Camping Through Colossians Day 2
Day 2 with Campers
Pray: “Lord God, as campers return today for their second day with us, help us to meet them right where they are. As we were once far off from you, but you drew near to us, help us to draw near to every boy and girl in attendance. Help us to show them your relentless grace and love. Open their eyes to you—your truth, beauty, and goodness. Father, we are so grateful for the victory we have in you. Help us to walk in it today. Amen.”
Read: Colossians 2:1-15
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Alive in Christ
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spiritsof the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authoritiesand put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Read and Respond:
How does Paul feel about the church at Colossae, at Laodicea, and all the churches who haven’t seen him? What are the things he longs for them (and us) to have and to know? (v 1-5)
Where are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge? (v 3) Therefore, do you have to have all the answers to all the complex questions your campers may ask of you? Where should you keep pointing them? When you pray, ask the Lord to make the campers’ new faith firm (if God so wills!), like the Colossians’ in verse 5, even when you are absent from them in the body.
In this first paragraph, as well as the rest of today’s section, it’s heartening to see Paul’s strong care and concern for the global body of Christ. He longs for the very best for Christians near and far.
On this second day with campers, is there disunity on your team? Are you feeling short-tempered or even ill will towards your co-laborers? If so, confess that now to God (and if necessary to one another), ask Jesus to help you repent and enable you to serve selflessly. Pray (now or when you close this devotion time) for strong unity on your team.
Take a minute to meditate on verses 6 and 7. Think back to when you received the Lord (when you were alienated and hostile in mind, but Jesus reconciled you by the blood of his cross, Colossians 1:21-23). If your time and setting permits, share some of your salvation story with your teammates. Be encouraged and reminded that God is able to save anyone in any setting!
You received Christ Jesus the Lord by grace through faith. Paul instructs you to continue walking by grace through faith. To be rooted, built up, and established in your faith through grace. It was initially grace that saved you and Paul says it will be grace that sustains you.
For what do you need grace today at camp? For what do you need grace back at home? As you reflect on the grace you have been given and the grace you still need, don’t forget to abound in thanksgiving (v 7) because God is a lavish grace-giver!
What are some of the philosophies, deceits, human traditions, and elemental spirits in the cultural context where you are serving? Identifying them may help you pray for and minister to your campers. What about any that you might be bringing along with you?
Depending on where you are serving, the philosophies and deceits around you might seem overwhelmingly strong. It may feel hopeless, from your human perspective, that the gospel cannot penetrate the darkness in your midst.
But remember that:
In him (Christ) ________ _________ ____________ ___ __________ _________ __________ (v 9)
And you have been _______________ ______ ________ who is the ____________ _____ _______ _________ ______ _______________ (v 10).
You were also raised with him (Jesus) through faith in the ____________________ _________________ _____ ________ (v 12).
Do not forget: he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Verses 13 and 14 are cause for celebration. We were once dead, but God has made us alive! Our trespasses are forgiven. The record of our debts and all their legal demands have been nailed to the cross.
In verse 15 what does Paul say that Jesus has already done? What rulers and authorities is Paul talking about? What two things did Jesus do to the rulers and authorities?
The rulers and authorities that Paul is talking about here are demonic. Jesus has already shamed and triumphed over the spiritually dark forces at work in our world, including those at work in your camp and in the lives of your campers. Remember that the work you are doing this week is not just physical, relational, or emotional—it is also spiritual. With Christ in you, you bring victory into your camp.
There are so many all-powerful, eternal reasons to be hopeful at camp today.
Praise God for revealing to you his mystery—namely, Christ himself. Ask him to help you seek all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are available to you in Christ Jesus. Ask him for a firm faith—today at camp, in the midst of a very secular culture, and for all of your days. As you thank him for the grace that saved you, ask for that same grace to sustain you. Pray for saving grace for the campers—that they would not be taken captive by philosophy, empty deceit, human traditions, or elemental spirits of the world. Pray boldly that God would make your campers alive together with Christ!