Approximate completion time: 35
Read: Colossians 2:1-15
Memory verse: Colossians 2:6-7
Prayer: Dear God, help us open our hearts to your Word today. Help us fully understand that in you and through your sacrifice we are complete. Be with us this week as we apply what we are learning to our every day life.
Paul was concerned for the Colossians and their faith, in fact it was more than a concern, take a look at verse 1, it says: “…how much I (Paul) am struggling for you…” The dictionary defines struggle: strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance. Paul wasn’t just concerned, he was struggling because of the false teachings that had spread not only to the church in Colossea, but also to the church in Laodicea, he was struggling because he knew what the people would be facing – there could be a resistance against things of Christ because of the false teachings. Later, Christ himself would call the believers in Laodicea lukewarm Christians (Revelations 3:14-22). Paul knew what he was up against. Paul was battling for them in prayer, in support, as he wanted all believers to be unified with Christ. He desired for them to know and understand the fullness of who Jesus was. As I read Paul’s letter here I can feel the anguish in his heart as he “struggles” to help the church understand who Christ is and have them see fully who Christ can be in their lives. This doesn’t differ much for myself as I look at my circle of influence, whether that be my family, my friends or my neighbors; do they understand just who Christ is? Do they understand who He can be in their lives? Do I understand? I so desire to know God deeper, more intimately; I want to struggle for my fellow brother and sister. Why not take a moment to write down some names of people you need to “struggle” for and pray for them. I will wait for you.
As we have seen in the last two weeks, Paul was warning the church about the false teachings that he knew were being spread. Look at verse 4; we are to be weary of deception. We need to be on guard for false teachings are usually passed off as “smooth talking” that lures us away from Christ. In today’s society it is so easy to get caught off guard and turn away from the things of Jesus if we are not careful, if we are not rooted in the Word and in the truth. I can remember back in college it seemed that everywhere I turned I was being drawn into the world and away from my relationship with Christ. I wanted what the world had to offer, it seemed less restrictive, more fun, no consequences (or so it seemed), just live for me. Boy, was I wrong! Satan is so crafty and sly as he used people and circumstances to draw me away from Jesus. It happened so subtly; I didn’t even realize it until I found myself feeling lost, alone and without hope.
God is so full of grace, patience, compassion and love. He used a family member of mine to show me who Jesus could be again in my life. Just like Paul, in verse 6, she encouraged me to walk in my faith just as I had received Christ. WALK is a metaphor for LIVE, I had received Christ, so now it was time to live for Him, to really live for Him. As I began to dig into the scriptures and study His word, the closer I drew to Jesus. In verse 7, Paul talks about being ‘rooted’ in Him. Just like plants draw nourishment from the soil through the roots, we draw life-giving strength through Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus, ask Him to protect you from being kidnapped by false teachings. We must always be on guard.
Something we try to model in our Girlfriends ministry is doing things in pairs. We cannot walk this journey on our own. Just like we need our Father in Heaven, we also need one another to help encourage us, hold us accountable, to ask the tough questions, to pray for us, to show us when we are taking our eyes of Jesus. Who are you doing life with? As believers we need to go shoulder to shoulder with one another and help to bring unity to the body of Christ. We need to keep our eyes and ears open to false teachings and walk closely with God. You have been given fullness in Christ, you are complete in Him. May you walk in this truth this week. May you grow deeper in love with Jesus for He loves YOU so much!
- Can you recall a time in your life when you took your eyes off of Christ? What were the circumstances?
- What does “struggling” for others look like to you?
- Is there something subtle in your life that is causing you to not give God your full attention? Take time to pray and ask Him to help you let this go.
- Is there someone in your life that holds you accountable in your walk with Christ? Why not write them a letter/card and thank them for this gift.