Monday, April 21, 2008

Paul's Prayer of Thanksgiving


Colossians 1

1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am an apostle because that is what
God wanted. Also from Timothy, our brother.

2To the holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ that live in Colosse:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

3In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, 4because we have heard about the faith you have in Christ Jesus and the
love you have for all of God’s people. 5You have this faith and love because of
your hope, and what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You learned
about this hope when you heard the message about the truth, the Good News
6that was told to you. Everywhere in the world that Good News is bringing
blessings and is growing. This has happened with you, too, since you heard the
Good News and understood the truth about the grace of God. 7You learned about
God’s grace from Epaphras, whom we love. He works together with us and is a
faithful servant of Christ for us. 8He also told us about the love you have from the
Holy Spirit.

9Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we have continued
praying for you, asking God that you will know fully what he wants. We pray
that you will also have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things 10so
that you will live the kind of life that honors and pleases the Lord in every way.
You will produce fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God.
11God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up
when troubles come, but you will be patient. 12And you will joyfully give thanks
to the Father who has made you able to have a share in all that he has prepared
for his people in the kingdom of light. 13God has freed us from the power of
darkness, and he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son. 14The Son paid for
our sins, and in him we have forgiveness.

The Importance of Christ

15No one can see God, but Jesus Christ is exactly like him. He ranks higher
than everything that has been made. 16Through his power all things were made—
things in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, all powers, authorities,
lords, and rulers. All things were made through Christ and for Christ. 17He was
there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him. 18He is
the head of the body, which is the church. Everything comes from him. He is the
first one who was raised from the dead. So in all things Jesus has first place.
19God was pleased for all of himself to live in Christ. 20And through Christ, God
has brought all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in
heaven. God made peace through the blood of Christ’s death on the cross.

21At one time you were separated from God. You were his enemies in your
minds, and the evil things you did were against God. 22But now God has made
you his friends again. He did this through Christ’s death in the body so that he
might bring you into God’s presence as people who are holy, with no wrong, and
with nothing of which God can judge you guilty. 23This will happen if you
continue strong and sure in your faith. You must not be moved away from the
hope brought to you by the Good News that you heard. That same Good News
has been told to everyone in the world, and I, Paul, help in preaching that Good

Paul’s Work for the Church

24I am happy in my sufferings for you. There are things that Christ must still
suffer through his body, the church. I am accepting, in my body, my part of these
things that must be suffered. 25I became a servant of the church because God
gave me a special work to do that helps you, and that work is to tell fully the
message of God. 26This message is the secret that was hidden from everyone
since the beginning of time, but now it is made known to God’s holy people.
27God decided to let his people know this rich and glorious secret which he has
for all people. This secret is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our only hope
for glory. 28So we continue to preach Christ to each person, using all wisdom to
warn and to teach everyone, in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a
mature person in Christ. 29To do this, I work and struggle, using Christ’s great
strength that works so powerfully in me.

The Holy Bible, New Century Version


Paul's letter gave tribute to the power and glory of Christ. While commending the Colossians for their actions, he reminded them that Christ's power comes not from what we know, but who we know Jesus Christ.


God provides salvation for anyone who will take it. God doesn't require that we know hidden secrets or certain inside information to accept Christ's message and enjoy eternal life.


When God chose to reveal himself, he did so (surprise of surprises) through a human body. The tongue that called forth the dead was a human one. The hand that touched the leper had dirt under its nails. The feet upon which the woman wept were calloused and dusty. And his tears ... oh, don't miss the tears ... they came from a heart as broken as yours or mine ever has been.

So, people came to him.

My, how they came to him! They came at night; they touched him as he walked down the street; they followed him around the sea; they invited him into their homes and placed their children at his feet. Why? Because he refused to be a statue in a cathedral or a priest in an elevated pulpit. He chose instead to be Jesus .

. . . There were those who revered him. But there was not one person who considered him too holy, too divine, or too celestial to touch. There was not one person who was reluctant to approach him for fear of being rejected.

Remember. It is man who creates the distance. It is Jesus who builds the bridge.

(From God Came Near by Max Lucado)


Pray this week that God will spark new love for him in your heart. Don't let this next week pass without finding a way of telling someone else about the Good News of God's love.


Love-John 3:16; 13:34; Ephesians 3:15-18; 1 John 4:9-10.

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