Col. 1:3-6 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
Last night in our small group we did as we usually do, divide the men and women for a time of prayer. We shared what our weeks had been like and then naturally went into what concerns we needed others to pray with us about. Sometimes the requests are very specific. Other times they are general conerns; family, finances, health or relationships. There are even those very personal needs that are represented by something like “an unspoken prayer need”. The great thing is that while people share according to their level of comfort, everyone declares they need the prayers of others. There is a unity, a compassion, a concern, a bearing of each others burdens that feels a lot live loving each other.
Paul in the first few verses of Colossians kind of declares the starting point of their fellowship.
We all begin by thanking our Lord Jesus Christ who is the reason we are even together. No one has touched us so deeply, given so much, changed our lives so profoundly and given us hope like Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Christ is the starting point. Someone who loves me, loves you. Someone I love, you love and so that makes us love each other.
I look up to Jesus and across the table at you and can’t help but want to pray for you.
When I hear of your faith – I am inspired. Some of the greatest expressions of faith I hear come from people who are still in the middle of some trial or difficulty. They may still be confused and struggling to understand what God and is doing and why He is allowing something, but they are still holding on in faith. When they begin to share what they are learning I gain new perspectives and in some way, learn right along with them. When they give thanks for what troubles them, I see a peace that passes understanding demonstrated before my eyes. We pray for things to change and the trouble to pass, but we are not discouraged because their faith in God and trust in Him somehow gets showcased more profoundly in the middle of it all.
And then the hope of heaven shows up in our prayers as well. It hurts to see people loose a love one to death. Our hearts hurt and we grieve right with them. But we also experience a fresh and powerful grace because of the hope of heaven.
What Paul writes about many years ago still shows us in my small group. We must be on a good path.
Reading for Day 23
Col. 1:24 - Col. 2:5
Col. 1:24 - Col. 2:5