1. In the epistles of Paul, we find him telling his readers what he prayed for on their behalf
2. So it is in his epistle to the Colossians
a. Though he had not met them personally, he had heard of their faith and love - Colossians 1:3-8
b. Which prompted him to pray unceasingly for them
3. For what did he pray? The answer is found in Colossians 1:9-14
a. We can learn not only what Paul desired for the Colossians
b. But also what God would desire for ALL Christians, including us today!
A. NOTICE SOME KEY WORDS:
a. Not just a small measure
b. But satiated, with a full measure
c. It is not God's desire that we try to just get by with as little as possible
2. THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL
a. This is what God desires us to be filled with
b. The Greek word for knowledge in this passage is EPIGNOSIS
1) Knowledge which is the result of practical and personal experience
2) Not just academic or intellectual knowledge
c. Thus, our knowledge of God's will is to be something we have come by through practice and application in our lives
3. IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING
a. To possess a knowledge of God's will in ALL WISDOM requires prayer - James 1:5
b. To possess a knowledge of God's will with SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING requires reading the Word of God - Ephesians 3:3-5
c. Therefore, prayer and Bible study are essential elements for the Christian!
B. WHY IS BEING FILLED WITH SUCH KNOWLEDGE SO IMPORTANT?
1. Because God's people have always been destroyed by a lack of knowledge - Hosea 4:6
2. It is essential to our renewal in becoming like Christ - Colossians 3:8-10
3. Is this prayer being answered in OUR lives? Are we doing anything to assure that it is?
A. THIS IS THE OBJECTIVE OF BEING FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL
1. To conduct ourselves in a manner WORTHY of the Lord - Ephesians 4:1
a. The Lord we serve, and the calling we have received, is certainly a worthy one!
b. Our conduct should be one to honor Christ, not shame Him!
2. To conduct ourselves in a manner FULLY PLEASING HIM
a. There is conduct which displeases Christ - Luke 6:46
b. But conduct coming from one who is first FILLED with the knowledge of God's will is more like to FULLY please Him!
B. CONDUCT WORTHY OF THE LORD, FULLY PLEASING HIM, IS ONE IN WHICH WE ARE:
1. BEING FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK
b. For this we have been created in Christ Jesus - Ephesians 2:10
c. Why? So that God may be glorified - Matthew 5:16
e. Are we being fruitful?
2. INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
a. We need to grow in the knowledge of God HIMSELF, not just His will - Jeremiah 9:23-24
b. How can one truly know God?
2) Through inspired REVELATION (the Psalms and the Prophets)
c. Are we daily increasing in this knowledge of God?
3. STRENGTHENED WITH ALL MIGHT, ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS POWER
a. It is God's desire that we be strong in our living for Him - 2 Timothy 1:7-8
b. There is glorious power available to the Christian, of which Paul often wrote:
1) He experienced it in his own life - Philippians 4:13
2) He wanted others to know about it - Ephesians 1:15-20
3) He identified it with the working of the Spirit in the inner man - Ephesians 3:16
4) He describes its greatness in Ephesians 3:20
c. What is the purpose of such power? Notice our text:
1) For all PATIENCE and LONGSUFFERING with JOY (is this not the fruit the Spirit is supposed to produce? Galatians 5:22-23
2) So that even as we experience trials in this life, we may do so with joyful perseverance!
d. Are we experiencing this strength which God gives to those who do His will?
4. GIVING THANKS TO THE FATHER
a. Christians should always have the attitude of gratitude - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
b. In our text, Paul mentions several reasons to be thankful:
1) God has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light - 1 Peter 1:3-5
2) God has delivered us from the power of darkness - Ephesians 2:1-5
3) God has translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love
a) In Whom we have redemption through His blood
b) In Whom we have the forgiveness of sins - Revelation 1:5-6
c. Are we ever giving thanks to the Father for these wonderful blessings?
1. Such was the prayer of Paul for the Colossians; what can we learn from it?
a. What God desires of us as well!
b. What kind of conduct that is necessary to be fully pleasing to the Lord!
2. May this prayer of Paul be one:
a. That we ask for OURSELVES
b. That we ask for OUR BRETHREN
c. Indeed, that we desire for ALL!
3. Have you been QUALIFIED to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints?
a. Has God DELIVERED you from the power of darkness?
b. Has He TRANSLATED you into the kingdom of His Son?
-- Don Treadway, April 2009 --