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Colossians 1:15-20 provides a glimpse into the majesty and glory of Jesus. He is preeminent in His very being – the image and manifestation of the invisible God. He is preeminent over all all of creation – the source and force that holds the universe together. He is preeminent over the church, its head, ruler, and guide. Let us pursue Christ over all else.
In Colossians 1:12-14, Paul expresses gratitude to God for many reasons, all related to Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf. We have been qualified for heaven, delivered from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light. We are eternally forgiven and redeemed from our sins. Our expressions of gratitude should be natural and habitual. Thanks be to God!
The prayers of Paul for the church are frequent and habitual. We too should pray the truths of scripture into our lives, never settling for spiritual mediocrity. Access to the Father through prayer is a privilege purchased for us through the sacrificial death of Christ on our behalf.
Paul in Colossians 1:9-12 encourages the Colossians to “Live a life worthy of the Lord.” We are to conduct ourselves in balance with all that Jesus is by bearing fruit in every good work and growing in a personal, experiential knowledge of God. We can be strengthened by His glorious might, filled with thankfulness and in tune with God’s will.
The Gospel is the core truth that we are to grasp and to apply to our lives. It is the Word of Truth, containing specific, true information about the substitutionary death of Jesus on our behalf. The Gospel is spreading throughout the world. Let’s proclaim it, speaking with clarity and boldness.
Pastor Gregory explains how the apostle Paul is filled with gratitude to God for what God is doing in the lives of all the saints in Colossae. Paul points out three areas for his thankfulness. He is thankful for: their faith in Christ Jesus, their love for all the saints, and the hope that is laid up for them in heaven. Gratitude should be a distinguishing characteristic in the life of a believer.
In Christ we are saints, not because of what we do, but because we are set apart for God, His treasured possession. We are faithful brothers in Christ, sharing a deep family bond with all who have put their faith in the Lord. Where are we? We are in Christ, part of a new kingdom, a new mindset. Yet we are also still “in Colossae,” part of a particular earthly community. We are called to engage with the world in order to win it for Christ.
In Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae, he addresses false teachings by proclaiming the truth about Christ and challenges the Colossians to remain in the truth. Jesus is preeminent. In Him we can be redeemed and reconciled to God. Christ can live in us by faith — He is our life, our strength, and our hope.
Pastor Gregory shares reasons why we should love Jesus from each book of the New Testament. From the good news introduced in Matthew to the ultimate triumph of Jesus in Revelation, the New Testament is filled with truth about the Lord Jesus.
God’s almighty power was on display in the resurrection of Jesus “… [Jesus] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:14). Jesus openly foretold His death and resurrection (6 times in the gospel of Matthew), proving His unchanging reliability. The resurrection validates the public crucifixion that was planned by God to atone for our sin. Christ’s victory is total, and His forgiveness is available to all.
In Romans 9:1-5, Paul declares his sorrow over Israel’s rejection of Christ, the Messiah. Paul proclaims the deity of Christ: “God overall, forever praised.” Christ is the one true living God, sovereign over all. He is worthy of our praise, today and for eternity.
As we look intently at the identity of Jesus, we will be awestruck, humbled, and our love for Him will increase. The author of Hebrews opens the book with a wonderful description of Christ, God’s final and perfect communication to us. Jesus is the heir of all things, the creator, the radiance of God’s glory, and the sustainer of the universe. Christ has purified us from our sins and now sits on high. This majestic Jesus is who we need and all we need.
The boy Samuel is called by God during a time when the nation of Israel practiced idolatry and did not value God’s word. Our own generation is prone to ignore the word of God or invent its own version of truth. Like Samuel let us respond to God’s personal intimate call own our lives by saying “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Psalm 119, the longest psalm, focuses on God’s word as the supremely valuable message from and about God that leads to blessedness. We are encouraged to pray through and meditate upon the scriptures, asking God to instruct us and to incline our hearts to obey.
Jesus wept in anguish over the city of Jerusalem because its residents had rejected Him. He was honest about the judgement which was imminent for Jerusalem. It is biblical to weep and be burdened over those who have rejected the refuge that God offers. If you need reconciliation with God in your own life, remember that God said, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” Ezekiel 33:11 (ESV) and seek His forgiveness and peace.
As Jesus hangs on the cross in darkness, He cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He is quoting from Psalm 22:1, a psalm which foretells the future suffering of the Messiah. Jesus is not only enduring the agonies of the crucifixion, but is also experiencing being abandoned by God the Father as He bears the sin of the world. Jesus is absorbing the judgement of God we deserve.
Exodus 3:1-6 describes the calling of Moses in an extraordinary event. God reveals Himself as omnipotent over creation as He speaks to Moses from a burning bush which is never consumed. God calls “Moses, Moses” with the repetition of the name signifying affection. He instructs Moses to remove his sandals because the holy God (without equal / without sin) is in this place. Moses responds in fear and humility; God responds with reassurance and sends Moses out to serve him.
“Jacob, Jacob.” God spoke with affection to Jacob in a moment of deep spiritual significance and tells Jacob not to fear as he prepares to enter the land of Egypt. God reassures Jacob that He will keep His promises and prove His faithfulness. Like Jacob, we need a faithful God and God is faithful. Our response must be to embrace God’s promises and act in obedience.
The person who only hears the Word of God soon forgets what he reads and its truths do not penetrate his life. The one who is both a hearer and a doer of the Word perseveres in the study of God’s word and acts upon it. The filling/control of the Holy Spirit enables the doer to live out the truths of the Word of God.
God is always worthy of our trust and obedience, even when His dealings with us are baffling from our perspective. Abraham believed the promises of God in spite of the perplexity of God’s command to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The Lord responded to the obedience of Abraham by calling out “Abraham, Abraham,” and providing a substitute sacrifice. Like Abraham, let us be reminded that no one ever trusted God in vain.