Thursday, July 27

Colossians 1:9-14 (ESV)

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 thanks[a] to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to 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.


Reflection

About three-and-a-half years ago now, when I started working on my

doctorate degree, a very wise disciple in the congregation who earned

his doctorate degree decades ago, gave me some extremely helpful

advice. He said to me, “Remember, the key to completing your

doctorate degree is not intelligence. It is endurance.” Now I’m not quite

sure what this individual was trying to say about my intelligence, but I

have found his advice about endurance to be most helpful. There have

been many times over the course of these past several years when I

have felt like giving up. It has, indeed, been a battle of endurance, but

now that the end is in sight, I am most thankful for this disciple’s

encouraging words.

Paul, too, in today’s reading from Colossians encourages his fellow

Christians to be prepared to endure everything with patience. Paul

knew firsthand that the life of following Jesus was not easy. He knew

firsthand how demanding it could be to remain faithful even in the face

of hardship and persecution. He knew firsthand what it meant to suffer

on account of his discipleship to Jesus. He knew that the key to the

Christian life was not success, but rather endurance.

There are many things along the journey of faith that tempt us to give

up. Illness takes a loved one from us all too soon. Friends and family

members may not make their faith as high a priority as we do. The

complexity of our children’s schedules causes us to grow lax in

worship. The endless problems facing our world leave us feeling

helpless. We may begin asking ourselves, “What’s the point?” The

point is that when we were baptized God reached down and claimed us

as his very own daughters and sons, marking us with the cross of Christ.

That cross calls us to endure. That cross calls us to persevere. That

cross calls us out of death and into the new life that Jesus brings.

Endure in your faith. In Jesus, the finish line is in sight!


Prayer

God of Faithfulness, the journey of discipleship can at times

seem long and hard. Help us to endure even throughout all the

challenges and trials that come our way. Keep our eyes firmly

focused on the finish line of eternal life with you. In Jesus’

name, Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Greg Busboom

Lead Pastor

pbusboom@stjohns-springfield.org