Date: August 14, 2022
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Colossians 1:9-14
Series: Praying For Your Church
All right, good morning. Good morning to those of you worshiping with us at home to, we’re glad you’re with us. If you got a Bible turn within Colossians chapter one, it’s where we’ll be. And as you turn want to remind you something coming up in our life together as a church. We do two baptism services every year. So one of those is coming up September 11. We’ll do it at 9:00 and 10:45 so normal service times, but we’ll be outside weather permitting. If not, we’ll be right in here, we’ll still do the baptism service. I let you know about that coming up because some of you who are followers of Jesus have not been baptized. I just want to invite you to consider that. You know, what we just saying is Jesus gives life beyond the grave. That’s really what baptism testifies to. It’s, it is a placeholder in our life together as a body where we celebrate that through the ordinance of baptism. You know, throughout church history, theologians have always said that the marks of a true church are the right preaching of the gospel, and the right administration of the ordinances. So that being the Lord’s Supper, and baptism, and so we make a placeholder for that in our mist every year. A handful of times a year because we want to celebrate life beyond the grave through the work or through the the ordinance of baptism. So I want to remind you that coming up, when I encourage you to prayerfully, consider that it orients our life together as a church around grace and the power of God. When we celebrate the new life, he gives beyond the grave. That’s what baptism reminds us of. So we’ve been raised out of death into life, and we belong to Him forever. He’s given us life beyond the grave. So if you are a follower of Jesus, and you’ve not been baptized, I would encourage you to take that step forward in obedience, not just for yourself, but for what it does for us together as a body, how it testifies to the world about the grace and the goodness of God and shapes us around grace, and the power of God. So be thinking about that a couple of classes that we do before that so we can hear your testimony of faith and also explained baptism a little more in depth. So make sure you get the dates right on this August 28, right after the service, and then September 6, so two classes, you can check with the folks out in the lobby, if you want to sign up for one of those, or you can just call us during the week, shoot us an email, we’ll get you connected and signed up. And let me say this too. If you’re not a follower of Jesus, this would be a great, you’re welcome to sign up and come we won’t make you, you know, move into baptism. But what we’d love to do is help you kind of understand more of what we believe. And so you’re invited to love for you to come and just learn a little bit more about some of our beliefs and how we connect those to what we do. So that invitation is there for you. Then when we do baptism service, September 11, make plans to stick around we’ll do the 9:00 and we’ll do the 10:45. Then we’re going to have food trucks and whatnot around and we’re just going to have picnic and time together as a church family. So hope you can stick around for that and just be together. All right, and enjoy that time. All right, thank you guys. Let me pray. Then we’re going to dive into Colossians chapter one. We’re in this series on learning how to pray for one another. I’ve told you every week the application is the same. So what are we going to learn to do today? Pray There you go. Very good, you got it. Fantastic. We’re gonna learn to pray. Alright, so now let me pray about learning to pray. Then we’ll do all right, Lord, thank you so much for your word. We give ourselves to the study that word now. pray, Father, that in your power, you would make me faithful to that word through your spirit and Holy Spirit move, give the the function that you give to the preaching of your word, so that your, your word would go forth among your people, that it would call those who are not yet your people to repentance, confession of sin and recognition of the need for a Savior. That would bring new life through the regeneration with the spirit brains. So we pray that Your word now priests would do those things. Not because the power man because of eloquent words, as George reminded us of but because we are people who preach Christ, Christ crucified. In you alone, do we find life so be honored, be glorified, be lifted high. Now, as we look to your words, teach us to pray. In the name of Jesus, we pray this prayer. Amen.
Well, the natural world is full of a lot of mysteries. Would you agree you encountered something that’s just a mystery, the natural world. I was looking into some of these things this week. I’ll tell you three that I learned about that I thought were absolutely fascinating. So number one, is that there are deserts. 35, deserts around the world everywhere from China, to Qatar to even here in the United States and North America. There are deserts that seem to at certain points, sing songs, did you know that they sound almost like Gregorian chants, and I was gonna get you an audio but it just wouldn’t. I don’t think it would be quite deliberate. But there’s something about when the wind blows over the particles of sand. And scientists know that they’re bigger particles that will make a certain you know, certain tenor if they’re smaller particles that are make a certain tenor, but they don’t know why. These deserts seem to hum a song and it’s It’s quite loud when you’re in them, and we have not figured out yet why they make a song. Interesting, right mystery, the natural. Number one is this forest in Pomerania, Poland. Now those are pine trees. Have you ever seen a pine tree grow like that? So here’s what scientists know. Probably around the 1930s. These trees were planted, and they started straight, you can see come the beginnings there. Somewhere from seven to 10 years of age, these trees started to go sideways, not so much straight. Now here’s what’s interesting. There are 400 trees like this. They’re in a grove, other pine trees that grew straight. So scientists have not yet been able to figure out why these pine trees grew the way that they grew. There’s no obvious reason for it. There’s no reason why some of the pine trees now you can even see the ones behind them that are straight. Right. So that’s a mystery of the natural world that scientists have not yet figured out. This one’s a little closer to home. This is called Devil’s Kettle Falls. We’ve got any Minnesotans with us. All right. Have we been the devil’s kettle falls? Nope. Never heard of it. I’m very good. That’s okay. So this is in Judge CR Magne. Hope I’m pronouncing that right Judge CR Magne state park in Minnesota. It is where the Brule river drops about 800 feet pretty rapidly in its descent through this park. So it creates a number of waterfalls, not just these. But at this point, there’s a rock that divides the Brule River into two. Of course, you see on the right hand side of the screen. It’s your average ordinary waterfall, it falls into a big pool of water. It kind of looks like most of the waterfalls you’ve seen. But on the left hand side, it drops into that cavern. That is called the Devil’s Kettle. I don’t know why they named it that. But that’s what they named it falls into that now here’s the mystery. Scientists have not been able to figure out where that water goes. It drops into that cave, that cavern and it disappears. Now they can go into the cavern, they can see the water, but their best estimate is that it probably runs somewhere in the Lake Superior. They have tried dying the water. They’ve tried dropping ping pong balls into the water to figure out where does this come out. It never comes out anywhere. It’s a mystery of the natural world. They’re just not sure what it does. So that’s just three that I found those interesting to you. Yeah, they’re interesting to me. I like odd little quirky facts, right?
Here’s what I was thinking about this week. Our text today is inviting us to consider something that I think a lot of Christians feel like is a mystery, just like these natural world mysteries, and it’s the will of God. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve sat in my office with over the years students in particular, asking, what is God’s will for me? Who am I supposed to marry? Where am I supposed to go to school? What am I supposed to do about this thing with my job? Do I take this job or that job? Do I move? Do I stay here? Have you ever asked these questions? What is the will of God for me and quite often understanding the will of God feels like a big ol mystery to us. Our text today is is meant to help us in a couple of ways. One, it helps us to understand what we mean when we say the will of God when we say I need to know God’s will. What does that mean? The text will explain that to us. I hope to help you with that. But not only does it help us understand what we mean when we’re asking what is the will of God. It also instructs us to pray for one another that we will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. So if you’ve ever felt baffled, surround yourself with people who would pray for you that you would understand God’s will that would be a good thing to do. Yes, if it’s his will, and we pray that he would reveal it, as Paul was praying here for the Colossian church in St. Louis. I pray that you’d be filled with the knowledge of as well. So here’s what, here’s what Paul is praying. He’s saying, I want you Colossians. And by extension, those of us who are His followers, now, I want you to know God’s will. I want you to do God’s will. I want you to know it. I want you to do it. Then he’s gonna give four expressions of that will. So we’re going to start with the first part. I want to walk you through those four expressions, because they really put meat on the bone for us as we go to pray for one another. To help us I don’t just pray help them know your Will God. I can pray these specific things that as they happen in their life, they are expressions of knowing the will of God and experiences by which they will know your will. So that’s what we’re going to look at today. As we learn to pray together for one another. Let’s read Colossians chapter one, verses 9 through 14. We’re always wanting to get our eyes in the text if you’re new here with us. If you don’t have about we’d love to give you one if you haven’t, bring it with you. We won’t we’ll put the words on the screen, but we want to get your eyes, your face in the Word of God. All right, that’s where the value is here. So let’s find it now together. Colossians one, verses 9 through 14. Paul says And so from the day we heard and there he means heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for one another. From the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you. Asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him. Now, if you’ve got the ESV, and probably many versions there in the English, you’re gonna see a colon as if to say like, that’s the first thing I want you to be, so the knowledge of his will. So you walk into manner worthy of. Then here comes the colon, here’s the four things now, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance, and patience, with joy, how many you pray for patience, that’s a dangerous prayer, because you’re going to wait for stuff. Number four, giving thanks to the father, who’s qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, and forgiveness of sins. So this is Paul’s prayer for the Colossians. And as I said, in it, we see a very simple prayer, Lord, help him to know your will help him to do Your will. Then for expressions of that. So let’s start before we get to those four ways that we can pray specific needs, we can pray, let’s talk first about what do we mean? And what does Paul mean? When he says, Lord, help them to know your wills? That’s the first phrase we come across in verse nine? Do you see it there? Yes. All right, may they be full, in other words, filled to the brim of the knowledge with the knowledge of your will? So we have to ask first, what is God’s will? Now, usually, when you and I are thinking about God’s will, would you agree we most often mean like, what is your will for this specific decision I have to make now? Would you agree, we’re usually thinking like, do we move? Do we stay? Do I quit my job? Do I keep my job? Like, we’re thinking about specific aspects of his? Well, no, that is part of what he means. But it’s not primarily what he means. This is one of those situations where until we understand the big picture, we can understand the small picture, when Paul says, I wanted to be full of the knowledge of your Will God, that’s what I’m praying for them, he doesn’t first mean, I want them to know what to do in this specific situation in their life, he first means I want them to understand the big picture of your will in the cosmos in the universe. Here’s how Doug moves. A theologian says I liked the way he says it. He means Paul means I want them to have a deep and abiding understanding of the revelation of Christ, and all that he means for the universe. So in other words, let me just kind of boil that down, if I can. What Doug Moo is saying, Paul means I think he’s right about this is that when Paul is praying, I want them to be filled with the knowledge of your will. He’s saying, I want them to understand that Jesus Christ is the is the key to understanding all of the universe, that they don’t understand anything about your will or your ways in any specific situation. So they understand that Jesus is the key that unlocks understanding to all the universe. His revelation, the revelation of God in Jesus makes everything makes sense. So here’s the argument, until you come to know Jesus, everything is disparate and disconnected in life and in the universe. It’s not until you put Jesus at the center that unlocks the meaning of every one of those things. He is the missing piece, maybe think of it this way, think about codebreaking. during wars, there’s always a cipher to a code that when you can apply it to a mix of letters and a jumble of numbers. When that cipher is applied, all of a sudden, the code is broken, and everything makes sense. You’ve seen this before, right? You’ve seen some old war movie, like we broke the code. And now we know the meaning of the message. That’s exactly what he’s saying, Jesus is. Jesus is the cipher to the meaning of all other things. You don’t understand friendship, or marriage, or work or any other thing in the universe, until you understand that Jesus is the perfect revelation of God. That’s the first thing he wants them to know. Now, this is particularly important for the Colossians because that he’s Paul is combating a heretical teaching a wrong teaching that is coming into the church at Colossae. That teaching is essentially two things. Colossians Yes, Jesus came, He died, He rose. But now if you really want to be spiritual, what you need is a lot of grand supernatural visions, and you got to follow a bunch of rules. Those two things are being brought together to the Colossian church, and they’re buying into it because they want to be super spiritual. Paul is saying, you have everything you need in Jesus. He reveals everything. You don’t need supernatural visions. You and Paul himself had supernatural visions doesn’t even need supernatural vision. That’s not the key to spiritual maturity, you don’t need a set of rules to follow. That’s not the key to maturity. The key to maturity is understanding that Jesus reveals the meaning of everything.
That’s what he means when he says, I want you to be filled with the knowledge of his will. If it helps Think about it this way, if the cipher idea doesn’t work, think about it this way. If you ever get a map, that map doesn’t make any sense until you have what in the bottom corner, the key the legend. You’ve got all these lines running all over the map, topographical markers, you’ve got little numbers you’ve got is that a road? Is it a pathway? Is it a trail? What is it, and you put the legend at the bottom? And now the whole map makes sense, because you can apply the legend to the map. That’s what Paul was saying about Jesus. So let me make this extremely practical. Why tomorrow when you go to work, will you choose to tell the truth rather than tell a lie when it would seem like the lie would give you an advantage? And whatever your work is, why do you choose the truth? It’s not because there’s a set of rules that you’re supposed to follow that God gave you. It’s because you are a person living inside the grand narrative that God has told, is telling, and has revealed the meaning of that narrative in Jesus. Jesus Himself is the truth, who reveals the truth about God, his world, his universe, the future of where it’s headed, and now you live inside of that. And so you must be a truth teller. Because it’s who you are. If you struggle with some, if you struggle with telling the truth, it’s because you don’t understand that. It’s not because you’re bad at disciplining your mouth. It’s not because you have failed to apply a set of rules to your life. It’s because you fail to understand how Jesus is the key to understanding your speech. You don’t understand how to talk, and what to say until you understand that speech is ruled by Jesus. Why will you choose to not live with your boyfriend or girlfriend before you get married is because God’s a cosmic killjoy, who doesn’t want you to enjoy intimacy until you’re married? No, it’s because in Jesus God has revealed the purpose and meaning of marriage. You wouldn’t cheapen that for one second. Because there’s something richer, grander, greater, more fulfilling than that cheap substitute. Because Jesus is unlocked for us the meaning of covenant. He has displayed for us and shown us the covenant that we have with God and how our marriages are meant to display that covenant. I would never cheat on that, because I see myself inside the revelation of Jesus, not outside of it. Therefore, I must do everything in light of what Christ has revealed about God in his world. Does that make sense? You got to see the big picture. Before you can understand the small, you’ll never know what to do in terms of taking this job versus that job. What is the will of God for me in this until you understand how to view all of God’s world and universe through the revelation of Jesus, and His personhood, that’s where it begins. So that’s the first thing that Paul means. Now, I said that the the purpose of this prayer is to teach us to pray for one another that that we even know God’s will. That’s the first thing but I also said, and do God’s will just get to that part. Why do I say that? I say it because of what comes in verse 10. After he says, Pray that you’d be full of the knowledge of his will, in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, which by the way, is a phrase that means in the wisdom of the spirit, that you need the Holy Spirit, to impart this wisdom to you to impart this revelation to you. So it’s personal. The Holy Spirit is a person. He’s a he’s a personal being. I don’t mean a human person. I mean, he has personhood, meaning he has, he has relational nature, that’s the Holy Spirit. It’s not just some kind of, not just, he’s not just a ghost floating around. Right? He has no body, yet he has personal, it’s important to understand about the spirit. So he imparts that wisdom, the revelation of Christ. Then he says, so that you may do what’s the next phrase in the text in verse 10. Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him. In other words, I don’t want you to just know God’s will. I want you to do God’s will. I want you to walk in and now that’s where we get into the specifics. I want you to know how to apply the revelation of God in Christ to that work situation about whether you’re going to quit and take the new job or stay about what you’re going to have that third child or not about whether you are supposed to live here or live there about whether you’re to marry her or not marry her, him or not marry him. I want you to apply that revelation into those circumstances and situations. So it does apply to the daily Yes, we see it. Alright, so that’s where we are. So those are the first questions we have to answer now.
Because Paul knows that just like me, the rest of us are not all that sharp all the time. Okay? So we need him to get down into the nitty gritty into the details, he gives us four expressions of God’s will to help us pray so that you like, if you were to walk out here right now, like if you started to feel sick, and I gotta go, you’ve got to some degree what you need. All right? You’ve got I got to pray for the knowledge of God’s will. My brothers and sisters, and I’ve got to pray that walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. All right, that’s the big picture. But he’s so gracious that he gives us four specific things that when we pray them, we’re helping one another grow in the knowledge of his will. So we can pray these four things, here are the four named them for you. Then we’ll go one by one, that we would bear fruit. We must pray for one another, that we would bear fruit and every good work, he says that we would increase in the knowledge of God that we would have strength, but not just any strength, not just strength for some big old, powerful work strength for endurance and patience. So we pray for endurance and patience. Then fourth, thankfulness. Now, you’ll note as we’ve been going through these prayers, some of these are repeats Yes. Yeah. If you’ve been paying attention, there’s some things that are getting repeated here. Well, guess what? When the Bible repeats itself, it’s worth repeating. Right? It’s kind of like the old preacher joke that I heard a long, long ago that a preacher got out one Sunday preached a sermon, every Sunday. Wow, great sermon and blown away. People are lying at person at first pastor great sermon by storm comes the next week preaches the same sermon. He were like, a little odd, but okay, you know, still kind of complimentary. He doesn’t like four weeks in a row, by the end of week for somebody, because as a pastor, you know, that’s the same sermon. He says, Well, when you start living, and I’ll stop preaching. Right, yikes. I’m not going to do that for you. All right. Let’s tackle these four. Right, let’s tackle these four bearing fruit. That’s the first thing that we see. So again, looking at the tax there in verse 10, we say, I pray that you would increase in the knowledge as well so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Then he says, After that colon, and he says, bearing fruit in every good work. So here’s what that’s teaching us to pray for one another, that we would pray for one another, not just to exist, not just to get by, but that we would thrive and bear fruit for the sake of God’s kingdom. Now, here’s what I love. The picture I love to picture when it comes to this is we got a lot of apple orchards around here, this part of the country. Every time I go to one, I’m always amazed like when you go apple picking how many you’re going to probably go apple picking this fall. More of you should be raising your hands because it’s a good time. All right, so we should go out and begin when you do. Here’s what I the trees are not big trees. Right now. I did not grow up in a place where there were apple orchards. Okay. Not so much in Dallas, Texas. Things don’t grow there. Things die there. Alright. Too much heat. So I’m always amazed when I go look at these apple trees. Like, first of all, have you ever noticed how many are already on the ground? I’m always astonished. Here’s what I’ve learned from our fruit growers is that they cannot sell those to the like to the store to sell us. So they have to be sold for the applesauce or something else so that they have a purpose. But I’m always amazed. I’m like, it just feels like such a loss. But I looked down I see all those apples. Now look up and I’m like, there’s like 10,000 more on this tree. I’m always astonished that every branch, every little stem is full of apples. I mean, so much so that the fruit goes like yeah, it’s okay. In fact, we waited because there wasn’t enough fruit to maturity yet that those ones that fell, we actually had to wait, because we couldn’t start picking until everything had grown to maturity. There’s a lesson in there, by the way. Yep, so some had to fall because they they grew too quickly to maturity. When Paul is saying, I want you to bear fruit and every good word. That’s the picture I want you to see. I want you to pray for one another, we should pray for him to be like those apple trees, just fruit on every branch, fruit everywhere you look, then it might look like saying, Lord, please, please, cause my brother cause my sister to be so full of fruit and every work that they attempt, may it produce massive amounts of fruit. I mean, fruit of love and joy and peace and patience. Let it overflow with fruit. And by the way, then we might also say and Lord, when the fruit doesn’t look like what they think it should look like help them to see what the fruit is that they can’t see right now. Because Have you ever done something and thought, Well, that didn’t produce anything. You knew his faithfulness? You knew it was right. Yet somehow it didn’t seem to produce much fruit because sometimes it takes a long time for fruit to be produced. So we pray Lord, help them to see that even when they thought they were gonna get an apple but they got a pair, you know, help them to see the pair. Because sometimes I’m looking for an apple. I don’t see the pair because I’m too busy looking for apples and actually he gave me a tip For kind of fruit, so we might pray, Lord, help them to do that. We pray, Lord, help them to know that when they face that fork in the road, help them to assess which pathway will bear the most fruit, and to walk down that pathway. Then when they do walk down that pathway, or just give them fruit upon fruit, as they go down that path, that’s what he’s saying, you want to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. Let me pray specifically for you to bear fruit in every good work. So that as you are doing that, you are recognizing this is God’s will, every time you do work, and you see the fruit it produces, what does it reinforce for you. This is a fruit bearing pathway. This is right, this is good, I will continue to go in this direction, I will continue to do this work. I’m being rooted in the right place because fruit is being produced. So we pray that way for one another. Now, the second thing that we pray, is that we would increase in the knowledge of God, increase in the knowledge of God. We’ve, again, this is one of those repeat things. But man, it bears repeating. Because remember this word for knowledge when he says they bear fruit and increase in the knowledge of God, that word is the word we’ve set up before. It’s epic, and no sco, and it means experiential knowledge. It does not mean head knowledge doesn’t mean collecting facts about God. It means collecting experiential knowing of God. In other words, it means a close personal relationship with Him. Now, listen, this is let’s not lose sight of how radical This is. Because throughout the history of the world, most religious systems and beliefs teach that the idea of having a close relationship with the Creator of the universe is actually foolishness. Most see that is almost they would see it as being beneath God to relate to us in a close, personal way. But the Christian worldview, Christian faith stands proudly and rock solidly on the belief that God condescends to us. I don’t mean he’s condescending, I mean, he lowers himself to relate to us, to reveal Himself to us, primarily in the person of Jesus. But when we know him, then his Spirit indwells us and we have a personal relationship with Him. Now, if you grew up in the church, and in Christian faith, you hear that term tossed around a lot, a personal relationship with God through Jesus. But it’s a valid term. Sometimes we say it so much, I hope we say it so much that we maybe lose sight of it’s almost sounds like a cliche, but friends recognize that what we’re saying is radical. We’re saying I can know God personally and closely. When Paul says, I want you to know the will of God.
The second thing he prays is that you would have this increasing personal knowledge of Him in other words, that you would have experience after experience of drawing near to him, that you would come close to him. Let me put it this way. Let’s imagine that I got three kids. Imagine for a moment that with those three kids just kind of do a scenario here. Let’s imagine I wrote a list of things for my kids to do. It was from now until the end of their lives. It was, this is the person that I want you to marry. This is the job I want you to get. This is the school I want you to go to. Not in this order, by the way. Right? This is the number of children I want you to have. This is the place I want you to live the house, I want you to buy the career I want you to pursue. This is the kind of lunch I want you to just kidding. But imagine that I just made that list for them for every one of them right now at 11, nine and six. Let’s just say that for the course of their life, they did every single thing on the list. Every single one of them the who to marry part sounds pretty good in my book right now. Just imagine with me, they did every single thing on that list, because it was the will of their father, that they would do these things. But now imagine that having done every single one of the things on that list, we never went for long walks together and talked about what was in their heart that we never celebrated holidays together. birthdays together, never sat around the fire and just talked. Never took a long bike ride together, never hugged, never cried together. Never tried to work through something that we didn’t understand. Just logging hours together, never went on vacation together and enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation and celebrated and said never prayed together. Would you say that my children knew my will. They did everything on the list. We do not know the will of God until we know him closely and personally. In fact, it’s close personal all knowledge of God that has the power to do His will. You do not have the strength or power to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. fully pleasing to Him until you are increasing in the knowledge of God, not knowledge about God, but the knowledge of God in a close, personal way, does that make sense? He delights to have relationship with you, he’s given his son to make it so don’t ever doubt that. Don’t doubt that he delights to have fellowship with you, to invite you into His presence, to bring your requests to him, to bring your tears to him to bring your joys to him to talk to him and to receive from him. He delights in that. Don’t settle for following a list of to dues and say I knew the will of God, because I did a list of to dues you don’t know the will of God until you know his heart for you. It’s hard for those around you. until you experience it, until you find yourself in tears. Because you cannot fathom that a God like this would love a person like you. That’s when you begin to know the will of God. That’s what Paul means when he says so we pray things like Lord. Let every good work that bears fruit in them more, lead to them being more profoundly stunned by who you are. Reveal through the work that they do your holiness and your kindness and your love and your power. We pray prayers like Lord, let them never leave their times of prayer without knowing that they’ve encountered you the living God. Fill up their times of prayer so that their times of refreshing so that when they go in your presence, they’re never satisfied with just a perfunctory, let me pray the prayer. Let me read the verse but rather they go hard after you to encounter you in that moment and have been with the living God, have spent time in his presence, Lord, let them let let them know that they can do nothing from any other resource other than personal close fellowship with you. That is their strength. It is their life. It was what Jesus meant when he said abide in me.
The third thing that we can pray for one another is endurance and patience, endurance, and patience. Now, he starts out by saying you have strength, but I love that he does not pray for strength to do some profoundly powerful like earth shattering kind of a work. He says give him strength, so that they can endure, so they can be patient. Why? Because most of life is endurance and patience. You know, when we read through the Scriptures, how often are we do you recognize we’re getting the pinnacle moment of someone’s life. We’re seeing it we’re going man, if I can have that kind of experience. Sometimes we act as if that’s the normal day to day. Can I remind you that before Moses saw the burning bush, before he was God’s vessel of delivering the people out of slavery before he stood on Mount Sinai in the presence of gods and received the 10 commands, he walked around in a desert for 40 years, shepherding some nasty, dirty sheep. That’s what he did for 40 years. That’s a footnote. Then we get to the highlight, and we think the highlight was the norm. You understand the highlight was not the norm, right? He walked around in a desert for 40 years before God encountered him in the way that he did most of life is endurance, and patience. I like what NT Wright says here. When he says that endurance is strength for impossible situations. Patience is strength for impossible people. We need them both, don’t we? Now let’s let me paint another scenario for you. Let’s imagine that you got dropped down into a vast wilderness. This vast wilderness is full of huge crevices, and mountains, and trails leading in every kind of direction. Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it? Lots of pitfalls and dangers. You’ve got to figure out which way to go. Do I go to the left? Or do I go to the right? Do I go to the path that goes up the path that goes down? Do I take the broad road or the narrow roads? Do I take the one that seems to double back on itself? Or do I take the one that seems to go straight in this direction? Do I go left? Or do I go right? Which path is the right path? Let’s just imagine now that as you’re navigating that vast wilderness, you discern the right path, and you take it and you begin to go down that path. As you’re going down that path, you encounter the crevices that you’ve got to go down in and come back up the other side. There’s streams to be forwarded that are raging and wild. There’s difficulty after difficulty but yet you know you’re on the right path but after a number of difficulties, let’s imagine that you decide it’s too much. You pitch your camp and you say, I’m staying here, I’m not going any further. Because you also know that the path is getting shorter on the far end. You think I’ll just stay right here and it will come to me. You cannot follow the will of God without endurance, because you will have to forge streams, and you will have to climb mountains, and you will have to figure out your way around difficult obstacles. Therefore he teaches us to pray for what church endurance, let them have strength, so that they would endure, we can pray that for one another guy give him strength to endure, so that we would pray, Lord, give my brother the strength that he needs to endure the pain he is going through right now shown the purposefulness of it, bring him to the end of his strength as soon as possible, so that he would lean and run into your strength, because that’s what he needs, His strength is going to be enough to endure, he’s got to have yours. So bring him to the end of his so that he would then tap into yours. Father, help him to see you have not abandoned him.
You’re right there with him. Help him, father to draw near to you so that you would give him the strength to endure, but let him endure, don’t let him stop. Don’t let him shrink back and doing good work. Help them to go forward and righteousness in faithfulness, no matter the cost at all times, help them to do it. I’ve been praying for you this week, prayers like this. This is how we pray for one another. To give my sister patience. Help her to know that you’re never late. You’re also never early. Help her to know that Your Will will come to pass card her steps. Help her not to speak. She should be silent. So that she would wait on you and know that as she grows more patient, she will be rewarded. Because you will appear you will come you will make it right. You will bring a new day to give her patients because right now she’s waiting. Then I might also say and Lord, could your timeline be shorter? It’s okay to ask that. Would you move now? Did you have mercy now. But don’t ever pray that without also praying, give them endurance, and give them patience. Because you cannot know the will of God until you have endurance. Until you have patience. The last thing he teaches us to pray is for thankfulness for thankfulness. Now, here’s what I want you to see about this, go back to verse 12. And there’s a parallel with what happens in verse three, four and five, which I didn’t read you but I’m going to read them now. Because I want you to see the parallel. Alright, so in verse three through five, here’s what we find. Paul, just like he did with the Ephesians, just like he did with the Philippians. He thanks God for the Colossians he says, We always thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. Here’s why he gives thanks, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and in the love that you have for all the saints. So he’s saying Colossians I’m thankful for you because you love one another, and other brothers and sisters, and because you’re full of faith, I love those things about you. That’s what I thank God for that. But then where do they where do those things come from in Colossians. That’s the next phrase in verse five, because of the hope laid up for you in Heaven, was what he’s saying is, the faith and love for which I am thankful comes from the fact that you have fixed your eyes on the eternity that’s waiting for you, the hope of heaven. Now look at how that is paralleled in verses 12 and 13. And 14, because here’s what he says. He prays for them to give thanks. He says giving thanks to the Father, who has what who is qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Now that phrases a little confusing, but that word light is connected to the word inheritance, not to the word saints. So what it means is this. The father has qualified you to share in the inheritance of light, in other words, the kingdom of light. In verse 13, he says, he has transferred you from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved son. In other words, the the opposite of the domain of darkness is what? The domain of light the kingdom of light. So when he says the inheritance of the saints in light, he’s saying, God is qualified you through Jesus to be someone who lives in the kingdom of light forever. So in other words, what he’s saying is where does thankfulness come from? I want you to give thanks. Why? Because you have been qualified To live in this place in the future, this is your certain hope and future in the same way that he gave thanks in verse three through five, buy the thing that through it for the thing that was created through their hope and heaven. He is saying, I want you to give thanks, what’s going to be the fuel for that? Thanks. It’s going to be if you can set your eyes on heaven and know what is what has been purchased for you. What is your inheritance, and inheritance is your birthright, right? You don’t have it because you were born physically. But you have this inheritance because you were born spiritually. You were born again to a living hope. Peter says, born again to a living hope and that hope is stored up for you waiting in heaven. In other words, your inheritance is eternal life in the presence of God. Your inheritance is eternal reward for the way you use your gifts and talents and treasures here. Now. Your inheritance is to be forever connected to the family of faith. Your inheritance is to live in a place of light, not darkness, your inheritance is to live in a place where there is no more mourning or crying or tears any longer. There’s no more pain or suffering. There’s no more death. There’s no more growing old and weary. Your inheritance is to live forever in the kingdom of God and His Son.
That belongs to you, if you’re in Christ Jesus, is guaranteed by the blood of Jesus. What Paul is saying is, I want you to be thankful. Well, how do I become thankful? By not focusing on my circumstances here, but my eternal reward that is yet to come? Saying look to that. By the way, and Paul’s writing to the Thessalonians? Do you know that he says, the will of God for you is to give thanks, in all circumstances, not for the circumstances. But in them. Well, how do I do that? That’s the will of God. How do I give thanks in my pain and my suffering? In my trial, in my relationship, brokenness, I don’t give thanks in the middle of that. By setting my eyes on the inheritance that is coming. That is assured. When it comes, don’t you know that life will have felt like a breath, like a vapor, the vapor that it is, I know it’s hard to endure. Now. I know it feels long now. But friends, trust me, when Paul says to the Corinthians, what we endure now will be considered light and momentary afflictions that is either the most calloused phrase in all of Scripture. Or there’s something so radically profound about what will be when he comes back for us. That it will make all that we endure now. Feel light, and momentary. If we believe in the truth of Scripture, then we have to believe that that is true. Yes. It is not a callous statement. It’s a truthful one. It’s meant to point us to our hope and heaven and say, set your eyes there and keep setting your eyes there. Don’t take your eyes off of it. Because it will produce thankfulness. So we pray for one another, and say, Lord, let that reward be in front of my brother, today. Let the reality of living forever in your presence. Be in front of him today. Father, let my sister be so enamored with the reality, that there’s going to be an eternal reward for her faithfulness, that you’re going to lavish upon her, and that She’s then going to turn around and lavish back to you and worship. Let that be in her mind today. Let it be there, so that she would be thankful. In the midst of this circumstance. The four things we can pray for one another, do they help fill out a little bit this idea? So we can pray, Lord, You fill my brother, fill my sister with the knowledge of your will. So they’d walk in a manner worthy of you and then we can fill that out and just tell you, it’s been such a joy to pray for you this week. Just filling up my prayers with the knowledge of God’s Word and saying, Do this, I’ve been praying these things for you, every day, this week. Frank, Lord, bear fruit, that increasing the knowledge of you. It’s been so rich, I invite you to join me. Let’s pray for one another, this way. See what God will do in us and through us together as we do. Let’s pray together. Lord, thank You for Your Word. Love that you didn’t leave us here just to guess at what you’re like, or to guess about how to live or to guess about what to do. But you you gave us your word and it’s plain and it’s clear and and then you empower us by the Holy Spirit to discern it and understand it. So I pray, Lord, that You would do that today. We heard your word now. We’ve received it. I pray that we’ve had ears to hear myself included ears to hear its truth, so that we might walk in a manner worthy of you. That’s our desire to bring fame and glory to you, others to know how great you are. Now, Lord, we give our attention to praising you. We’ve received your word. Our response is to say you’re great, you’re wonderful, and to praise you in response so we’re going to sing to you Lord, we pray that you receive those we know that far the song is far beneath what you’re worthy of what we have, and you are gracious to receive it we trust because you’ve told us you will. So we’ve seen that from our hearts, not just our lips, received the praises of your people. It’s in Jesus name we pray, Amen.