Camping Through Colossians Day 0
Author’s Note: Please see the introduction to this Camp Devotion here. Join me everyday this week as we make our way through Colossians. Additionally, subscribe to my mailing list if you’d like to receive all 7 days wrapped up into one PDF at the end of the week.
Day 0 (In preparation for camp to start tomorrow)
The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church at Colossae when he was in prison in Rome, probably in AD 62. He was motivated to write to the new Christians there to remind them of the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ, in hopes of helping them combat temptations to conform to worldly standards, goals, and behavior. Paul wrote this letter to remind the Colossians of the truth, beauty, and goodness of Jesus.
In this letter, it’s as if Paul is saying, don’t go back to your worldly ways! Don’t be tempted to conform to your cultural context and friends and neighbors. Remember King Jesus and keep following him!
Colossians, perhaps more than any other book of the Bible, puts Jesus on display. As we go through this week of ministry, we will be reminded daily in this book of Christ’s lordship over all things—creation, your life, this camp, the campers’ lives, every well-executed plan, and every surprising mistake. Jesus reigns over all! The theme of this week will be to have your eyes and hearts fixed on him.
Pray: “Father God, as we prepare for a very full week of ministry we first confess that we need you. You give life and breath and everything else. So we’re asking you to provide all that we need for this camp. Lord, prepare our hearts to receive your grace and energy and love. Help us to give out those very things to the campers. May we abide in you this week. Help us now to quiet our hearts and to hear from you through your Word. Open our eyes to see whatever it is you have for us. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”
Read: Colossians 1:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothersin Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on yourbehalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanksto the Father, who has qualified youto share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered 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.
Read and Respond:
By whose will is Paul an apostle? (v 1)
From where do grace and peace come? (v 2)
How did the church at Colossae hear the gospel? Where has the gospel gone at this point in history? (v 5-7)
What is the state of the gospel in your current context? Do the campers know yet about Jesus’s love? How did you personally learn of God’s grace? Note that someone was Epaphras to you and you, if God allows, will now be someone’s Epaphras this week. You and your camp are God’s means for bringing the word of truth into your context and throughout the world.
In verses 9-12 Paul describes how he and Timothy and others have been praying for the new church at Colossae. For what do they ask the Lord in verse 9 and what does it lead to in verse 10a?
True knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of the scriptures, of God’s character, and of God’s work leads to transformation. Indeed, you are at camp this week laying down your own life on behalf of the campers because you have received spiritual wisdom and understanding and you are now walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. Be encouraged that your role in camp is pleasing to the Lord!
Following the colon in verse 10, what are the specific ways Paul lists, which are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him?
bearing _______ in ________ ________ _________
increasing ___ ______ ____________ _______
being ______________ ______ _____ _______ according to his glorious might
for all ______________ ____ ____________ ______ _______
giving thanksto the Father, who has qualified youto share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Whose might strengthened the Colossians and, in turn, strengthens you? (v 11)
Who qualified the Colossians and, in turn, qualifies you? (v 12)
You can rest and rejoice this week because the good work that you will do, the endurance, patience, and joy that you will need, will be given to you by your Father. He has already qualified you to be right where you are. If you are nervous, rest knowing that the Father has equipped you, called you, and will strengthen you. If you are approaching this week with confidence in your own power and strength, repent and remember that it is the Father alone and his glorious might that gives you what you need for the week ahead.
Close with a celebration of verses 13 and 14. We have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of the beloved Son! In him we have redemption and forgiveness. This is amazing grace. What joy!
Worship the Lord through prayer, thanking him for saving you, strengthening you, qualifying you, and bringing you into the kingdom of his beloved Son. Acknowledging that he has saved you, and that his word of truth is going out into all the world (right into your city and your camp!) ask the Lord to make himself known to the campers this week. Pray that he would use your life, lived in a manner worthy of him, to shine a bright light, by his strength, and for his glory.