around them of their lives being changed by Jesus. In fact, if your life is truly changed by Christ, then you cannot contain the overflow of His love from spilling out onto others.
The society of New Testament times was very class conscience. They were well aware of the labels that identified individuals in society such as nationality, religion beliefs, economics, and politics. But, when people gave their hearts to Jesus as Savior and Lord then the only factor that mattered was their love for the Lord. Jesus Christ was the One who saved them. Jesus Christ is the One for whom they lived. And, it is Jesus Christ who united them. The church at Colosse understood this fact and lived it appropriately.
Their faith and love sprang from the hope that they will be with Christ in heaven for eternity. Their hope for an amazing future with Jesus helped them to respond properly to their present realities and equipped them with the fact that this world is not their home or final destination. The best is yet to come.
Paul then answered any question they might have concerning the validity or impact the message of Christ had worldwide. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was not just a local or regional phenomenon. The message was global and changing lives just as their lives were changed. They were in the flow of the worldwide movement of the Spirit of God.
It was because of the Colossians faith, love, and hope that Paul prayed they would grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord. In the final verses of our passage, Paul asked God to fill them "with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." Paul was a spiritual father to the Colossians and, as such, he wanted the best for them. As a father of three sons, I understand that the best for my sons is not that they acquire wealth or popularity but that they find the Will of God for their lives and follow the Lord without compromise. What could be better than following the Eternal and Almighty God?
The knowledge of Will of God is found through spiritual wisdom that comes only from reading God's Word and spending time in His presence. Understanding the Will of God means that you learn how to apply what you read and then you live in a manner that honors God. You must find the Will of God in order to fulfill the very purpose for which God created you; to glorify Him. Paul then wrote that once you obtain the knowledge of His Will then you must live a life worthy of the Lord so that you can please Him in every way.
Let's stop for a second and rephrase what was just said. Do you want to be happy? Do you really want genuine, amazing, abundant joy? If so, the focal point of your heart and mind must be on Jesus Christ. The purpose and fulfillment of your life is not found by being self-focused or by making your ideal of happiness be your desired outcome. You will find true purpose and fulfillment only by making Jesus Christ the center of your being. "It's All About Christ!" is our phrase that speaks volumes. Paul is encouraging you to focus on Jesus.
So, just how are you to live a life that pleases Christ? Paul wrote that you are to first, bear fruit in every good work. This means you will seek to do that which honors the Lord. Second, you are to grow in the knowledge of God. This means you will hunger for God's Word and spend quality time in His presence. Third, you are to seek to be strengthened with all power so that you will have great endurance and patience. This means you will overcome life's obstacles by the Lord's strength and not your own. Fourth, you are to joyfully give thanks to the Father who gives you your inheritance. Your joyful and thankful heart positions you properly to love the Lord and brings you peace that passes all understanding. Fifth, you are to remember that you owe your life to God, the One who rescued us from darkness and brought us into the love of Jesus Christ.
I am so thankful that the Lord sees where we are in our spiritual journey and then takes us to a deeper level with Him. Paul's letter to the Colossians applies to you and to me. You can be so very thankful for what the Lord has done in your life. But, there is so much more! You can find the knowledge of God's Will for your life. You can live a life worthy of the Lord. You can please Him in every way. You can do this if you focus on Jesus and are obedient to Him. "It's All About Christ!" May the Lord find us faithful. Let's pray
Dear Jesus, please teach me to live a life worthy of you so that I may please you in every way. I want to bring glory to you in everything that I do. Amen.
For You to Consider
- What can you do to strengthen your faith in God?
- How can you overcome the difficulties you might have in loving other Christians?
- What changes should you make to your life if you lived each day as a preparation for eternity?
- What should you do to live in the knowledge of the Will of God?
- List five ways that you will seek to please God this coming week in your thoughts and actions.
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