The Mystery Revealed, Christ is Enough, so Walk in Newness of Life
A word of discipline is always made easier by a word of encouragement and praise. As the Mary Poppins saying goes, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” So while Paul had many words of exhortation, reproof, and correction for the Colossae Christians, he starts his letter out with a declaration of his heart and love for the Colossians. He wants them to know that while they had never met, he was writing this letter out of love and not judgment, and while there were areas they needed to strengthen and improve, there were many other things that Paul and his team were so encouraged and thankful for. So after his initial greeting, he begins his letter with, “We always thank God…” and “we never cease to pray for you…”
They never ceased to pray. Wow! That’s a powerful statement. Paul was a busy man with connections, friends, business, and ministries throughout the Roman Empire. He was the spiritual father to many and the church founder of fellowships dotted all around the Mediterranean. Yet, he writes the Colossians—a group of people he had never met—that since the day he had heard about them and their struggles, he had not ceased to pray.
What commitment! What love! What a beautiful display of the Shepherd’s heart and concern for His children! In the midst of Paul’s busy life, he never forgot the struggles, hardships, and spiritual welfare of his fellow believers.
But what was Paul and his team’s prayer for the Colossae Christians?
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his [Christ] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
This is the heart of the message of Colossians. The end goal. Paul’s intent and purpose for writing. He did not send them this letter to merely show his love for them (though that was one byproduct of it), nor was his intent to simply give them tips, advice, and greetings. Paul was single-minded in his purpose and wholly focused on the Colossians’ spiritual wellbeing. He wanted them to grow in their faith, to become strong and mature Christians, and most importantly to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. While this was Paul’s goal in writing, it was also God’s purpose in using Paul. For, the words of Colossians are not merely Paul’s words, but they are God’s Word—written down through Paul, but inspired by the Holy Spirit.
So while Paul was writing to the Colossians, God was writing through Paul to all of us making it is just as applicable today as it was in the first century. The power and truth of each principle and doctrine still ring true today. And the purpose behind the book remains the same: that we may grow in our faith, that we may become strong in the Lord, and that we may walk worthy of our high calling.
Now as we continue on through our study, let us remember and view all that we learn through this purpose and goal, so that we may walk away from this book with a deeper understanding of God and a life that bears much fruit to the pleasure and glory of God.
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks for the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”