Thursday, December 31, 2015

Colossians One

Now, finally getting started on blogging about what I started out to do in the first place--memorize the entire New Testament and learn it by heart. When trying to decide what New Testament book to start out with, I wanted to do a shorter one, like one of the epistles. Colossians stuck out to me as a book of the Bible I didn't know too well. So...I have been in Colossians for about a month. So far...I have memorized the first twenty verses...not too bad. But, there has been two parts in these first twenty verses that have really stood out to me and which God has used to grow me and amaze me. The first one comes from vs. 9-10. It says, "For this reason also, since the day we have heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. The part that really convicted me was in the middle where is talks about Paul praying for the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of God's will SO THAT they may walk in a manner worth of the Lord. For me, personally, as a a Christian, I have a desire to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, but I often falter at that part. So often, I can be hampered down and over-crowded with worries and temptations, especially to lust, and I end up faltering in sin and feeling guilty. Colossians 1:9-10, though, gives me a way out. I must increase in the knowledge of God. If I am increasing in the knowledge of God, then I am growing in Him, will become more in the likeness of Him, and will walk more blamelessly. This is the hard part, though. It takes a lot of discipline to be in the word every day. This is something I need to work on. I want to be in the word every day, but so often I skip a day or days. Thankfully, I do not have to depend upon my own strength and might. It says a little further down in the same chapter, "strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience joyously." I can depend upon God for the strength to do what He wants me to do--be in His word every day!

The second and last thing that I have been learning in Colossians is related to Christmas and the description of Jesus in Colossians 1:15-20. It states, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or ruler or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church, and he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven." By itself this is a great passage. It is an even better passage, though, in the context of Christmas. The Christmas season has just passed, and it was my one apprehension to not get too caught up in all the gift-giving and really focus on the true meaning of Christmas--the sending of God's Son. So, I would pray for this. As I have been reading and memorizing Colossians, the Lord has really brought to my attention that this very same one who is described in Colossians 1:15-20 is the same Jesus who was sent to the earth in human form. He is the very image of God. All those who saw Jesus here on this earth saw God himself in human form. He created all things. Better yet, all created things hold together in His grasp. He is head of the church, all fullness dwells in Him, and, most of all, he came to reconcile all humanity to Himself through the shedding of His own blood. I am going to give a bit of a spoiler alert and share a verse with you that comes from the second chapter of Colossians, Colossians 2:13-14. It astoundingly says, "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven all our sins, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile us; and He has taken it all out of the way having nailed it to the cross. Wow! What a description! It is purely amazing! The law language that is used is magnificent, and yet this is what a baby clothed in a blanket and lying in a manger came to do. Last Sunday, I heard a sermon on Joshua 10, which talked about God holding the sun and moon in place so that His people could have victory over their enemies. And the preacher made the connection that the very same God who has the power to hold the galaxies in place is the same God who humbled himself and became man to humble himself even more by dying on a cross. I can not overstate the miraculousness of this message. It is a message that needs to go across the world, near and far!

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