Father, make me more like Jesus.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Father, You’ve said elsewhere in Your Word through Paul,
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV)
Here in his letter to the Colossians, he actually acts out what You’d led him to write in the letter to the Corinthians. He shares about the various people in his life at that time who’ve been a support and comfort for him, especially while he was in prison. Then, he sends some of the people and greetings from others in order to encourage, strengthen and comfort the portion of Your Church in Colosse. Here’s how Paul related to his friends. He was . . .
AFFIRMING OF THEM
How dear Paul’s friends had become! You had given him an enormous and priceless treasure in each one. The way in which he describes them causes me to reflect on the treasures You’ve revealed through the people You’ve placed in my life over the years: “a dear brother,” “a faithful minister,” “fellow servant in the Lord,” “faithful and dear brother,” “one of you,” “fellow prisoner,” “have proved a comfort to me,” “servant of Christ Jesus,” “always wrestling in prayer for you,” “working hard for you,” and “our dear friend.” Through his words, he was able to be AFFIRMING of them, pointing out to others how You were using their lives to touch another.
THANKFUL FOR THEM
This entire portion of the letter to the Colossians has an aroma of gratitude, as it becomes very evident that Paul is THANKFUL for them. They were “dear” to him, folks he cherished, especially in the gift of knowing them. He considered them “faithful,” or people he knew he could count on. He enjoyed their company as “fellow” whatever, be it “servant,” “prisoners,” or “workers.” Paul knew and expressed how blessed he’d been by the gifts of these friends You’d supplied.
GENEROUS WITH THEM
In addition, when it came to his friends, Paul was GENEROUS with them. He shared them with others in Your kingdom, like the Colossians. He sent them out for purposes like “that you may know about our circumstances” and “that he may encourage Your hearts.” He encouraged the Colossians by letting them know that one of his friends was “always wrestling in prayer for” them–with the aim that they might “stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” (Father, remind me to pray those things for those who are dear to me!)
Father, indeed You have blessed my life with soooooooo MANY people who have been used by You in my life–much in the same ways You used these folks in Paul’s life, and some even more! In my friendship with these people-blessings, may I be AFFIRMING of them, THANKFUL for them and GENEROUS with them.
Thanks for Paul’s example and for the reflection of Your heart in his. Make it so others can see Jesus in me when they look at me too. Amen.