During this time of social distancing, use your extra time at home to dive into the word of God. I’m praying these devotions through the book of Colossians will assist as you study and apply Scripture. To listen to the podcast, click the links at the bottom of the article. God bless you all through this unique time!
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing–as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit (Col. 1:3-8).
Paul had heard of the faith of the Colossians and the love that they had for fellow believers (vv. 3-4). Their faith was not mere intellectual assent, but was put on display by the way they loved one another. As they loved one another, they were showing that they truly have faith in Jesus and that faith was producing the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
What hope is Paul referring to in v. 5? It is the hope of eternal life where we dwell with God forever! The Colossians were faced with false teaching that questioned the sufficiency of Christ and the gospel, but Paul is reminding us that we have all the hope we need. We have heard about this hope because someone shared the gospel with us!
In vv. 6-8 we see the power of the gospel. It is continually bearing fruit and increasing in all the world. We are in the midst of a pandemic where a virus is spreading rapidly, likewise, the gospel spreads all across the world and nobody can stop it from changing lives!
The gospel “bears fruit and increases” (v. 6), which is reminiscent of the command in Genesis to “be fruitful and multiply”. Physically we are to multiply, but we are also supposed to spiritually multiply by making disciples. This happens by humans means, as we see the Colossians heard the gospel from Epaphras, who was a faithful servant of Christ. We too are called to serve as faithful messengers of this wonderful news!
- Is your faith put on display by your love? Can others see a genuine faith in you because of how you love others?
- How does the truth of eternal life for believers in Jesus give you hope? How does it get you through trials in this life?
- Are you, like Epaphras, making the good news of the gospel known? Are you multiplying and making disciples? If not, how can you start today?