October 5

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“I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally” (Colossians 2:1 NLT).

From: October 5, 2018

Paul often “agonized” for the believers in towns and cities where he had been before, but had left behind in order to carry the gospel to other places. Colossae was one of these places. Located in the province of Asia Minor (Modern day Turkey), Colossae was the least of three cities found in the Lycus valley, the other two, Hieropolis and Laodicea, being more prominent. Although we have no record of who planted the church in Colossae, the apostle Paul certainly must have passed through this area on one of his many missionary journeys. In fact, he spent three years ministering in the city of Ephesus, which was only 119 miles from Colossae or a week’s travel on foot. Yet, Paul agonized over the saints in places like Colossae and Laodicea, which he named in the verse above.
What did Paul mean by saying he “agonized” over them? Perhaps the best understanding is found in Dr. Strong’s definition of the Greek word, ἀγών (“agon”), as an “intense solicitude or anxiety.” Paul wrestled in his prayers and thoughts over the believers in Colossae, Laodicea and even those he didn’t know personally. What a heart Paul had for the sheep the Great Shepherd had entrusted to him!
Today, the sites of Hieropolis, Laodicea and Colossae are in ruins, with Colossae only being marked by a sign on what archaeologists call a “tel” (“An unexcavated mound”). The places may now lie in ruins, but the people that placed their trust in Christ are now in that everlasting city not made by human hands.

“You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak” (Psalm 77:4 NKJV).

From: October 5, 2017

The psalmist wrote of a troubled and sleepless night when even his prayers were difficult to speak. Yet, he began to remember the mighty works of the Lord in days past and was determined to sing and meditate on them. He took advantage of his sleepless and troubled night to focus on God.
The 15th century writer, St. John of the Cross, referred to such times as a “Dark Night of the Soul.” He saw such a time as both a God-given trial and an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord.
The modern response to depression and sleeplessness is medication. We focus on alleviating the symptoms. I wonder, are we missing an appointment with God at such times? Perhaps it is as the psalmist surmised and it is the Lord Himself who is “holding our eyelids open.” What if God wants us to get out of the bed and talk with Him? Perhaps we can learn to respond as Eli taught young Samuel, “Speak, for your servant hears” (1 Sam. 3:10).

“…from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:13-14 ESV)

From: October 5, 2016

Jeremiah’s prophecy of God’s coming judgment on Judah even included charges against those who should have joined him in warning their people. It’s a sad state of affairs when the prophets and priests who claim to represent God “deal falsely,” filling their congregant’s ears with lies of peace when war is at their gates. Better to hear bad news from one’s physician and be able to get help, than to hear lies and be left dying with a false prognosis. In the same way, it’s better to follow a pastor who preaches God’s Word without apology, than one who offers human platitudes to tickle the ears.

“In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted” (Psalm 77:2 NKJV)

From: October 5, 2015

When do you seek the Lord? The psalmist spoke of a day when he “sought the Lord” as a “day of my trouble.” He described his trouble sleeping and the state of his soul which seemed beyond comfort and encouragement. On such a day, he “cried out to God” (v.1). Most of us have experienced such a day. But have you yet learned to seek God on a good day?

“So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ” (Colossians 1:28 NLT)

From: October 5, 2014

Paul’s goal for the Colossians and for everyone to whom he preached is here revealed: that he might present them to God as “perfect” (fully mature, finished, complete) in Christ. He did not wish to just introduce them to Christ or to tell them a little about the Savior. No, Paul used every faculty available to him, “warning and teaching” them to not only believe, but to follow Christ, becoming like Him in all things. This should still be the goal of those who would answer the call to pastor. It should also be the goal of every person who would call themselves “Christian.”

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him” (Colossians 2:6)

From: October 5, 2013

We received Christ freely by grace, but we forget to live according to that same amazing grace. We come to Christ totally dependent on Him for salvation, but then we attempt to live for Him with human effort, which leads to frustration, burnout, and lack of joy. We say, “I will do this great thing for God.” When we should be asking as servants, “What do you want of me today Master?”

“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault” (Colossians 1:22)

From: October 5, 2012

Do you understand what God has done? The punishment that was due us has been spent on Christ’s “physical body,” so that there is none left for us. The penalty for sin has been paid in full. When we accept Christ, we are redeemed from sin’s penalty and we are reconciled to God. Christ took our sin, our separation and our death and offers us His righteousness, His Sonship and His eternal life.