All posts by words and signs

I serve Christ in many different ways. I love Him for who he is and what He has done for me. I would try to give other people the opportunity to find Him for themselves. Bring all things under submission to Him who fills all things and to who all things belong.

Colossians 1:11 Power

“Strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy;”

Christians live their lives strengthened by all the power of God. This brings victorious Christian living. We have the full power of God at our disposal, yet we fail and falter and are not over comers. We allow the sinful mindset of the flesh to infiltrate our thinking and the vain philosophies of the day to dictate how we think and process our situation. This makes us weak because we do not rely on the word of God but on the foolishness of human thinking. 

The rise of psychology is also a factor in the way we think and process our daily lives. We take up these issues so easily from the media and our education and forget the promises and statutes of the Lord. The Scripture is sufficient, but we add to it and allow the worldly way of thinking into our psyche. This effects how we process our difficulties and we can forget to bring them to God, who is ever ready to help us.

The might of the glory of God is ours, yet we do not possess it or live in the light of it. We find it hard to take in, how the glory of God can be in our lives and the power of the Holy Spirit to take us and fill our lives with His joy. He can give us the power to endure all things and to persevere in our Christian lives right to the end. This is the mark of the true Christian, the one who truly knows God and belongs to Him only.

This joy of the Holy Spirit in not necessarily an outward expression of emotion, but an inner peace. It is a deep well of inner calm and happiness that cannot be touched by the things of this life. It is from God and is therefore something that He bestows on His people who love Him and are faithful to Him. It is a deep and silent power that enervates the Christian to be holy, for God is holy.

“Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Don’t be grieved; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

We do not need to be cast down by our circumstances but we can rely on the Lord to sustain us in the trials and give us peace and contentment, even in the middle of great trauma. The Lord is real and to know Him is real, and we lay hold on His great and precious promises to sustain us and fill us with this joy. As we read His word we can be overcome with a sense of our own weakness and unworthiness and we can feel we are not sufficient. We are not sufficient, that is the point! The Lord is willing and able to sustain us and when we need forgiveness, he is always there, ready to forgive and restore us to close fellowship with Him. His loving kindness is extraordinary and when we experience it, we are filled with the joy of the Lord. 

It is curious that we do not have the steadiness and constancy in our lives when the strength of the living God is available to us. Too many earthly considerations get in the way and we do not know the Word of God sufficiently to apply it in our daily lives. We forget so quickly what we have heard and read and revert to the earthly ways of thinking and processing. 

Beloved, let us grid up the strength of our mind and soul and give ourselves to the Lord today. We rest on that glorious joy that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit within us, not of our own making, but of His eternal purposes. We will endure and persevere under His personal and powerful work in our lives. 

Colossians 1:10 Worthy

“That you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

The Christian walking with God through life is an ongoing and interactive activity. It is not just something that the Holy Spirit does in us, but we grow as we obey Him and learn from Him. We put a guard on all our behaviour and speaking. We watch ourselves and keep short accounts with God. We engage with the Word of God  and prayer. This was the desire of Paul as he wrote this letter to the Christians at Colosse. 

Paul asks them to walk worthy of the Lord, that means to live godly and holy lives that reflect the goodness and perfections of the Lord. He tells them they should live to please the Lord in all areas of their lives and so should we. No area is out of bounds to the Lord, but all is brought into subjection to Him and His commandments. As we learn from the Holy Spirit we conform all our ways to His ways and obey Him. We become more like the Lord our God and make progress in holiness. This is the purpose of the Christian life. 

“Acquaint yourself with him, now, and be at peace. By it, good will come to you.”

Job 22:21

As we follow the Lord, we will meet all that is good for us and it will do us earthly and eternal good. We have good in our lives because the Lord is merciful to us and encourages us in all our desires to follow Him. We should be bearing fruit in every good work and prospering in all areas of our mind and soul. Our knowledge of God will increase as we walk with Him and obey Him as he directs our footsteps each and every day. As we put to death the desires of our fleshly lives, we will progress to increasingly spiritual understanding and obedience to the Lord. If we pander to our flesh it hurts our spiritual life and we find ourselves floundering in the murky waters of temptation and selfishness. 

Beloved, do not let the sinful flesh separate you from knowing the Lord better and drawing closer to Him. Do the things that cause us to bear fruit and walk with the Lord in our daily lives. Keep up our spiritual duties and fight the sin that so easily entangles us. 

“Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

Colossians 1:9 Wisdom

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,”

Because of the love in the souls of the Colossian Christians, Paul is almost overwhelmed for them and prays continually for them. The things he asks for in their regard are spiritual things. He asks that they are filled with the knowledge of the will of God for their lives. This can be a very difficult thing to work out, as we can get confused about what we want and what God wants for us. We can ask for guidance and have our own agenda already worked out! We must come to God humbly and ask for His purposes to be worked out in our lives and not just what we think is best.

Sometimes God’s purposes for us is just to accept the present circumstances and be glad for the provision of the Lord in our lives at that particular time. He has promised never to leave us and will keep us safe in Him to the end and bring us safely home to heaven. We seek to be holy and blameless before Him and work out our salvation with the fear of God and wishing never to disappoint Him. His will for us is to be holy and to live upright lives in all our many and varied circumstances. The details of our lives will be worked out by Him and He will direct our footsteps along the pathway to knowing Him better. Then we will be more adept at discerning what His will for us is and what is best.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go. I will counsel you with my eye on you.”

Psalm 32:8

“and the LORD will guide you continually, satisfy your soul in dry places, and make your bones strong. You will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters don’t fail.”

Isaiah 58:11

This is also the spiritual wisdom and understanding that Paul talks about. It is good to be wise towards God and not in the ways of this vain world. We search the Scriptures for understanding and knowledge and apply the principle of godly living to our thoughts and behaviour. To have wisdom is the greatest thing and we seek it from God every day.

Colossians 1:8 Sharing

“And who also informed us of your love in the Spirit.”

Epaphras talks to the Apostle about the church at Colosse and gives him information about their practical and spiritual state. He shares the situation in the church with the Apostle and involves him because the knows that Paul is interested in the spiritual welfare of the congregation and Epaphras seeks further teaching and encouragement for them.

Paul is struck by the love of the people in the Spirit of God. There is really no love without the Spirit and Paul understands the outworking of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the believers at Colosse because of the reports he gets from Epaphras. This is striking in that their love is obvious to Paul even though he has never met them.

Beloved, does our reputation for love go before us? Do people see that we love the people of God and the souls of those who are lost? Our hearts should be drawn to sisters and brothers in Christ and also to those who need the Lord in salvation. Love is the defining mark of the Christian and it should be obvious to those who know the Lord themselves and those who do not.

Our greatest love is for the Lord Jesus and His word, and we treasure Him above all things.

Colossians 1:7 Worker

“even as you learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf,”

Again, Epaphras is commended to the Colossians Christians as a “fellow servant” and a “faithful servant.” Epaphras is faithful to his Lord and God and has a heart for the people and for the spread of the gospel. 

Paul not only counts his brother in Christ as faithful, but also a fellow servant. Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles, but sees himself as a humble servant of God. He does not Lord it over others or presume that they want to listen to him. He counts himself as the least of believers, because he persecuted the church of Christ and is “one born out of season” 

“And last of all — as to the untimely birth — he appeared also to me, for I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I did persecute the Assembly of God”

1 Corinthians 15:8-9

The witness of Paul to us is huge, not just in what he has said, recorded for us in Scripture, but in the magnitude of the holiness of his life. 

Although Epaphras is not an Apostle, Paul counts him as acting and speaking on his behalf, as the leader of the congregation. Epaphras has taught the Colossians Christians the gospel, and has carried our the will of God in that place.