Bible Reading: Colossians 1:9-14
“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, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him; bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10)
What is Paul and Timothy’s deepest prayer for the church in Colossians? Their prayer is that everyone in the church might grow in knowing God’s will and living out God’s will, that their lives would be pleasing offerings to God for His glory.
God’s end goal for His universal church is that they would be sanctified, shaped, processed and ultimately prepared for the day where she would be wedded to Christ in Holiness, without any blemish (see Ephesians 5:22-33 for more). God’s end goal for us as a church is that day by day, we would be weaned from the desires of our flesh and renewed with hearts that love God, love holiness, and lives that please God our King.
And so, to this end, Paul and Timothy prayed; that God’s will for His church would be accomplished in Colossae. They prayed with a grand vision that God’s people would “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him”. On this point, Paul and Timothy elaborate. What does this renewed life in Christ look like?
Lives that please God are lives that “bear fruit in every good work” and “increase in the knowledge of God”. What do these mean?
Jesus talks about abiding in Him and bearing fruit in John 15. In the context, bearing fruit is loving one another (remember about the love Jesus talks about in John 15, see God’s Pathway to Joy (2)). Yet, fruit also talks about bringing souls to Christ. In summary, “bearing fruit in every good work” means in all that we do, we serve God by witnessing His love and proclaiming the Truth to all those around us.
Pleasing God also involves getting to know God. The word “knowledge” used here stems from the Greek word “ginosko”, meaning knowledge gained through firsthand relationships. It is not theoretical head knowledge, it is an experiential “get to know someone” knowledge. The more we come closer to God in an intimate relationship with Him through His Word, the more we can behold His glory. The more we get to know Him, the more we will realise His majesty. To such an end, God made us, that we would know Him and glorify Him for who He is.
Imagine now, our church bustling with people young and old, who bore fruit in everything they did. Imagine a church filled with people who were continually in awe of God, always praising God with new songs in their hearts and fresh praises at all moments. What a joy-filled community it will be!
Such beautiful visions are not only utopian dreams. They are God’s grand design for His church and His people. In heaven, it will reach its perfection. Yet, here on earth, God is working to show glimpses of what it will be like. Day by day, He refines His church that she may continue in His likeness.
Because it was God’s will, Paul and Timothy prayed without ceasing. So too, we must pray for our church. It is God’s will that, in the midst of this world, our church may be a heavenly community where Christ is the King. It is God’s will that in His Church, His name would be known, His kingdom reign, and His name be glorified.
Therefore, pray earnestly, “without ceasing”. I.e. make the main priority in your life, to pray for your church. God’s church includes ourselves, our family, our local church with our friends, fellow brothers and sisters and ministers, and also all Christians wherever they are.
Apart from God, we are nothing. Yet, we can hold firm that God will accomplish His plan. So, let us pray in confidence because Christ will “present the church to himself as glorious - not having stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27 NET).
Lord, You will that Your church grows to be people that glorify You, bearing fruit and learning to know You. I pray that You will work in our church today. Give us all a revival in our faith. Do not forsake us but have mercy on us. Forgive us because we are sinful and undeserving of Your love. However, in Your faithfulness, may You continue to work Your grand plan for Your church. May we see it and be able to glorify You for it. In Jesus’ name, amen.