344 - Steps to Freedom in Christ

April 24, 2016
In closing his letter to the church at Colossae, Paul said the following to one of his "fellow laborers" in the faith, a man named Archippus. 

Colossians 4:17 - And say to (who) Archippus, "Take heed (or, consider, discern, to see with the eye, to watch carefully) to the ministry (or, service) which you have received (how) in the Lord, (why) that you may fulfill (or, to render full, to complete, to bring to effect) it."

Archippus probably struggled, much like Timothy, with insecurity, timidity, and a lack of boldness. Paul reminded him that his ministry was from the Lord and his calling and purpose in life was to fulfill what God had created him to do.  And nothing more.

Do you ever struggle with the same thing?  Do you ever wonder why you have such a hard time getting beyond your past and present failures?  Do you sometimes feel God had a plan for your life but now, because of your disobedience, He has passed on by never wanting to use you again?  If it was possible to move beyond that crippling thought, would you be interested in finding out how?

If so, then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 4:16-18.

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343 - The Spiritual Hat Trick: Mark, Luke and Demas

April 11, 2016
In the closing verses of Colossians we are introduced to a list of names, a list of those beloved and commended by Paul.  And in the midst of those names we find Mark, Luke, and a guy named Demas.  We can basically summarize their lives this way:

Mark - started out weak but finished strong.
Luke - was always growing in his commitment to Christ and others.
Demas - started out strong and finished... horrible!

And if you have ears to hear, you can find your spiritual life embedded in the lives of these three men.  

Are you interested?  Maybe intrigued?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 4:7-18  and 2 Timothy 4:9-11.

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342 - Understanding the Times in Which We Live

April 4, 2016
Twice in the Proverbs we find the following warning:

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished - Proverbs 22:3.

And again,

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished - Proverbs 27:12.

But what does this mean?  And does this warning still apply to us today?  Absolutely— and even more so than when it was written so many thousands of years ago.  In fact, it's a vital warning to the church today.

Want to know more? Then keep listening.

The following is a study on 2 Timothy 4:1-4.

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341 - The Resurrection Story in Philemon

March 27, 2016
There is a passage in the letter to Philemon that sums up the entire Easter, or Resurrection Day message.  It tells the timeless story of Christ in a letter from Paul (representing Christ), sent to Philemon (representing God the Father) who was the one wronged, about Onesimus (representing you and me) the guilty, runaway slave, that Paul calls his son in the faith,"that is, my own heart" (Philemon 10).  

If then you count me as a partner (or, companion, partaker, comrade, one who shares in everything), (then) receive him (how) as you would me.  But if he has wronged you (or, hurt, damaged, injured, to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin against) or (what) owes anything, (then) put that (or, reckon) on my account - Philemon 17-18.

What a wonderful Resurrection story found in Philemon.  Do you want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 4:7-9 and the letter to Philemon.

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340 - A Man Abandoned to God

March 22, 2016

In our church culture the mantra is bigger is better.  Bigger churches, bigger congregations, bigger likes on Facebook, bigger budgets, bigger, bigger, bigger.  But there are some in the Kingdom of God who are faithful with small, but vital things.  These are the saints that labor behind the limelight, in the shadows, as unsung heroes, doing what a faithful servant does.


And one of those great saints is a man named Tychicus.

We find his name mentioned in only five places in the New Testament.  But oh, what we can learn from this great man of God.

The following is a study on Colossians 4:7-9.

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339 - Being Vigilant in Prayer

March 15, 2016
One of the most convicting statements about prayer is found in the last chapter of Colossians.  Here the Lord, in Colossians 4:2, says:

Continue (or, to persevere and not faint, to endure, to wait or tarry, to be in constant readiness) earnestly (or, to adhere to one, to be devoted to one, to be steadfastly attentive) in prayer, (how) being vigilant (or, to arise, arouse, to watch, to refrain from sleep, to remain fully awake) in it (in prayer) with thanksgiving (or, thankfulness, gratefulness, profound gratitude).

Which raises a few questions:

How is your prayer life?  Do you continue earnestly in prayer?  Are you devoted to prayer?  Vigilant in prayer?  Does your prayer life show you are "redeeming the time" given you by the Lord?  Or does it show just the opposite?  And, if so, what are you prepared to do about it?

Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 4:2-6.

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338 - Take this Job and Love It!

March 6, 2016
In Colossians 3 we find the hands-on practical teaching of Paul that hits us right where it hurts: in our job, our profession, and in our sense of value and self-worth.  No area of our life is more open to hurt and confusion for a man that what he does for a living.  In fact, most men identify themselves by their jobs and not by their families or heritage or faith.

Colossians 3:22 reads:

Bondservants (doulos – a slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other), obey (or, to listen, to be obedient, to submit, to conform) in (what) all things (who) your masters (defined as) according to the flesh, (in what way) not with eyeservice (or, service performed only under the master’s eyes, for appearance sake), as men-pleasers, but in sincerity (or, singleness, faithfulness, purity) of heart, fearing (or, being terrified or frightened) God.

Intrigued?  Want to find out more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 3:22-4:1.

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336 - Tough Words to Fathers and Children

February 10, 2016
In Colossians 3 the Lord confronts us with a checklist that deals with the proper attitudes we are to have in our most cherished relationships:  wife to husband and husband to wife, children to parents and fathers to children, and employers to employees and employees to their employers.

In this lesson we're going to look at some of the tough words the Lord has to say to both fathers and their children about their relationship both to Him and to each other. 

Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. - Col. 3:20-21

To find out more, just keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 3:20-21.

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334 - Put On, Put Off, and Put to Death

January 25, 2016
In Colossians 3 we see the commands to put off, put on, and put to death various aspects of our life.  Consider the following:

put to death your members” – 3:5
“you yourself are to put off all these” – 3:8
put off the old man with his deeds” – 3:9
put on the new man who is renewed” – 3:10
put on tender mercies” – 3:12
“above all these things put on love” – 3:14

You would do well to carefully examine what about you is to be put to death (or, to mortify, kill, make dead, to deprive of force and vigor, to render powerless, impotent) and what we are to put on (or, to sink into, to clothe oneself, to be enveloped) and to put off (or, renounce, throw off, lay aside or down, to cast away).

Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 3:12-17.

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333 - Are You Chosen, Holy and Beloved?

January 24, 2016
There are three words that Paul uses to describe each of us: elect (or, chosen), holy and beloved. He uses these descriptive words in the first part of Colossians 3:12.

Therefore (based on the previous verses), as the elect (or, chosen, picked out, one selected) of God (or, by God), (defined as) holy (hagios – set apart, sanctified, consecrated, a saint, a most holy thing, its fundamental idea is separation and devotion to the service of God, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement) and beloved (agapao – to be dearly loved, esteemed, to delight in).

Does this describe you? Do you see yourself as chosen by God, holy in His sight, and beloved above all? I sure hope so. But if not, then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 3:12.

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