By Brooke Holt
“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:1-7
The passion of Paul’s life was to make Christ known and glorified. Nothing delighted him more than seeing people come to Jesus and grow in their Christian faith. That passion led Paul to travel throughout the ancient world to preach and teach. Clearly, Paul could not go everywhere. For those cities such as Colossae, where Paul had not done public ministry, the apostle prayed fervently.
Why was Paul so concerned for these people he did not know? Because he heard about them from fellow evangelists. He heard reports the church had received the Gospel and how these new Christians were growing in the love of the Lord. Paul knew of their faith as well as the ongoing threats to the church and that emerging faith. What better way to fight for God’s people than to pray and write to warn and encourage them?
Paul’s prayer is that they would grow together as a body of Christ, in the love of the Lord and each other. He prayed they would have wisdom and discernment to recognize false teaching. Paul prayed their hearts and mind would continually expand with the understanding of how great this treasure of faith really was—that Christ dwelt within them through his Holy Spirit. They would know the joy of walking in Christ as they remained steadfast to the truth of the Gospel and grew in that love and truth. To that end, Paul would continue to pray, write, and send forth support for these precious children of God.
Everyone needs a Paul in their life—someone to fight for you, recognize the dangers of falling away from the Lord, and will speak the truth in love always. You need someone who recognizes your value to the Lord and to the body of Christ and reminds you of that value when times get tough, and the enemy comes against you.
Who is fighting for your faith? It is important to recognize those people and then rely on them. The world, the enemy, and life challenges will always seek to lead you away from the Lord. Seek out people to stand with you, fight for you, and those you can fight for. God’s people need each other!
Take time to consider who has been fighting for you. Thank the Lord for those people, and maybe take time to thank them. Are you relying on them as you need to? Are you fighting for the souls of others through prayer, speaking the truth in love, and encouragement? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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