Why spend time reading about these people with weird names who lived almost 2,000 years ago? How can it help you to know that Nympha hosted a church in her home or that Jesus (Paul’s team member) was also called Justus? The reason these people are mentioned by name is because each one of them mattered to God.
Making the best use of your time with those who are far from God can be overwhelming. You might feel like you’re walking on pins and needles, trying not to mess up or say the wrong thing. God doesn’t want you wound so tightly that you are afraid you’ll make some eternal mistake and damn your co-worker to hell.
The more practical side of continuing steadfastly in prayer is having prayer “texts” with your Father throughout the day. You are firing up flare prayers when you need his help or when you want to quickly thank him for the grace he just gave you.
The way to work with whole-hearted integrity is to continually remind yourself that the Lord is aware of everything you are doing, all day long, and he is the one you are serving. Your work matters to God! They way in which you do your work (attitude and quality) is very important to your Father. He cares about your most mundane tasks. He wants you to represent his name at your job so that others will praise him for how you are working.
When a husband coveys authentic agapé love, his wife will feel secure emotionally, physically and spiritually. As the husband loves and cherishes his wife and the wife honors and respects her husband, God’s beautiful design for marriage is realized and the two become one.
It’s as if Paul was summing up all of the preceding verses when he wrote in v17: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. To do everything in the name of Jesus means that you are seeking first his kingdom and you are setting your mind on his Word. Because you now represent Jesus Christ everywhere you go and in everything you do, your entire life is to be lived out from your allegiance to him.
Since being rescued from the dark domain, your life is now about how God is transforming you through a continual renewal process. God is developing in you the very characteristics of Jesus Christ. So why should you give yourself completely to God’s work of making you into the same kind of person that Jesus was?
The new you is being renewed in the knowledge of the image of its Creator. Wait, read that sentence again. The word for “knowledge” has the special prefix that makes it full and complete knowledge and understanding. God is helping you to know him better so that you become more and more devoted to him and appreciative of him. He is restoring you to be like his Son, nothing less will do.
Do you hear the apostle Paul’s plea? “Keep looking up!” Your new life in Christ, no matter how long you have been a follower, is all about acquiring the value system of the Lord Jesus. You are learning to value what he values.
Be very careful that you don’t buy into half-truths. The dark kingdom loves to spin God’s words so that they sound legitimate, but are actually from the pit and smell like smoke! Be wary of rational lies.
Picture in your mind what your email signature would look like if you had all the initials you ever imagined both before, and after your name. Imagine the doors those initials could open for you. Don’t just picture the initials from degrees and certifications, include in that vocational positions like VP and CFO.
There’s a lot of walking going on in the Bible. It’s a common figure of speech used to describe how people lived and conducted their lives. Since the primary form of transportation in those days was walking, it’s a perfect metaphor for how a person should live.
Everyone in your network of influence will see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ (v5). You will live a legacy that will produce eternal results that will make your Father smile. Jesus said that he came to give you life abundant and fulfilled. This is that life.
Do you want to know God’s will for your life? Here it is: grow to be mature in Christ! Look at v28 again. Paul’s goal through his teaching was to help every believer become mature in Christ. Like those first believers, you are meant for the same purpose.
The giant “But” in v22 makes all the difference. But now He has reconciled you… is the most important truth you will ever embrace. Because you were separated from God and evil in your thinking and doing, the only way things could be made right between you was if God did it himself.
Notice how the passage describes who Jesus is rather than what he did or is going to do. Remember your faith is in who Jesus is. Your salvation and your place in the Kingdom, in this life and the one to come, are because of what he did.
God wants to help you live out your faith in love. According to Jesus, our primary identifier as his followers is that we love all the saints (v4). Faith and love are inseparable. They are two sides of the same coin. They are so connected that Paul was led by God to write this statement: The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)