Colossians 1:3-14
"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you." Colossians 1:3

Paul begins almost every letter expressing this sentiment. (Romans 1:8-10, 1 Corinthians 1:4-6, Ephesians 1:16, Phil 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:2) Paul is thankful for the church at Colossae, even though we have no record of him visiting the city. The letter addressed to them in verse 2 is the only mention of the town in the NT.

Paul begins by proclaiming his thanks and prayers for these saints, even though he has never met most of them. He expresses his thankfulness that God had shown His love for this group by giving them the gift of faith when they heard the word of truth. He is also thankful for the manner in which they exhibit their love and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul prays for them because they are doing well in their walk of faith. I must confess at times I neglect to pray for those who are faithfully walking with the Lord. My prayers tend to focus on those who are struggling. I shouldn't overlook those doing well because they are probably facing stiff resistance in their efforts to please God.

Paul prays without ceasing for these faithful saints. His specific request is for them to be filled with the knowledge of God's will. It is not a prayer to know God and the things of God, but uniquely for the understanding of God's will to be the controlling factor in their lives. When that is true of believers, we fulfill verse ten of chapter 1. When His will dominates our thoughts and actions we "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work."

Were you ever told, "You know better than that!" My parents had plenty of opportunities to say that to me. As a disciple of Jesus Christ have you ever heard that correction from another believer or the Holy Spirit?

Since the Father has qualified us to be heirs of His, and joint heirs with Jesus by delivering us into the kingdom of His Beloved Son, why would we behave in ways in which we "know better than that?" When that is the case, we have the knowledge of God's will, but that knowledge is not the controlling factor in our decision.

God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I unite my voice with Paul's. Please fill Your children with the knowledge of Your will. May Your will be the dominant consideration in the way we choose to live our lives. Forgive us for living in a manner unworthy of our Lord Jesus. Please strengthen us to live faithfully in a dark, twisted and adulterous generation as citizens of Your kingdom, as salt and light.

Psalm 98:9
"He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity."

Reading that sentence this morning I thought, of course, He will judge the world with righteousness and equity because the foundation of His throne is righteousness and justice. The beginning of our reading in Psalm 97:1-2 says the earth is to rejoice because the LORD reigns and judges from a throne founded on righteousness and justice.

When considering God judging based on what is right and just, I am forced to quickly admit my need for Jesus as Savior. If I were to receive justice apart from Him, I would be doomed.

My Lord and Savior, thank You for accepting the doom I justly deserve. Father God, the Good News of Your Son, is the only option in which I can stand before Your throne uncondemned.