Today’s Scripture: Colossians 1:1-5
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
2 We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.
May God our Father give you grace and peace.
3 We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.
Today we are starting to use Colossians as our daily devotional focus. We start with the first five verses of chapter one.
When Paul and Timothy begin this letter to the Colossians, they first want to remind their listeners that they pray for them and give thanks to God for them. Why the thanksgiving? Because of their “faith in Christ Jesus” AND “love for all God’s people”.
I’m not sure about you – but I have a hard time with the second part of Paul’s reason for thanksgiving. Namely, I’m not sure how much love I have for all God’s people. Let’s be honest, there are some people that are just hard to love. And there are some Christians that are even HARDER to love! And yet Paul is encouraging us to love all God’s people – even when it’s hard.
How are we supposed to do that?
Notice in the very next verse (vs. 5) Paul says the Colossians love for all God’s people comes from their “confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven.” You see one of the reasons we find it hard to love others is because there is a part of us that thinks that doing so might take away something from us.
It’s like we think God’s love is finite and limited and that somehow if we love everyone, welcome everyone, care for everyone, then that makes God’s love of us less special. We think the more people we let into the circle the less unique we are. And maybe, just maybe, that means less love for us.
But the Colossians don’t feel that way because they have “confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven.” This hope allows them to reach out in love and in welcome and in hospitality because they KNOW that what God has reserved for them is the same no matter what. They don’t have a fear of scarcity. They share a hope of abundance.
This week find ways to live out of the hope we have in the resurrected Christ. May this hope lead to more love for all God’s people.
God thank you that your love is infinite and never-ending. Help us to live our lives out of the abundance of your love.