Series: Jesus Manifesto
Message: Getting Word to the Saints and the Faithful
Preacher: Iki Taimi
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Beyond: J. Murdock
Live Purpose: Lydia Svoboda
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Colossians 1:1-10 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Paul was in prison when the Colossian church founder Epaphras (vs. 8) turned up to visit him. Frank Viola, in The Untold Story of the New Testament Church, shares this historical insight:
Epaphras, the founder of the Colossian and Laodicean churches, is troubled by this spiritual assault. So he sails to Rome to get advice from Paul. At the same time, Onesimus (Philemon’s slave) runs away. But he does not run away empty-handed. He steals money from Philemon! (This is a capital offense.) Epaphras finds Onesimus and takes him to Rome with him, believing that Paul can help him. Onesimus is not a Christian, but he remembers Paul to be a kind man and believes that he will help him. (p. 149)
Paul, in spite of being in prison, sees some unexpected results. First, others are learning to step up into leadership and the Gospel is advancing. Second, Paul has a chance to share the Gospel with the prison guards. Third, Paul has not had his voice silenced. Instead he is writing with an even stronger prophetic voice. Even those like Onesimus are willing to meet him. Church planters would travel more than a hundred miles on foot to seek his advice.
What was the prophetic voice of Paul? What is your prophetic voice?
There are some people who need to gain motivation from some external source every day and others are who self-motivated. Some are self-starters and others are non-starters. I believe that a non-starter can become a self-starter and a self-starter can always slip back into a non-starter mindset. Some days you just know exactly what your purpose is. You have clarity and with a laser-point focus you are determined to accomplish your purpose. It might not even be a task. It might simply be to “Live Love.”
I don’t know how many hours a day Paul would have been allowed to have visitors. At this time, he was on house arrest. Very likely the line of visitors would have been long. To pray, reflect upon, and process who Jesus is and what Christianity was called to be would have been all-consuming. Probably the most difficult thing for Paul would have been the captivity—the inability to move about freely. Even though he could have visitors, he was still trapped. Yet this short letter that is considered by some to be one of his most significant pieces of writing does not waste any time in moaning or complaining. Paul’s eyes are focused on the mission of his day—which is the same for us now. That mission is to share the supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ—Jesus. All.
Recalibrate: What are you inspired to do today?
Respond: Pray for clarity of vision today.
Research: Read The Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola.
Remember: “He also told us about the love you have from the Holy Spirit” (Colossians 1:8, ICB).
Japhet De Oliveira is administrative director for the Center for Mission and Culture at Adventist Health in Roseville, California.
Show your little one how to make a peace sign using your first two fingers and how to make a love heart using your thumbs pressed together at the tips with your other fingers touching at the tip. Paul writes in the end of Verse 2, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father.” Grace is love in action. Peace is what happens in our hearts when we position ourselves in grace. Let love rule and peace reign in your heart.
Do you like to make things? Do you dream of what they can be? Sometimes I used to make things or draw things, but then I’d give up because they didn’t turn out how I had imagined they would. Make something, dream of what it could be, and if you need help, go ask someone who can encourage you to keep on making a good thing.
Ever been grounded? Of course you have. We have all felt the total bummer that is being grounded. It’s the worst! Even if you wanted to be locked in your room, it’s not all that much fun when you find out that you can’t do anything but be in your room. And then everything that is typically fun suddenly isn’t. Now all of your stuff is boring. And anything that might bring you joy is taken away so that your grounding feels more like punishment.
I never understood why my parents chose to ground me until I got a little older. Being grounded gives you the chance to reflect on what got you there in the first place. And instead of trying to pass the time and survive until the grounding was over, you were supposed to be thinking about how to make sure you never had to be grounded ever again. Maybe you’re grounded right now. Maybe you’re living your best life with your parents and they actually like having you around all the time. Maybe things are just somewhere in the middle.
No matter what life looks like now, take a minute and reflect on how you got to where you are. Do you know how you got here? Are you happy with the way things are going? Are you thinking you want to keep going the way you’re headed? No matter what the answer is, now is the time to consider your path so you so that you can adjust to the path you wish you were on.
“To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father” (Col. 1:2). The Greek word for “brothers and sisters” refers here to believers, both men and women. Paul wrote to both men and women to praise their faith and encourage them to keep sharing the gospel. Neither the message nor the spreading of the Gospel is only for certain people. Men and women alike have the privilege of sharing their experiences with God.
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development for ages 0-17. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
J. Murdock is associate pastor at Boulder Adventist Church in Boulder, Colorado, where he focuses on youth and young adult ministry.
Lydia Svoboda is a junior theology major at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.