Thursday, February 02, 2017

Influences of the World - Living the Gospel Series

 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, 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, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9-12   


Colosse, a Roman-controlled province of Asia Minor, geographically rests 120 miles East of Ephesus on a great trade route. In its early days, around 400 BC, Colosse reigns as a major city for textiles and trade. Known for dyed material and soft wool, with its strategic location and successful wool industry, the city thrives. By the time Paul writes to the Colossian church, new growth in nearby cites has altered its once prosperous status to a less than important "market town". The citizens of Colossa and the church are being influenced by a variety of cultural and philosophical beliefs systems. They are discouraged and confused by the chaos, a true characteristic of Satan.  
"God's love mysteriously satisfies God's justice... [His] love will ultimately prevail to mend the world and bring God's purposes to full fruit." Richard Foster
Paul writes that we have not stopped praying for you and reminds this community of believers that knowledge and wisdom comes through the Holy Spirit. Along with some false teachings and pagan religious practices in Colosse, these young Christians are being influenced by Greek philosophies, the occult, and "worship of angels". Paul reassures them living a worthy life pleases God, and that in God they will find all the knowledge and wisdom and strength necessary for fruit-full living. Today, we are surrounded by the same distractions, leaving us disillusioned and often disappointed. As believers in Christ, God provides all we need and expects us to press on with endurance and patience and thanksgiving to Him. We are called to bear fruit in all our good works, giving all glory to the Father. So, with each deed, we should ask ourselves if we are trying to appease humanity or please God. Whose approval do we really seek? - dho