Did you ever get a note of encouragement, pat on the back or some type of guidance from someone you respect? Did it make you feel energized? It can be very motivating when someone does that for you. When I was in college, I was in a group of girls that encouraged the baseball team. We took score, ran errands, shagged balls, made or bought snacks, and sent them anonymous notes and treat bags for team road trips. Why did we do this? In the beginning, it was because we were friends with cute guys on the team honestly, but in the end, we kept doing it because it was fun to give! It became habit for us to keep them motivated with prayer and encouragement. We became invested in them. We wanted them to succeed. God changed our hearts.
In Colossians, I am overwhelmed by Paul’s encouragement to the church at Colossae. I had no clue where Colossae was so I looked it up. It was in the area that is now southwest Turkey. That means whatever Paul told the Colossians had to travel about a thousand miles to get to them! That’s about the same as the distance from Roanoke, Virginia to northern Maine. Doesn’t it show you Paul’s heart for them? He was on mission, meaning this was not about him doing a good thing; He was invested in their lives and spiritual progress! I love verses 9-13 of the first chapter, Paul tells them how much he cares by letting them know he is praying for them to mature as Christians Here is part of Paul and Timothy’s letter:
We have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9b-12
It crossed my mind that someone who knows and loves me may have prayed a prayer like this for me. What a gift for someone to do for another! This is a prayer that will remind me…It is NOT about me but what Jesus’ love in me wants for others. Paul knows this and pours his heart out to the Colossians. Something I noticed that is cool…all the “fruit” that was in there. Paul is describing what their faith’s fruit should look like…being filled, living worthy, pleasing Him, growing…these are all action-words or verbs. Things happen when you fully live in Jesus Christ! This letter has no doubt encouraged followers for years and set a great example for us to continue what he started. Can I tell you a little secret?…Everyone needs encouragement. Everyone!
Thank You for being our biggest encourager. Remind us to cheer on others, because we all need it. Like Paul, we ask that You hear our prayers to be closer to You but also to help others in their walk. You are so faithful. Thank you for using Paul to further Your kingdom and to set a good example for us. We can see, in his writing, that he loves You so much! We love You too!
Pick three people to encourage by text, Facebook message, letter or email. Let them know you are praying for them. I promise you both will be encouraged!
As always, love and prayers to you,