Friday March 22, 2013

Day 33 – Character Traits of the New Community

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Read
Colossians 1:9-14

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Reflect

In his prayer – yes, we are still considering it – Paul identifies four traits that reveal the process of Christian growth:

Bearing fruit in every good work. We are saved by faith alone but, as James puts it, faith without works is dead. By their fruits you will know them, said Jesus of those who would follow him. If there is no discernable difference between our lives and the lives of those around us, we need to ask what our relationship with Jesus means.

Growing in the knowledge of God. God’s people are growing organisms. We are not robots that have come off the end of the Christian assembly line. Central to this growth is growth in our knowledge of God. Paul is praying that the Colossians might be filled with the knowledge of God, so that they might have the ability to discern God’s mind in the diversity and complexity of life’s issues. With the passing of the years all of us have new and greater responsibilities. How will we know what decisions to make if we do not have an ever increasing understanding of the mind of God?

Strengthened to display great endurance and patience.  Paul’s language here speaks of the kind of mentality that tackles the tough issues of life and the kind of stamina that perseveres.  He knows too well that it’s one thing to start, but it’s another to finish.

Joyfully giving thanks to the Father. To thank God is to honor God. Not to thank him for his many mercies is to fail to understand the magnitude of his love through Jesus Christ. As Paul puts it, God has transferred us from the dominion of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved Son. We have been brought under the rule of the greatest of all kings, a loving king, a king who is committed to our good – now and for eternity. Our only true response is one of joy and gratitude. It’s one of the reasons we want to sing!

Consider

  1. What are the marks of transformation you could say are evident in your life?
  2. What is your framework for decision making?
  3. Is it true for you that God has transferred you into the kingdom of his beloved Son?

Pray

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