December 7 Colossians 1,2,3,4

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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His Power, My Motivation | Tara Wiley

S~ For this purpose I also labor, striving according to HIS power, which works mightily in me.” Colossians 1:29

O~ In these short ‘popcorn’ epistles (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians), Paul give so much practical advice on how to live out our faith. In Colossians, he spends time pointing out the motivations for our actions in the daily-ness of our lives –

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24

A~ Satan doesn’t want us to take heed to fulfill our ministries (Col 4:17), to work heartily for the Lord, and to receive the reward of the inheritance. He is constantly on the prowl to dim our light, halt our growth and reduce our influence for Christ. And he is so insidious! The temptation just not to do things Christ calls us to do is so real… and sometimes the motivation to stand firm (Ephesians 6) slides away with distraction, worry, complacency… The overt attacks are easier to spot and remain determined against, but these subtle temptations are no less real and no less powerful in keeping us from living out our purpose.

I am so grateful that I do not have to find the power to stand firm all on my own. This verse reminds me, I labor in HIS POWER, which works MIGHTILY in me. What a potent reminder, and what hope! As I submit to the Spirit, He works powerfully in me to overcome this temptation towards complacency, and instead to be powerfully effective for Christ!

P~ Lord, on days and in seasons when I am so easily distracted by the details of life, or just get complacent or worn out or discouraged by my inefficacy for Your kingdom, thank You for this motivating reminder. Today, as I strive to eliminate distractions during Advent, fill me with Your power. Work mightily in me to accomplish Your purposes, Lord! Today, Jesus, let me shine brightly for You as You work in me.

Don’t Drift | Kim Chipman

S~ But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. Colossians 1:23a (NLT)

O~ Paul just reminded the Colossians that they – like all of us – were once separated from God but are now reconciled through Christ and stand before Him holy and blameless.

A~ But continue to believe, stand firm, don’t drift. The drift is so easy! Thanks to the spiritual battle which is raging I don’t need to do anything to drift away. Just stop intentionally pursuing You and the drift will happen – and quickly.

Just one more reminder that I need You DAILY. I need Your Word. Your truth. Your assurance of Good News. I must remain. This is an active, not a passive, state. It’s not like sitting on the couch and remaining in the living room. It’s more like staying in the same place in the middle of a river with a swift current. Life moves fast but I must REMAIN, stand firm, don’t drift. It takes effort. I need you to anchor me.

P~ Lord help me remember the vital need I have for You. It’s easy to drift without intentional focus in my heart. I love You!

Diet rules | Nikki Metzger

S~ These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline.  But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.  Colossians 2:23 (NLT)

O~ Strong devotion, pious self-denial, severe bodily discipline sound like all the diets I’ve been on.  None worked!  Why?  Because they don’t help me in conquering my natural bent towards sin.  None of the diets or plans really get to my heart where I need real life change to happen.

A~ I can never keep up the rules of a diet or following a way to eat.  I’ve tried and always failed.  But the truth is…I need to be healthier, so what’s the plan? I don’t want to get healthy just to get healthy.  That will never stick in the long run.  God has called me to it.  But I also want to conquer the evil in me in regards to getting healthy so this life change really does stick.

P~ Father, please give me wisdom to conquer my evil desires in regards to my health!

Dressed Like a King, by the King, for the King | Robin Laney

S~ So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG)

O~ Invited to the wedding feast, clothed in His righteousness. The King has offered us the best of wedding attire. It’s our choice to wear it or not. This has been a theme I have noticed in the Scripture readings the past couple of weeks. Beginning with the parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22 and on to Paul’s final instructions to the Thessalonians in his first letter. In his admonition to the Church at Rome to be living sacrifices as a spiritual act of worship in chapter 12 and his urging of the Church at Ephesus to live a life worthy of the calling they had received. His exhortation to the Philippians and now, here, his direction for the Colossians.

A~ Why is it so important that we put on His righteousness? He clothes us in His righteousness because without it we would stand dressed in our own dirty rags. How does it feel to be dirty and under-dressed? Out of place? Unworthy? Ashamed? Ugly? Embarrassed? It doesn’t give us a feeling of confidence or well-being amidst others who are properly clothed. And so He offers us His best and in replacing the dirty rags with His garments of grace and holiness, we experience peace and joy and wholeness – life abundant.

Just as we feel unworthy in the presence of others when we aren’t dressed appropriately, others may view us as less than worthy of their attentions. They might be disgusted by our filth and turn away from us and ignore us. They may have us removed from their presence and discard any message we might be trying to share. Just as we benefit internally from being dressed properly and cleanly, so others respond to us more positively, not only by giving us their attentions but also by more willingly listening to what we have to say.

Now, neither Jesus nor Paul were speaking of woven fabric laid over our skin but instead the beautiful attributes of God that He gives us through the power of His Holy Spirit. His garments bring us all the joys of life and allow us influence over those He brings into our lives so that Christ can be preached and God glorified. It is our choice to wear the wardrobe He has picked out for us and it is a life or death decision not only for us but also, possibly, for those who cross our paths. Oh, that we would choose life!

P~ How beautiful the garments you have chosen for me, Father! Sometimes, it seems easier to be lazy and slip back into my dirty rags, to set Your righteousness aside in order to fit in, get a laugh, vent frustration. The choice to discard Your incredible gifts is to be ungrateful, disobedient, selfish, in a way. Lord, let me not settle back into old ways but always keep me at my best so that I can experience the fullness of life You intend for me and so that others will desire what You have given me. Lord, let others see You when they look upon me!

…Just Let It Go!! | Joni Tyner

S~ Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13  (NLT)

O~ People will and DO annoy us. They are sometimes rude, selfish, mean, and inconsiderate.  This scripture is acknowledging that we WILL be offended—it’s unavoidable. –Still, we must forgive others.

A~ I wrote about forgiveness last week and I’ve still been pondering on it.  I think that is the purpose of journaling scripture in the Bible, to really slooooow down and think about what God is saying to me personally. I quick read just isn’t going to make it come alive to me unless I’ve written about how I can apply it to my own life.

So, for me, it’s more the little things that sometimes bug and annoy me that I tend to hold onto.  I don’t necessarily address the situation but spew out my thoughts when I am getting ready for bed and my husband and I are in our room.  “She didn’t return my text.”  “Can you believe that they did that?”  “Look at what I just saw on Facebook… why did they post something like that?”

Another problem I tend to have.  I get frustrated when people don’t respond in a way I think they should.  Maybe they didn’t seem grateful for something I did or they chose to do something different then what I recommended, suggested, ect.  I’m realizing that God is commanding me to overlook these things.  I need to quit stewing about what other people are doing and offer grace and forgiveness.  I’m pretty sure that as I embrace this attitude, God will bless me with more peace and joy and stronger relationships.

P~ Dear Lord, please help me to let go of the stewing/worrying of small things.  I want to have more joy in my life—I believe that will  come from embracing and living out this scripture.  “Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.”

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Posted on December 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Joni, I had that Scripture today also. It is a constant battle! But as Tara said, it is His power and His strength that gets us through.

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