Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day five) “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,” Colossians 2:13
Paul paints an unflattering picture as to the spiritual condition of the believers in Colossae before they came to faith in Christ. He describes them as dead. Pretty dramatic and drastic. Not lost. Not seeking. Not investigating. Dead. What are the expectations and opportunities of a dead person? Nothing. No hope. No possibilities. No potential. Just “deadness”. It’s very accurate. It’s very humbling. It’s very helpless. Yet when life becomes a possibility, we don’t do anything. We are dead, remember? It is God who does the work and provides the power and possibility of life. Through Jesus. Praise God, that HE MADE YOU ALIVE. “So that no one may boast”.
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:1-7 (day five)
“having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:7
Paul practiced what he preached. He lived a life of thankfulness and gratitude. Look at all his letters. Thankfulness and gratitude were always on his mind and heart. Paul reminds the Colossians that thankfulness and gratitude contribute to a maturing faith. Paul describes the consequences of not being thankful in Romans 1:21 “Although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.”
Who are you thankful for today? What are you thankful for today? Why are you thankful? Will you express that to God and others?
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 1:24-29 (day five) “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.” Paul’s goal for his ministry is that every believer would be complete (mature) in Christ. So for Paul’s part, this will require proclaiming Christ, admonishing and teaching believers. What about the believers’ part? To become mature in the faith, believers must be willing to do their part. If there is effective admonishing, there must be believers who are humble and moldable. If there is effective teaching, there must be believers who are eager and willing to learn. Praise God for pastors and leaders who do their part (proclaim, admonish, teach)! Will we be faithful to do our part, so that we may be complete and mature in Christ?
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 1:20-23 (day five) “For it was the Father’s good pleasure through Him to reconcile all things to Himself”. Last week’s Re:Verse text ended in mid sentence. Wanted to make sure we had the right motive for God’s work of reconciliation- God’s pleasure. The work of redemption is one-sided. God does all the work. He sacrifices. He makes the way. He invites. He calls. He takes the initiative. And in and through all His work and activity, He is “pleased”. Salvation is God’s JOYFUL work and activity. That’s a terrific invitation to a lost soul. The opportunity for salvation comes to us with joy and gladness. Remember, God has seen creation as it could and should be. All of it. And the work of reconciliation of all things brings Him great joy and pleasure because it also brings Him glory.
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 1:15-19 (day five). He is the image of the invisible God.
Wanna know what God is like? Wanna know His nature and character? Wanna know His heart? Wanna know what pleases Him? Look to Jesus. Jesus makes this crystal clear. Without the life and work of Jesus on earth, we would be left with more questions than answers and more uncertainty than conclusions. But God has made a way for us to not only learn and discover who He is, but to know Him and have a relationship with Him thru Jesus. What love and kindness from the Living God to send His Son so that we might see and sense His glory and mercy!!
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 1:9-14 (day five) “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness”. I had a professor in college who used to say, “You’ll never know how saved you are until you know how lost you were”. According to Paul’s description in Colossians 1, it was a bleak and hopeless circumstance- a domain of darkness.
As teenagers, we used to play a joke on one member of our group every time we would sing Amazing Grace (Not one of my better moments). When we would sing the first verse, we would all pick one person and sing “that saved a wretch like YOU” (all of us pointing at them). It was really funny to me, until one Sunday I was the one who was singled out as “the wretch”. It was a defining moment. Not because I felt picked on or targeted, but because I knew (maybe with greater clarity and conviction) it was true about me. I was a wretch. I needed rescue from the domain of darkness. Even as a nine year old. That’s the good news and power of the Gospel. A reminder of how lost we were will help us be thankful for how saved we are.
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 1:1-8 (day five)
Paul writes “Grace” and “Peace” in his greeting to the Colossians. A mixture of both Greek and Hebrew words and thoughts. Worth noting- different Greek word for grace is used, that points to the work of God. The Hebrew concept of peace was not the absence of trouble, but rather peace is a sense resulting from having been in the presence of God. Notice the order (important in Greek writing). Grace then Peace. Paul is pointing out that as we understand and recognize the work of God through Christ in our lives, we then experience the peace His work and presence brings. The temptation is to try to find peace in other places- material, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Paul is teaching that peace- real peace, is found only thru God’s grace in Christ- a wonderful greeting, important reminder, and a joyful celebration.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day five)
We tend to complicate things with our insecurity and uncertainty. We then wrestle with questions and doubt.
The disciples were still processing all that had recently happened- Jesus’ trial, death, burial, resurrection. I’m sure there remained a thousand questions in their hearts and minds. Yet, they trusted and obeyed Jesus when He told them to go to Galilee. And once there, Jesus gives them one final exhortation. And what they did, we must do (even in the midst of insecurity and uncertainty)- they believed Him- at several levels. 1) His words were true. (He did have the authority to send them) 2)They could do what He had challenged them to do. (They were to make a global impact with the gospel) 3) He could and would do what He promised. (be with them every step of the way)
We have everything we need to trust and obey the great commission: the Holy Spirit, the scriptures, and our testimony. It’s time to trust and obey.
Re:Verse passage –Matthew 22:35-39 (day five)
The desire for safety, friendship, love, significance, and purpose is very strong in the human heart. God has created these longings in us so that we might find them through a relationship with Him. And Jesus takes us a step further in the application and expression of our “self-love”. He teaches that our longing and desire for these things should match or equal (His word-as) our longing and desire for those around us (neighbors) to find and have these things as well. This is a radical perspective. Jesus convicts and challenges us to understand that our own desires and needs are best met in our love for the Lord. And when the Lord meets those needs, we then must have an equal passion and burden (His word-love) to serve, minister, and help others to find the same with God.
“He (Jesus) is commanding that our self- love, which has now discovered its fulfillment in God-love, be the measure and the content of our neighbor-love.”- John Piper
Re:Verse passage –Exodus 20:17 (day five)
“You shall not covet…anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The tenth commandment boils down to trust and lust. Do I trust God that God has, can, and will meet my needs? There is a past, present, and future perspective in being content. Once we can recognize and remember God’s faithfulness, kindness, and graciousness, it helps us in being presently content and less anxious about the future (a place where coveting is birthed) . Perhaps a thankfulness inventory or a list of God’s blessings would be a good place to start today.
If our thoughts and desires lead us to look and crave the qualities or possessions of others instead of God Himself, we are gazing in the wrong direction, and have misplaced our affection for the wrong things. In my mind, this resembles lust- craving the wrong things from the wrong source. Our hearts and minds must be directed to the Lord in prayer, obedience, and worship to the one Who has an unlimited supply of grace, love, forgiveness, riches, and wisdom. We should trust His promises in our contentment, and look only to Him to meet all our needs- physical, social, spiritual, and emotional.