Colossians 1:3-4, 7, 9-10 - We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, ... just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, ... And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
The power of prayer must have been a remarkable thing in the life of the apostle Paul. How encouraging it would have been to hear him offer words of praise and thanksgiving to God for all He brought him through—the perils, the persecutions—as well as the joys and victories. Through it all he prayed, knowing that the God who took all our sins away by the shed blood of His Son surely is hearing his prayer—and the prayers of all believers—offered up in faith and love and hope.
And so it is for the believers at Colossae, a town in Asia Minor about 100 miles east of Ephesus, that Paul and Timothy prayed. Never far back in Paul's mind was the spiritual health of the various churches he visited in his missionary journeys. In this case the church was founded by a believer named Epaphras, a "beloved fellow servant" who provided instruction and taught the budding congregation. From him the believers there heard "the truth, the Gospel" (Colossians 1:5b).
It's good to know when the path you're on is one worth taking. Paul reminds his hearers that they have encountered truth—truth of the divine kind—and that they should remain firm in the faith they have received. "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:6-7).
Again, the timeless relevance of Scripture—speaking then and to us today: "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority" (Colossians 2:8-9). How often these words hit home with us today. Online access to the world's diverse knowledge and points of view is wonderful, daunting, and presents a real challenge to our faith in Christ—if we're not careful to stay grounded in the God's Word.
Always praying for believers, taking pains to keep them focused on God's Word—Paul sends a message to us today: uplift the church, be mindful of the world's temptations, and "put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator" (Colossians 3:10b).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, renew us daily for the tasks before us. By Your Spirit may our lives be pleasing to You and a blessing to others. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. Is your life going in a direction you like?
2. When Paul says that he has not ceased to pray for someone, what do you think that means?
3. How do you bear fruit and increase in the knowledge of God?
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