God’s Saving Word: Love
Colossians 4:7-18: In concluding his letter to the Colossians, Paul explains how he will send co-workers to share news about what has been happening to him. He also sends greetings from other followers who are with him.
7 Our dear friend Tychicus, who is a faithful worker and fellow servant in the Lord’s work, will give you all the news about me. 8 That is why I am sending him to you, in order to cheer you up by telling you how all of us are getting along. 9 With him goes Onesimus, that dear and faithful friend, who belongs to your group. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have already received instructions to welcome Mark if he comes your way.) 11 Joshua, also called Justus, sends greetings too. These three are the only Jewish believers who work with me for the Kingdom of God, and they have been a great help to me.
12 Greetings from Epaphras, another member of your group and a servant of Christ Jesus. He always prays fervently for you, asking God to make you stand firm, as mature and fully convinced Christians, in complete obedience to God’s will. 13 I can personally testify to his hard work for you and for the people in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Luke, our dear doctor, and Demas send you their greetings.
15 Give our best wishes to the believers in Laodicea and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. 16 After you read this letter, make sure that it is read also in the church at Laodicea. At the same time, you are to read the letter that the believers in Laodicea will send you. 17 And tell Archippus, “Be sure to finish the task you were given in the Lord’s service.”
18 With my own hand I write this: Greetings from Paul Do not forget my chains!
May God’s grace be with you.
Today’s Key Verse: Colossians 4:12b
[Epaphras] always prays fervently for you, asking God to make you stand firm, as mature and fully convinced Christians, in complete obedience to God’s will.
Verses 15 and 16 mention that Paul’s letter to the Colossians should also be read in the house church led by Nympha in Laodicea. This was hinted at earlier in his letter (2:1) when he mentioned having worked for the people there. Believers at that time gathered in one another’s homes, and communications, such as letters to a particular church, would have been read aloud to those gathered. How do you envision this type of gathering? How is news shared within your community of faith? Verse 12 speaks of someone praying fervently for another. What do you see as the role of prayer in a community of faith? What emphasis does your community of faith place on prayer?
Holy God, thank you for your love and grace. Empowered by your Holy Spirit, guide my speech this day so that all I say reflects the good news of your love and salvation. In the holy name of your Son Jesus, I pray. Amen
John 3:1-21: A religious leader seeks to meet with Jesus at night.