Thanksgiving, faith and love

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother.

To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—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 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

Colossians 1 vs.1-8

Yesterday we noted the starting point of Paul’s prayers for the believers in Colosse – namely thanksgiving for their faith in Jesus Christ and their love for all God’s people. Two essential aspects of the Christian walk neither of which come naturally to sinful people and therefore must be drawn from somewhere outside of ourselves.

With regard to the first – faith – Paul wrote as follows to the church in Ephesus:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2 v.8

And with regard to the second – love – the Apostle John writes:

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4.10

Here are two statements that undermine all human pride for I cannot save myself, nor can I love others for both are gifts from God ‘that spring from the hope stored up for us in heaven about which we have heard in the true message of the gospel’

Do you doubt? Do you have those moments when you wonder if you are really saved – safe and secure for all eternity? Does your faith keep and assure you when the going is tough? If ever you have such doubts then come back again to the true message of the gospel; its truthfulness so gloriously demonstrated in the resurrection.

Do you love all God’s people? Be honest! Are there not  those you find it hard to love for a whole range of reasons? I have to admit that in my own life. How do we address this so that we become like the Colossian believers? We need to come back to the true message of the gospel for it is therethat we find love exemplified in the verse from 1 John 4 above. If that is the love that God has for me then I must surely show it to others. It is not easy but it is something that with God’s help we must strive after.

In a nutshell then Paul in his prayers for the Colossian Christians, thanks God that they are gospel people, for faith and love are essential gospel characteristics!

How do you describe yourself? Do you confidently say ‘I am a gospel person?’ If you are in Christ then that is a fitting description. You are a gospel person! Do you thank God for your fellow gospel people?

Are you bold and confident as a gospel person? Meditate on these words of Paul as you consider this question.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Romans 1 v.16

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