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{Week 3} Paul’s Labor for the Church ~ Colossians 1:24-29; 2:1-5

 

 Welcome to Week 3 of Colossians, girls!  God has been so faithful already in revealing His Word to us in our study, and I am more than excited to jump into a new week together!!

 

This week we find ourselves beginning in Colossians 1:24, where Paul begins speaking of his ministry to the church.  Join me as I touch on some of Paul’s keys to effective ministry in spite of the challenging circumstances he found himself in…

 

(If you cannot see this video, click here to view it.)

 

What we can learn from Paul this week:

1.  We can rejoice, even in suffering, because of our identity in Christ!

2.  We are Christ’s servants, and can obediently continue the ministry he has called us to, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.

3.  We can finish strong, knowing that our strength comes from “the energy Christ so powerfully works” in us.

 

For those of you who would like to dig deeper into our scriptures this week, I’ve provided a few additional resources below. Feel free to read or listen to them throughout the week as we dig into God’s Word together!

Digging Deeper Resources:

1. John Piper:

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/by-scripture/colossians

2. John MacArthur:

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/scripture/colossians

 

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:  Are you in the midst of a challenging circumstance?  Ask a trusted friend to pray that God will give you joy in the midst of your struggle, and that He will use you during your struggle in whatever way He sees fit, for His glory.  Then have that friend keep you accountable in the days and weeks to come!

 

If you would like to memorize the complete book of Colossians in a year – we encourage you to download Ann Voskamp’s free Colossians Bible Memorization Booklet.  This link will also take you to her writing on “7 Ways of Highly Effective Bible Memorization“.  This is powerful stuff!

 

**For those joining us for the very first time – we encourage you to subscribe to GoodMorningGirls to receive the free Colossians daily Bible reading plan and eStudy Guide!

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOOD MORNING GIRLS, CLICK HERE.

TO RECEIVE THE FREE COLOSSIANS BIBLE STUDY DOCUMENTS, CLICK HERE AND SUBSCRIBE TO GMG TODAY!

 

Tell us in the comments below – what are you learning as you read Colossians 1:24-29; 2:1-5, or how can we pray for you?

 

At His feet,

 

 

Gifts and Glory


For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)

I don’t know about you, but I have heard more times than is good for my sanity, my sweet children fight over “stuff.” “Hey, that’s mine, put that down.” “Don’t touch my toys”, “He is watching my show!”, “No, you can’t have some of my candy.” “She is sitting on my couch cushion.” (sigh)

If only our kids would come to understand that all the things they have actually belong to our Lord, and he has graciously given those things to them for a time, to enjoy, share, and use to his glory. But this is hard for them to learn, and in part that is because we too have a hard time learning this lesson.

Paul makes it very clear who the Creator of all things is and why he creates.

Jesus is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of everything, therefore we know that everything we have comes from him.

Every good thing in our lives is a gift from God (James 1:17): our money, our talents, our time, our bodies, our “stuff,” even our spouse and children! Not only is it all from him it is also all good.

He gives us these good things to steward in such a way that makes him the brightest aspect of the gifts and our lives. We should think of these gifts as treasures that are entrusted to us for a time. We have them for now, and we should be careful to use them well, but ultimately everything first belongs to Jesus Christ. Understanding this will encourages us to not abuse, neglect or waste them, but to use them as instruments through which we make much of him.

The first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks:

Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Paul says it this way, “All things were created through him and for him.” This means he doesn’t give you things simply to have, but to use as a means of glorifying God and enjoying him. The gifts are good, but the Giver is even better!

Jesus is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of everything, therefore we know that everything we are comes from him.

Do you think much about who you are? Take away your titles, your roles and responsibilities. Do you know who you are?  You should. It’s important, because this is also a gift of God.

As a human being we are all creatures made in God’s image. But as big as this truth is, there is more for the Christian. As a Christian you are a sinner saved by his grace through faith in Jesus Christ—and this makes you a saint, an adopted child of God, a royal priest in service to the King and his people (Eph), co-heirs with Jesus, and much more!

He has made you all of this not to simply be, but to used who you are for his glory. All things–even you– have been made for him.

How can we steward the gifts God gives including what we have and who we are?

1. By maintaining an attitude of thankfulness (1 Thess. 5:18) to God for what has given us and made us. We can’t be thankful for something and abuse or misuse it at the same time. Let gratitude govern your use and enjoyment of all things.

2. By taking care of what he gives us including possessions, relationships, our bodies, and our souls. For some of us this may mean learning to be more organized so we don’t waste our time. Some of us may need to learn to be more disciplined in order to keep our homes tidy and our laundry put away (ahem, this one’s for me. I need to remember that while laundry may be a curse, that even laundry work is a gift from God). Some of us may need to take more seriously the fact that we have only one body and need to care for it well so it can be used for God’s glory and for the good of others.

3. By sharing what he has given us, including our very lives.
God did not give us time, money, a home, talents etc. to shelve, but to share. The Christian life is all about glorifying God and loving others. The most practical way we can this is by giving to others what God has given us. And we should do so joyfully, without expecting anything in return (including a thank you note).

All that you have is given to you to receive with thankfulness. We are to enjoy, care for, and share them with others and the best way we can do this best by keeping our “chief end” in mind.

Looking to Jesus,

{Week 2} WIWW Link-Up Party… Christ is all

 

My closet cleaning came to a halt this week after I ran into some old college photo albums from nearly twenty years ago.  Nap time allowed some momentary privacy, and I became lost in the sea of memories that quickly flooded my mind.   Crazy how just a handful of pictures can turn back time in an instant.

Sure, there were the predictable pictures:  from my first dorm room, to crazy roommate adventures and photos capturing me in my graduation cap and gown.  But the experiences I couldn’t get past were on a much different level, and worth far more than any university degree could ever offer…

Alone in my living room, I was taken back to 1995, when I stepped foot into a hurting country called Haiti.  When life was much simpler and mercy seemed to come more quickly for me. My mind wasn’t cluttered with the things of this world as much. At least not that week of Spring Break, when I got to witness for the first time what life – and poverty – was like outside of my small college world. While I was working my tail off to avoid taking out student loans, people were starving to death right before my eyes.

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,

whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;

all things have been created through him and for him…”

No amount of government intervention or economic stimulus could heal the hearts of these people.  They needed Jesus.  A good friend named Tyler {who would later become my husband} was on that trip too. We sat on the steps outside our apartment building together each night, listening to the Voodoo chants of the neighboring village. We sat in pure darkness; no electricity since the generators had already shut down for the night. He would play guitar. We would sing a little, then pray a little. And wonder how a place – a people – that was so lost, could ever find God.

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together…”

I walked away changed after that week.  It’s pretty easy to return from a mission trip (or church camp, or a great sermon, or on the heels of a day when things just go my way…) on an emotional high, feeling closer to God than ever, confident that He is in control of poverty and lost souls and all of life’s heartaches.   But all too soon, when the reality of daily life creeps in, we’re back to doubting the One who spoke the world into existence.  Back to insisting on controlling as much of our circumstances as is humanly possible.

As if we’ve forgotten who God is.

“And he is the head of the body, the church;

he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,

so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

But when I really seek to know and understand who God is through his Word – the Maker and Sustainer of the universe in control of ALL things, then I can serve, trust, submit, surrender, adore, fear, worship Him in a whole new way.  I remember that NOTHING escapes His power.  From creation, to governments, to wretched sinners like me.

And now, all these years later, I’m thankful that it’s God who does the finding.

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

and through him to reconcile to himself all things,

whether things on earth or things in heaven,

by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

{Colossians 1:16-19}

We just have to be willing.  Have you placed your trust in Jesus today?

At His feet,

 

Women around the world are IN THE WORD!

Every Wednesday we will have a link-up. If you are a blogger we invite you to link-up any blog posts that you have written about your quiet time that week. We ask that you put our button in the post or on your sidebar so we can find each other. We do not have code for this link up button. Just right click and save as. Then link it to http://www.goodmorninggirls.org

 



 

You Are a Potential Genius!

Leigh Bortins who created Classical Conversations (the homeschool curriculum we use) wrote in her book “The Core” “all people are (potential) geniuses with brains designed to store, manipulate, and retrieve large amounts of information through rote memorization.”

Then she uses the example of the grocery store.  Think about it…if I asked you to describe where the eggs are – you’d have no problem answering me – yet the grocery store has 10,000 items!  Even more amazing, you could do this in many stores AND memorized details about every item including cost, taste, quality etc.

We are able to memorize anything that we spend a lot of time thinking about.

Joshua 1:8 says

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

I encourage you to meditate on our Colossians passage this week so often that it begins to be etched into your memory.  You will reap everlasting benefits!

Last week Karen Gill had our first memory verse song for us! What a treat!

She has done it again and has made a second song for those who’d like to listen to it over and over and let God’s word take root in your heart!

Here’s the links:

Week 1 - Colossians 1:1-14

Week 2 – Colossians 1:15-23

Thank you Karen Gill from Wisdom and Righteousness for taking the time to make these!  They are beautiful!

Keep Walking with the King,

Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

If you have trouble opening the above links - try these direct links:

Week 1 http://www.wisdomandrighteousness.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Colossians-3.wma

Week 2  http://www.wisdomandrighteousness.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Colossians-1.15-23.mp3

{Week 2} Supremacy of Christ~ Colossians 1:15-23

 

 

Welcome back to week 2 of our 8 week study on the book of Colossians!!! I’m so excited you are joining us!

This week we will be studying the supremacy of Christ….how Jesus is not only equal to God, but Jesus is God.

In Colossians 1:15-23 Paul is refuting some of the false teachings that had begun in that church.

“The false teacher in Colossae, like the false teachers of our own day, would not deny the importance of Jesus Christ. They would simply dethrone Him, giving Him prominence but not preeminence. In their philosophy, Jesus Christ was but one of many “emanations” that proceeded from God and through which men could reach God. It was this claim that Paul refuted in this section.”- Warren W. Wiersbe

Today I invite you to open your Bibles with me as I go through Colossians 1:15-23.

(If you cannot see this video- click here to view it)

For those of you who would like to dig deeper into our scriptures this week, I’ve provided a few additonal resources below. Feel free to read or listen to them through-out the week as we dig into God’s Word together!

Digging Deeper Resources:

1. John Piper

2. John MacArthur

 

Weekly Challenge: As we study Colossians 1:15-23, think about what Christ has done for you in reconciling you to God. Who in your life is in need of this wonderful reconciliation? Pray specifically for that person EVERY day this week. Ask for prayer from your GMG group as well.

 

If you would like to memorize the complete book of Colossians in a year – I encourage you to download Ann Voskamp’s free Colossians Bible Memorization Booklet.  This link will also take you to her writing on “7 Ways of Highly Effective Bible Memorization“.  This is powerful stuff!

 

Tell us – what are you learning as you read Colossians 1:15-23?

**For those joining us for the very first time – we encourage you to subscribe to GoodMorningGirls to receive the free Colossians daily Bible reading plan and eStudy Guide!

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOOD MORNING GIRLS, CLICK HERE.

TO RECEIVE THE FREE COLOSSIANS BIBLE STUDY DOCUMENTS, CLICK HERE AND SUBSCRIBE TO GMG TODAY!

 

Love God Greatly!

IF YOU’RE ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER, LOOK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS EMAIL OR RSS FEED TO DOWNLOAD THE SOAP BOOKMARK & COLOSSIANS STUDY GUIDE

 

 

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