13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:13-14 (NASB)
These verses are a portion of Paul’s prayer for the Colossian church. In it, he encourages them to give joyful thanks to God the Father. Reminding them that they were rescued by God, from the domain of darkness, from the bondage to sin, and delivered them into the kingdom of light.
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 1:12 (NASB)
The kingdom of light; is the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we are redeemed from the power of sin and death and have confidence in our eternal destiny. ⁂
Have you embraced the truth and light of Jesus? Are you rescued are, your sins redeemed?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we are in awe of Your love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our sins. Let us shine with Your light and spread Your Word. Like the cardinal plant glows in the sunlight, teach us to glow with your light and shine it into the darkness. In Jesus’ holy and loving name. Amen
9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you
Psalm 9:9-10 (NIV)
God, our Heavenly Father, is our stronghold in times of trouble. A stronghold is defined as a well-fortified place of protection against attack. God is a refuge for the oppressed, the poor, the needy, those without power, and for protection from evil. He is our refuge and stronghold.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
Our God is faithful; He keeps His promises. Seek Him, for He is good; He will not forsake you. He is worthy of your confidence and trust. He is your help in times of trouble, your refuge; you can rely on Him.
9-10 God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.
Psalm 9:9-10 (MSG) ⁂
God is our refuge and our strength. In times of trouble, is your first response to turn to God?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for being our stronghold and refuge during difficult times. Help us to grow in faith, seek You, and trust You. Teach us to reach out to You in trust knowing you will never forsake us. Like the allium flowers spiral out in all directions, your love spirals out, surrounding us; You are our stronghold, our hope. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
Philippians 2:14-15 (NIV)
Our goal is to live without arguing and grumbling, no bickering, and become Children of God, blameless and pure. Being blameless requires diligent effort in a crooked, polluted, and warped world. To live in this way shows we are Christians, ready to carry God’s light-giving Word into the world. Then when we go forth enlightened, we will shine like stars in the sky.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.
Philippians 2:14-16 (MSG)
A diligent effort is required to live without arguing and squabbling. How are you doing at being blameless; do you shine like stars in the sky?
Prayer; Lord help us to be kinder, and gentler; to let go of arguing and complaining. Teach us go forward, blameless and pure in this sinful world. Let us shine in Your light, with love, and share your light-giving message. As the phlox bloom shine in the sun and brighten spring, let us shine in Your light and spread Your brightness to the world. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:2 (ESV)
When we walk in love, or as some versions state, walk continually in love, we show we are followers of Christ. How do we walk in love? When we value others and treat all with respect and compassion. It is a Christ-like unconditional, unselfish, forgiving love; exemplified in our actions. To walk in love describes our actions, when we act like Jesus; we walk in love.
Our compassionate acts and loving deeds to others are considered a fragrant, sweet-smelling offering, to God our Father.
Wake Up from Your Sleep 5 1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)
Do you walk in love showing love and compassion to others in your actions and deeds?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, teach us to walk in love. May our actions be Christ-like and our lives characterized by love, compassion, and forgiveness. Let others see that we are Christians by our love. Like the bright yellow open coreopsis flower glows in the sun, let us shine brightly with your love and glow with compassion. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NLT)
This verse in 1 Chronicles is also in Psalm 105:4, David’s Psalm of Thanksgiving. He wrote this verse to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant. To remind everyone of the importance of seeking the Lord and having a relationship with Him. We need to search for Him and listen to His way, not seeking our path but following His path for us. Our strength is found in the Lord; He is our hope, grace, and salvation. When our world is complicated and confusing, we can find strength like David did through our relationship with our Lord. Always search for the Lord and seek His strength. ⁘
When you are overwhelmed and confused, is your first response to seek the Lord’s strength?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we come to you in praise and thanksgiving. Teach us to follow Your ways and seek You. Lord, when we are overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do, let us ask for Your guidance. Like the zinnia blossoms, seek the sun; Lord, let us seek You and Your strength. In Jesus’ loving name. Amen
4For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does. 5He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth.
Psalm 33:4-5 (NLT)
Psalm 33 starts with;
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is beautiful.
Psalm 33:1 (CEB)
The following verses give reasons to praise the Lord. We can trust in Him, for the Word of the Lord is true; we can believe the truth of His Word (verse 4). We can rejoice because God loves righteousness and justice. He is good and wants us to be like him, moral and good. We should rejoice and praise the Lord for His goodness and unfailing love for us (verse 5). As His love fills the earth, let us rejoice and show love to all. ⁂
Our Lord is good, just, true, and righteous. He forgives our sins and loves us. Have you taken time to praise, rejoice and worship Him today?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we rejoice in Your goodness, truth, and justice. We praise You for Your patience and forgiveness of us. We thank You for Your grace, mercy, and your unfailing love for us. Like the sunflowers grow and glow in the sunshine, let us grow in faith and glow with Your Son’s light. Amen
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20But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)
We often try to control and fine-tune our plans to the way we want. Forming plans for the future is wise, but often our plans are limiting; God can direct us to achieve abundantly more than we ever considered. In humility, we need to realize that God is in control and determining our steps. The best way to plan is to commit our way to God, trusting him to direct us. He will guide us on the correct path, the way best for us, in this world, and eternally.
9 We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.
Proverbs 16:9 (MSG) ⁘
When in your life has God changed your plans for the better?
Prayer; Our loving Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your love and patience. Teach us to open our hearts to You and to listen to Your direction. Help us to live in faith and trust You to determine our steps. Like the blossoms of the clematis are open reaching toward the sun, let us be open to Your guidance and reach out to You in faith. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
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3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 (KJV)
Paul didn’t have dazzling delivery or lofty speech for the people of Corinth. Instead, he used the power of God; by speaking healing words of truth as the Holy Spirit directed. The dynamic speech of humans; can be enticing and cajole, but when based on the wisdom of men rather than the power of God, it is limited and falls short.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
1 Chronicles 29:11 ESV
Paul wanted to share his message of faith, highlighting Jesus’ love and salvation for them. He spoke with the power of the Spirit to encourage growth in understanding, faith, and appreciation of the power of God. ⁘
What do you rely on; the enticing speech of the worldly or the wisdom and power of God?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, open our eyes and teach us to be guided by Your wisdom. Help us to grow in faith and listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Like the small trumpet-like flowers of the lilac spread out in all directions, guide us to avoid the diverse directions of the world and follow the true direction, the power of God. In Jesus’ holy and loving name. Amen