January 26, 0009Day 299
Instead of following a long list of do's and don't's, Paul says, here is how to live. First, verses 3 and 4, die with Jesus and set your mind on Him. Next, verses 5 through 11, throw off all your old sins and habits, including the temptation to divide people into castes or cliques. Finally, verses 12 through 17, like a beloved child, put on love and gentleness and all the lovely garments of salvation bought for us by Jesus. Then you'll see the loving family relationships described in the last part of the chapter.
October 25, 2021Day 298
In this chapter we see the first hints of the untruths floating around in Colossae. There are apparently people who believe that angels are worthy of worship and bring salvation. Paul was very clear that the only gospel is the one of Jesus. He is our only Savior, and He alone is worthy of worship. At the same time, either those same false teachers or others were teaching (again!) that life had to be lived by rigid rules—Don't do this and don't do that! Paul repeated, live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit. Don't let people take you back into spiritual slavery.
October 24, 2021Day 297
No one knows exactly how the church at Colossae began, but Paul learned that there was a dangerous mixture of truth and falsehood spreading through them. We will see details of it as we study this book, but you can see that Paul begins first by affirming the good things he knows of their faith, and then by restating in the strongest possible terms that it's all about Jesus. Jesus is the visible image of an invisible God, and He is the one through Whom and for Whom all things were created. That's the basis for all truth.
October 23, 2021Day 296
Here is one of the loveliest chapters in the whole Bible. If ever you are anxious, worried, or lonely, you will find comfort in Philippians 4. If you are finding your mind distracted by the speed and digital craziness of our world, look to Philippians 4. If you have an argument or conflict with a friend, look to Philippians 4. If you feel poor and needy, you will find comfort here. Verse 7 is especially touching—the promise that peace will guard your heart and mind is just like promising a fortress of God's love and care surrounding your soul. Nothing can touch you there.
October 22, 2021Day 295
Still there are some who insist that the letter of the law leads to salvation. Paul speaks sternly of them. He lists, again, his own earthly honors—if anyone had human reasons to boast, Paul does. But what does he consider all those earthly honors, compared to the truth of the gospel? Garbage! Would you consider your school or church honors, the Pathfinder goals you have reached, any awards you have won in your town, all garbage in comparison to Jesus?
October 21, 2021Day 294
Paul says he is able to be humble no matter what circumstances he is in, because Jesus did the same thing—only more! If the King of heaven could come down and be a peasant, then Paul the apostle could be a prisoner. He asks his friends to “have the same mind as Jesus.” How can we have that same mind? By asking Him to dwell within us. Then we will have the same concern for others that Paul shows in his letters, sending personal greetings, promising to send friends home to them, just because they were worried.
October 20, 2021Day 293
Do you remember when Paul had the vision of a man from Macedonia pleading for him to come? He, Silas, Timothy, and Luke went right away, and went to Philippi in Macedonia. There they met the women worshiping by the river, and there, the first place in Europe, the gospel was preached. Over ten years have passed, and Paul is in prison in Rome when he writes one of his most loving letters to the Philippians. He must know they are worried about him, because he assures them that even his imprisonment has advanced the gospel. Could you witness to your jailers?
October 19, 2021Day 292
This is a great passage! Did you notice, it doesn't say to put on the armor of a Christian, it says to put on God's armor! That would be some pretty powerful armor, right? You'll find it wonderful to pray through each piece, imagining Jesus putting it on you before you begin your day. Pay attention to an important fact: all the pieces of armor are protective and defensive except one—the sword of the Spirit, and that's the Word of God, and never to be used against another person (verse 12). So don't think of God's armor as warlike. It's to protect you from the devil and his wiles, and to help you protect others, too.
October 18, 2021Day 291
Here Paul gets down to basics again. Don't you love how he pictures Christians as “dearly loved children”? There are two main ways of trying to obey God. One is by thinking of God as stern and ready to be angry at every mistake. We can worry all the time about being good enough. The other is to think of Him the way a toddler thinks of her daddy, expecting Him to be excited over her first steps, and pick her up the second she falls, and kiss her bruises. What difference does it make to our Christian obedience, which way we think of God?