Loving and faithful God, I present myself to you. I long to be useful to you each day.
Read COLOSSIANS 1:1-8
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father.[b]
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant,[c] who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[d] behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do you deeply hope for? What do you think God’s role is in that? How are you feeling about how this is working out? Is this a source of joy or disappointment in your life?
Paul is writing to people he hasn’t met in a place he’s never visited. His co-worker Epaphras brought the Good News to Colossae and has told Paul about its impact. Paul’s overwhelming response is gratitude for what God has done (vs 3-6). This young church has many challenges and is far from perfect. However, it is in the messiness of real life that Paul sees God at work through his Spirit to produce the fruit that will change the whole world: love.
We will hear much about what needs to change in this church, but the foundations are strong, and that gives Paul confidence in its future (even though he’s writing from a prison cell). Paul’s thankfulness is not about being polite but is drawn from a deep well of hope in God’s faithfulness and power. This small church in a regional town is part of a big plan to change the whole world. God is at work, and that is wonderful to see.
Paul sees God at work, and that brings him joy. It’s all about perspective! God sees you through the lens of his Son, Jesus. Look through your current circumstances today and ask God to show you what he’s up to. And be thankful.
Faith, hope, and love! Lord, I too am thankful for what you have given to me; the gift of faith in Christ’s saving work, love in the fellowship of believers, and the hope of life eternal.
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