37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
This passage should be a faith builder. The way to grow in faith is to read God’s word. Through the Bible we see example after example of impossible things God has done. In this chapter we see an elderly lady conceive a baby, a man become mute, a virgin become pregnant, and the mute man restored.
At the time, no one thought these things could happen. It’s easy to look back and say “yeah but that was a long time ago.” The problem with that thought is Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. We serve the same all-powerful God they did.
One thing I want to mention. These were regular people living regular lives. There was nothing visibly extraordinary about them until God radically changed their lives. So, my question to you today is “what is impossible for God to do in your life today?”
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
This chapter is about Paul writing to a slaveholder Philemon on behalf of Onesimus a runaway slave. In that culture, the Romans had conquered many and pushed many into servitude. For Paul to write this letter would have gone greatly against societal norms. He wisely calls Philemon to treat Onesimus with brotherly love.
Paul writes this letter expecting the desired outcome. We disagree strongly with the lifestyle of having slaves, but there are some things we can apply to our own character.
1. He was willing to listen- We can become very stubborn and see things from only our point of view. Philemon was approachable enough to listen to a different viewpoint. We would solve so much conflict if we would be willing to listen to the other side of things.
Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
2. He was willing to change
Paul said he had confidence that Philemon would do even more than he asked. Wouldn’t our Christian lives be vastly different if we would change whatever the Word of God told us to. A lot of Christians would rather try to twist scripture to justify their actions than just be obedient.
Our challenge today is twofold.
1. To be willing to listen to other’s viewpoints
2. Be willing to make changes based on the Word of God.
17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
Have you ever been called on for something you were unprepared for? Perhaps in school you were called on by the teacher when you weren’t paying attention. Imagine sitting at church and pastor is reading a letter written by the apostle Paul and it calls out your name. This is what’s happening in this letter. Imagine being Archippus as the whole room turns and looks at you.
The intention was not to embarrass Achippus, it was to admonish him. Sometimes it takes us being called out to realize we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
Paul instructs him to do three things
1. “Take Heed”
He is saying don’t neglect the gifts God has given you. They were given with the purpose of using them for Him. An example of this would be the parable of the talents.
2. “The ministry which thou hast received of the Lord”
We don’t just wake up one day and say, “I think I’m going to serve in this ministry.” God gives us a ministry. Even when we choose a ministry God has put the seed in our heart. I want to mention one important thing. Ministry is not a position, it’s people. God has someone for you to serve. He has someone he made you to have an impact on. We harm the people we are supposed to reach when we neglect the ministry God has called us to.
3. “That thou fulfill it”
I was taught that greatness is not measured in years, it’s measured in decades. It’s easy to think “I’ve served, I’ve put in my time, now I can sit back.” There is one problem with that thought process. Worldwide two people die per second. In the approximately one minute it took you to read this, 120 people have gone into eternity. Our job to reach the world with the Gospel is getting more difficult by the day. We all need to fulfill the area God gave us.
Colossians 3: 15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
This chapter is so rich in truth. This portion is speaking of getting along with other believers. As we look deeper let’s see some observations.
1. It says the peace of God
It doesn’t say the peace of man. We cannot manufacture peace. Our makeup is to have turmoil in our lives. We are dependent on God for peace. Peace is a reaction from knowing we can trust God.
2. Let peace rule in our hearts
It is to govern. It is to have control. How do we do this? It’s casting our care on Him. We give him the cares and let God figure them out. That takes the stress out of the equation because we can trust God.
3. In one body
As believers we are given peace with God at salvation. We are called to be at peace with one another. On our own we may be incapable of living at peace with certain individuals, but if we have God’s peace ruling in our heart, we can have peace no matter what others do.
Today can you trust God enough to let him carry your worries, concerns, and grievances and allow His peace to rule your heart today?
BIBLE READING: COLOSSIANS 2
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Have you ever felt frustrated by repeated fleshly failures? Our text for today gives a strategy for the battle over sin. Did you know that you must get saved out of sin the same way that you got saved from sin: by grace through faith. The same way that you received Jesus, as stated here in verse six, is the same way that you walk in Jesus. And how did you receive Jesus: “by grace through faith”.
The book of Romans mentions the subject of the law. In Romans chapter 7, there are several verses that talk about the “law of God “. The problem is that man in his sinful state cannot keep God’s commands perfectly.
In Romans chapter 7, Paul tells us about the “law of sin “, and in chapter 8 he calls it the “law of sin and death”. Look at this verse in Romans chapter 7:
* “ 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
You see we have two laws represented here, but the law of God is greater than the law of sin. In one of his books, evangelist Rich Tozour gives this scenario to understand the point I’m trying to make:
“Let me in the street. If I drop my pin for my level, which way will it go? Down. How many times will that happen? Every time. Why? The law of gravity. Yet I have some pens in my possession that have been up to 37,000 feet in the air! How did they get up that high? Simple: the law of aerodynamics-they were on a plane.
Just as the law of aerodynamics overcomes the law of gravity, the law of God overcomes the law of sin. We can conquer carnal desires through Christ who is greater.”
Remember, greater is he that is in me then he that is in the world. Just like you received Christ Jesus by grace through faith, that’s exactly how we walk with him every day: by grace through faith. By the grace that he provided, and the faith that He is greater than anyone or anything.
BIBLE READING: COLOSSIANS 1
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
GRACE IS ONLY AVAILABLE FROM CHRIST
2…Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Not only do get grace from God, only God can enable you to give grace to others. You and I must depend upon the Lord every day to enable us to show grace to others like we should. It is not easy at times. We often feel that an individual does not deserve that from us. But again, you and I must remember that we did not deserve grace from the Lord. Because it only came from him, we received it even though we did not deserve it.
PEACE IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN CHRIST
Grace and Peace are both free. It is available because of the unmerited favor of God. Many people are looking to things to try to find peace. But as Paul says in this passage, peace comes from God our father and of the Lord Jesus Christ. What are you looking to for peace? What are you trying to do to gain peace? Who are you mad at in your life because they did not bring peace to you? That is an unfair expectation of others.
GRATITUDE SHOULD BE BOUNTIFUL TO CHRIST (3)
3. “We give thanks to God….”
Because we’ve been given grace and peace which we do not deserve, gratitude should abound from us to the Lord for those things.
PRAYER SHOULD BE CONTINUOUS FOR THE CHURCH (3b)
3) “…praying always for you”
Thanksgiving ought to be a part of every prayer; and whatever is the subject of our rejoicing ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. The more grace God gives, the more peace God provides, then the more we pray, and the more we show gratitude. Who was Paul praying for? The saints and faithful brethren. Who do you know in your life that has been faithful to the Lord and has been an example to you? Pray for them today.