Devotionals
  
(All scripture is in King James version) 
 
Circumcised, buried and made alive! 
Paul tells us we have been circumcised, buried and made alive in Christ! 
Col 2:11 "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"
 
Circumcision means to be "cut off" from the world of sin and to be owned and dedicated to the Lord! You are HIS possession and HIS child! NOTICE ALL this is NOT physically but SPIRITUALLY!!!! It is by CHRIST works and not ours therefore it is an eternal as well as internal thing that has been done.
 
We are buried with him in baptism meaning by identification. NOTICE NO WATER!!! Baptism means to be immersed in by identifying. It does not always mean water in fact there are lots of different baptisms in the bible such as fire, death and spirit!
 
We are then risen and quickened which means made alive by Christ. We are not dead spiritually but alive. We are no longer dead, rotten sinners but we are LIVING, SPIRITUAL SAINTS IN CHRIST!!!! 
 
And because we are cut off spiritually from the sinful world and because we have been buried and are alive in Him and belong to Him, we also have ALL OUR SINS FORGIVEN!!! SHOUT AMEN SAINTS!!! AND GIVE GOD THE GLORY TODAY!!!

COMPLETE IN JESUS! 
Years ago, when working at a different ministry, we had the privilege of counseling a person who was high up in the psychological field. They had no answers for their issue, and they were desperate for answers. This was because they had a philosophy that was after man and not after Christ. Christ is the answer to all issues especially eternal life itself! 
Col 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"
 
The traditions of men will not bring life. Following the law, ordinances and principles without Christ just brings more rebellion. Now when Paul talks about the traditions of men here, he is not just talking of worldly traditions but also church or religious traditions and ordinances. This whole chapter in Colossians 2 teaches us about what is important today for the Body of Christ and it isn't in ordinances but Christ, for you see we are complete in Him!
 
In Jesus dwells the complete, full Godhead in bodily form. There is nothing more that we need to do for Jesus has fulfilled it all in Himself. We are made whole, holy and blameless in Spirit. We are IN CHRIST and HE is in us! We cannot get more spirit or a better spirit in us for He is complete in Us. Our spirit is full, whole and complete in Him. 
 
You are Complete in Christ so Stop trying to work harder and do more works of the law and just be content in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

ROOTED AND BUILT UP IN CHRIST!!! 
As we have received Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are then to walk in Him.  
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
 
Walking in Him means that our soul which is our mind, will and emotions, is doing the walking. Just as our Spirit is saved sealed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, our soul has to think and do something! It can think of sinful thoughts or righteous ones. So, walking means that we think about Him and put Him on by renewing our minds. Renewing is the daily process we must all do. No one gets away with not doing this as a believer. 
 
As we renew our minds and walk in Christ we will grow and become rooted in Him. Rooted means to grow deeper like roots of a tree.  The more water and nourishment the deeper and stronger they become.
 
We are to be built up which means just like a person who works out gets stronger by lifting heavier weights, so we too get stronger in Christ. Our mind becomes set and forms in Christ. Our minds get freer and freer and less about ourselves and more on Christ and others. 
 
As we renew our minds and grow and become rooted and built up in Christ, we become established in the faith, and we become Thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ! If you're not thankful then perhaps you're not built up in Him! Get built up, rooted and stronger by reading, studying and walking by faith!  

Absent in the flesh yet with you in the spirit! 
Paul describes his great love for the churches by saying even though I am not with you physically I am spiritually. 
Col 2:1 "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ."
 
He always wanted the church to be united in love and to understand the great riches of being in Christ. You know that is what we should all want for each other. We should desire that understanding of the mystery of God and Christ. We should desire to love one another and to share time with one another.
 
Unfortunately, most Christians are so weak and immature that any criticism, counsel or help comes with defensiveness and rejection. We should want to be mature enough to receive from others and that takes time and willingness. As I always say the greatest character change in the believer should be humbleness and the willingness to receive from others as well as give to others. Without humbleness there is pride and with pride comes independence and with independence comes defensiveness!
 
Paul is encouraged by this church's steadfastness of faith in Christ, and this is what we should desire for all churches and saints. A humble, persevering church that desires the Word of God and a relationship with Christ! 
 
As you go through this week think about your desire for God, Christ, the Word and for others. Think about if you can receive counsel from others and if you are truly humble! Be honest with yourself and then pray about it and see if there are areas in your life that need to change.
in the love of Christ, 
 
 
 

The Mystery Message! 
We are in the mystery dispensation. The dispensing of God's will for today was not known and not prophesied. No one knew of this new dispensation that gentiles would be offered salvation without Israel, law or works! 
Col 1:25 "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."
 
God would make known the riches of His Glory to gentiles is amazing!!! That we could be saved by faith without works of the law and that Christ would live in us is unbelievable! 
 
Paul then says that we should preach Christ, warn all and teach with the wisdom that edifies so that every man may be mature in Christ! This is our ministry today. This is our purpose today! 
 
Preach The Mystery Message, that grace message, that message that saves, builds and frees....
CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY! 

Be grounded and settled in the faith! 
Paul states that the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven, which means all mankind now knows and may be saved! 
Col 1:23 "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:"
 
He also says that we need to stay grounded and settled in faith meaning we should understand the Word and growing in faith daily! Studying the word should be your #1 priority in life. It should even come before your family yet when you study the Word you will find that your family benefits even more then if you had made them the priority. 
 
Paul says he rejoiced in his sufferings for Christ for the church's sake! The church is Christ Body, and it is a living organism not a building or institute of some kind. It is alive without boundaries! The Body is not bound by laws, ordinances, nations or government. It lives in communist countries as well as free, IT IS ALIVE JUST AS CHRIST IS ALIVE! 
 
So be grounded and settled in the faith by reading and studying the word "rightly divided" daily. 

Reconciled, holy and unblameable in HIS sight!!! 
We have been declared reconciled, holy and blameless in God's sight through Christ!!! 
Col 1:19 "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"
 
Christ has done the work, and He is the fulness of all things, meaning through Christ salvation, eternal life and wholeness is found in Him. It means that the heavens and the world are now able to be reconciled and purified through Him. It means that there is no more searching or understanding needed to be done but is if finished, complete and righteous in Him!
 
There is peace between God and man, and Christ will present you before the Father holy and blameless! When you stand before God you don't have to be afraid or fear punishment, so just be thankful and grateful and at rest in our Lord Jesus!  

JESUS!!! 
Jesus is the exact image of God the Father!  
Col 1:15 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by 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 might have the preeminence."
 
Everything was created by Jesus and made to worship Him. Jesus is the creator and Jesus is the word and the one who spoke things into existence. Jesus is above all authority and Jesus is the head of the church, which is His Body! Jesus is the one who has the preeminence which means the place above all others.  
 
JESUS, JESUS, JESUS!!!! JESUS IS ABOVE ALL! GIVE JESUS PRAISE TODAY! 

Delivered from darkness, death and into Christ Kingdom! 
Paul says that God the Father has delivered us from darkness which is death and placed us in light which is life! That light and life is found in "the kingdom of his dear Son", Jesus! This is why we can say we are "IN CHRIST"!!!
Col 1:12 "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"
 
We have been redeemed which means ransomed through His blood. That means Christ death and blood paid for our sins thus making it possible to be completely forgiven by faith! We are now reconciled to God and God is not angry with us and no need to punish us. 
 
I think we often focus so much on sin that when we sin, we feel horrible. We feel so ashamed and guilty and fear we deserve punishment. What we need to understand is that God simply wants us to walk by faith and to come running back to Him. He wants us to be focused on Him and not on being "good enough" or not sinning but relating to Him! He wants us to be intimate with Him, by being transparent and vulnerable with Him. He wants us to receive from Him instead of trying to get His approval by working harder.
 
You are redeemed, reconciled and in Christ so run, rest and receive from God by faith!  

Paul's desire for all of us!
Paul's great desire for the church!
1. To be filled with the knowledge of will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding! We get this from studying the word and allowing it to help us understand, discern and grow in Christ. 
Col 1:9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
 
2. The we would Walk Worthy and be fruitful in "good works", which means being faithful in all we do, while increasing in the knowledge of God. 
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
3. That we be Strengthen with all might in His power, which means to allow Christ to work through us! That the Word of God would makes us more and more confident and secure in our relationshipwith Him and that we would be patient, longsuffering and joyful in Him. 
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
 
4.And always THANKFUL!!! Thankful that we belong to God and have eternal life and have the Holy Spirit within us! That we have a heavenly inheritance and a righteous inheritance with all the truly great genuine and faithful saints in Christ! 
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"
Be thankful, confident and always Walk by faith! 

Colossians 
Love in the Spirit! 
As we start this new book, we see Paul give his normal greetings. He starts every book with Grace and Peace. One is Greek the other Hebrew and also who this book is addressed to. To the saints, that is the saved holy ones and faithful brethren in Colosse. This is something every church should desire to be called, "faithful brethren"!
Col 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Paul has prayed for them and is proud of their faith and love for all the saints. That does not just mean in Colosse either, as they loved all the saints everywhere. 
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
 
He tells them of their hope in Heaven and that will be with the Lord someday, and that the gospel message of being in Christ brings fruit that is called "good works".  
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit."
 
These good works are a byproduct of being in Christ and walking by the Spirit. We too have that same Spirit within us, and we too have good works to share the gospel, the cross and the love of Christ! Remember you are not here to just receive but to also give. You are saved that so others may be saved also! Reach out and share the gospel message and teach all that you know with others.

You can do all things through Christ which strengthens! 
Verse 13 gets thrown around a lot in Christendom. "13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Often it is used wrongfully to say something like "I can become President if I wanted through Christ" or "I will be the greatest basketball player of all time" type stuff, but that is NOT what Paul was getting at!  
Phil 4:12 "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 
Paul was saying through Christ "I HAVE EVERYTHING" and regardless of suffering or abounding, Christ is enough.
 
The Philippian church also helped financially support Paul. The word communicate means to partner with and be in fellowship with. They gave financially and prayed for Him in order for his ministry as well as for the gospel to spread.  
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
 
Giving and recieving are God's econmy plan and there are 4 things we should give financially too as believers. 1. widows in need, 2. orphans, 3. the poor in need and 4. the ministry and spreading of the gospel! We should Not give to build some huge building or funding for some lavish lifestyle. Just like a personal mortgage and not going beyond our means so should the church be responsible. This is why I like and support home churches or someplace rent free or at the least something cheap to rent. I once had a fellowship in an airplane hangar rent free, so it doesn't need to be fancy.
 
Now one more thing we can do with our "free will" offering if desired to do is to help and bless others. Like someone who has a birthday and wants to gift them something they have on their heart to do but couldn't afford. We once gave a girl a birthday present that she wanted to do for years but couldn't afford. She always wanted to jump out of an airplane and parachute down. She loved it and it was a pleasure to do. Another way might be if someone needs a car, or bike or something these are things the Body of Christ also.  
 
By the way Paul says it wasn't that he couldn't work if he had to but the gift from the Philippian church helped him to do more ministry AND it blessed them even more, for it was a great sacrifice for them to give and well pleasing to God! 

BE FULL AND BE HUNGRY! 
Paul tells the church that he has been full, meaning having everything he needs or hungry, meaning without everything he needs. 
Phil 4:10 "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
 
We too need to have the attitude of not holding on too tight to the things of this world. I have seen over and over in couples who for 1. live way above their means. and 2. they can't handle having nothing, while some have nothing and quite content. 
 
Sadly, to many believers want wealth and health above Christ. I have seen some believers divorce over their monetary problems. Trying to control life will not help the situation in fact trying to control everything will get you in worse trouble as well as it is sin!
 
Don't lust for more and when you are mad, upset, frustrated or fearful just remember that this is your flesh crying out. Turn to God and admit your heart and then walk by faith. Whether full or hungry, be content in Christ alone and you will have peace regardless of your circumstances.