Colossians – Praying For Others

Give thanks to God for the good fruit you see in others.

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints;
Colossians 1:3-4 NKJV

Pray that others may truly know God’s will.

And so, 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,
Colossians 1:9 ESV

Paul then lists a number of good things. I haven’t decided whether these are further things for which to pray, or the results of knowing God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. I lean towards them being results, but you make your own decision. Beginning again with verse 9:

And so, 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: 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; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Colossians 1:9-12 ESV

Bullet form.

And so, 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:
  • 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;
  • giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
    Colossians 1:9-12 ESV

Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel, and for the clarity of the message shared.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 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— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Colossians 4:2-4 ESV

Finally, pray hard for others! Wrestle in prayer! Click on the link to see this verse in several translations.

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in the full will of God.
Colossians 4:12 BSB  Greek  Strong’s G75 – agónizomai

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

What Is Your Life’s Summary?

Whenever I read through parts of the Old Testament, I notice how peoples’ lives are distilled down into a very few words, and I think about my life’s summary. What would an impartial party write on my tombstone? “Loved God” or “Loved The World”?

In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
2 Kings 14:23-24 ESV

In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2 Kings 15:1-3 ESV

In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria six months. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
2 Kings 15:8-9 ESV

In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem the son of Gadi began to reign over Israel, and he reigned ten years in Samaria. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart all his days from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
2 Kings 15:17-18 ESV

In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
2 Kings 15:27-28 ESV

In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, Jotham the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done.
2 Kings 15:32-34 ESV

If you don’t like how God will sum up your life, change now, while you can!

“But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
Ezekiel 18:21-23 ESV

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:6-7 ESV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
John 3:16-18 ESV

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

IMO, Paul Did Not Write Hebrews

The apostle Paul has his own writing style. There are long, complex sentences in the letters that have his name in the introduction. For example, Colossians 1 is dominated by just three sentences, given here in the King James Version.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 1:3-8 KJV

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Colossians 1:9-17 KJV

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Colossians 1:21-29 KJV

God gave me a mathematical mind that works well for computer programming. I do very well in the boolean world: Yes/No, On/Off, True/False, 1/0, +/-. But sentences like these three monster sentences from Colossians 1 I find frustrating almost to the point of tears. Let me give an example using the translation I use the most, The Scriptures 2009.

3 We give thanks to the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, praying always for you,
4 having heard of your belief in Messiah יהושע and of your love for all the set-apart ones,
5 because of the expectation that is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Good News,
Qolasim (Colossians) 1:3-5 TS2009

What does the because in verse 5 apply to? The praying of verse 3? The belief and love of verse 4? Both verse 3 and verse 4? I can argue for any of these proposals.

As the clauses keep biting onto the end of the sentence, the possible interactions and inferences multiply. I have a lot of difficulty understanding long, complex sentences.


Sidebar on Translations

Both the King James Version and The Scriptures 2009 are fairly literal translations. That is, when you look at the Hebrew or Greek, you can see that the translators more or less just translated the words into English. In the Greek of Colossians 1:5 the first word is διὰ, Strong’s G1223. The TS2009 renders it “because” and the KJV “For.” Both are acceptable, but I think “because” is the better translation for today’s English usage.

By contrast, many of the “easier to read” translations are more interpretive. Notice how the translators of the NIV decided what the because of Colossians 1:5 means! They decided it applies only to verse 4.

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
Colossians 1:3-5 NIV

I’m not bashing the NIV. I used the NIV as my primary Bible for many years. I think it is a fine translation.


I recently studied the book of Hebrews, primarily using my TS2009. Though Hebrews has some long sentences, it does not have any of the long, complex sentences I have difficulty understanding. IMO Paul did not write Hebrews – it is just not his writing style!

If not Paul, then who? Maybe this guy.

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
Acts 18:24-28 ESV


Epilogue

It recently dawned on me that my difficulty and frustration understanding Paul in the more literal translations is simply an opportunity to get to know the Holy Spirit better. It will prove to be a benefit. 🙂

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come.
John 16:13 BSB

Smith Wigglesworth Read Bibles Hebrew Greek Holy Spirit

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

Colossians – Old Man / New Man

Try this.

  • Open your favorite Bible to Colossians 3.
  • Read verses 1-17.
  • Look at the images below.
  • Imagine yourself, a pastor, or even the apostle Paul giving a sermon on the passage, showing the images while speaking. Go through the whole message in your mind. What changes would you make to the images? This is a form of meditation.
  • When you are done, make your own conclusion on the last slide. If asked nicely, I may share mine. 😉
Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

My Walking Prayer for Salvation

I start and end every day on my knees in prayer, in a deliberate act of humility. But I don’t pray very long in that position. Eisenhower was the president of the USA when I was born, and after a few moments on my knees I’m not praying anymore, but am simply very aware of how uncomfortable kneeling is! Sitting and praying doesn’t work well, because my mind tends to wander. But walking and praying works quite well. The part of my mind that makes the rest of my mind want to wander is apparently quite occupied with left-foot, right-foot, left-foot, right-foot, and I am able to pray without losing focus. I usually use the Lord’s Prayer as a template. That is, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” begins a time of praise, worship and thanksgiving.

I spend most of my time in the next part, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” I pray for the body of Christ, Israel and Jerusalem, world leaders, nations, and for the lost. Especially for the eternally lost. That seems to be the priority of the Father: praying for the salvation of people. The main part of my walking salvation prayer has developed into the below. It has a bit of a walking cadence. 🙂

Father, I pray you save the lost. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! Give protection! (So they live long enough to get saved.) Prepare their hearts! Send out laborers into Your harvest! Grant repentance! Give mercy! May they choose Life and escape the snare of the devil!


References

Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Joel 3:14 ESV

Are not the angels ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Hebrews 1:14 BSB

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Matthew 9:36-38 ESV

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV

(Photo credit.)

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

Colossians – Benefits from God

I have been reading Colossians for several days, in several translations. I have noticed a few themes. In this post I list the things God did, and is still doing.


12 We have grace and peace from God the Father.

12 The Father has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints.

13 The Father has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.

14 In the Son we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

20 In the Son we are reconciled.

20 The blood of His cross made peace.

22 We are reconciled in His body of flesh through death, and are now holy, unblemished and blameless before Him.

27 God’s mystery: Christ in us, the hope of glory!

210 We have been made complete in Christ.

11 Our sinful nature was cut away in a circumcision not done by human hands.

12 Buried with Him in baptism, and raised with Him.

13 We are made alive together with Him.

14 He canceled out our debt, having nailed it to the cross.

31 We have been raised with Christ!

3 We have died, and our lives are hidden with Christ in God.

4 Christ is our life.

10 Our new selves are being renewed in knowledge, in the image the Creator.

13 The Lord has forgiven us.

15 We are to let the peace of Christ rule our hearts.

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

Sometimes, Don’t Say Anything

Reading my One Year Bible again has been a blessing. I’m refreshing my mind with things I had forgotten, like both Elijah and Elisha splitting the Jordan river.

Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
2 Kings 2:6-8 ESV

And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord , the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
2 Kings 2:13-14 ESV

I also got to read the story of the Shunammite woman again. Elisha prophesied she would have a son. Her son died, but was raised from the dead. Notice her words in this passage.

17 But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.

18 When the child had grown, he went out one day to his father among the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “Oh, my head, my head!” The father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 And when he had lifted him and brought him to his mother, the child sat on her lap till noon, and then he died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God and shut the door behind him and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband and said, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back again.” 23 And he said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath.” She said, “All is well.” 24 Then she saddled the donkey, and she said to her servant, “Urge the animal on; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there is the Shunammite. 26 Run at once to meet her and say to her, ‘Is all well with you? Is all well with your husband? Is all well with the child?’” And she answered, “All is well.” 27 And when she came to the mountain to the man of God, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came to push her away. But the man of God said, “Leave her alone, for she is in bitter distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.” 28 Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?’” 29 He said to Gehazi, “Tie up your garment and take my staff in your hand and go. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not reply. And lay my staff on the face of the child.” 30 Then the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. 31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. Therefore he returned to meet him and told him, “The child has not awakened.”

32 When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. 33 So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord.34 Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. 35 Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 Then he summoned Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she came to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37 She came and fell at his feet, bowing to the ground. Then she picked up her son and went out.
2 Kings 4:17 ESV

Apparently John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, was going to let his mouth get him in trouble, so God made him mute until John was born.

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
Luke 1:13-20 ESV

After Gabriel’s word was fulfilled, Zechariah could talk again!

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
Luke 1:57-64 ESV

What is the point? There are things I am praying for, and I am determined to not let my words in conversation with others conflict with my prayers!

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalms 141:3 NASB

You have tried my heart;
You have visited me in the night.
You have tested me and found no evil;
I have resolved not to sin with my mouth.
Psalms 17:3 BSB

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.