- Day 25: Pray for boldness that is motivated by God’s love and light.
I finished reading through the book of Isaiah yesterday, and began reading through the book of Colossians. It is a short book, but there is so much packed into it.
When we met with our team during this past semester I suggested we use Colossians 1:13-14 as the theme verse for our summer in Ireland.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Everyone agreed, and I’m excited to see how God uses His word to shape and transform this summer. I wanted to get a bigger picture of the whole book, so I’m reading through it over the next 4 days before next Tuesday. 1 Chapter per day.
These particular sections of chapter 1 stuck out to me today.
“To them [the saints of God] God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
Here are some thoughts in a commentary on the latter part of Colossians 1, and the beginning of chapter 2 that I found interesting. (IVP New Testament Commentaries)
“Paul concludes this section on a more personal note: he not only serves the church of Christ (1:24) but “struggles” (in cooperation with God; 1:29) for the congregations at Colosse and Laodicea. Paul’s intention is exactly the same as before: to clarify that the purpose of his ministry is to make known to every Gentile, including those at Colosse, the mystery of God, namely, Christ (compare 1:27). He does elaborate on the spiritual purpose of his ministry for them: that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love and may have complete understanding . . . and know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.
Colossians Ch. 2 “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ
In Paul’s Jewish psychology the heart symbolizes human volition rather than human emotion; the hard decisions of an embattled life are made by the believer’s heart, fortified and matured by the mystery of God. Paul’s gospel ministry strengthens the Colossians against false teaching so that they are able to make decisions that please God. The word translated “united” (symbibazo) means literally to be “knit together” and refers to an action that naturally follows after (if not also from) a fortified heart. That is, the purpose of Paul’s ministry (presumably his proclamation of the gospel, and his pastoral admonishment and instruction; 1:28) is corporate: that the congregation weld well together in mutual love.