Tag Archive for I Thank the Lord for You

Holy and Faithful

To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ. (Colossians 1:2, NIV)

It’s easy to get distracted by the human side of the church and its people. We sometimes grow impatient with each other’s weaknesses and immaturities.

But notice Paul’s letters. The Christians in his day were surely as flawed and human as today. But he gives a different view of them. He always writes with such joy and deep affection for them.

Just read the openings to the letters. My favorite is the Colossians 1:2, To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ.

I wonder: if I had known those people, would I have described them this way?

As I think of those around me, do I focus on their human failings and limitations, or do I appreciate them for the persons they are becoming in Christ?

Even now, in their imperfections, our holy and faithful brothers and sisters strengthen us in ways we take for granted. Their testimonies, their struggles, their failures and victories—even their mere presence with us—bolster our faith and keep pointing us week by week toward Christ. Through their lives, we see God in action.

Remember that those around us are destined to become kings and priests and honored children of God. If you want an exciting thought, picture your Christian friends as fulfilled in Christ. Imagine them without their fears, insecurities, emotional scars, and human weaknesses. See them as having become all God’s love designed them to be and all His transforming power is able to make them. Rather moving, isn’t it? This will soon be reality. We have God’s Word on it.

Value your brothers and sisters now. Bear with them now. Encourage them, lift them up, forgive, and be patient with them. Love them the way Christ loves you.

Father, if we would look
beyond and through
all the people who have blessed our lives,
we would see You.
Every good gift comes from You.
Thank You, Father!

Hymn: I Thank the Lord for You

Hey, I Know Them!

Tychicus . . . He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. . . . Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother . . . Aristarchus . . . Mark . . . Justus . . . my fellow workers for the kingdom of God . . . they have proved a comfort to me . . . Epaphras . . . a servant of Christ Jesus. (Colossians 4:7, 9-12, NIV)

At the close of Paul’s letters, he often attaches personal greetings to those he knows at the other end, or from those traveling with him. For years I thought of these messages as graffiti, as passing personal scribbles on magnificent, timeless documents.

But recently while finishing the book of Colossians, I began to notice how he referred to his friends, those working with him:

dear brother
faithful minister
fellow servant in the Lord
fellow workers in the kingdom of God
a comfort to me

As I read those phrases, it struck me: Hey, I know them! I was reminded of one Christian friend after another, especially fellow workers. The list got longer and longer. If I were to describe each of them and their relationships to me, I guess I’d have to use the same terms Paul uses.

There are many whom I’ve come to appreciate and trust deeply as fellow servants of Christ. They are an integral part of my life and service, yet I tend to take them for granted.

Right now, think of those brothers and sisters in Christ who are a part of your life. Using only three or four words, how would you label each of them?

When we get to heaven and gain an eternal perspective, I believe we’ll realize that some of the greatest blessings God gave us while here on earth were people – people close to us each day, people that surround us every time we enter God’s house.

Thank the Lord for them. Treat them like precious gifts of God, for that’s exactly what they are!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: I Thank the Lord for You
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