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Colette S
Do not mistake shyness for weakness
Do not mistake shyness for weakness

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All the Way Grace

Today’s Reading: Colossians 4

Colossians 4:6 (NIV) “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” 

Sometimes God’s Word can feel like an impossible order, don’t you think? Take today’s passage for example: Paul tells us we are to let our words be full of grace. Full of it. As in, the bulk of our words should be made up of grace toward the person with whom we are conversing. 

Not partial grace. Not half way grace. All the way grace. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this, but it’s hard.

It’s hard when one of the precious people living in your house gets on your last good nerve. It’s hard when a trusted friend deeply wounds you. And it’s incredibly hard in a day and age when people share their thoughts and opinions so freely and carelessly on social media. Thoughts and opinions that can leave you feeling frustrated, angry or even personally attacked.

I don’t know about you, but words laced with grace aren’t typically the first ones that come to mind when someone’s hurtful words have landed like daggers in my heart.

But just because speaking with grace is hard, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And Paul’s words to the Colossians remind us that our words matter. 

Paul specifically wants us to consider our words in light of unbelievers, telling us in Colossians 4:5-6, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” 

He also calls attention to the words we speak in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

We are to be people of grace-filled words. People who choose healing and helpful words. Because whether we realize it or not, believers and unbelievers alike are listening intently to the words we speak. They are reading the words we type. And our words testify to the kind of relationship we have with Jesus and the kind of effect He has on our hearts.

So where is the hope in the midst of words that make our pulse race and our face flush? How do we keep our words full of grace?

We remember that Jesus didn’t offer us partial grace. He didn’t offer us halfway grace. Jesus gave, and continues to give, all-the-way grace. Grace that took Him all the way to the cross.

Oh, how we need to let this truth interrupt us and redirect us. The divine grace we have received from Christ should fuel our gracious natures and fill our conversations. Because we are people who desperately need grace, we should be people who lavishly give grace. 

And not only are we to be gracious in our speech, Paul also tells us our words should be “seasoned with salt.” In rabbinic tradition, this phrase would have been associated with wisdom. In Greco-Roman literature, it meant to be “winsome or witty” in speech. Paul was reminding the Colossians they were called to be people who were filled with godly wisdom and who could respond to objections to the gospel in a manner that was winsome. He wanted their words, and ours, to attract people to Christ, not repel them.

I don’t know who puts grace to the test in your life, sweet friend. But I do know the Holy Spirit is willing to help us choose grace-filled words, if only we will pause long enough for Him to replace the first ones that may pop into our brains.

We can also go ahead and pre-decide that today because of the lavish grace of Jesus, we will choose the way of grace. With His help, we can speak with honor in the midst of being dishonored. We can speak with peace in the midst of being threatened. We can speak of good things in the midst of bad situations. 

We can choose words that won’t leave the bitter taste of regret in our mouths. Words seasoned with the salt of wisdom and full of the grace of Jesus.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your amazing grace. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus. He could have held back His grace. But instead, He chose to pour out every single drop for me at Calvary. I want Your love and grace to change me. I want them to show up in every conversation I have today. May the words I speak declare that I belong to You. And may my life leave people longing to know You and taste of You for themselves. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments: Read More

Reading Progress

First 5 Teaching

Read Colossians 4

My Moment: Let’s face it, we’ve all messed up in this area at some point in our lives. But God can work mightily through us when we are willing to humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness. Who do you need to ask to forgive you for not choosing words filled with grace?

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What Not To Wear

Krista Williams

Today’s Reading: Colossians 3

Colossians 3:2 (NIV) "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Have you ever been in a hurry and so you kept some of your old clothes on while you were trying on a new outfit? I have, and it did not look so good. If you and I are going to wear a brand-new outfit, we must take off the old one.

In Colossians 3 Paul moves from who Christ is and what we have in Christ to how we are to live out our new life in Him. As believers in Christ, we are called to live a life that is distinctly different from the world around us.

Immediately, Paul instructs us to set our hearts and minds on things above and not on the things of this world. Paul knows that what we desire and focus our attention on usually determines what we do. He wants us to look up so we can focus our attention on Christ. The best Christian living comes from hearts and minds that focus on the eternal.

To live with an eternal focus, Paul commands us to put to death whatever is worldly in us. There are some specific things — some habits, attitudes, practices and sins — in our worldly wardrobe that need to go. We can’t tolerate, or try to control, or stay comfortable, or suppress the deeds, habits and attitudes of the flesh. We must begin to remove and separate ourselves from any destructive behavior or attitudes associated with the flesh. (Galatians 5:24; Matthew 5:29-30) In other words, sin has no place in our lives. We must take off:

Sensuality—“sexual immorality, impurity, passions, evil desires, and covetousness” (Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:17; Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 7:20-23)

Evil attitudes—“anger, wrath, malice” (Colossians 3:8; Ephesians 4:31)

Evil speech—“slander, and filthy language” (Colossians 3:8; James 1:26)

Deception—“Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9; Psalm 34:13)

The list of what not to wear is long, and all these things are contrary to who we are in Christ. By faith, we must put off the old habits and sins that had us bound and put on the character of Christ.

What do those wear who belong to Christ and are the beloved of the Lord?

Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12)

Forgiveness and peace (Colossians 3:13; Colossians 3:15)

Thankfulness, wisdom, gratitude and praise (Colossians 3:15b-17)

Submission and obedience (Colossians 3:18-22)

And the love of Christ is the outer garment that binds all these virtues together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14) As believers in Christ, these virtues should radiate from our lives. We don’t put on these attributes to please others or to win favor. We put them on with a sincere heart and out of reverence for God, remembering it is Christ we are serving and not ourselves.

How well are you modeling these truths?

The more we read and contemplate God’s Word and intentionally focus our minds on the things of God, we will progressively look more and more like Christ and less and less like who we were. Our perspective will change. Our priorities will change. Our relationships will change. The way we treat others will change.

Who will we identify with — the world or Jesus?

Today will we be clothed in the deeds of the flesh or the character of Christ? Are we still trying to wear both at the same time? What are we wearing that we need to take off and what do we need to put on? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have given me an entirely new wardrobe in Christ! His righteousness in me lets me take off what was old and replace it with the new. I pray that You would help me to see how worn-out and ugly my old ways are. I desperately want to bring You glory by putting on the heart and mind of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments: How can we allow the Word of God to dwell richly among us?Read More

Reading Progress

First 5 Teaching

Read Colossians 3

My Moment: What attribute of Christ should replace a worn-out way of the flesh that you keep wearing?

Add My Moment


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Nail-canceled Debt

Whitney Capps

Today’s Reading: Colossians 2

Colossians 2:14-15 (NIV) “Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

In the Ancient Near East, agreements and business transactions between two parties were handwritten into formal contracts. Not unlike today, but with a few more brushstrokes rather than keystrokes. When one party was indebted to another, his name would be written below the agreement. When the debt was satisfied, the name would be scratched out, a line drawn through it, or one would hammer a nail piercing the name, signifying the debt had been cancelled.

In Colossians 2, Paul uses this same idea with the phrase “legal indebtedness.” The law of God was the written contract that held us in debt to Him. Sins stacked up, and our charges against Him were incalculable. But through Jesus Christ, God has canceled those charges!

Because of the very specific word choice Paul used in Colossians 2:14, his audience would have envisioned the nails in Jesus’ hands and feet blotting out the debt we owed God. Every charge against us was nailed to the cross. Our account with Him had been settled. He can forgive us because though we failed to uphold our end of the contract by keeping the law, Jesus paid the price for our crimes against God. We were unable to meet the terms of our agreement with Him. So Jesus did that for us by living a perfect, completely sinless life and taking on the shame of our sin by dying a criminal’s death in our place. This is referred to by scholars as expiation. To expiate our sin means that Jesus satisfied the legal requirement imposed by God.

This is the gospel. Our debt is paid! The nails that pierced Him declared us free and clear. What marvelous news!

But this isn’t all.

Paul says that Jesus made a public spectacle of the powers and authorities that opposed Him. His death and victorious resurrection stripped Satan of power. This is what Paul means when he says Christ’s death made a public spectacle of the rulers and authorities of this world! When that schemer looked at the cross, he foolishly thought he’d won. But the cross – meant to shame and humiliate Jesus – scorned and mortified Satan. This was the death of death.

But even as we walk in the victory, you and I know that death still stings. We still mourn. So where is the good news? 

We are sad when Christ-followers we love leave us. But friend, they are not sad. They have awaked in the glorious presence of Jesus. The victory of the cross is realized in heavenly high definition. They see Him face-to-face and proclaim, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). They see their names have been written now in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27) This handwriting indicates no debt, but a glorious inheritance, bought and paid for by the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a joy to see the shame that was on me nailed to the cross. I grieve what it cost You, but celebrate that I am no longer in debt to my sin. My account is clear. Oh sweet Jesus, I am forever indebted to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments: Tucked in Colossians 2, Paul mentions how hard he is contending or fighting for the spiritual maturity of not only the Colossians, but also the Laodiceans. Read More

Reading Progress

First 5 Teaching

Read Colossians 2

My Moment: What does it mean to you that through Jesus your debt has been cancelled?

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Who Is Jesus?

Wendy Blight

Today’s Reading: Colossians 1

Colossians 1:15 (NIV) “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”

Who is Jesus? Who has answered this question for you in the past? Your pastor? Sunday school teacher? Parents? Bible study leader?

Today, Paul answers this question for us. He addresses this issue head-on because of the false teachers challenging the nature and deity of Jesus in Colossae.

I love that just before Paul embarks on this rich teaching about Jesus, he prays for spiritual wisdom and understanding for God’s people. (Colossians 1:9) I am praying the same for us.

Jesus is “the image of the invisible God.”

“Image” is from the Greek word eikon, meaning a mirror-like representation, the very substance or embodiment of something. Jesus is the exact representation of His Father. He is the visible manifestation of the invisible God. In John 14:9b, Jesus confirms this when He says, “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

Jesus embodies the very nature and character of God. He unveils the beauty of His Father’s heart. We see it in the mercy He extends to the woman caught in adultery. (John 8) In the compassion He exhibits to Mary and Martha when He raises Lazarus from the dead. (John 11) And in the magnificent power He displays when He calms the storm. (Luke 8)

The author of Hebrews captures it beautifully: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3a).

Jesus is “the firstborn over all creation.”

“Firstborn” is from the Greek word prototokos, meaning first in time, pre-eminent. Jesus has always been and always will be. He is not a created being. Jesus was there with God in the beginning. Not sitting on the sidelines observing God’s work. Jesus was working, shaping, forming, creating! (Genesis 1:26; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:10-12) Jesus wove His purpose into every created thing … what we see with our eyes and what we don’t.

Jesus is the master craftsmen. It’s by Him, through Him and for Him that all things were created. (Colossians 1:15-16) This is why the wind and waves obey Him. This is why salvation comes when we call Him Lord and Savior.

NOTHING exists for itself. EVERYTHING exists for Jesus – to make Jesus more fully known.

That includes you and me, my friend. We are God’s handiwork, created in His image. He created us with great intentionality and purpose. Every bit of who we are … our personality, gifts, talents, size, skin color, gender, intellect … was created to make Him known. 

So, wherever God has planted you, stand confidently in who He has created you to be. Live expectantly, looking for ways He can use every bit of who you are to make Him fully known. Invite God to use you in your corner of the world to bring God’s mercy, grace, light, hope, power and love into every life you touch!

Prayer: Father, thank You for the truths we learned today. Jesus is the exact image of You. When we see Him, we see You. When we experience Jesus through the pages of Scripture, we experience You. We are created in Your image. Help us to believe and walk confidently in that truth. Help us to live in the fullness of that image. Help us be the hands and feet of Jesus to make Him known for Your glory! In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments: Jesus is the head of this body called the church. He gave birth to the church in Acts and continues to be its immovable, unstoppable source of life and strength through the power of His Holy Spirit. Read More

Reading Progress

First 5 Teaching

Read Colossians 1

My Moment: Who is Jesus to you?

Add My Moment


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