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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Template for Prayer | Joni Tyner

S~ So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.  All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT) emphasis is mine

O~ Paul is the writer of Colossians.  My Bible notes state that the church of Colosse had believers who were attempting to add to their faith and do things for salvation.  Paul reminds them, once again, it is Christ that saves us,  not our actions.

A~ My husband and I have prayed for our kids since they were babies, actually before they were even born.   Neither of us are exceptionally gifted in praying so it was the usual keep them healthy, safe, avoid sin, bring good friends into their life.  As I read this verse this morning and shared it with my husband, I thought it really covers a multitude of requests.  As we mature and understand God’s Will,  He blesses us with spiritual wisdom and understanding. The result of this understanding is a life that naturally reflects Christ. Our behavior is changed by understanding God’s sacrifice for us and His love for us.    I am again reminded that God’s ways are simple  but not always easy to follow.   We don’t need complicated, lengthy prayers to cover every conceivable detail, but a heart that desires to follow and understand God’s Will.

P~ Dear  Father,  please help me develop a lifestyle of praying for others.  Give me opportunities to share with others and a desire to lift them up in prayer.  I pray for each of my kids this morning,  pursue their hearts to be hungry to know You, to read Your Word, to be convicted to follow Your ways.  Thank you for this reminder this morning.  I love You!!

He Sees Jesus! | Robin Laney

S~ And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. Colossians 1:21-23 (ESV)

O~ Jesus’ physical body given as a sacrifice for our spiritual need. His life given so that we might live now and for eternity. His death used to cover our sin and reconcile us to God. And not only does he offer us salvation in spite of our rebellion but he offers us restoration if we continue by faith in the hope of the gospel.

A~ I was teaching a class at the jail this past Friday and was trying to convey Christ’s work in that context. I said, “Imagine standing before the judge (God) at your very worst and Jesus steps in front of you and says that he will take your full punishment in exchange for your complete freedom. When God then looks at you, he sees…”

And someone in the back row shouts, “Jesus!”

Yes! He sees Jesus! No matter where we have been or what we have done, we are fully reconciled in his body of flesh by his death. It’s over, finished, forgiven, forgotten. We are truly free. And if we continue in the faith, we will be presented to God holy, blameless, and above reproach, just like Jesus.

P~ Lord Jesus, thank you for the glorious hope we have in You! Hope not only for salvation but also for restored life and true freedom! I thank You that You have allowed me to share this hope boldly with the ladies at Douglas County this past year. You give me voice every single week and I am humbled to deliver Your Good News each Friday afternoon.

Ask Before Act | Deanna George

S~ Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV

O – Before you act: THINK

Does this glorify God?

Does it further God’s kingdom?

Does it reveal Jesus through me?

Am I being obedient to God?

A~ How much trouble could I keep myself out of, if I asked these questions before every decision? Unfortunately, my tongue can be quicker than my brain. It could be worse, I choose to say or act because I’m angry or hurt, or because I have a hard time saying “no”. I am not thinking on things above when I act like that. How much better could life be if I took the time to answer these questions? Off the top of my head – maybe less guilt? Less second guessing myself? Less forgiveness tours ( what I call having to ask people to forgive me for my actions or words)? It is obviously time to put these questions up on my “think” board in the kitchen. This is going to take a lot of practice for it to become a habit!

P~ Lord Jesus, I need this to become a habit! Please help me by reminding me to think before I act. Please open my heart when it’s hurting to turn my focus on you. Thank you for walking this walk with me. I need you!

My brain space | Nikki Metzger

S~ Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.  ~Colossians 3:2     Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

O/A~ Sometimes when I journal, I am really hard on myself to more like Christ.  These verses today really focus on my brain space being kept on heavenly things.  I’m not very good at this, so usually, I will put myself down or beat myself up at how bad I am about this.

I don’t think Paul wrote these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to beat me up.  The Holy Spirit wants to encourage me.  When my mind is set on the things of Jesus, I’m praying and naturally thankful.  Maybe these verses stand out to me because Jesus is asking for more mental space during my day.

P~ Father, You know my heart.  Walk with me, encourage me, lovingly draw me to setting my mind on the things of You and Your Kingdom.  Train me to pray without ceasing, being watchful, and thankful always.  Grow in me the ability to walk more and more mentally in Your Presence.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name!

Pay Attention – and Prepare | Tara Wiley

S~ Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it. Colossians 4:17

O~ Throughout Colossians, Paul is giving instruction on how to fulfill our calling as believers to represent Christ to the world and to one another. Near the end of his letter, he encourages a specific follower to pay attention to the specific ministry God gave him, so he faithfully accomplishes it.

A~ We are nearing the end of my husband’s air force career, and he is just months away from completing his seminary degree in preparation for future ministry. We are already as fully invested as we can be in this season in church ministry, but in a matter of months, life will change dramatically as we enter into it full time. I love that Mo has a very clear end goal right now. I wish I were more clear in mine! In the meantime, I need to be faithful to what God has placed in front of me in this season… and be prayerful for the next season!

P~ Lord, thank You for Your word. I feel like the entire book of Colossians is a perfect preparation-book for our family right now. Help us to have the eternal perspective Paul pushes from beginning to end, even as we labor and strive in Your strength (1:29). Thank You for giving Mo such clear vision on what he is to do in the next season of his life. Help him to have the endurance necessary to finish well with his seminary degree, and to push through this intense season of school+ministry+full time air force responsibilities. Protect and carry us, Lord, and show me each day how best to fulfill Your specific callings in my own life.

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