Colossians 3:15-17 NIV 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 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. 17 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.
Colossians 4:2 NLT 2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Paul closes the letter in chapters 3 and 4 with communal exhortations that flesh out what it looks like to grow in epic knowledge that the Spirit gives. This community lifestyle is wrapped in thanksgiving—living out of the abundance of who we are in Christ, that overflows into thankful response in how we carry out our everyday tasks. In 4:2, Paul succinctly captures the essence of the “already-not-yet” eschatology that undergirds the whole letter. We are to pray with alert minds as we live in a broken world that has not yet been fully redeemed, but we also pray with thankful hearts because we are already hidden in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, awaken our minds to pray in step with your will for our lives and for our communities, as we respond to your love with thankful hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s worship by singing the song, “Hymn of Surrender” by Matt Redman (click here).
Colossians 3:9-11 (NIV) 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
“I often read this verse in an individual mindset – I put off my old self. But this self is also corporate – we all put on this corporate self that is being renewed in the image of Jesus, its Creator. This language echoes the beautiful hymn of 1:15-20. Jesus is at work renewing his church in the knowledge of his image. This is the same word for ‘epic knowledge’ that Paul has been using throughout the letter, and perhaps, the most developed sense of what it means ‘to know’ – to be transformed together into the image of Christ. He follows this verse with the famous lines – ‘Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.’ This is the way we are to not lie to each other any longer – seeing in these categories. Any former Barbarians or Scythians here? No longer!” – [paraphrased from P. Nate’s message]
Prayer: Father, renew us together in this knowledge of Jesus today. May we be transformed into the image of Christ anew. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s worship by singing the song, “Touch of Heaven” by Hillsong Worship (click here).
Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV) 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
In Colossians chapter 2, you’ll notice a quick turn of events. In 2:6-7, Paul exhorts the church to continue to live thankfully in Christ in the ways they have already received. Then, in 2:8, he warns them about “empty” and “hollow” human philosophies that threaten to deceive them in contrast with their newfound life in Christ. The “big picture” argument of chapter 2 is that they must not “start from the bottom” as the false teachers seem to be saying—that they are living in lack and need to level up to be fulfilled. Instead, Paul writes in 3:1-4 that they must set their minds and hearts on “things above” because they have already started at the top, because their life is now already hidden in Christ. As God’s people, we begin with thanksgiving for who we are in Christ, with the epic knowledge of the Spirit that we lack nothing!
Prayer: Jesus, in you, we lack nothing. Today, may our hearts and minds recognize the abundance of your fullness in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s worship by singing the song, “Spirit of God” by New Life Worship (click here).
Colossians 1:9-10 (NIV) 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Paul often begins his letters with a prayer of thanksgiving. Reading these introductory prayers carefully, you will find that the content of each specific prayer gives a sneak peek into the heart he plans to share later with the church in each epistle. In Colossians, the prayer of thanksgiving is extended, and expresses Paul’s desire that the Colossians grow in the knowledge (epignosis) that they have already been given to recognize the grace of God in the gospel (the verbal form of epignosis is used in v. 6). This word is an intensified form of the usual word for knowledge (gnosis), which seems to be an intentional move on Paul’s part. This kind of knowledge is truly “epic” – a relational recognition of Jesus’ love and grace at work in our lives. Today, may we be filled with this kind of epic knowledge as we continue to give thanks to the Father!
Prayer: Lord, fill us today with growing knowledge of who you are and what you desire to do in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s worship by singing the song, “There’s Nothing Our God Can’t Do” by Passion (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following Scripture and prayer:
Colossians 1:15-23a (NIV)
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for rescuing us through Jesus. Enable us to continue our lives in faith today. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s worship by singing the song, “Unwavering” by Matt Maher (click here).