Colossians 1:9-11 July 10, 2016am:
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”(K.J.V.)
The Apostle Paul via the Holy Spirit speaks to you and I the secret of living a life worthy of Jesus Christ. From the beginning of your Christian walk believers seek to know the will of God for their lives; even this morning some of you would be asking the very same question. As we began last Sunday we discovered two truth that we need to adhere:
Prayer: Paul reminds us in the Letter that he is giving thanks to God for your faithfulness for Jesus and the saints. Church if we heed to the example of Paul we are called to lift up one another in prayer all the time. Not only for those in need but for the whole body. Notice the word “faithfulness” dedicated to our Savior, trusting in Him, walking daily, being encouraged by one another but being lifted up in prayer.
Illustration: You’ll remember that as I addressed you last week I mentioned that God is dealing with me in the same manner, pray for all the saints. Yesterday I was on the phone with Debbie as I walked over to Mike Dean’s when a voice yelled out Pastor Mark will you pray for me. Automatically I recalled the need as Paul reminds us to pray for all the saints. Relying on the Holy Spirit I did not ask the need I stepped into the gap and began to pray. I have not seen this man for six months but in this last week we have bumped into him three times. Mark will you pray for me?
Secondly, Pleasing: How many of us want to receive God’s blessing? What is His will? What please God? Pray and pray some more, pray continually.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Live a life worthy of the calling let us press forward and to be complete, lacking nothing be filled with wisdom and knowledge. Each of us needs to daily dive into God’s precious Word and spend quality time with Him in prayer. Our desire is to seek spiritual striving, press forward, no having obtain but press on, growing daily until Christ calls us home or returns for the church. To be full of wisdom and knowledge is this not our prayer today?
Paul’s desire is for all the saints to be filled with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding. The answer is disciplining oneself in prayer and devotion with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not expected to run around half empty, tired, drained but we are called to be refreshed when we spend time in His presence. How many of you have taken time to spend half an hour to an hour on Wednesday morning at the “Drop in” I’ve attended once or twice but some of you are regulars. Now let’s convert that to “Drop In with Christ.” The concept is beautiful, quality time with the Lord, daily. The purpose Jesus has for each of us is to be active in His service, but to remain active requires us to be refreshed, renewed and filled to over flowing with His Spirit. Filled: “we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
There is a deep satisfaction that is ours through our relationship with the Lord. We are filled, for it is God alone who satisfies the hungry and thirsty and fills us with good things. We sing that wonderful chorus
“Jesus has a table spread,
Where the saints of God are fed;He invites His chosen people,“Come and Dine;”With His manna He doth feed,And supplies our every need;O 'tis sweet to sup with Jesusall the time!”
The invitation has been given, to dwell in His presence and receive the fullness of joy. By the Spirit of God you and I qualify and equipped for both His service to which we are called to live a victorious Christian life. This morning God desires for the saints, the lost, to be filled, this is the work of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Full measure that which fills speaks of being complete and maturity can only be found in Jesus.
I’ve always enjoyed, eager to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, at times in my journey of faith God has made leaps and at times felt as though I am going backwards yet I encourage each of you to press on and receive all that God has for you. The strength of a saint, a child of God is evident through this passage like none other. Our power ignites when we begin to earnestly pray, when we tap into His Word and when we pray and listen.
E.M. Bounds writes “Power Through Prayer”….Prayer is the creator as well as the channel of devotion. The spirit of devotion is the spirit of prayer. Prayer and devotion are united as soul and body are united, as life and heart are united. There is no real prayer without devotion, no devotion without prayer. The preacher must be surrendered to God in the holiest devotion. He is not a professional man, his ministry is not a profession; it is a divine institution, a divine devotion. He is devoted to God, His aim, aspirations, ambition are for God and to God, and to such prayer is as essential as food is to life……..Devotion to God –there is no substitute for this in the preachers character or conduct… The name and honor of Jesus Christ, the advance of His cause, must be all in all.”
The Psalmist writes “The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (Psalms 28:7)
When did you first encounter the power of God? For me, I was a teenager of fourteen, and my Dad had christened our boat Dynamis -a Greek word that describes God’s power-strength and might. Shortly after that I came into a living relationship when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
As we journey in Christ we experience His power in many ways; today Paul challenges us to continue faithfully seek Him in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Today, I am amazed and reminded of God’s power daily, Two nights ago I stood on the front porch and witnessed Power, God lit up the night ski with thunder and lightning.
Yet, Paul encourages you and me too listen when we approach the Lord, try listening and waiting on Him, and prepare yourself to receive. Spiritually we will be empowered by His Holy Spirit, strengthen, renewed, and filled up and over flowing.
When will your next encounter with the Lord be?
Evangelist D. L. Moody said “We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man. If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it that you have more business on hand than God intended.”
Where there is spiritual life there is need for spiritual strength. To be strengthened is to be furnished by the grace of God for every good work. Praying for spiritual strength we are not restricted in the promises. Paul does not encourage us to just to be strengthened but to mightily be strengthened. In other words as we seek the Lord for a top up we are asking God that His grace overflow in us. As we face, trouble, hardship, we need to be supported by His power so we may endure. As we enlist in God’s service let us be reminded of :
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
"Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls." - Mathew 11:28