Colossians 1:1-14

Father, make me more like Jesus.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, in the way that Paul prayed for the Colossians, I pray for me:

FILL ME WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR WILL (v 9 NIV)

“Through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” guide me into a daily walk with You in which Your will governs my thoughts and actions and words.

HELP ME TO LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF YOU, OF BEING CALLED YOUR CHILD; HELP ME TO PLEASE YOU IN EVERY WAY. (v 10 NIV)

Any worthiness I have comes only from You.  I am a sinner, bankrupt without You and Your grace.  You alone, by the sacrifice of Jesus, have made me worthy.  Only by Your power in me and Your grace toward me, can I please You.

CAUSE ME TO BE FOUND “BEARING FRUIT IN EVERY GOOD WORK” (v 10 NIV)

No matter what condition my heart and life are in, Lord, in some way, keep me “bearing fruit,” i.e. making disciples, leading or pointing others to You somehow.

KEEP ME “GROWING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF YOU” (v 10 NIV)

Let me never stop hungering to know You more.  The more I spend time with You, the better I’ll know You.  The better I know You, the greater I’ll trust You.  The greater I trust You, the more victorious I am in this life, whether good times or tough ones.

STRENGTHEN ME “WITH ALL POWER ACCORDING TO YOUR GLORIOUS MIGHT” (v 11 NIV)

Because You are in me, Your strength is in me as well.  You bring all of who You are into all of who I am in order to shape me into all You desire me to be.

SO THAT I “MAY HAVE GREAT ENDURANCE AND PATIENCE” (v 11 NIV)

It’s Your strength in me that makes it even remotely possible to keep on through the hard days and to wait on You, Lord.  Only by waiting on You–Your timing, Your ways–will I enjoy Your best for me.

“AND JOYFULLY GIVING THANKS TO YOU, FATHER” (v 11-12 NIV)

May gratitude well up within my heart–for even the smallest things about You or from You.  May it spring from within me and burst out of my mouth at every opportunity possible, whether alone with You or with others as witnesses.

YOU HAVE QUALIFIED ME “TO SHARE IN THE INHERITANCE OF THE SAINTS IN THE KINGDOM OF LIGHT” (v 12 NIV)

You’ve set me free from the sin that once bound me and kept me from fellowship with You.  You’ve made me part of Your kingdom, a full citizen with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of one who serves the King of Kings.

YOU HAVE RESCUED ME FROM THE DOMINION OF DARKNESS AND BROUGHT ME INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE SON YOU LOVE, IN WHOM I HAVE REDEMPTION, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. (v 13-14 NIV)

Thank You, Father, for saving me, for rescuing me from sin … for Your forgiveness, mercy, and grace.  Let’s do today–as I walk with You, and You live in me … Cause my life to reflect the work You’re doing in me to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Advertisements

Ephesians 4:4

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

How wonderful You are, Father!  You only are God OF all, OVER all, THROUGH all, and IN all (v 6).  You only could ascend “higher than all the heavens,” in order to “fill the whole universe.”  WOW!  Now THAT’s BIG! … But the really cool thing about this is that You, in Your vastness, have chosen to be concerned with all that concerns me–even in my smallness.  Thanks for being SO interested in me, in every minute detail of my life.

Thanks too for Your grace that Your Son has given out.  Thanks for the gifts You’ve given me by that grace.  May You find me willing, pliable, and useful as a part of Your body, functioning in sync with the rest of Your Body.  Help me to do the part that You wrote for me in the effort to build up Your Body, “until we all REACH UNITY in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and BECOME MATURE, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v. 12-13).

Keep my mind focused on You this day as You make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:1-3

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, these are the things You tell me to be and do as I choose to “live a life worthy of the calling” I have received:

BE COMPLETELY HUMBLE (v 2):

Ah! humility–just when I think I have it, I’m way off.  How easy it is for pride to choke out humility, even in little ways:  like, just happening to mention some little something about myself so another will notice or be impressed.  Lord, teach me what You mean by true humility.  Show me in Your Word the kind of humility that You lived when You were here.  Teach me to keep my mouth shut, to be faithful and to allow You to bring whatever honor or recognition You desire for me.  Make me just like Jesus.  (Philippians 2:5-11)

BE COMPLETELY GENTLE (v 2)

“free from harshness, sternness, or violence; kind, amiable–having a friendly, sociable, disposition; good-natured” says Mr. Webster.  “fair, moderate, forbearing, not insisting on the letter of the law” says Mr. Vines or “sweet reasonableness.”  Lord, this is definitely a trait YOU’ve got to mold into me continually … just like the next two…

BE PATIENT (v 2) &

BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE (v 2)

Every one of these requires me to set my desires aside and entrust each relationship, each situation to Your sovereign will.  You call me to not do what I might feel like doing, but to do what YOU’D like me doing, Lord.

Help me to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (v 3).  Make me a blessing as I go and as You keep transforming me to be just like Jesus.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:1

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, may I “live a life worthy of the calling I have received” from You.  You spoke through Your Son, just before He left this earth, a command to folks like me who choose to follow Him.

You have called me by His words to make disciples as I go (Mt 28:18-20), to be active in directing other toward You.  May I be found doing that, employing whatever gifts and resources You supply to carry out that work, holding it to be of greater importance than any of my own endeavors or desires.

Create in me a heart with a passion that’s just like Jesus.’  Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Father, in this portion of the chapter, Paul lets the Ephesians know what he prays for them. Those things he prayed, I pray for me as well:

STRENGTHEN ME WITH POWER in my inner being, out of Your glorious riches, through Your Spirit.

DWELL IN MY HEART, JESUS, through faith. Not just the come-inside-and-save-me invitation, but a “bring-your-gear/move-in/make-yourself-at-home” kind of invitation. Come, Jesus; have the run of the house of my life.

ROOT AND ESTABLISH ME IN LOVE. Place my feet on this firm foundation. Teach me the basics of loving others and loving You and build upon those. Help me to love like breathing, not even having to think about it, just naturally doing it.

EMPOWER ME TO GRASP THE DIMENSIONS OF YOUR LOVE. It’s so beyond me it seems; but with You helping me to comprehend Your love for me, it’s not beyond me.

HELP ME TO KNOW THAT I KNOW THIS LOVE OF YOURS … a love that will NOT let me go. Take away ANY little hint of doubt and fill me with complete assurance that You love me so much.

FILL ME WITH YOURSELF. May I be wholly devoted to You, clinging to You as You embrace me with all of You.

These thoughts are only a tiny speck in the vastness of all that You are capable of doing in, through, with, and for me. ALL glory to You, my God, Father and King. May Your handiwork in me, as You make me just like Jesus, show forth Your glory, honor and majesty. Amen.

Ephesians 3:1-13

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, thank You for the gospel, or the “good news” of Jesus’ death and resurrection and of the salvation made possible by that once-for-all sacrifice!  Thank You for opening the door for Gentiles (non-Jews) to know You, to touch You, to become Yours.  Thanks for calling Paul to preach to Gentiles like me.  Because I can hear about Jesus, I can know You.  As I grow to know You, I increase my trust in You.

Through the working of Your power, You’ve given me Your grace and have called me Your servant.  By this grace, may I be found using the gifts You’ve given me by Your Spirit and the skills You’ve developed in me to proclaim the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”  Thank You for providing insight through Your Word into Your “intent … through the church” and Your “eternal purpose … accomplished in Christ…”  Thank You especially that “in Him and through faith in Him” I may approach You, my God, with freedom and confidence.

Thank You for the access to Your throne via the doorway opened by Jesus’ death on the cross.  Thank You for the freedom and the thrill to dance in Your presence, to be embraced by Your love and engulfed by the light of Your glory.

Make me a reflection this day of You.  May Your character, Your attitude, Your grace be mirrored by my life as You make me just like Jesus.

Ephesians 2:11-22

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thank You, Father, that I may call You “Father.” Though my heritage is not one that came from the line of people You originally chose to be “Your people,” YOU have made a way for me to be Yours.

Without Your act of mercy, where would I be? You vividly describe my former state: separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship, “foreigner to the covenants of promise, without hope, and without God in the world.” Thank You for not leaving me that way.

“But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace …for through Him we both have access to the Father by one spirit.” (v 13-14)

In Jesus, You opened the door. By His death and resurrection, You invited me to step through that doorway to enjoy fellowship with You! Thank You! Thank You, Daddy!

Thanks for the view through this passage of Your activity in the lives of Your people. Here I can see the steps You took:
(1) DESTROYED THE BARRIER, the dividing wall of hostility, by ABOLISHING in Your flesh THE LAW …” (v 14-15)
(2) CREATED in Yourself ONE NEW MAN OUT OF TWO” — bringing the foreigner like me, together with the chosen ones, and making us both Your people, Your chosen ones. (v 15)
(3) RECONCILED BOTH TO YOU, FATHER, THROUGH THE CROSS, by which Jesus “put to death our hostility.” (v 16)
(4) PROVIDED ACCESS TO YOU, FATHER, through Jesus by one Spirit (v 18) Thank You for the freedom to run to You, leap into Your arms and be held, nestled and loved!
(5) GRANTED CITIZENSHIP WITH YOUR PEOPLE & MEMBERS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD … no longer a foreigner and alien. (v 20)
(6) INCLUDED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR DWELLING PLACE (v 20-22)
“…the apostles and prophets the foundation”
“…Christ Jesus as the cornerstone”
In Jesus, “the whole building is joined together.”
In Jesus, the whole building “rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”
In Jesus, I am being built together with others to become a dwelling in which You live by Your Spirit.

The barrier destroyed, differences melded, hostility reconciled, peace embraced, access supplied, citizenship granted, and me inhabited … all by You, Lord! It ALL goes back to You! You are my everything! Consume me, Father. You are holy — may I be wholly Yours. Make me just like Jesus. Amen.