6th December: Colossians

COLOSSIANS 1:1-2:7  -  ‘In everything’ Christ is ‘pre-eminent’ (18). In Him, there is salvation - ‘redemption, the forgiveness of sins’ (14) - , sanctification - ‘mature in Christ’ (28) - and service - making Him known (27). Everything is in Christ. In Him are ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (2:3) - all that …

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God is our Father – holy and loving …

Learning From God's Word

In Isaiah 6, we read of God’s holiness – and we, also, read of his love.

Perhaps, when we think of Isaiah 6, we think, first, of the words of verse 3 – “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.”

If, however, we were to stop there, we would miss something very important: the love of God.

We read of the love of God in verse 7 – “now your guilt is gone, and your sins are forgiven.”

It is not a comforting thought to hear that God is holy – if we do not, also, know that he is loving.

In Luke 15, we read about the prodigal son – and we, also, read about the loving father.

The father did not write off his son as a hopeless case. He hoped for, longed for, waited for and prayed for his son’s return – and, when the son did return…

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Christmas is a great time of the year …

Learning From God's Word

Christmas is a great time of the year.

What do we mean when we say this kind of thing? Are we saying that we prefer “the bleak mid-winter” to the “summer suns” (Church Hymnary, 178, 624)?

We endurethe bleak mid-winter – “Frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow” (Church Hymnary, 178).

We enjoythe summer suns – “Summer suns are glowing over land and sea; happy light is flowing, bountiful and free. Everything rejoices in the mellow rays; all earth’s thousand voices swell the psalm of praise” (Church Hymnary, 624).

We speak about “a white Christmas” – but it can be very cold!

What is it that warms our hearts – when the weather’s so cold? What is the light that shines so brightly – when the winter nights are so long and dark?

What dowe mean…

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Love has the victory forever …

Learning From God's Word

“Therefore, since we have been justifiedthrough faith,wehave peacewith God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2through whom we have gained accessby faith into this grace in which we now stand.And weboast in the hopeof the glory of God.3Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4perseverance, character; and character, hope.5And hopedoes not put us to shame, because God’s lovehas been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,who has been given to us” (Romans 5:15).

Here, we read about glorying in our sufferings, and we read about suffering producing perseverance, character and hope. We read these words, and we think to ourselves, “This is far too idealistic! This is the way we should be, but it’s not the way we are. Our feelings go up,and they go down.”

When we’re honest with ourselves, we must ask the…

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Big questions …

Learning From God's Word

What’s life all about? What does it mean?

Does life have a God-given meaning? or Do we, ourselves, give it a meaning that, we feel, it has for us?

Why are we here on earth? What is the purpose of our life?

Do we have a God-given answer to this question? or Must we create, for ourselves, our own sense of purpose?

Where is our life going? Do we have a future towards which we can look forward with true and lasting joy?

Do we have a God-given future? or Is it up to ourselves to create a future for ourselves?

These are big question – these questions about meaning, purpose and direction.

They’re questions about our past, present and future.

We ask about the meaning of our life, and our thoughts go back to Genesis 1:26, which tells us that we have been created by God and created for…

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