January 2, 2023

Colossians 1:1-8 (HCSB)

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother: 2 To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers. Grace to you and peace from God our Father. Thanksgiving 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints 5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the message of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God’s grace in the truth. 7 You learned this from Epaphras, our dearly loved fellow slave. He is a faithful servant of the Messiah on your behalf, 8 and he has told us about your love in the Spirit.

Kim Ivey
Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this letter in response to a visit from his friend, Epaphras, who was most likely the founder of the church at Colossae. Evidently, Epaphras had some glowing things to say about his church members. Paul refers to them as “faithful brothers and sisters,” and remarks on their apparent faith in Christ as well as their loving nature. What a reputation! I’ve read these verses over and over and to me, these opening lines of a letter are something to strive for. I mean, this isn’t just a letter. It’s the inspired Word of God, right? So, imagine receiving this letter from the Lord. Dear _____,I’ve heard about how faithful you’ve been. I’m so thankful for the faith and trust you have put in Me, and the way you love others because of the hope you have in Me. It’s a convicting thought. If Pastor HD had been there talking to Paul, swapping stories the way pastors do, he would probably give a favorable report of Temple Baptist as a whole. God knows our individual hearts, though. If He were dictating a letter regarding you (or me), what would He say?

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