World English Bible translation
1:11strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, to all patience and perseverance with joy; 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;
Paul continues his prayer for the believers at Colossae. Once again we must begin mid-sentence because Paul's ideas are so densely packed together. He began by praying that the Colossians might be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. He encouraged them to walk worthily of the Lord that redeemed them. Finally, he told them to please the Lord by bearing fruit in every good work and by growing in the knowledge of God.
Today's scripture begins with a phrase that explains to the Colossians and to us how they are to achieve these lofty admonitions. "Strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory…" Least any of them believe that they were to accomplish these achievements by their own strength, Paul tells them that only God can supply the power to accomplish His goals. God gives us the tools to do the job that He would have us to do. God is not the type to say, Do this! and walk away. God says, Do this! and then gets in there and helps us to do it! God supplies the strength and the power for the heavy lifting of the Christian life. And the light lifting too! In fact, everything that God would have us to do must be done with the energy of the Spirit of God that lives in us. Anything that we seek to accomplish in our own power is doomed to failure.
"To all patience and perseverance with joy…" We must work with patience and perseverance because these qualities are of God. When we work with His strength we must work in His way. God is patience, so we must work with patience. God perseveres, so we must persevere. As we walk with God and grow in the knowledge of His ways, we will realize that His character works in us to produce like qualities. God loves. As we walk with God we will find that our attitudes are turned toward love more and more. As the Spirit of God lives through us, our hearts reflect His life. Dimly at first and more and more as each day passes.
As we walk in God's power and persevere through the life that we must live, there is also joy and thanksgiving. There is joy because we are living the lives that we were designed for from the foundation of the world. Even though we must persevere through hardship, we have become the children of God. We are no longer alone. We have a Heavenly Father and we have His Spirit living in us. God has made us "partakers of the inheritance of the saints." He has made us "fit" for this inheritance. We are not interlopers who grab what is not rightfully ours. We are adopted children, brought to our inheritance by a loving Father.
We were not always fit for the inheritance of the saints. Once we were ruled by the power of darkness. Just as Israel was lead out of bondage, all of us must be brought out of Egypt. God translates us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His Son. God accomplishes this through His own efforts, for His own reasons, to His own glory. It is an act of sovereignty and of grace. Just as Israel did not earn the mercy of God's compassion, neither do you or I. God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Before the awesome magnitude of God's grace there is little that we can do. We can give thanks… and we can walk worthily. We can walk because God has given us legs fit to walk. We can stand because God gives us the energy to stand. We can go because God is beside us pointing the way that we are to go. We can do all these things with joy because serving God is what we were created to do. We are designed to be the objects of God's love and His grace. As we grow in the kingdom of His Son, we are our best selves.
People are always searching for something to make them feel complete, to feel valued, to feel whole. God completes us. The Spirit of God gives us value and worth. The Son of God, living in us, makes us whole.
Do you know the power and the might of God's caress? Do you know what it means to be touched by the hand of God?
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