Colossians 2.6-7 – September 19, 2020

Colossians 2:6–7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness  (Colossians 2:6–7, NIV)

Thought Questions:

What does it mean to receive Christ as Lord? How has taking on Christ as Lord affected how you view not only him, but also the life you live among others?

What are some ways you work to be rooted and built up in Christ? Does that happen naturally for you or do you have to put forth a conscious effort?

What are you thankful for today and how have you let that overflow into everything you do today?

Colossians 1.15-20 – July 28, 2020

Colossians 1:15–20

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)

Being a Christian is not just about following a bunch of rules or attending services/classes when they are offered, it is about committing ourselves to Jesus, the head of the church, the supreme one.

Thought Questions:

What does it mean for Jesus to be the head of the body? How does this affect or perhaps even alter the way you look at “church?”

In a world that typically demands their rights and wants everything to be fair, how do we communicate the importance of the supremacy of Christ?

When you see Jesus, you see the fullness of God. In what ways has Jesus helped you understand God and his desire for you to live for him?

Colossians 2.13-15 – July 10, 2020

Colossians 2:13–15

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 2:13–15 , NIV)

You have been made alive!

Thought Questions:

For many of us, we have never felt “dead” in our sins. In what ways does Paul mean for us to understand this “death in our sins?”

How often do you pause to reflect on the fact that God forgave your sins–you did not do some sort of hard work to eliminate or overcome them?

How does being made alive in Christ change how you live your life towards others? How does it help you share the good news of this change in your own life?

Colossians 3.1-17 – May 28, 2020

Colossians 3:1–17

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 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.
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.
 (Colossians 3:1–17, NIV)

“Speaks of God’s will and guides for holy living”

Thought Questions:

What does it mean to set your heart and mind on things above? What specific actions would you say constitute these things?

Paul has a list of characteristics we should have as people who follow God. In what ways do you find these characteristics to be a part of your life? In what ways can you make them more of your life?

How has knowing God lead to peace in your life?

Colossians 1.9-14 – March 13, 2020

Colossians 1.9-14

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 1:9–14, NIV)

“Speaks of God’s will and guides for holy living”

Thought Questions:

Who prays for you that you would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will? Who do you pray this prayer for?

What reasons do you have to give “joyful thanks?”

How is your life different knowing that God has rescued you and brought you into his kingdom? In what ways do you share this with others?

Holy and Blameless – October 5, 2019

Jeremiah 4.19-6.15; Colossians 1.18-2.7; Psalm 77.1-20; Proverbs 24.23-25

One of the challenges those who follow Jesus face is an acceptance of the forgiveness we receive through Jesus’ reconciliation. We know ourselves too well to believe that we can be considered holy. (Does God even KNOW what I have done?) I think this is why all throughout Paul’s writings (a guy who knew what it was to do bad things, by the way) he reminds people: You stand before God without a single fault because of what Christ has done. How does such truth affect how you live for God?

Questions:

Some people assume the God of the Old Testament (Really the same God, he just seems different!) had no grace, but a close reading shows that not to be the case. Where do you see the hope of forgiveness in today’s reading from Jeremiah?

How hard do you work to present others perfect or mature before God?

What do you do when you find yourself in deep trouble? Where do you turn?

In what ways do Christians today show favoritism?

Hope in the Lord – October 4, 2019

Jeremiah 2.31-4.18; Colossians 1.1-17; Psalm 76.1-12; Proverbs 24.21-22

Watching a movie a second time is not nearly as exciting as seeing it the first time through, yet there is something exciting about being able to enjoy a movie because you know the outcome. Life can be the same way. If you know the outcome of your life, if you are confident in the hope you have, you have a much different perspective on your life. How is our confidence in the hope we have in God able to create a better lived life for us?

Questions:

“Fickle Israel.” What did Israel do to gain such a moniker and how would you like to have to live that reputation down?

Pray Colossians 1.9-12 as your prayer for others today.

What vows do you make to the Lord and how do you work to keep them?

Why does disaster hit rebels suddenly? Why would we want to follow them in the first place?

Vacation – June 28

Text: Colossians 1.15-23 (Read it here)20160628

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. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 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 1.18-20, NIV)

Substitute Teachers
Author: Rob Anderson

Think back to your elementary days. Do you remember that time you had a substitute teacher? So just exactly how did you act?

When I was in the fifth grade, we knew we were going to have a substitute for an extended period of time—several weeks. We were pretty excited about it and to be honest, it was for all the wrong reasons.

Even before the first day the teacher was absent, we were already planning ways in which we would skirt the rules and dupe the teacher. We would sit in all the wrong places and convince her that our “regular” teacher allowed all kinds of things that she in fact would never allow.

On the day the substitute showed up for class, we were in for a surprise. The “substitute” was actually a teacher who had been in our school the previous year. She knew all of us by name. To make matters worse, she went to church with me!

We knew we were defeated before the school day even began. There was no way we would pull a fast one on her.

When we read Colossians 1, I wonder if the first readers of the letter assumed about Jesus many of the things we did about our substitute. There is a sense that a substitute teacher is not a “real” teacher. (He or she wouldn’t be called a sub if he or she was permanent, right?)

When the first readers of Colossians listened to Paul, here is what they heard:

  • Jesus is the image of the invisible God
  • He was the firstborn
  • In him all things were created
  • He is the head of the body
  • He has supremacy

Jesus doesn’t sound much like a substitute or like he is playing second-fiddle, does he? And he is not. It is through him that we have salvation. He is the one who reconciles us to God. Without Jesus, we have no opportunity to be with God.

How do you look at Jesus today? Is he just a small part of the bigger picture or is he the one you allow to bring you into a relationship with God?

Questions:

We often hear people talk about the “apple not falling far from the tree.” What do we mean when we say this? What characteristics do you have that you or others have seen in your parents or perhaps siblings? In what ways are your actions close enough to one another that you could even be mistaken for the other?

When we look at Jesus, we see God—the fullness of God dwells in him. How does this fact help you as you desire to know God? What things about God do you know only because you know Jesus?

What does Paul mean when we writes that Jesus is the head of the church, “so that in everything he might have the supremely?” What does it mean to be the supreme being? If Jesus is supreme, how does our life compare to his? How does this change or affect the way you chose to live your life?