Death, Endurance and Denial

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It’s easy to forget how good we have it. If you’re reading this, at the very least you are alive, have eyesight, own some sort of technical device (maybe even more than one) and have enough fingers to type your way though the Internet. Timothy invites us to remember what’s important.

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Will You Follow?

Head_of_the_Crucified_Christ_by_Master_of_Ambrass

Jesus Christ challenges us to live outside of our comfort zones and apart from our selfish desires. His words in the Gospels compel us to sacrifice, serve and love.

The call to Christians to count the cost is laid out in Luke 14:25-33.

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Storing Up

Hoarding_living_room

 

Unselfish, humble, giving hearts. That is what God wants of those who are His own. How do I know this? Because that is His nature. Survival does not require hoarding and there is much more to being blessed than the accumulation of things. Let’s take a look at Luke 12:13-21

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Where Do You Get Your Strength?

How do we keep up with the fast pace of life without wearing out? Most of us are very busy. We run from home to work, zip through our emails, return calls, keep up with projects and go back home again to spend time with family, or go to a school event. We are in a rush to get it all done in time and face multiple deadlines.

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Colossians 3:18-4:1 Study Notes

If I were to choose a worship song for this week’s study, it would be Revelation Song.

Here are my notes on Colossians 3:18 – 4:1 (NLT)

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

In verses 18 and 19 are instructions that are also found in Ephesians, chapter 5. Many would like to stop at verse 18. Some for their own gain and some because they look for a reason to be offended by God’s Word. But, one cannot read this verse without going on to the next. Paul commands wives to submit and commands husbands to love and treat his spouse fairly.
The idea of a wife submitting to her husband is not a popular notion. The Jewish culture at the time would have been used to the concept, but not the Gentiles. Some women then, as now, take the lead in their households either because there is no man present, or because the man is too weak and there is a lack of leadership.
Submission, love and fair treatment are an inseparable trio in healthy families. When the husband is weak, the wife becomes resentful and the husband is angry because he feels he is being bullied by the wife. It is a hard cycle to break because each gets used to his or her role in the family. They want to change, but their roles have become habitual and comfortable. Nevertheless, change must come if you want your family to be healthy, whole and to stay together.

20 Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Here are two more scripture that are inseparable. Fair treatment is as important as discipline and structure. Fathers are rightly picked on here because it is we who have the tendency to be too harsh. We typically want things and people in our home to be structured and orderly. It is easy to let our fear of losing control turn to inappropriate expressions of anger. So, the Apostle warns us that too much aggravation will discourage your children from trying to do good. They will eventually give up trying to please you, or anyone and this will lead to a life of failure. Stop the cycle now!
On the other hand, submission to authority is an important lesson to learn. If we remain disobedient children, we will not be succesful in the workplace. But when we get the concept of humble obedience to authority, we bring honor to ourselves, our parents and our superiors.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 
23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
We, who have an employer have put ourselves into subjection to someone. Slaves were rewarded with food, clothing and lodging. We work for the same things and more. There is not much difference between the old system of slavery and today’s system of workers and employers. Except, we have the ability to leave at any time. No matter how trapped you feel by your financial circumstances, the reality is that you are free to do as you please. However, since you have put yourself into subjection to your present employer, while you are there it is your dut y to serve them to the best of your ability at all times.

24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

It is good to be reminded occasionally that there are consequences for our choices and actions. The eternal consequence of living a life devoted to God with faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ are riches in glory. We, who have this faith and conviction, are God’s children and share in all His riches including eternal life.
On the other hand, negative choices, including denial of Christ, have negative consequences. This is where the ideas of karma and “what goes around, comes around” come from. As Galatians 6:7 says, “Don’t be misled-you cannot mock the justice of God. You always harvest what you plant.” (NLT)

4:1 Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.
Typically, those who follow will fall in line with the attitude of the leader. Humble leadership gains loving respect; while overbearing and angry leaders tend to lose their followers.
So, be humble, fair, loving and just. Remember our lives are short but our actions have eternal and powerful consequences. Choose wisely, step carefully and live completely for God.

Please remember our friend Carl and Joshua’s sister in your prayers.
Feel free to send your prayer request, or comments to donterry@ising4God.com.

Blessings,

Don

www.iSing4God.com

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Colossians 3:1-17 Study Notes

Yesterday, we opened with “How He Loves Us”

Here are my notes on this week’s scripture section.

1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

-In former verses, the Apostle Paul has given plenty of reasons why we should follow Christ, rather than false teachers and our own ideas. He reminds us that It is time to stop thinking of heaven of just some faraway place that we hope to see when we die. We should focus on heaven here and now. Heaven is a place of worship and holiness. We can be instruments of worship and live holy lives. We can dwell in the presence of the Almighty as He lives within our hearts. If we realize the reality that Christ is here, we will live our lives in greater purity and passion.

2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

-Just like exercise builds muscles, Spiritual disciplines lead to holy living. On the other hand, If we let our minds focus on the temporal things like what we can build here on this planet and how we can satisfy ourselves, we will lose out on that which will build our spirits and our souls.
-Focusing on earthly concerns makes us more flesh and materially minded. But the flesh and material pass away quickly, while the spiritual endures forever.

3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

-Remembering we are dead to the temporal, physical and material things will help us focus on the living Christ. The thigs of the world and the flesh are passing shadows. We need to hold on and hold out for the real power and life found through God’s Holy Spirit and His Son, Jesus Christ.

4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

-Hoping for eternal awards, not temporal, we are faced with the reality that Christ will be revealed to the world. Where will you stand when Christ comes in all His glory? If He is your life, you will share the joy, glory and eternity with Him. If your life is fully satisfied with worldly things which pass away, your passing lead to eternal separation from God, life, peace and joy.

5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

-Once the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us, it is our choice whether we give in to sin or not. We have the ability to decide the kind of person we want to be. We can put the old ways to death because Christ now lives in us.

6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.

-Our God is jealous for our love and devotion. He is also holy and His holiness will consume all evil. Holiness and sin cannot live in the same place and time. One must win out over the other. Since God has given the ultimate sacrifice of His Son to enable us the ability to choose holiness. His wrath on those who choose otherwise is to be expected.

7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.

8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

-We don’t have to live like we have in the past, with the same failings. In fact, it is expected that there will be a change because of the power and presence available to us.

9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.

-Paul turns the focus from how we live our lives to how we treat each other.
We are called upon to live holy in how we deal with each other also. We can’t truly succeed living holy by ourselves. God speaks and works through people. When we lie to one another and treat each other poorly, we alienate ourselves from God’s tools and mouthpieces.

10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

-The new is only realized when we get rid of the new. We can’t put on a new suit while we wear an old one. The old has to be put off first. Then the new can take its place.
-This new nature is readily available to us. But, how do we know the nature of God unless we spend time with, listen to and learn from Him.

11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

-We are all on equal footing in the kingdom of God. No one has greater power than another. The Apostle and the new convert have the same standing, power, knowledge and newness of life available to us because of the work of Jesus Christ.

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

-With God’s power, it’s as simple as changing clothes. The beautiful qualities are there for the taking.

-What are you holding on to? Do you enjoy the old life so much that you refuse to let it die? The reality is that you are already dead spiritually if you are living in sin and for worldly things.

13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

-We sin against our children, parents, spouses and friends when we lose sight of how much we need each other. We can all be selfish and self-centered. The challenge then, is to not only change the behavior within ourselves, but to forgive it when we experience it from others.

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

-Love keeps us tied together in fellowship with other Christians and close to God.

15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

-Peace is not found in separation from others. Pious self-denial and living alone in a cave will only make you angry and weird. The power and change have to come from Christ living and reigning in our hearts.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

-If we are filled with the richness of Christ’s message, there is no place left for our own ideas of piety, nor for those from false teachers. We can’t let our ears, minds and hearts take in any other ideas of redemption than that of Christ’s love and sacrifice for us.
-Then, with the same Holy Spirit and wisdom in us as was in the Apostle Paul, we have the responsibility to “teach and counsel each other.”

17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
-If we can remember we represent Jesus Christ every hour and minute of the day, we will surely live and act differently. We will ive with love and be thankful, grateful children of God.

Blessings to you all and look for the final two emails for Colossians to come.

Don
www.iSing4God.com

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How Firm is Your Foundation? – Colossians 2:4-15 (study 4)

We are in  Colossians 2:4-15 this week. Our group sang “Holiness” again. The YouTube link to that song is in last weeks study post.

Our book to kick off discussions is:

The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Colossians
Become the Whole Person God Intends You to Be – Warren W. Wiersbe

A little about why I structure my home studies the way I do.

Opening in worship centers us on God and help get our minds off ourselves and our own concerns. We need to leave our worries and doubts behind as we enter the throne room of God to worship Him for who He is.

Then, we pray to God, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak through the teacher. Though I always have notes and a structure ready, it is important that I invite the Holy Spirit of God to move as He wills. So, if the group needs to move in a different direction, I must be flexible to move with Him.

After worship and prayer, we go to the Word.

Now to my Colossians 2:4-15 notes

2:4 I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments.

-It is important that we proclaim and remind each other of the truths found in God’s word. This is one great argument for regular fellowship with Christians. It is easier to be led away from truth when we allow the company of false teachers.

5 For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.

-Though false teachers had crept in, not all had not taken the bait. Not only that, their faith proved itself out in the way they lived.

Do people have to guess whether or not we are Christians because of our speech or actions?

6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.

-We share the same problem with the Colossians. We have false teachers, who would pull us from our faith if we let them. Not only that, there are many distractions in life that would pull us from following the one true God. Paul encourages us to remember the foundations of our faith and to stay the course.

7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

-As the old hymn goes, “How Firm a Foundation!” How deep does your faith in God go? Do you call yourself a Christian simply because you attend church? Is your faith one of convenience? Or do you call Jesus your Lord and Master, spend time with Him and in God’s Word while praying for the Holy Spirit to change you from within.

-A Christian’s roots grow deep when watered by faith through adversity, relationship beyond circumstance, and unfailing love. We can choose the path of anger, bitterness, doubt, fear, depression and discouragement. Or, we can build lives full of meaning, hope, love, joy and peace.

8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers# of this world, rather than from Christ

-Some feel their ideas of God trump those found in God’s Word. That is not the case. Still others only believe what can be scientifically proven, felt, or touched. But faith is exactly that. Don’t get caught up in thinking you have to prove Christianity to others. It is up to God to open one’s heart to the faith we share and it is up to us to guard our hearts and faith by remaining rooted in God.

9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.

-There is nowhere else to look. Though God’s glory is expressed in creation, His fullness is not found in created things, nor man-made ideas. God’s fullness is found in Christ alone.

10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

-King of kings and Lord of lords. While separation from God brings death, unity with Jesus Christ brings power and life. Jesus makes us complete because He is not only the sacrificial Lamb, but the Mighty Counselor, who lives within the hearts of believers.

11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.

-In some cultures circumcision is a test of bravery and a rite toward manhood.
God started the covenant of circumcision with Abraham as a mark of separation from the world. It is a symbol of men’s separation from the world, from other cultures and from sin.

12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

-It requires trust to die to ourselves. When we are baptized, both literally and figuratively into the Christian faith, we die to our own desires, our old nature and allow the waters of holiness wash us to live anew in Christ. We put ourselves in the mighty and capable hands of God, knowing that He will do great things in and for us.

We may never be wealthy in worldly terms, but the baptized need never worry about physical, emotional, nor spiritual sustenance. God’s grace is sufficient, His love never fails and He will raise us up for victorious living for His glory!

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

-Holiness cannot commune with sin. We separate ourselves from God when we choose to disregard and disobey His commands. Holy living is a choice, but it’s the only one that leads to life. Do you choose life, or death? If you have chosen the latter, you can feel it. You don’t need anyone to tell you that your life choices are wrong. Won’t you choose life today?

2 Cor 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”(NLT)

14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 

15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

-What a great and wonderful thing to be free of our past wrongs. However, we negate this work when we hang onto the shame and guilt of our past sins. Once we have asked forgiveness and turned from our sins, they are washed in the Blood of the Lamb. We must move onto to new life in Christ by faith. He has done our part. It is up to us to walk in faith of the victory we have been given!

“Think of one or two things you have learned that you’d like to focus on in the coming week. Remember that this is all about quality, not quantity. It’s better to address one specific area of life and do it well than to work on many and do it poorly (or to be so overwhelmed that you simply don’t try).” (p67)

How firm is your foundation? Are you swayed by doubt, fear, others, or circumstance? Find your foundation in God. He is our Rock and our Salvation.

I will gladly send a free PDF version of my latest book, Are You Ready to Serve? to all currently signed up to receive my blog posts and newsletters. Just send me a comment, or email to request it.

Everyone else is welcome to the same version by signing up for my weekly newsletter here.

Home page: iSing4God.com.
Latest song release:: Come, Holy Spirit
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And I’m on Twitter @DonTerry_

God bless you as you serve Him.

Don

*Photo Credit: By Curt Smith, Via Creative Commons

Rescue, Redemption, and Revelation (Colossians, Study 2)

Here are some thoughts from our study of Colossians 1:13-20 and from 
The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Colossians
Become the Whole Person God Intends You to Be – Warren W. Wiersbe

Three words stood out to me as I read our scriptures for study 2, “Rescue, Redemption, and Revelation.”  We need all three, just like Colossians did. They didn’t think they needed the first two and looked for the third in the wrong places.

Rescue: We all need rescue from ourselves, our sins and from the powers of darkness.

Redemption through Jesus is a central belief of the Christian faith. God bought us from the power of death and hell by the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Revelation comes through the Word of God, His Holy Spirit and through Jesus Christ. While there are many books that can give us great insights, it is vain and even dangerous to seek “special knowledge” or a “new revelation” about God. All we learn and hear about God must filter through the Word of God.

Here is the location of Colossea and the map of Turkey and the surrounding area at the time of Paul.
Photo: Courtesy http://billcooperlogos.org/Publications/colphil.htm

Here is the map of the area today
Photo courtesy http://billcooperlogos.org/Publications/colphil.htm

“Why is it appealing in our culture to treat Christ as important but not in a class by Himself?”

Here are some thoughts that stood out as I read Colossians 1:13-20…

13 For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.

-God offers safety and security in His power and through His Word. Satan is loose in the world, but has no power over us. Addictions are broken, hearts and minds are changed through the power of God.
-We are no longer in a dark place. We no longer live as we like, We are under the rule of Christ.

14 God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins.

-Christianity is not a legalistic religion. People will try to point fingers and find fault as we continue our walk toward holiness and purity. But we are free because God has paid the price through His Son.

-We are not bound to our weaknesses, nor our sins. There is real freedom and power in the Blood of Christ.

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation.

-All that God is, all His nature, His promise and His love is found in Christ. His deity is proclaimed here and His supremacy is undeniable.
-The following scriptures also speak to God’s reflection in Christ.

Hebrews 1:3 “The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven.” NLT

John 14:9, “Jesus replied, “Philip, don’t you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him?” NLT

16 Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him.

-Consider the great significance of creation through and for Christ. For those who believe the Bible is the Word of God, the role of Christ cannot be diminished.

17 He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.
-Since Christ has the power to hold creation together, we can trust Him to help us in our weaknesses, to strengthen and protect us from evil.

18 Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything.
-Christ must also be first in our hearts and minds.

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
-We see the nature of God through the actions and words of Jesus Christ. We learn about these actions and words through reading and studying the Word of God.

20 and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross.
-Since all creation is held together through the power of Christ, it is fitting that all that was lost through the fall in Eden, is found and purified through the Blood of Jesus.

From Looking Inward  pg38
“Have you ever been tempted to solve your problems apart from Christ? If so, what did that look like? in what ways does Paul’s argument about the role of Jesus as Savior speak to those areas of your life you’re tempted to solve through other methods?”

From Going Forward pg 39
“Think about one or two things you have learned that you’d like to focus on in the coming week.” “Do you need to become more familiar with the basic doctrines of Christianity?”

From Seeking Help on pg 40
“Write a prayer, or simply pray one, inviting God to work on your mind and heart. Be honest about your desires and fears.”

I hope you enjoy taking part in our study of Colossians. If you find yourself in the White House, TN area during the coming weeks on a Sunday evening around 5pm, I hope you will let me know so you can join us in person as we discuss the scriptures together in my home.

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or add to the discussion.

See you next week,

If you’re not signed up yet, click here to keep up with my weekly writing.

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Blessings to you all,

Don

Colossians: “Miracles and Prayers”

I think it is important to begin with worship. So, today we sang, “My Chains are Gone” by Chris Tomlin

Welcome to week 1 of our on-line Colossians Study group. This week, we are in Colossians 1:1-12,

Last week, I introduced our study of Colossians, we continue this week with chapter 1, using the study book.

The Goals for this and my in-home discussion group are:.

-Know false teaching when you hear it
-Strengthen our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word
-Know who we are in Christ
-Know and understand the power we have through Christ.

So, let’s get to some things that Wiersbe points out.

Paul did not start the church in Colossae. Nor did he ever visit it. “Paul had heard of their faith.” (Col. 1:4, 9). The Colossian church consisted mostly of Gentiles. The Christians had intermingled their faith with “a combination of Eastern philosophy and Jewish legalism, with elements of …gnosticism, which means “knowledge.” pg 7

The Gnostic heresy “promised people such a close union with God that they would achieve a ‘spiritual perfection.’ Spiritual fullness could be theirs only if they entered into the teachings and ceremonies prescribed.” They also believed in a state called ‘full knowledge,’ a spiritual depth that only the initiated could enjoy. This ‘wisdom’ would release them from earthly things and put them in touch with heavenly things. pg8

Paul’s “main theme was the preeminence of Jesus Christ (Col. 1:18; 3:11) pg 8
“Wrong doctrine leads to wrong living” pg 8. Along the same lines, permissive theology leads to loose living.

Here are some of our thoughts from the study…

Paul modeled encouragement to the church. Before he wrote about the bad stuff, he encouraged them. We also learned that prayer is important and powerful. We need to pray for ourselves and others.

The Apostle encouraged the Christians by letting them know word of their faith and love has spread.

We and the church are reminded that true power is in Christ, and His Holy Word. They were also reminded that His power has spread throughout the Word.

If we allow ourselves to believe God does not care how we behave, we are likely to stray into areas that are dangerous and destructive.

What beliefs have you allowed to creep in that lead you to destructive living, or legalism?

More notes for Colossians 1:1-12

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
-Words are powerful. How you view and present yourself are powerful.
What you call yourself is important. Paul knew who he was and he wasn’t afraid to proclaim it.
-You are a child of the King. Some of you are writers, singers, artists, pastors, teachers, etc. Know it and be it. Christina, whoever you are, you are a leader because the Spirit of God is within you. Know it, be it, proclaim it!

2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints;
5 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,
6 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;
7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf,
8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.

-Know to whom you are talking and be gracious to your audience.
See the good that is there and call it out.
-Let people know you care. All of the above is just declaring who they are in Christ; their hope, faith and love. The gifts of the Spirit were working in them.

9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
-Prayer is powerful. Pray for others and ask people to pray for you

-Pray for people according to their situation. Pray specifically and let them know you are praying for them.

-Don’t look for special knowledge. The most important thing to know is God’s will and to have understanding that comes through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

-How do we know we are “walking worthy?” By whose standards to we measure ourselves? Our own? None?
-God’s Holy Spirit is the Real source of strength. Don’t try to go to a cheap imitation to bring you the gifts of the Spirit; peace, joy, happiness, patience, longsuffering, etc.”
-Thank God because He has qualified you. There’s no special knowledge. No hidden mystery. God reveals Himself freely and openly.

I encourage you to join, or begin a Bible discussion group so you may learn and grow with other people. For the greatest effect, be prepared to open yourself to others and join in the discussion. But don’t be afraid of silence. It’s ok to be in a group and have moments of silence together as we think about and take in what we have read.

For more writings and music, visit my website at: iSing4God.com.

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ITUNES SINGLE “COME, HOLY SPIRIT”

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Blessings to you all,
Don

Introducing Colossians

Dear friends,

From now through November 19, we’ll be studying book of Colossians together. I will be leading a discussion group in my home every Sunday, from 9/23/12 through 11/18/12. So, I thought I would include you. I hope you don’t mind.

For my study, I have decided to use The Wiersbe Bible Study Series for a few of reasons. First, I have found that trying to teach a Bible Study without a guide and from memory is very time-consuming and difficult. Second, people usually learn more from discussion groups than they do from lecture. Third, while I love preaching, we have a great preacher. So, I’m better off leading a discussion group then trying to preach through a Bible Study every week.

The book I’m using is below. What I write will be from a combination of research, scripture, my thoughts and from some of what comes up in discussion from the group.

Let’s begin with Paul’s introduction of himself in 1:1 as ” an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God…”

What is an apostle?  “An apostle, from Classical Greek ἀπόστολος (apóstolos), meaning “one who is sent away”,[1] is a messenger and ambassador.” In Christianity church, as in Judaism, an apostle is understood to be one who establishes churches.

Here is an outline with headings found in Colossians: Below the headings, I include some questions for your consideration as we prepare to study.

(The Colossians) “The Colossians Faith in Christ” 1:3-8
-How strong is your faith in Christ? Is it strong enough that people know about it? Or, are you a “secret” Christian.

“Preeminence of Christ” 1:9-18
-Does Christ take priority in your life? Do you live your life for Him? Or, do you live life as you please?

“Reconciled in Christ” 1:19-23, v21, “…who once were alienated and enemies in your mind…”
-Have you given your life to God, through Jesus Christ? If not, you are separated from God. There’s an emptiness you feel inside, don’t you? Jesus is waiting.

“Sacrificial Service To Christ” 1:24-29
-Are you willing to serve through suffering? How strong is your passion for the love of Christ?

“Not Philosophy…” (2:1-10), nor Legalism but Christ (2:11-23). We are complete in Christ.
-Is your faith strong enough to withstand peer pressure? How do you handle false teachings? How do you know the difference?

“Not Carnality But Christ” 3:1-11
-Our nature is to do what feels good. We want to do as we please and get away with it. But there is a better way!

“Character of the New Man” 3:12-17
-Here’s our goal; to be like Christ, a new creation in Him! To live and act in love. 

“The Christian Home” 3:18-25
-Here’s one of the most difficult sections because of the “s” word. “SUBMIT.”
We’ll talk more about this, of course. But let me say up front, problems usually come from taking scripture out of context. For instance, you can’t talk about submissive wives, without talking about loving husbands. The two subjects are inseparable.

“Christian Graces” 4:2-6
-Prayer, thanksgiving, wisdom, and grace. Are these important to you? Do you seek them in your life? What steps are you taking to get stronger in these graces?

“Final Greetings” 4:7-15
-Paul talks about the “faithful ministers” and “fellow servants” that are serving with him. Service to God

“Closing Exhortations and Blessing” 4:16-18
-It is assumed that the letter will be read and a call to swap letters with the Laodicean church.
-Paul encourages the reader to “fulfill” “the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” We all have a purpose. We all have a ministry. What is yours? How are you serving God? Will you continue to serve Him with all your heart?

I hope you will join us for the next several weeks as we study the book of Colossians together.

References:
Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Wikipedia, “Apostle” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostle
1. Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford, 1944

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Blessings to you all,

Don

Photo: Public Domain, via Creative Commons. Source: Codex Harleianus 5557 (minuscule 321 in the Gregory-Aland numbering

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