July 22, 2021
Tennessee Valley District
Healthy…Inside & Out
Colossians 1:9-14 (NRSV)
9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s[a] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled[b] you[c] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
DevotionSome people say I’m a little obsessed with being healthy. At 52, I do whatever I can to stay fit – exercising daily, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of rest, and drinking lots of water. These things help me keep my God-given body in good condition. But what about my spiritual health? How do I stay in good spiritual shape? Perhaps that’s even more important when it comes to the life of a Christian.
The Apostle Paul wanted to make sure the congregation in Colossae grew strong and healthy. In our scripture for today, he prays for them and shows us the keys to being spiritually healthy inside and out. First, we must be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. We need to know God’s hopes and dreams for us, for our families, for our congregations, for the world, and for the Church. We can’t assume we know what God wants. We need to ask him and then listen for his answer.
In addition, we must read the Scriptures. When I was little, I was told the Bible was God’s “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” How true! No one knows instinctively all the teachings of God. We must ask him to teach us through reading the Scriptures. Knowing the Word gives us essential building blocks of spiritual health, as we come to know the motivations of God’s heart. Of course, knowledge is only half of the prescription for spiritual wellbeing.
Paul desires that the Colossians have wisdom as well. This is the ability to use knowledge in an effective manner. Growing in your understanding of God isn’t just an intellectual exercise, rather it is the means with which we cultivate a deep spiritual wisdom that transforms lives. In Ephesians 5:15 we read, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” God leads us through this journey of faith by the road of spiritual wisdom, born out of a knowledge and understanding of him.
Notice what Paul writes in verse 10. He hopes the Colossians will be filled with knowledge and wisdom, “so that [they] may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as [they] bear fruit in every good work and as [they] grow in the knowledge of God.” Paul prays that they not only be filled with knowledge, but they are able to put it into practice. May we experience the same knowledge and wisdom as we discern the most God-centered way of approaching each and every situation.