ROOTED IN AND BUILT ON, Week 1, Colossians

A. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS

7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7

  • Our Lives are Rooted In, and are Built On, Christ, He is our foundation.  All of us can let our roots grow down into Him and we can build our faith on Him.  This will lead to a great increase in our lives and thankfulness.

B. GOD’S PEOPLE IN COLOSSAE

THE APOSTLE PAUL

Paul was a wonderful man of God.  He was instrumental in spreading of the Gospel of Christ throughout the known world and in the development of the New Testament and Building the Church.   He wrote 13 of the New Testament books and he started 14 churches, most in hostile areas.

[He was an incredibly dedicated man who would endure anything to share the Good News.  He was once beaten so bad in a town for sharing about Jesus, that they left him outside of town to die.  The disciples gathered around him, thinking he was dead…and he got up and went back into town.  He once spend a day and half floating in the open sea for the gospel.  And he didn’t have Wilson and He is your pastor’s favorite person in the Bible.]

1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. 2 We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colossae, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace. 3 We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:1-3

Our Brother Timothy

Timothy was the co-author and a constant companion of Paul.  They were great friends and the Apostle had a father-like Impact on Timothy.  Timothy has 2 books of the Bible written to Him and He is mentioned 28 times in the NT.   Paul writes…”Timothy, my fellow worker” (Ro 16:21), “Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord” (1Co 4:17), “I have no one else like Timothy” (Phi 2:20), “I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith.” (1Tim 1:2) and when Paul was at the end of his life and ministry, he wrote…“Timothy, please come as soon as you can.” (2Tim 4:9). 

THE COLOSSIANS

4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

  1. They Show their Faith in Christ
  2. They Act in Love for God’s People
  3. They Have Confident Hope for Heaven
  4. They are Bearing Fruit by Changing Lives

Epaphras (epa-fras)

7 You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf.  8 He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

  • “Christ’s Faithful Servant”…Beloved Co-Worker, Man of Prayer and Service, Started and Led Church in Colossae…Consistent man of God.

“Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings…I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.” Colossians 4:13

  • “Helping Us on your Behalf”…Helping Paul and Timothy, Fellow Prisoner with Paul

“Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers.” Philemon 23-24

C. PAUL’S MODEL FOR PRAYER

 “We have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you.” 9a

Every Christian can minister directly to another person through prayer.  We can play a role in their spiritual growth.  We can pray for the need’s of another and see God’s blessing it their lives.  Any Christian can intercede for others. We can develop a rich prayer life as we grow in the grace and instruction of the Lord.

Others need your prayers if they are going to be all Christ has for them to be. Your pastor, your fellow church members, your family, your friends, and even your enemies need your prayers.   Paul gives us…

6 Ways We can pray for others

[Paul provides us with a powerful list for praying for others. However, We can use these prayer ideas for our own lives as well.  The Apostle gives us an excellent model for prayer]

1. Pray That They Will Know God’s WilL

“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.” 9b

  • Sometimes we wonder how to pray for missionaries and other leaders we have never met. This would be a good place to start!!
  • Paul had never met the Colossians, but he faithfully prayed for them. His prayers teach us how to pray for others, whether we know them or not.

2. Pray That They Would Please the Lord

“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord” 10a

  • Please the Lord by Honoring His Call and Walking  in Him

Living a life worthy of the Lord grows out of knowing God’s will. Paul prayed that they would act on what they learned. Only through action does a person fulfill the purpose God has for him. Only as we act on God’s will can we please Him in greater and greater ways.

  • The ultimate aim of knowing God’s will and walking in a worthy manner is to please the Lord.

3.  Pray For Productivity In THEIR Lives

“and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit” 10b

What kind of life pleases the Lord? A life that continually bears fruit.

To do good works without bearing any eternal fruit is tragic. So he prayed they would bear spiritual fruit which is eternal.

God wants us to learn more about Him and then put our belief into practice by helping others. Thus Paul prayed that the people would lead productive lives.

The life of an obedient Christian is fruitful. Our Creator designed us to be fruitful. Jesus said, “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will remain” or last (John 15:16).

John Maxwell said, “The greatest fruit that a person’s life can bear has lasting value; usually that means actions with eternal consequences, such as salvation for unbelievers and Spirit empowered ministry to other members of the body of Christ. So when you pray for others, pray that they would be productive, and that they would choose to bear fruit that is eternal.”

4. Pray For A Growing Relationship With God

“All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” 10c

  • A Christian should not only bear eternal fruit, they should also attain spiritual growth. 

“Know” (epígnosis) recognition, full discernment, acknowledgement. A knowledge that enhances an accurate comprehension of God.

  • Paul knew that everything hinges on the health and vitality of our relationship with our Creator.

5. Pray For God’s Power In Their Lives

“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.” 11a

  • Paul prayed that they would receive God’s power for their lives.

“Without the power from our Source, the Spirit of Christ, we’re not effective. We may be able to do some things on our own, but they have no eternal value. That’s why it’s important to ask God to give others His power as we pray for them. Without that power, they won’t be able to make a difference for Him.”

6. Pray For Them To Be Filled with Joy

“May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” 11b-14

  • Pray that others would have a positive, thankful and joyful  life!

Strengthened Christians live lives filled with joy and gratitude…“May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father” In other words…

  • Pray that others would have a positive, thankful and joyful life!

Pray that your Christian brothers and sisters find joy in their lives, and that as a result, they would be salt and light to those around them.  

CONCLUSION

My prayer for all of us is that we are praying like this…the way Paul modeled it for us.  I want to start praying for my friends and family in this fashion.  At the same time, I need to pray these things for myself. 

God, help us pray.  Help us be the kind of church that people see as a place of prayer. As a place where your followers are in constant communication with you.  Father help us be people of prayer.