Monday, May 22, 2006

Colossians 1:9-14

We wish many things for those whom we love – children, spouse, other family members, friends, and even fellow members of the church. How many of those things we wish for come more from our culture and not from the kingdom of God? They may not be overtly bad things. Yet they do not rise from the foundation and purposes of the kingdom.

Reading and writing this on the eve of my daughter’s birthday, I am struck with the need to take to heart kingdom desires and aims for those we love as expressed in Paul’s prayer in verses 9 through 12 of Colossians 1. What if the things he prayed for there should become the focus, the substance, of what we desire for those we love when we think of and pray for them? What if we desired and prayed – not for success in school or work, not for wealth or popularity, not for a myriad of other things in our culture which glitter for attention and desire – but for knowledge of God’s will, for spiritual wisdom and understanding? What if we prayed for such knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for our loved ones so they would live a life worthy of Jesus – bearing fruit in all manner of good works, with spiritual strength in God’s power and glory, with endurance and patience, with fullness of joy and gratitude?

Why should we desire these things for family, friends, and fellow believers? We should wish these things because God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness. He has brought us into the kingdom of light. Where God is not acknowledged as ruler, darkness ultimately engulfs. Why would we wish for our loved ones things that essentially come from or ultimately lead to a place where God is not acknowledged, even if in dimmest light those things seem attractive? How much better to desire for them “the brightest and best” of the kingdom of light!

What would happen if we passionately desired and prayed for these things from the kingdom of light for our loved ones? How truly, fully, and gloriously might they live a life worthy of the Lord? I know I should desire and pray far better for my family, friends, and fellow believers, not to mention for myself. Should we not all do better in desiring kingdom things, in praying with kingdom focus and substance, for those whom we say we love?

Gregory Strong

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