I’m deeply encouraged by my brother Dallas’ 14 day Colossians Bible Study. It’s had such a tremendous impact on me (personally) throughout, but especially because of the impact it’s having and will continue to have on those whom I love. There is no greater… rather; what value can compare? From the small percentage of experience I have in this life will not compare to the eternal value of God’s Word. Thank you Lord, for Dallas, and all our family of the truly – faithful.
Colossians Bible Study Day 14 of 14
Read Colossians 4:7-18
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
There is so much we can learn about the early church in this passage and then so much we can learn from each observation.
- Paul did not travel alone
- “…Nympha and the church in her house.” (Colossians 4:15)
- Nympha was a female, and it was in her house that the church met. This observation shows us that the women were afforded a very prominent role in the early church, not just laymen membership.
- Also, the church is not just a building that we go to; from the very beginning it was meant to impact one’s household.
- “My fellow prisoner” (Colossians 4:10)
- A phrase that should be an example to us all of what it looks like to make the most of every opportunity. While Paul is literally in prison, he has been exhorting, admonishing, and teaching the Christians in Collase (and us) about the Christian faith. He is encouraging us to walk the walk knowing that we may end up like him – behind bars and in chains.
Find two more observations and write down your own lessons.
A Final Word
I hope you enjoyed this study on Colossians. It was my first time to write a devotional and I found it challenging, but rewarding. It required me to sit in each text longer and to dig deeper into each passage for patterns and emphasis that I would have not otherwise seen.
I hope you found out new and lovely things about God, you, and others.
For all of my deep divers, thank you! I hope you were blessed by the challenges and have been rewarded with a deeper relationship with Jesus. On Day 7, I asked you to think about a habit you need to stop or start; now is the time to take your first step in starting a new habit or removing an old vice.
If you enjoyed this Bible Study on Colossians please consider forwarding day 1 to your friends/family.
Finally, below is a checklist for you to reflect on and be encouraged about all the things you accomplished during this study.
__ Prayed for fellow Christians
__ Read a chapter in the gospels
__ Memorized scripture (Colossians 1: 21-23)
__ Talked with someone in need of a loving friend
__ Exposed lies that you believed
__ Discovered themes in Paul’s letters to the Colossians
__ Stopped a bad habit
__ Started a good habit
__ Spent time doing something that brought you closer to God
__ Discovered what it looked like to focus your heart and mind on ‘things above’
__ Exposed some of your prejudices
__ Found out how God views you in Colossians 3:12
__ Changed your work habits
__ Learned about biblical slavery
__ Learned what it means to submit
__ Made a commitment to pray for missionaries for 10 days__ Learned about and from the early church
Grace be with you.
Colossians Bible Study Day 13 of 14
Read Colossians 4:2-6
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
“…know how to answer everyone.” What a huge call! How can we do this? How can we know enough to be able to answer everyone?
The answer is actually pretty simple. If our conversations are full of grace we can answer everyone (v6).
I often like to tell myself that I need to learn more before I talk to others about Jesus. However, it is grace, not knowledge, that allows us the ability to answer everyone.
So what does grace look like? Let me tell you a story about my sister, Hope.
Shortly after Hope acquired a used car she allowed me to drive it from the front of the house to the back driveway. I was still learning to drive, but this was a really simple trip and one that I had done before. Our street was in the shape of an L and I easily maneuvered through the road in front of the houses into the alleyway. As I was beginning to turn right at the elbow of the alley I accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake… and instead of turning I ended up putting the car through a neighbors’ fence…
I forgot to mention there was construction going on in the alley.
Bordering the alley (in seemingly random spots) were large 5’-7’ feet deep holes. AND yes, I did manage to drive into the fence directly over one of those holes, suspending the front two tires in the air. Hope’s car was front wheel drive meaning that not only did I wreck my sister’s brand new car, but I also stranded it in the air as well.
I remember waiting for Hope to yell, to cry, to be angry, but instead Hope looked at me and with genuine concern asked, “Are you okay?”
Hope’s love for me far exceeded the love of her new car. It far exceeded the unfortunate situation. Hope immediately cast out my offense against her and granted me undeserved love.
This is grace and it is wonderful.
God’s grace outmatches that. It exceeds the deepest of offenses and it is far more accessible. God offers undeserved love to anyone who is willing to receive it.
“Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.” ~ Frederick William Faber
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
Now go and may your conversations be full of grace.
Paul tells his readers three different times to pray in this passage of scripture alone, and even asks for prayers for him and his mission. Have you been praying for missionaries? They need it. Make a commitment to pray for them everyday for the next 10 days. If you know any missionaries let them know they were prayed for. They may really need some encouragement from back home.
Colossian Bible Study Day 12 of 14
*before you start please read the note about biblical slavery at the bottom of this post
Read Colossians 3:18-4:1
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
Colossians 3:18-4:1 (NIV)**
Wives, husbands, children, fathers, employees, and bosses all receive instructions in this passage of scripture on how to treat others. Chances are that you fall into at least one of the categories if not more.
One of the most relevant categories may be employees, and to that group of people Paul has the most to say. In verses 23-24 he writes the same thing in three different ways. We are to work as if we are working for God, not men.
When Christians’ work as if we are working for The LORD we are serving God well. We are not serving man, not companies, not family, not money, not government, not even the church. It is our job as employees to serve God by working hard and delivering our best while we are there.
This has been difficult for me, and I confess that I have especially struggled with this when I was discontent with my job. That is no excuse. I must remind myself that as I go about work this week that I do not serve my boss or a client, but God.
As employees we must trust God will deal justly with our bosses. Hopefully your boss is kind, compassionate, and a good leader who lovingly challenges you to be your best. However, if your boss is not that way or you (as a boss) are not that way, Paul has an ominous thought for that person – they also have a Master… in heaven. His name is Yahweh.
Think about your work habits. How would they change if you believed you were working for God and not man? Is anything keeping you from changing your work habits, today? If so, is that okay?
*Your translation may use the word slaves in verses 22 & 1. The slavery Paul is speaking into is very different than the early American slavery institution. Got Questions has a very good article on slavery in the bible that I encourage you to read. In the meantime please think of ‘slaves’ more along the lines of employee and ‘master’ more along the lines of boss.
**If the word submit gives you a visceral reaction, I ask that you please pray about it, read this article, and share your feelings with a trusted Christian friend.
Colossians Bible Study Day 11 of 14
Read Colossians 3:12-17
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
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.
Everyday when we put our clothes on we are surrounding ourselves with materials to protect, conceal, and express ourselves. As God’s children Paul has instructed us to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, empathy, and forgiveness. It is a long list, but it can be summed up in one word: love.
The benefit of our new wardrobe is we might also learn to have the peace of Christ. This peace should lead to thankfulness. Paul’s emphasis on this is clear; three times in verses 15-17 he calls us to be in a state of gratitude.
“…be thankful…” “…with gratitude in your hearts….” “…giving thanks…”
Gratefulness is a direct result of choosing to surround ourselves in God’s love everyday.
Imagine if everyone who read these words went out into the world with a new set of clothes. If we surrounded and expressed ourselves in compassion, humility, and forgiveness. If we were known as loving and thankful people. If, whatever we did, whether in word or deed, we did it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, our Father.
We would change the world.
In verse 12 Paul makes three claims about you.
- You are God’s ______________
- You are ______________
- You are dearly ______________
Sit in those statements. What does that say about You? What does that say about God?
Colossians Bible Study Day 10 of 14
Read Colossians 3:5-11
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[a] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 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.
Colossians 3:5-11 (NIV)
In Chapter 2 Paul declared that the written code, regulations, and human commands/traditions were dead. They did not apply to the Christian. Now, in chapter 3, we are encouraged not to act in ways that are unpleasant to God.
Our old nature of sin and our new nature in Christ do not mix. They are oil and water, light and darkness. The sin nature that once defined our life is the very reason the wrath of God is coming.
Get rid of it.
Our new self is renewed by growing in knowledge of our Creator. In that knowledge we will discover there is no meaningful difference in race (Greek or Jew), denomination (circumcised or uncircumcised), nationality (barbarian or Scythian), & socioeconomic status (slave or free). Christ has made us all equal. We are adopted heirs to God’s inheritance with Jesus Christ.
You are The King’s Child.
What prejudices do you have? Does fear or anger grip you at the sight or mention of Republicans, Democrats, Atheists, Baptists, Rich, Poor, Californians, Texans, etc…. Confess those prejudices to God and your trusted Christian friends and ask for healing (James 5:16) and a renewed mind (Romans 12:2).
Colossians Bible Study Day 9 of 14
Read Colossians 3:1-4
Since, 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.
Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)
1… 2… 3…
1 time Paul gives us shocking information. You died (v3).
3 times Paul tells us of our relationship with Jesus – past, present, and future. We have been raised with Christ (v1), our life is now hidden with Christ (v3), and we will appear with Christ in glory (v4).
We were dead with nothing to offer; we were totally separated from God. Then, God bridged the gap through Jesus. He rescued us from our death.
Now, God has redeems our past, protects our present, and promises our future. We are now alive because of God’s work with Jesus.
Finally, because of our new life we are to share in Jesus’ glory. Thus, we are free to focus our hearts and minds on things that are not of this world. We are to be free.
What does it mean to you to focus your heart and mind on things above?
If you don’t know, no worries. Check out the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:16-34.
Colossians Bible Study Day 8 of 14
“He has lost connection with the Head [Jesus], from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” Colossians 2:19 (Brackets are added by me)
What connects you to God? Baking? Walking through nature? Organizing? Music? Serving those in need? Riding Your Bike?
Think about what connects you to God.
Now do it.
I’m going to go listen to Christmas music.
Colossians Bible Study Day 7 of 14
Read Colossians 2:16-23
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[a] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
Colossians 2:16-23 (NIV)
Why do we do the things that we do?
Is it because of habit?
Why do we put candles on birthday cakes? Why can’t you publicly talk about Texas A&M without people yelling “WHOOP!” at you? How come you open the same app every time you use your phone?
These are trivial examples, but there are religious habits and traditions too.
Why do you say the same prayer every day before dinner? Is “God works in mysterious ways” really a beneficial thing to say to those who are grieving? Are you really sorry for your actions or do you just not know what to say?
God cares about our lives. He wants them to be meaningful and full of purpose. He wants us to experience life’s pleasures and to enjoy His creation, not just live our lives following cultural standards. Let us put an end to meaningless traditions and regulations, which Paul refers to as the basic principles (some versions say “elemental spirits”) of this world. Let’s stop indulging in these actions because they are based on human tradition and not on Jesus.
How do we do this? How do we turn our habits, especially our good ones, into something of substance?
It requires a mind shift.
Start with your meal-time prayer. Praying is common, but it is also sacred. You are talking with the Ruler of all the powers and authorities on Earth (2:10). Savor it and pray more often, not just at meal times.
We should be thinking about the things we do, think, and say, so we are not participating in meaningless activities. We do this because all habits and traditions are destined to fail at bringing meaning to our lives if they are based on human commands and teachings. Please, don’t waste your time with them. Instead focus on regaining your connection with God.
Is there a habit you need to stop? Or perhaps a habit you need to bring meaning to? Dwell on it, make a plan, and we will revisit it at the end of this study. If you cannot think of one ask a close friend or significant other.
Go ahead and read over tomorrow’s devotional. It’s short, and you might need to prepare for it.
Colossians Bible Study Day 6 of 14
Read Colossians 2:9-15
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2: 9-15 (NIV)
Jesus is the ‘head over every power and authority.’ Sit in that for a moment.
Think about all the nations… Politicians… Leaders… and ask yourself who is really in control?
There is one Leader, one King of kings, & one Ruler; His name is Jesus. He has triumphed over every power and authority through His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead. He is LORD of all.
Paul then gives us some imagery for what happens when a person becomes a Christian. He uses immersion baptism to show how we are buried/submerged (putting our sinful nature to death) and then resurrected/emerged (into a new life with Jesus).
What is a new life with Jesus?
Paul explains what a new life with Jesus is later in the letter, but first he explains what it is not. A life with Jesus is not filled with written codes and regulations (v14). It is not a life marked by following the laws of the Old Testament because those have been nailed to the cross.
So if the laws and regulations of the Old Testament (like the Ten Commandments) have been put to death then how should we live?*
Paul once again lets us know that Jesus is “the fulness of the Deity” in bodily form, just like he did in Colossians 1:15-20. This idea must be important to Paul. Make a note that one theme of Colossians is ‘Jesus is God in bodily form.’ As you read through Colossians look for more themes to write down next to that one.
*Paul will give us the answer of how a Christian should live later in the Letter.
Colossians Bible Study Day 5 of 14
Read Colossians 2:1-8
I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2:1-8 (NIV)
Paul spends a considerable amount of his letter to the Colossians addressing false teachings. In this short section of scripture alone we see two distinct warnings (v4 & 8), but there are many more throughout the letter. These false teachings are a big deal! In fact, it is the reason this letter was written to the Colossians (v2-3).
God, using Paul as his messenger, is telling us that He can be known through Jesus who provides complete understanding, wisdom, and knowledge. BUT is warning us of false teachings that appear as “fine-sounding arguments,” but are actually “deceptive philosophy.”
In light of this message we need to answer two questions
- How do we differentiate fine-sounding arguments from good, sound arguments?
- How do we know when philosophy is deceiving us?
In the sermon on the mount Jesus gives us an excellent way to identify false teachers and false teachings.
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matthew 7: 15-20 (NIV)
Jesus is saying we can identify false teachers and false teaching by monitoring the results of the teaching/teacher. Does your belief lead to peace or depression? Does the teacher’s life look chaotic or harmonious?
You will recognize them by their fruit.
Think about those dark moments; the moments when you are filled with shame or regret. How did you end up there? Were you looking at porn? Did you have too much to drink? Did you say something you shouldn’t have?
First, God’s grace is sufficient and he offers you forgiveness.
Second, I am sorry that happened.
Third, if we find ourselves returning to the same hurtful activity over and over again then we might have more than just a sin problem. We might have a core belief problem. We may be trusting in a false teaching.
I challenge us to explore the areas where we continue to do wrong. Find the root cause of our repeated sin by asking why we do what we do (you might have to ask “why” several times to get there). The goal is that we would dig deep into our hearts until we find a core belief, the false teaching, that is fueling our evil-doing. I’ll give an example below.
Surface Sin – Keep thinking inappropriate sexual thoughts about people other than my spouse
Why? – I want to do those things or relive past experiences
Why? – I think it would be fun
Why? – I think sexual experiences with multiple people is better than monogamy
False Belief – Sexual experiences with multiple people is better than monogamy
May God expose our hearts to the truth and make known any false teachings we have put our trust in. May He give us the strength to eliminate all of our wrong beliefs and discernment to recognize any false teachers.
Colossians Bible Study Day 4 of 14
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
Colossians 1: 24-29
In verse 24 Paul writes one of the more confusing lines in all of the New Testament letters.
“… and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions…”
What could possibly be lacking from Christ’s afflictions? How dare Paul say such a thing! Right?
Well, Paul explains himself in the next verse by saying that he has become a servant “by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness…”
In other words, Paul has become a missionary, which is exactly what you and I are called to be. We, too, make up for what is lacking in regards to Christ’s affliction. Not by doing anything to earn God’s favor or forgiveness, but instead by letting others know of God’s love for them.
What an honor! We get to participate in God’s plan. He does not need us, but He has chosen us, Christians, to announce His love to the world.
How are you doing at that?
Think of someone you know who could use some love. Now schedule a time to talk with them (in person, over the phone, or for lunch). Do not feel you must share the gospel with them. Instead, pray for the meeting and then be attentive when you are with them. If an opportunity to share the gospel arises then feel the freedom to share Jesus’s love for them, but if it does not then leave in peace knowing that you have deepened a friendship.
Colossians Bible Study Day 3 of 14
COLOSSIANS STUDY DAY 3
Read Colossians 1:21-23
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] 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. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV)
Holy, without blemish, free from accusation. Dear Christian, these are the attributes that God sees when He looks at you. Despite everything you have done today, last week, and this past decade, you are seen as holy, without blemish, and free from accusation. Please sit with each of these images for just a little longer; describe each image in your head.
Holy = Set Apart
Without Blemish = No mark or flaw against you
Free From Accusation = Nothing to accuse you of, innocent
God views you this way because of His initiative to reconcile you through Jesus’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. God has moved toward us despite our natural inclination to run from Him. We are so blessed to have a love like that. Dwell in it.
Write verses 21-23a on a notecard and set it beside your bed. Read it before you go to bed every night and read it every morning when you wake up. Try to memorize it before the end of this study on Colossians.
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.
Colossians Bible Study Day 2 of 14
Read Colossians 1:15-20
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.
Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV)
Have you ever wondered what God is like? How would He respond to humans in everyday situations? How would He treat someone of a different race, a political leader, or even an adulterer?
We know who our God is and what His character is like because Paul tells us that Jesus is the image (v15) and fullness (v19) of God. Therefore, to know more about God’s character all you have to do is open up the Gospels. In those four books you will find how Jesus is gentle when he is approached by a man with a very contagious disease called Leprosy (a disease full of social stigma at the time) in Matthew 8:1-3. We see how humble Jesus was in John 13:1-17 when he washed his disciples feet, but also how he was ferocious and an absolute FORCE (Matthew 23, John 2:13-16) when he saw people being misled by the spiritual leaders of the day.
The God of the universe is ready to be known; all you have to do is look.
Pick a chapter in the Gospels and read it.* Pay close attention to how Jesus responds to people and how people respond to Jesus. Write down the things you learned about God.
Colossians Bible Study Day 1 of 14
Read Colossians 1: 1-14
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
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, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 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. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:1-14 (NIV)
Paul opens his letter with words of encouragement to the Colossians, and in his opening message we see that he has a habit of praying for the Colossians. Do you pray for your fellow Christians? This habit is something that we ought to imitate. It is often the most effective thing we can do each day to improve the lives of those dear to us.
You have the opportunity and privilege to talk to the Creator of the universe and ask Him to make someone’s day, month, or life better with just a few thoughts. It is literally our only superpower, but it is a power that we often forsake or discount.
Do not miss out on your opportunity to pray for someone today.
Paul gives several reasons for why he prays for his fellow Christians. For example in verse 3 when Paul says “We always thank God… when we pray for you.” We see that one of Paul’s reasons to pray for the Colossians is to thank God for them.
There are more reasons to pray for Christians. Find some of them in the passage above and then pray those over a brother or sister in Christ.