Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Colossians 7/12/10
Dear Friends in Christ,

As we begin our series in Apostle Paul's letter through the Colossians, we do so with excitement and expectation. The letter was apparently written while he was in prison in Rome, making it possible for him to communicate with them even though he was not able to visit them in person. The minister of the congregation, Epaphras was a fellowservant (Col 1:7) of the Apostle and had apparently informed Paul of some of his concerns in the congregation that he was overseeing. It is our prayer that we would be blessed by spending this time in His Word going through an entire book of the Bible.

As I have read through this book and spent some time examining the structure, here are a few observations:

1. The first two chapters are doctrinal, the second two concern what it means for our lives today.

2. This particular book reveals more than any other book of the Bible of the person and the work of Jesus Christ.

3. He first affirms who they are in Christ through the gospel, reminds them of what Christ has done for them and does not begin to counsel them about the particulars false doctrines that are threatening them until chapter 2, verse 4.

4. He had never seen them in person, but based upon the testimony of their minister, Epaphras, he extended the grace of God to them, prayed for them with a specific and doctrinal prayer, (1:9-20) and then pointed them to the person and work of Jesus Christ. He sets firmly before them the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things as he contrasts what the both the philosphies of the world and the legalists of the church would offer in place of or in addition to Him.

5. There are four prayers that the Apostle prayed for those that he wrote to in the books of Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. They are in Ephesians 1:15-21, Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:3-11, and Colossians 1:9-20. I have heard of some who have printed these prayers out and used them as patterns when they are praying for themselves as well as others.

May the Lord bless our reading, hearing and meditation over this letter to us as Christians, which was written by Apostle Paul under the direction of God the Holy Spirit.

Here is an article that I wrote sometime back and it will give some food for thought regarding our study in Colossians. We must be changed from the inside first before the evidence shows outwardly. That is the theme of the book of Colossians.

"That is precisely how Jesus approaches us through His Word and His Spirit. He knows where we are in our life, for He can see all things that we have experienced to date, there is nothing that He does not know about us, but He loves us deeply because His Father loves us. He knows what sin and death have brought into the world. He sees all the disappointments, the struggles, the sorrows, the broken dreams, the dreams that are in our hearts, the wishes that we have that we are not able to realize and so on. He knows all of this about us, therefore He is constantly working to strengthen the bond of love and thereby increase the union between us and Himself, so that we might move from the pursuit of an Object to the transformation of the subject.

The first thing He tells us is that He loves us just as we are, for we are a person whom He has made in His image. Remember that when God made us, He said that "It was VERY good!" Yes, we have fallen, and therefore sin and death have entered into the world and into our lives, but He has come to fix all of that through the cross and the resurrection. He has overcome the power of sin and death in His resurrection, and has sent us His Holy Spirit to indwell us so that we again are able to know good from evil as well as to have the power to live in the freedom that comes from knowing of Him as well as being transformed by Him. We are forgiven, we love Him and His Word, and we live in the grace of forgiveness which gives us a mindset of service, rather than of being served. In other words, before sin entered into the world, only good prevailed in God's created humanity.

After the fall evil entered in and upon mankind descended the tendency toward self-promotion. Adam and Eve were like God, but the devil seduced them into thinking that somehow by disobeying God's command, they would reach something higher than they were in the garden of Paradise. But what happened? When they fell into sin, they discovered that they were not like God, but rather than being drawn toward God, they fled from Him because of their shame and guilt. They now not only knew good, but now they knew evil, but in that condition they could not know the difference between the two and consequently they ran from God in fear. Since that time, God in Jesus has been pursuing humanity, in order to bring us back to Him. Sin takes from us the ability to see what is blessing for our lives and makes the things of this world, our flesh and the devil appear to be that which will bring us satisfaction and blessing. But it won't and it never will."

May we allow the Word to transform us and mold us into His Body for the glory of God and for His collective and gathering purposes. The evidence of this ongoing transformation will be experienced by us in our hearts through our being able to understand the true nature of God's kingdom in which we serve by love. The better we understand that true peace and satisfaction comes through serving rather than being served, (transformation) the less we will find ourselves focusing on self. In our pursuit of God through Jesus Christ, may we see the proper progression and purpose of the growth:

KJV 1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

May His grace be multiplied to us today.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 12 Jul 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns