Colossians: Week 6

Rooted in Him.

Welcome back for our final gathering of Colossians: Rooted in Him. Our group has been blessed by this study from The Daily Grace Co. We are grateful for their encouragement to inspire others to study His Word deeply and beautifully.

We’ve learned about the supremacy of Jesus in the world and in our lives — there is nothing else we need. We’ve also practiced meditation and gathering in gracious fellowship. Our prayer is for those who visit this site to be inspired to seek Him more deeply within a community of fellow Believers.

Well, let’s wrap it up… but not close it up. We pray you continue in His Word, His grace, and His truth.

Father God, Your Word, Your Spirit, Your Son, and Your people are all integral to our relationship with You. Open our hearts to You, the Three-In-One, and the people who make up Your Body — the Church. May our time here be a blessing to You. Amen.

Meditating on the Word.

Being mindful of His Word.

During our study of Colossians: Rooted in Him, we’ve talked about meditating on God’s Word as a way to weave it into our being. Make it come alive in our lives.

Memorization, praying His Word, putting it in our own words, word study, and self-examination are some of the ways of meditation we’ve highlighted on our journey together.

Of the many ways of meditating on God’s Word we’ve explored, is there one you find yourself returning to over and over? Which one is it? Why do you think it draws you?

Sharing our hearts. 

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

Last week we read: The gospel changes everything. This week we see how the gospel should move us to worship. 

All of life is worship. 

–Colossians: Rooted in Him, p 128

The writer prefaced the quote above by noting: We are a people who were made to worship. 

How do you define worship? What comes to mind?

Merriam-Webster defines worship like this: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power; to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion; to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship.

Old Testament worship was defined by externals and sacrifices. A strict keeping of the law and a physical location for worshipping God. During the Exodus God’s presence resided in the tabernacle which traveled with His people. In the Promised Land, God designated a specific place where a temple was built: Jerusalem. Both the tabernacle and the temple were constructed according to God’s specifications, not man’s.

New Testament worship moved the presence of God out of the temple and into the hearts of Believers through faith in Jesus’s work on the cross. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world — He is the ultimate sacrifice. His resurrection made it possible for God’s Spirit to live in those who believe.

Formerly, God was worshiped in Jerusalem, but now the true Jerusalem would be in a person’s spirit. Indeed, the church is called ‘the habitation of God in spirit’ (Ephesians 2:22). True worship required a people to contact God, the Spirit, in their spirit, as well as a people who knew the truth. New Testament worship must be in spirit and truth.

— Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

In a study of the words translated as worship in both Hebrew and Greek, we find worship is an attitude and an action. There is a desire to reverence and honor with a stance of awe and fear, along with a heart to serve the one we worship. The service offered is given at the expense of the worshiper. Biblical worship is willing to pay for the honor to serve the one we worship. Within these definitions there is also the action of seeking the one being worshiped, not only to know them but to seek help and provision.

Is your life defined by worship? worship of God? Or is there something else you are worshipping instead of or in addition to? what are you serving with your life? who or what do you run to for help?

Stacy says:

I picked up my ringing phone on the way home yesterday without looking at who was calling. After I said hello the voice on the other end said, “Have you been praying again?”

Who is this and why is she asking me if I’ve been praying? Am I supposed to be praying about something in particular? Did I forget a friend’s prayer request? And finally… How do I answer her question truthfully if I don’t know what she’s talking about?

My response was simple, “I hope I’m always praying.” A few more seconds revealed the woman on the phone was the realtor God brought to our lives. We’ve only known each other a few short weeks, but our conversations almost always include a reminder of who is in control of this house buying business. 

While I’m not perfect I desire to honor God and love Him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. This is my worship and I’m humbled to know it spills out from my heart into my words and actions.

Did you discover something in our study of Colossians this week to help you understand what it means to live life as worship? 

Living worship.

Carol says:

The lives of the people of God should be a liturgy of the gospel that is constantly reminding us of who God is and all that He has done.
— Colossians: Rooted in Him, Day 1, p127 (emphasis added)

The writer’s use of the word “liturgy” caught my attention. I’ve heard it tossed around in relation to planning worship services but never really delved into its meaning, so off I went to the dictionary.

liturgy — a eucharist rite; a rite or body of rites prescribed for public worship; a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances
— Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.)

What I saw first in the dictionary definition of liturgy is it specifies public worship. 

Believers’ lives should be a display of public worship. This speaks to Colossians 3:17, And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

A eucharist rite is the observance of communion, the remembrance of the gospel: Jesus giving His life, pouring out His blood, so we might live. When He calls us to do this — communion — in remembrance of Him, it is a call to give our lives, pour out our life’s blood, sweat, and tears for His glory. Serving the Father to the same degree He did, in worship. 

Not private worship or worship confined to the temple or synagogue, but publicly with every breath, every word, every action. Not for ourselves but for God: loving Him and loving others as He calls us too.

I think about how some of my daily language (customary phrases) has changed over the last few years. Sometimes I wonder at my own speaking of these words, because they aren’t from me… if you know what I mean… They aren’t words I intentionally chose to start saying, they just began to flow.

Regularly throughout my day, I’ll say: O glory! and Amen! 

Church words. Church words that have made their way into my heart and out my mouth and way out the doors of the church.

This I think, is a little bit of a picture of how our worship of God through Jesus by way of the Holy Spirit is to work its way into our lives. Where our entire life becomes a display of worship to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Oh… and I’ve also started calling people brother and sister.

O glory! Amen!

Discussing the Word.

Photo by Tim Wildsmith on Unsplash

Let’s review what we’ve studied this week.

Read Colossians 3:16-4:18.

What day spoke to your heart this week? Why?

Carol says:

Day 5 of the study asked two wrap up questions for the book of Colossians:
What themes or truths stand out to you?
How has God challenged you through the book of Colossians?

The truth highlighted for me on this journey through Colossians is: Knowing Christ, trusting Christ, serving Christ is all I need to do to know peace and grace. He is the All-In-All.

The challenge I face is trusting God more fully with my family, His church, and His call on my life. Which includes shifting my focus to seeing all things in the light of His Kingdom and not the world. And then there is the challenge for me to remember to be thankful.

One of my current reads affirmed these thoughts stirred by Colossians.

A timely read.

“A person is a ‘spiritual person’ to the degree that his or her life is correctly integrated into and dominated by God’s spiritual Kingdom. …
“Spirituality is a matter of another reality. … it is not a ‘commitment’ and it is not a ‘life-style,’ even though a commitment and life-style will come of it. Above all it is not a social or political stance.
“…the essence and aim of spirituality is not to correct social and political injustices. That will be its effect — though never exactly in ways we imagine as we come to it with our preexisting political concerns. That is not its use, and all thought of using it violates its nature.
“Those who worry that unless we act against authority structures our spirituality will accomplish nothing simply do not understand what spirituality is. On the other hand, the authorities will always find the spirituality of Jesus and his followers impossible to deal with, for it stands beyond their manipulation and control.”
— Dallas Willard, The Spirit of Disciplines

For me, in my current season of life and where I am in my spiritual journey, Colossians is a reminder that we cannot walk the fence. We can’t keep one foot in His Kingdom and one foot in the world. Just as He is All-In-All, we have to learn to live all in

Flesh and this world are simply incompatible with Christ and His Kingdom. When we try to meld the two together in our own form of worship, we make ourselves miserable.

I believe the words Paul wrote to Archippus are written to every disciple of Jesus:

“Make sure that you fulfill the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
— Colossians 4:17 MEV (emphasis added)

Amen!

Is there a phrase or photograph that caught your attention?

Stacy says:

Where the Word of God is proclaimed the people of God will grow.
–Colossians: Rooted in Him, p 142

A place to grow.

The picture of the turquoise door caught my attention this week. As I read the caption, joy flowed over me. Because I thought of this tiny shop where we share God’s Word with each other and others. I remembered where it all started over ten years ago. 

My heart cries out yes! I agree! Wherever, whenever God’s Word is proclaimed we grow. Amen and amen!

Did you write a paraphrase of the verses? Why or why not?

What about God’s character or your own condition became apparent to you this week?

Stacy says:

On Day 5 we read, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5) The word wise caught my attention which turned into a prayer. Lord, how do I walk in wisdom? What does it look like?

I’ve always had this desire to be wise. I want to make wise decisions, speak wise words, and allow wisdom to rule over my emotions. I’ve studied Scripture about wisdom for many years, but never really defined exactly what that word means. So I looked it up.

Wisdom: discernment, insight, perception, perceptiveness

Photo by Filipe Resmini on Unsplash

It also means “ability to discern inner qualities and relationships.” Wow! This is not what I expected. Wisdom is not something you are born with, nor can attain with study or academics. It is not worldly teaching or experience. Wisdom equals discernment, and the only way I’m going to get that right is to remember God is wise and I am not.

And… the very definition of wisdom doesn’t point to always making the right choices, but depending on God to give you insight on how to love others in a way that brings them closer to Him. 

What response did you have, or steps are you being called to take as these words sink deep into your soul?

Stacy says:

One of the questions this week asked us to consider what theme or truth stuck out to you in this study of the book of Colossians. The overriding theme I’ll continue to meditate on is found on page 6.

Jesus plus anything is not the message of the Gospel.

Oh, how prone I am to add to Jesus, and it keeps me asking the question, Lord, is there something I’m attempting to add to your message? 

Photo by Sander Hartog on Unsplash

Closing Prayer

As a closing prayer let’s practice liturgy (public worship) by responsively reading  Psalm 96:1-10

Responsive readings are read in turn. If you are more than one, take turns reading — one the regular text and one the bold text. Or if many, one lead with the regular text and the rest read the bold as a response. If you are solo, read it aloud, respond to the Word.

Let’s pray…

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”

Amen!

Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Grace be with you,
in you, and work through you,
until we meet again.

Stacy & Carol

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