Prayer of Invocation
O God from whom every gift derives, we gather to worship you this day. You are an awesome God, greater than our comprehension or our imagination. You are beyond any word we could ever use to describe you. And yet, through Jesus, we know the intimacy of your vast Love.
We have come to you in thanksgiving and praise, to know that you are God and to place our lives anew into your perspective. Enlarge our vision this hour with your Word. Instill in us, again, your hope in place of our despair, your peace where our hatred threatens, your joy amidst our depression, your love overwhelming our apathy.
May your Holy Spirit surround and indwell this congregation now, and forevermore. In Jesus we pray. Amen. Followed by the Lord’s Prayer in Unison...
O God who multiplied the bread beside the sea, transform these gifts into a multitude of ministries. Through them, change us. For only through your own generosity can we be free to give, and to live like cups which overflow with your abundance. In Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Our gracious and loving Heavenly Father, we come to you today in the name of Jesus. Your Word tells us that if we ask anything in his name, we know that you hear us, and if we know that you hear us, we have the petitions we desired of you. What a comforting word that is.
We want to thank you today for your everlasting love that goes beyond all of our human comprehension or understanding. You love us all right where we are today and you love us for who we are. Our circumstances change so drastically as time passes and life is real. Problems and difficulties are not imaginary, they're real and we don't understand them and why things are happening. We're sometimes tempted to wonder if you know and we wonder where you are. Circumstances seem to defy all human logic, they just don't seem to make sense to us. How comforting it is to know that we don't have to pretend to be something we're not or prete nd to be stronger than we are. You know us anyway, so we don't have to pretend with you. You know all about our humanness and our weaknesses and, wonder of wonders, in spite of all of that, and maybe even because of it, you love us anyway. We're your creation, you made us, and you know all about us, so you know about our needs and how to help us. You can do something about it all. So, here we are, Lord, confessing our needs. You already know all about them, but we need to tell you. That's what you want us to do. Please, Lord, meet each person in just the very way we each need you right now. May your love for us and our faith in you hold us steady and steadfast. You said that we could be more than conquerors through him that loved us. Thank you for hearing us.
(And now, Rockburn Church, before we continue and conclude our corporate prayer, I invite you, there in the solitude of your own heart and mind to talk to the Lord by yourself. We have all kinds of needs, for healing, forgiveness, encouragement, comfort, guidance. It's highly personal. Whatever it is, just tell him, he's right here, right now and he wants to answer your prayer.)
Thank you, Lord, for hearing us. There's nothing too hard for you. You're still on the throne. You're still in control. Thank you, Lord, for hearing us. You're answering our prayers right now.
Christ, the head of the Church
Introduction : Colossians
This Epistle is packed with Doctrine; if I can use an analogy of a coin, it is the side that Represents the Head, and the Epistle of Ephesiens would be the other side of that coin.
My Bible puts it thusly " If Ephesien can be labeled as the Epistle portraying the "Church of Christ" than Colossians must surely be the "Christ of the Church". Ephesien focuses on the Body, Collosian focuses on the Head. I believe when we can truly see Christ as the scriptures, in this letter protray him, our faith will grow. We will be strong in trials. Godly wisdomwill govern our thinking. Our lives will be continually transformed in that the more we can see Christ for Who and What he is, the more we will be "Christ like".
Ask yourself today :
If you do want that , then let Paul's prayer for the Colossians Church, be the prayer for this Church fo us who are here today.
Father in heaven open your word to our hearts today, help us by your Holy Spirit to see your son Jesus as you do, give us a desire to know him, and to know and do your will, Amen
THE PRE-EMINENT, TRANSFORMING CHRIST
Lets start at vs 3 of Ch 1 of Colossians. For context vs 3-8, notice Paul is thankfull form them, Paul commends them for their Faith, and Love (vs 4) for all Saints, paul gives his stamp of approval to their pastor Epaphras. (vs 7)
Love in the Spirit
A) it's not a letter of correction...there is no pressing issue.
B) Paul is encouraging them, reminding them (vs 9-12)
Here is the message perfectly outlined
Here then are the main Points for us:
A. Be filled with the knowledge of his Will (vs 9) in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
B. (vs 10) Walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing to Him.
C. (vs 10) Be fruitful in good Works, increasing in the knowledge of God.
D. (vs 11) Be strenghtened with purpose for " all Patience and Longsuffering with joy"
E. (vs 12) Giving Thanks to the Father.
Notice Paul's prayer never mentions "Material" Why?
Does he understand :
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God
"Knowledge of his will" does not mean
It involves commitment, devotion, radical love etc
May I suggest we consider "Christ First"
Who He is What He has done! His Preeminescence
Here now is Paul's "Doctrinal Statement"
giving rise to the "Apostles creed"
He goes on to say (vs 21-22) We were "Aliens and enemies in your mind? (by wicked works?)... 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
BUT YET : The Gospel
He has reconciled us in the body of his Flesh. To present us Holy, Blameless, Above Reproach in his Sight. Halleluia. Praise Him. Praise Him
Therefore...since this is Who Christ is and What He has done
Analogy : The Horse and the cart
What manner of people ought we to be?
Conclusion. Be filled with his Word. Get to know Him more and more.
Grow continually in Love by Grace, Be Ready be Strong. Acquire Patience. Endure with Joy Long Suffering. Be thankfull. All this is only Possible if we Grow our Faith In Christ Actions.
Faith in Christ = The Horse = The Cart.
Colossians 1 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.[a]
Their Faith in Christ
3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.
Preeminence of Christ
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyedus into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Reconciled in Christ
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.