Thanks to encouragement from several of you as well as to my new favorite productivity app (check it out here) we are at post #3!
Last week I shared background of how I started memorizing Colossians. This week I’ll share about the riches of Christ found in this letter. Please do me a favor and be sure to read or listen to Colossians before and/or after reading this to enjoy it for yourself! I really love this audio version as well as the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation 🙂
Background & Introduction:
Did you know that Paul hadn’t seen the Colossian believers in person when he wrote them this letter? (2:1) I had somehow missed that until I memorized it. Yet from prison he took the time to write a packed out letter to them to ensure they continued in the truth of the gospel.
He starts the letter with confident joy- declaring their status as faithful brothers and assuring them that their love in Christ is noticed! He also shares the specifics of how they are being prayed for by their long-distance family in Christ:
“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.” (1:9-12)
This is a fitting prayer, as he’s about to pen some weighty revelations about God’s nature and His will followed by a call to holy living.
In 1:13 Paul reveals the mystery of the love that saves us:
“He [the Father] has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.”
The divine love within God Himself is at the root of our salvation and the Source of our love for Him and for other people. I’m still marveling as I write: from forever and for all time the Father loves the Son perfectly and the Son loves the Father purely (John 5:20, 14:31, 17:5)
The next five verses are an incredible explanation of Christ’s preeminence, and is only more marvelous in light of the love of the threefold God within Himself. We can’t plumb the depths of Who He is…we must simply join heaven and earth in worshipping Him. And praise God, Paul gets right to telling us how we can best do that very thing!
As we’ve seen, the first part of the letter extols God’s great salvation of and kindness towards those who believe. The latter part then tells us how to live in response to God’s calling.
It’s still all too easy for me to just focus on the commands given in chapter three and not dwell on the promises God has made and the freedom and righteousness that is mine in Christ because of what He has done.
That’s why it helps me so much to say this aloud every week before I get to the application verses:
“He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.” (2:14 )
When we are filled with the knowledge of His will and strengthened with all of God’s power according to His glorious might (as Paul prayed!) we can take the “therefore…” commands and obey from our hearts, overflowing with gratitude to our incredible Savior!
When I reorganized my review schedule two years ago, I decided to review Colossians every Sunday. Saying it aloud before the rush to get to church or in the brief calm of naptime always helps me remember the point of Lord’s day – my Lord Jesus. He is before all things and by Him all things hold together.
The reality that He is so powerful and yet humbled Himself to the cross enables me to forgive and accept anyone I have complaints against. His example of submissiveness to the Father makes submissiveness to my husband a joy. Dwelling on God’s patience with me fills up my patience supply towards my children. I am spurred to work wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm in service to my King. Social media scrolling and TV time is pushed aside to dedicate free time to praying for open doors for missionaries.
And by His Spirit, I am learning to all things in the name of Christ, giving thanks to the Father through Him. His storehouses of blessings are inexhaustible!
To close I’ll just copy Paul’s valediction –
[Grace be with you.]