For this week’s HelloMornings mini-challenge, we’ll be studying the book of Colossians — a letter Paul wrote to the believers who gathered in the city of Colossae.
A free downloadable study guide is available for all blog subscribers. You can find the study at the bottom of this post in your email or RSS feed. If you are not yet a subscriber go here and follow the instructions. An email with the download link to the study will be sent to you after you confirm your subscription. Enjoy!
MONDAY: Experiencing the Power of Prayer ~ Colossians 1:1-14
TUESDAY: Understanding the Fullness of Christ’s Deity ~ Colossians 1:15-2:5
WEDNESDAY: Knowing the Truth of God’s Word ~ Colossians 2:6-23
THURSDAY: Putting on the New Self ~ Colossians 3:1-25
FRIDAY: Sharing the Good News with Others ~ Colossians 4:1-18
An Introduction to Colossians
ROME, 60-62 A.D.
The knock on the door meant another visitor. The prison guard announced that Epaphras from the city of Colossae had just arrived.
Paul eagerly greeted his guest. Even while under house arrest in Rome, Paul continued to share the Good News to everyone who came within earshot. Visitors came. Prayer meetings erupted into worship. Letters of encouragement were scribed.
Epaphras felt worn and weary from his thousand-mile journey to Rome, but hope filled him as he told Paul about the church he pastored in Colossae. Like most churches, it experienced its share of ups and downs. They had started off strong. Thanksgiving and gratitude marked their early years. With passion and fervor, they worshiped God and cared for each other.
But somewhere along the way, things began to change. New ideas were initiated. New practices were proposed. And new beliefs were brought in. With time, the purpose and vision for the church had shifted, and the truth about Christ was getting lost in the shuffle. Epaphras tried to preach that salvation only came through Jesus — that grace was a gift of grace, and not something to be earned. But Epaphras knew his efforts at stemming this tide had been futile.
Epaphras needed guidance, so he set out for Rome to seek the counsel of Paul, the apostle called to preach Christ to the gentiles.
Paul listened to Epaphras with the gentleness of a mentor. He could hear the love in Epaphras’ heart for his congregation. He could hear the concern in Epaphras’ voice. And even though Paul had never met this congregation, Paul grew to love the people in Colossae too.
Paul knew he needed to write a letter to the Colossians. He would travel there if he could, but his imprisonment forced him to stay in Rome for a while longer. So Paul bent his knees and prayed with Epaphras. Together they interceded for the believers in Colossae.
Then he pulled a quill from a nearby drawer and penned these words:
From the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).
An Overview of Colossians
Paul begins his letter with a prayer of thanksgiving. He then emphasizes the full deity of Christ since some members of that congregation had started to question whether or not Jesus was really God’s Son. He goes on to correct some of the false teaching that had infiltrated the church. Then he encourages them with the specific ways they could honor the Lord with their lives. He concludes with some final instructions for local church members.
- Today, we’ll focus on Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving.
- Tomorrow, we’ll follow Paul’s teaching on the supremacy of Christ.
- Then on Wednesday, we’ll meet back here, on the HelloMornings blog, to discuss the next part of Paul’s letter.
Is there someone the Lord has put on your heart to pray for? What did you learn in your reading of Colossians today? Share with us in the comments.