“You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”
I’ll be honest with you, today’s gold may go a lot of different directions but I don’t know! All I do know is God and this life with Him is just plain out awesomeness! Hope something in this wild God Gold can be an encouragement for your Tuesday!
Continuing in Colossians;
We talked yesterday about how in this life following Christ it’s better to live together and heavily invest in the relationships God has placed in our lives. And the football reference, how are we going to catch a touchdown pass if we don’t have anybody throwing us the ball? How is anyone else going to score if we aren’t there to throw them the ball? We need each other, we need passes of encouragement and faith to be thrown our way because without them we would be in serious trouble, living a touchdown-less life and God gave us this life to live in daily touchdowns with Him!!!
Taking the football analogy even farther, just like Paul is throwing the church at Colosse a letter of encouragement and faith strengthening Word in this letter, say the church at Colosse catches it right. Say someone throws us a pass similar to this, we catch it. But how do we take it and run for a touchdown????
So often in life I look into God’s Word, listen to Sunday sermons simply to pick up knowledge, but what good is a bunch of knowledge sitting around in our heads like a loaf of bread going out of date and expiring? Just like the date on the bread, so this Word we have from God, the bread of Life, it never expires but our days on this earth do have an expiration date. Instead of wasting time getting smarter, why not take God’s Word, His truth and apply it to our lives? That’s what it’s meant for, to give life and be lived by us. If not applied we waste this precious time we have on this earth getting smarter only to look back years down the road and wonder why we didn’t LIVE in it? So how do we take this life-giving Word and live it? Not just catch the ball but run for the touchdown????
It’s cool to see Paul mention this man by the name of “Epophras.” It says in the verses above that he was a “faithful minister” to these people at Colosse. He taught them and grew them in their faith through teaching God’a Word. Just like Paul is writing this letter to not only throw them a pass, he’s writing it to show them how to apply God’s truth to their lives and run for the touchdown.
Paul and Epophras are examples of people who have lived this life with Christ, they have learned and experienced God in so many ways, and as they know this race we are running can be hard at times, catching passes and scoring touchdowns aren’t easy especially for believers who don’t know left from right. These are guys who don’t just throw the pass but put the pass on the money so the people who are receiving it have almost no chance of dropping it but catching it and running for the TD!
It’s so cool seeing Paul mention his prayers for them, how much he cares about these believers and how much he wants them to grow in their understanding and knowledge of God, and His will. Paul prays for this because he knows everything starts with God, how we see God, how we know God and how we come to God. Paul says all that then puts a big SO in there. With understanding and knowing God more deeply and what He’s capable of, the awesomness of this relationship you have with Him, know that SO that “you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”
SO they can not only know God but live lives for God. Not only know the Word and what it says but apply these awesome truths to their lives.
I had such an awesome experience tonight where these verses came to life, at some point when we began following Christ we had certain people that helped us, taught us, and encouraged us much like Paul and Epophras have done. I remember when I first began following Christ and pursuing Him just two years ago, my “Epophras” was a guy named Justin Driver. He had went through a similar story with God that I had. Years of living a wild life of how we wanted to live then outta nowhere God came in, changed his life, called him to serve in Ministry. I remember being so on fire and so hungry to know more of God but I was so fresh in my faith I had no idea what to do with all this fire God had given me. Justin took time to sit down with me, talk, answer my questions, share his experiences, and give me awesome wisdom and encouragement to understand God better but also run for the touchdown by applying it to my life. I remember how hard it was during that stage of my walk with the Lord because I was so confused coming into a completely new world from the one I had been living in. But Justin helped me so much and until tonight I didn’t even realize how much he truly helped me.
Had one of my buddy’s sitting at our MAN group which is a cool way to say our Bible Study. Christ has come into his life recently and he has been on FIRE in pursuing Christ. I sat there and listened to him, he was so hungry to know more, he had so many questions he wanted to know more about. And his faith was so simple and pure. I sat there thinking holy crap!!! That sounds exactly like I did when I was going through those first moments with Christ being on fire. In those moments I wanted to help him in anyway I could and what came to mind? What my “Epophras” had taught me during that time. I began saying the exact same things that Justin had told me. It blows my mind how God uses moments and experiences like that, the lessons of encouragement we’re taught by someone else on how to apply God’s truth to our lives and experiences that are sometimes lessons learned the hard way. God takes us through that to be the “Epophras” for someone else, to encourage others who are so on fire but not exactly sure what to do with it. How awesome is God!!!
Even bigger than that my buddy Taylor who was showing his fire for the Lord, hungry to know more and asking questions, he was a huge encouragement to me! He asked a few questions where I was taken back at the realness and simpleness of what He was thinking. It made me realize that lately I’ve gotten caught up in this “knowledge mentality” with no need to know more because I already know so much (WRONG). He inspired me and stirred my fire back up in me to be hungry and never stop asking questions! You never know it all and there is always more to learn. I haven’t been LIVING as much lately because I saw no need to hunger for the bread of Life, God’s Word and learning about Him on deeper levels.
It’s so crazy how God works in our lives, uses people to teach us and grow us stronger in our faith, then turning those moments around to pour into others who are where we were not too long ago while also getting your fire reignited by new believers. There is great power in always asking questions no matter where you are in life, what title you have and how much you think you know, God is so big and awesome that there’s too much awesomeness to ever uncover it all. Also saw how in those moments when Justin was pouring into my life, he could’ve thought those seeds he was planting weren’t doing anything but this experience gives me confidence in the seed we plant out of faithfulness for God and to strengthen other believers that it’s faith in the seed.
We may not see the seed grow immediately, but God takes care of the growth and he’s always working in our lives. The seeds you plant in others lives that you may think are worthless because you can’t see any growth, faith is in the unseen, God could grow those seeds in someone’s lives sprouting into His awesomeness, 1 year down the road, 5, 10, even 50 years down the road so never stop learning and never stop planting seeds! It’s not just knowledge we have with God and His Word, it’s LIFE in the fullest of ways!!!