Paul’s opening prayer, thanksgiving for and encouragement to the believers in Colossae (cont.)

Paul moves quickly from his greeting to the Colossians, onto his thanksgiving for them and his encouragement to them to continue in the faith, a faith based on the “…the word of truth, the Gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing, as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth…” – Colossians 1:5b – 6

This week’s KEY VERSE

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.”

Colossians 1:3-5a

There is so much contained in these 1st few verses of Paul’s introduction to his letter.

“We always thank God,…” – Paul speaks elsewhere in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 that we are to, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Consider that statement by Paul carefully. Remember he, himself, tells us that his life was one of extreme difficulty and of overcoming adversity, (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). He details in this passage his beatings, his lashings, his imprisonments, his stoning, his shipwrecks, the dangers that his faced on every side, his deprivations of sleep, food and clothing, yet through it all he continues to encourage himself and all of us, to ‘rejoice always‘, ‘to pray continually‘ and to ‘give thanks in all circumstances‘. Is that something that we do today? Is that a picture of our lives? Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us to, “Rejoice always, pray continually [and] give thanks in all circumstances,” for this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus!

“…the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,…” – Paul reminds the Colossian church, and us, that Christianity is a ‘family affair’. Under the leadership of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the church, His body upon the earth, are called to be witnesses to the Gospel (“Good News”) of Jesus’ incarnation, life, death and resurrection, that made a way for sinful man to be reconciled with and have a restored access to an intimate relationship with the perfectly holy Father God, who’s greatest desire has always been sons and daughters living in the perfection of His love reciprocated, just as He experienced with and through the earthly life of His Son, Jesus, who was fully imbued with His very own nature and goodness. We are called to be living embodiments of the selfless love, obedience and holiness demonstrated to us by Jesus.

“…since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus, and of the LOVE that you have for all the saints, because of the HOPE laid up for you in heaven.” Here Paul reiterates what can be defined as the three most important ‘metaphysical’ components of Christianity. ‘Metaphysical‘ is defined by the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary as – ‘of or relating to the transcendent (beyond natural comprehension), or to a reality beyond what is susceptible to the senses‘. These three eternal, metaphysical concepts jointly form the underpinnings of our belief system and are clearly stated by Paul in his first letter to the church in Corinth, chapter 13, verse 13, when he writes, “And now these three remain, Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love“.

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