More Good Advice

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2 NIV).

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Paul concludes his epistle to the Colossians with more advice concerning prayer, evangelism, the mystery of Christ, and the conduct outsiders see in them.

Prayer and Thanksgiving

Paul connects prayer with thanksgiving (Col 1:9,12 and 4:2) and in seven other places in his epistles. After he encourages readers to heartily pray, he requests prayers for himself and Timothy who was with him. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2 NASB).

Be Prepared

Now Paul gives advice on evangelism and talking with others. He remids us to be alert for any such opportunities.

And at the same time pray for us also, that God may open a door to us for the Word (the Gospel), to proclaim the mystery concerning Christ (the Messiah) on account of which I am in prison; That I may proclaim it fully and make it clear [speak boldly and unfold that mystery], as is my duty (Colossians 4:3,4 Amplified Bible).

Prayer: Father, help me take on the responsibility to speak boldly.

Questions: Why is it important to combine prayer and thanksgiving? Is this an active routine of your prayer life?

Take on the Character of Christ

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it (Colossians 3:1 The Message).

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Paul now teaches a new way to live. He includes family advice and work ethic. A life as Jesus would have it. One Bible commentator makes this statement, “He who is our best friend has gone before us to secure to us the heavenly happiness; and therefore we should seek what he has purchased at so vast an expense.” *

Made Alive in Christ

Believers must keep their minds set on Christ, because their real (spiritual) life is hidden there. Doing this allows us to push aside sinful thoughts (immorality, impurity, lust, greed, idolatry, etc.). In other words, take on Christ’s character in all you do.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ (Colossians 3:3,4 The Message).

New Way of Living

Paul reminds us of the simple way to accomplish this new way of living.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col 3:15-17 NIV).

As we take on our new life in Christ, family is a priority. Paul gives instructions for the family to build love, unity and respect.

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged . . .Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people (Colossians 3:18-23a NLT).

Prayer: Father, thank you for my resurrection life with Jesus. Help me live it.

Questions: In what areas do sinful thoughts creep into your new life? As you read Colossians 3, how has the Lord encouraged you about your righteous life?

* Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry, Zondervan Publishing House, 1060, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 1873.

Knit Together In Love

I want them [the Colossians] to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love (Colossians 2:2a NLT).

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Jesus said, “Abide in me and I in you” (John 15:4a NASB) and Paul writes, . . . Christ in you the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27b NASB). These are true today for all – a mystery of God. It takes faith.

Be Established in you Faith

Paul encourages believers to walk out their faith. Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:6,7 NASB).

He goes on to write . . .I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown that mystery (Colossians 2:2,3 The Message).

Christ is Over Everything

Paul reiterates that Jesus Christ is head of everything – every ruler and power! For in Christ lives all the fullness of God. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is head over every ruler and authority</em (Colossians 2:9,10 NLT).

Prayer: Father, I will abide in you, grow in my faith (with your help) and do your will daily (also with your help).

Questions: What is your thought as you read Christ in you the hope of glory? You’ve read it possibly many times, now dwell on the wonderful impact it has. Does it change your thoughts on Paul’s teachings (see Philippians 4:13 and Philippians 4:9)?

Christ In You

[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15 Amplified Bible).

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The supremacy of Jesus, Son of God, is Paul’s focus now. This teaching puts us in awe of what God has done through Jesus.

The Supremacy of Jesus

Colossians 1:15-20 proclaims an incredible list who Jesus is. Read it slowly.

  • All things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus
  • Jesus is before all things and in him all things hold together
  • Jesus is the head of the body, the church
  • In everything Jesus has supremacy
  • All the fullness of God dwells in Christ Jesus
  • Through Jesus, God reconciles all things to himself
  • God made peace with all things through Christ’s blood, shed on the cross

The Mystery

Paul declares the hidden message of God’s love. Read this slowly also.

This message [mystery] was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory (Colossians 1:26,27 New Living Translation).

There is no greater assurance for the believer—none. Christ is the fullness of God, head of the church, and our reconciler to God. To him be the glory (and we share in it)!

Prayer: Father, I stand in awe of you. Your Spirit discloses Jesus to me. I’m still amazed. Selah.

Question: Does the list of the supremacy of Jesus (Col 1:15-27) open your eyes to the mystery of Christ in you and your the hope of glory in Christ Jesus (Col 1:27 NIV)?