colossians–FINAL DAY!!

Paul closes his letter with the simple prayer, “Grace be with you” (4:18).

What a perfect way to end his letter! WITH THE GOSPEL! And I think it is the perfect way to end this 30-day journey through Colossians…

GRACE BE WITH YOU! I pray you would have a deep understanding of God’s grace–His unmerited favor–that was shown to you through the cross of Christ. There is nothing you can do to gain OR lose the love and acceptance of your Heavenly Father. His acceptance of you has nothing to do with what YOU do, but everything to do with what JESUS did! His perfect righteousness is given to you through faith. Humbly receive the free gift-righteousness of Christ.

I pray God’s GRACE would be with you….

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colossians–day 29

Wow, just two days left! Thanks so much for taking this journey with me through the blog.

Music is one of those things that stirs my affections for Jesus. I can listen to music all day. Especially now as we are entering into the Christmas season–seriously, who doesn’t love Christmas music?? What is your favorite Christmas music? Mine is Mariah Carey’s Christmas album. Classic.

As I was going through Colossians today, I was drawn to thank God for MUSIC, but even more than just the music–the musicians and song-writers, also.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” 3:16

  1. PSALMS. David, Asaph, and other Scriptural Psalmists penned words that are memorized and quoted thousands of years later. Some of you could probably attest to a time in your life when God’s Words through David were life to you. What are a few of your beloved Psalms?
  2. HYMNS. Charles Wesley (“And Can It Be”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”), Horatio Spafford (“It is Well”), Charlotte Elliot (“Just As I Am”), John Newton (“Amazing Grace”), and so many other hymn writers have made an indelible mark on Christianity. I was reminded just this week of how much I LOVE hymns. There is lyrical richness in them that brings me to tears. What hymn brings to mind a memory so vivid that you remember like it was yesterday?
  3. SPIRITUAL SONGS. Chris Tomlin, Shane Bernard and Shane Everett, Darlene Zschech, and so many like them have their lyrics and melodies blaring through our iPods and car stereos. What is your favorite worship song?

I spent time thanking the Lord for these artists–old and new–who have humbly led us to the throne room in their generation and the legacy that they have in my life.

 

colossians–day 28

I gain such application from 4:16, “And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans, and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.” Paul is instructing the Colossians to SHARE his letter with the Laodicean church and also to read his letter that was written to Laodicea.

I CANNOT do this Christian walk alone. What I receive personally from the Lord is NOT enough. I cannot solely rely on what God speaks to my heart. I MUST share what God teaches me, and I MUST receive from others what God is teaching them. This protects us from PRIDE: WE are not the ONLY ones hearing from Jesus–we need each other! It also protects us from FAULTY DOCTRINE: we must always test our insight against the Scriptures and godly counsel. I also think (and maybe this is just me, but…) the more times I explain and put to words what God is speaking to my heart, the more I begin to put it all together and REMEMBER it better.

Do you have a regular time in your schedule to share with other believers that which God is teaching you? Do you actively pursue others to hear about God’s work in their lives? Paul’s exhortation is clear…and God never wastes a single word.

Share with someone today. You will be encouraged.

colossians–day 27

The Gospel is not just how we “start” our Christian lives. We often think that the Gospel is the DIVING BOARD off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity, but the truth is: the Gospel is the POOL!
“Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth the Gospel which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world [the gospel] is bearing fruit and growing–as [the gospel] does among you, since the day you heard [the gospel] and understood the grace of God in truth.” 1:5-6
We think that the gospel is the simple basics and we “grow up” into more mature things. But this verse explains that the GOSPEL grows in us and bears fruit in us–SINCE the day you heard it. The Gospel is the power of God. It changes us. We never outgrow it. Keep growing into the depths of who Christ is and what He has done for us…it never gets old.
Hallelujah.

colossians–day 26

I love the application we receive from Paul’s words in 4:8, “I have sent him (Tychicus) to you for this very purpose…that he may encourage your hearts.” We see however the application only as we assess the book as a whole. We need to look back to 2:2, “I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you…that [your] hearts may be encouraged…”
In 2:2, Paul was PRAYING, STRUGGLING for the Colossians, that their hearts would be encouraged. And then HE, HIMSELF, sent the answer to the very request. He sent Tychicus with “the very purpose” of encouraging them (4:8). For what am I praying, to which I can be the answer, by the leading of the Spirit? Am I praying for someone to receive Christ, and yet haven’t opened MY mouth with the Gospel? Am I praying about a relationship mend, yet withholding forgiveness? For what are you praying, to which you can be the answer?
Glory to Jesus. He is worthy.

colossians–day 25

“Give my greetings…to Nympha and the church in her house.” 4:15

I’m thankful to the Lord for this brief, yet complete reference to a godly woman in ministry. A woman whom Paul greatly values. A woman with whom he is friends. A woman who is a faithful minister, offering her home for the Gospel of Christ and His Church. Paul appropriately treats her as his equal in Christ.

In some circles, Paul is believed to be a chauvinist, a man who devalues women and their position with Christ. Yet, we see him giving a woman, Nympha, and her hospitality, a permanent place in the Holy Word of God. It was a humble greeting between friends. He loved her.

As a woman saved by grace, I have value and purpose in God’s Kingdom. Thank you, Paul, for your words of greeting and encouragement.

colossians–day 24

“Trials and pain expose where your hope really lies.” —J.D. Greear

Dr. Greear said that in a sermon regarding suffering, but it took my mind to Colossians 1:5, “…because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” I believe the Lord asked me tonight, “In what does your hope lie? For what are you living life?…and what if you don’t get it…am I enough?

He continued, “What if I don’t give you a husband to be a godly wife? What if I don’t give you a single baby to be a godly mother? What if you never teach another lesson from My Word? What if you never use all that memorized Scripture? What if you never see a harvest from all your sowing…IS KNOWING ME ENOUGH?” The tears flowed…

What trials and pain is God allowing in your life? Examine them. Could He possibly be exposing the earthly thing in which you place your hope? Colossians 1:5 tells us that our hope is laid up for us in heaven: Christ Jesus Himself. Nothing on this earth will ever be worthy.