1 Thessalonians 1:1 (ESV)
Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
We begin with the introduction/greeting to the church in Thessalonica. The letter was written around AD 51. Paul is writing the letter to encourage new believers to live a godly life.
I pray: O Lord, help me to trust in the faith you have given me and to walk according to your ways. Amen.
Colossians 4:7–18 (ESV)
will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your
hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision
among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand
mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you,
as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of
the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Paul presents to the Colossians and to us a beautiful explanation of Christ’s
person and work. We do not need to turn to ourselves, to angels, or to anything else. Jesus is our true God and Savior. This “grocery list” of concluding instructions shows that the Gospel is not an abstract idea. It is the essential truth that
transforms individual lives, such as those mentioned here, and continues to transform one person after another.
I pray: Dear Father, thank You for the individuals
You use to proclaim to me the Gospel of forgiveness in Christ. Continue to use me to bring that saving message to my relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Amen.
Colossians 4:2–6 (ESV)
steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that
I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always
be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Today’s reading is more about spiritual leaving… full of
prayer and thanksgiving. The focus is not for ourselves, but for others… nonbelievers!
I pray: O Lord, help me to become less and put others
before me. Help me to pray and give thanks for all opportunities to spread the Gospel. Amen.
Colossians 3:18–4:1 (ESV)
Rules for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands,
love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers,
do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For
the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
4 Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing
that you also have a Master in heaven.
I find it interesting that women are
to submit to their husbands and husbands are to love their wives. What I find interesting is nowhere in the bible are women commanded to love their husbands. I hear many wives claiming that they are filing for divorce because they don’t love
him anymore. Well, unfortunately… love was never a requirement. But if the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church, she most likely would love him too. When love fails, unfortunately… that falls on the man. These
are tough words. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “People have to work together. But the heart of the old nature is to seek personal advantage, which causes frustration, resentment, and violence. Paul urges us to resist this temptation, no matter
what our calling in life may be. Resistance becomes a reality when we live by faith “in the Son of God, who loved [us] and gave Himself for [us]” (Gal 2:20). In Christ, we know that we will not miss out on anything.”
I pray: “Lord, lead us to spend our lives in loving service for You and others, for You have so dearly
loved us. Amen.”
Colossians 3:12–17 (ESV)
on the New Self
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility,
meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all
these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let
the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do
everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
If you ever ask yourself how we are to live, today’s reading nails it. One of the things I have said that is our “identity” is forgiveness. Too often we are quick to get our feelings hurt and to put on our fighting gloves,
whether through our lips, thoughts, or actions. Note that verse 13 says: “13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also
must forgive.” This is reinforced by the Lord’s Prayer when we pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Our motivation in living this way is not so that we can go to heaven. No…
we are not justified by works. Our motivation is love. God loves us and forgives us and that is our motivation to walk according to His ways.
I pray: O
Lord, help me to love and forgive others, and to keep my eyes focused on you. Amen.