Chip Stapleton Highland Presbyterian Church April 28th, 2020 Hunkered Down Devotions
Colossians 1:3-7 (NIV)
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,[a] who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[b] behalf,
I have a confession to make. When I am reading my Bible, when I come to a beginning of a book – particularly one of the ‘letters’ of the New Testament, I have a tendency to sort of just skip over those opening verses. They tend to be mostly forgettable, to be fair, usually filled with introductions and greetings. There doesn’t tend to be a lot of theological depth or meaning there.
So, because of this, I nearly missed – or more accurately, didn’t pay attention to – today's New Testament reading. How unfortunate that would have been. At first, because it feels like it is ‘just’ an introduction and a greeting, but I think there is so much more.
The message I heard this morning as I read was in the easily-overlooked introduction itself. Paul writes that ‘we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you’. Why are Paul and his companions always thankful? Because ‘we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all God’s people’
What a blessing the members of the Colossian church must have been. And that blessing for Paul comes as a call and a challenge to us. Live in such a way that faith and love spring out from our lives as a result of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Live in such a way that those around us thank God for who we are and what we do. Live in such a way that the word of our good work – and our faith, love, and hope – travels near and far.
That is our challenge in this and in every time, to live a life full of love and hope and faith so that others take notice – not for our own glory or recognition, but so that we might be able to point all to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer: Help us this day Lord, to live out our lives with hope and love and faith. Let any notice we receive reflect only towards you and your love and grace. Amen.