Thursday, June 30, 2011
The Believer's Call
"For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God..." Colossians 1:10
I am totally into color-coding my scripture when I study:
Pink - sovereignty verses
Yellow - end times verses
Orange - counseling verses
Green - Highly personally special verses
Blue - favorite verses
I have these verses highlighted in my Bible in blue and in the margin next to them I wrote, "The Believer's Call!!" So let's take a quick look at why these verses pack such a powerful punch.
First, Paul's prayer for the church was that they would be filled with knowledge, spiritual wisdom and understanding. Now, if I pray for my college-aged children to be filled with knowledge,, I am praying that they actually learn something while they are in class. Believe it or not, I expect when they come home after a year of college education under their belt to be more mature and even smarter than they were the previous year. Is that asking too much? I don't think so.
Paul's prayer for knowledge, wisdom and understanding implies spiritual growth which comes from learning the truth. Now, we can go to the school of experience and learn something about God, but true growth and understanding comes from studying the revelation of Himself and then looking at our experience through the lens of that truth. Paul was a teacher at heart and when you read his letters to the young church plants you see him teaching Old Testament concepts through the lens of the life of Jesus Christ. Yes, it was academic but it was also spiritual.
So Paul's prayer was that the church was growing in their knowledge of Jesus Christ through the study of the scriptures. Why? Why is that study so important? If we know the basics of salvation, isn't that enough to have a good life?
Well, let me explain it this way - I love to cook. I have the basics down. But recently I have started to expand my culinary skills by watching the Food Network and trying what I am learning. And my food actually is tasting better and becoming more creative. I am growing in my understanding and it fleshes itself out in my cooking.
In these verses Paul tells us why we need to grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ - because knowing Him better will help us:
1. walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
2. to please Jesus in all respects
3. to bear fruit in our good works
4. to grow even more in our knowledge of Him
These all appear beneficial to life, don't they? As I wrote in my Bible, these are the call of the believer. I don't know about you, but I want to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord - I don't want to misrepresent His holiness and His sacrifice by living a worthless life. I want to please Him in all things - this includes my t.v. time (yes, I think He likes the Food Network), my grandma time, my study time, my church time, my friend and family time, my housework time, my grocery time, etc. I want to bear fruit that tastes good, nourishes and attracts others. And ultimately, I want to know Jesus more.
The call of the believer. To live a life as described above, we have to grow in our knowledge of Him. It's that simple. My cooking was never going to change without increasing my knowledge. Your life will never change, as well, without increasing your knowledge of Jesus Christ through the study of the Word of God.