Colossians 1:3 "We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in... truth; 7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit."
Nothing complicated today. Paul is opening his letter in typical Pauline fashion with a greeting followed by thanksgiving for their faith and letting them know they are prayed for. I often wonder how our relationships would change if we told those we love we are thankful for them and praying for them, not about some urgent specific thing but just praying for them regularly because we love them?
I wanted also to point out here at the beginning that the letter to the Colossians is unique among Paul’s letters in that there is no record or indication that Paul started the church in Colossae or that he has ever even been there. It seems he is writing to encourage them simply because they are family in Christ.
One last point for today and it is the main point. Notice why the people in Colossae have hope:
"...because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit."
The truth of the gospel - that is where the hope is - that is our only hope - He is our only hope. Thegospel story is nothing more and nothing less than His story as we will see powerfully as this letter unfolds. Hope because of His story - is that what your "religion" is about? I hope so... otherwise you have no hope...
I saw this quote yesterday and it struck me profoundly. I may not get the words exactly right but it was something like this:
"There are many examples of men trying to become or acting like gods but there is only one God who became a man and the servant of men."
See you tomorrow...