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Colossians 1

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, September 28

SCRIPTURE:  COLOSSIANS 1

Today we start another book.  This book that we call Colossians is a rich book, full of theology and application.  Each chapter is full of incredible truth that deserves to drilled down into.  In fact, it would be more than possible for us to spend several days in each chapter.  But our promise was one chapter a day.  And the promise will be kept even though that means we will have to gloss over some pretty important stuff and basically ignore some other important stuff.

Colossians is one of Paul’s prison epistles.  He wrote it while in a Roman prison.  He opens the letter like he does all of his other letters: identifying himself (and in this case Timothy); and, identifying his audience.  He then offers a very typical Pauline greeting: grace and peace.  Don’t miss the importance of the order of that greeting.  Grace must necessarily precede peace.  We will never know God’s peace until we have first experience God’s grace.

If you will skip down to verses 15 and following, you will find the basis of this chapter.  In this section, Paul talks about who Jesus is.  He is the image of the invisible God (the God not seen) as opposed to idols made by human hands which could obviously be seen. 

He is the firstborn of all creation.  The word firstborn does not refer to a physical birth or a creation event in which Jesus came into being.  He is not a created being.  He is eternal.  He has always existed.  The concept of firstborn is about position not creation.  In the eastern culture, the firstborn male in the family had all the rights of inheritance and power.  That is the sense in which Jesus is firstborn.

Jesus is creator.  Of everything.  And He holds everything together.  In verse 18, Jesus is the head of the church.  In verse 19, He is preeminent in all things and in Him is the fullness of God.  In other words, Jesus is fully God.  In verse 20, He is the reconciler who made peace with God possible by His death on the cross.

Now let’s change direction just a bit.  Because of who Jesus is and what He has done, we who were totally opposed to God (verse 21) have been reconciled to God.  Verse 13 says we have been rescued from the domain of darkness and moved into the Kingdom of the beloved Son.  We have been given a forever relationship with God. 

This relationship is the basis for a lot of important things.  Way back in verse 9, we read about being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  The only way we can know about God and His plan is through Jesus.  Verse 26 says the mystery of God’s plan is being revealed to those who are in personal relationship with God.

In verse 10, we find where our relationship with God through Jesus is the basis and foundation of living a different life: a worthy walk.  Trying to live like that apart from God is the basis for self-righteousness.  Living like that in relationship with God through Jesus is the basis of an incredibly fruitful life and a deepening understanding of who God is (verse 10).

See, I told you there is a lot of stuff in theses chapters. By the way, I didn’t even scratch the surface.  But maybe I gave you enough to encourage you to read a little more and dig a little deeper.

Philippians 4

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

 SCRIPTURE: PHILIPPIANS 4

AUTHOR:  JOE LIGON

As the chapter opens we learn that the church in Philippi was not without problems.  It seems that a couple of women, Euodia and Syntyche, were not in agreement.  In other words, they were in an argument about something.  Interestingly enough, these two women who were on different sides of the issue once worked side by side.

There are a couple of important principles here to consider.  One, sometimes best friends make the best enemies.  Those that we are closest to, know the most about us.  And sometimes when the friendship is soured that information is used as weapons.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have good friends that we do lots of stuff with.  It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be transparent and open with those closest to us.  It does mean that maintaining friendships takes a lot of commitment and work.  Friendships are worth that effort for a lot of reasons.

Another important principle that we learn from Euodia and Syntyche is that there are always issues in every church.  As good of a church as the one in Philippi was, it was not perfect.  It was not perfect because it was made up of imperfect people.  And about the only thing, imperfect people can do perfectly is mess stuff up.

Paul knew that the witness of the church could be damaged by two people in the church that were fighting and fussing.  By the way, that is still very true today.  So, Paul asked that the disagreement be solved.  As much as most of us try to avoid conflict, facing conflict in the church head-on and resolving it at all costs is sometimes the very thing that must be done.

Right on the heels of the issue between the two women, Paul breaks out into some of his most famous words. “Rejoice in the Lord always”.  As good as that sounds and as right as that it is, always rejoicing in the Lord can be a difficult thing.  So, Paul actually gives us some things to do to get to that point.

First, in verse 5, we need to remember that the Lord is near.  Regardless of how bad or difficult things are, we not alone.  We have not been orphaned.  The Lord is near to us. 

Second, in verse 8, we need to focus on the right things.  Dwelling on the bad stuff is not helpful.  In fact, when we do that it makes the bad stuff look bigger and worse than it is.  Instead, we should focus on the good things, the right things, the admirable things of life.

Third, in verses 10-13, Paul teaches us that our joy is not found in our circumstances.  Indeed in whatever circumstances we might find ourselves in, there is the privilege of rejoicing in the Lord.  As Paul says in verse 13, Jesus is able to strengthen us to get us through whatever it is that we find ourselves in. 

As Paul brings this letter to a close he is very direct in thanking the Philippians for their help.  They had provided financial support for him that allowed him to continue to spread the Gospel.  We should never doubt that our generosity always has a positive impact on the world around us.

 

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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