WELCOME TO THE BISHOP’S BIBLE STUDY ON THE BOOK OF
We encourage you to invite others to join us. Might as well practice a little of that ‘ambassador’ vision!
Just have them contact the study through: Worley@vasynod.org and they
will have the study sent to them twice a week as well along with the readings from the Lutheran Confessions on Wednesday.
TEXT FOR TODAY: COLOSSIANS 1:9-10
Colossians 1:  And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord Jesus, hear my prayer this day for so many that you love and even for those that I love so dearly. Hear my prayer that all of them would be filled with knowledge of you, that they would walk worthy of you, desiring in everything to please you. Allow them to bear fruit in every good work and to grow in their knowledge of you this day. And after praying for them, Lord, send me now as your ambassador to them, eager to speak and to act worthily in all that I do so that your Name may be glorified through it all. Hear my prayers this day for ________________. Amen.
(For those who have the time and desire to read on J)
"For this reason/on account of this also"
Because of their faith in Christ that Paul has heard of
because of their love for all the saints that Paul has heard of because of the grace through the gospel that has come to the church in Colossae because of the gospel's growth among them
because of the words about their love in the Spirit that Paul has heard about the Colossians:
"since the day we heard it we have not ceased praying for you and asking/petitioning"
I am so taken by the life of prayer accentuated in these opening verses! "In our prayers for you!" "not ceased praying for you and asking for you!"
There is the sense of constant prayer, never ceasing! It reminds of the 'fountain' imagery from John 4 where Jesus says, "The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life!" There is this rich life source that keeps gushing within them and out of them in prayer and thanksgiving and petitions!
I must confess that I am far more likely to be more as Old Faithful, erupting every now and then more than a gushing fountain!!!
But PAUL is writing of his affection, connection, and intersection (clever, ain't I!!) for the Colossians through the powerful ministry of prayer. And it reminds me again of how I am called to pray for all God's people too, daily!!
And in that praying I shall find myself drawn even more so in affection, connection, and intercession for them all in the Name of Christ.
And my prayers for my child, my spouse, my family, my pastor, my bishop, my fellow colleagues, for the synod, for those in Papua New Guinea, for our leaders, for those in Iraq and serving in Iraq, for those in Slidell, for those with whom I am in disagreement with, etc. are such powerful prayers that keep me connected to them all and keep me aware of my need to be connecting with them as well.
And now comes one of the kindest prayers on behalf of another:
"asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,"
How I would desire that my child would be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding!!
I believe I might like that myself!!!!!!!
The temptation is to just take this opening phrase as a goal in itself, attaining a clear knowledge of God's will!! But note how it is a
to lead us onward into something even more life giving:
"to walk worthy of the Lord, into everything desiring to please God"
What the New Revised Standard Version calls 'leading lives', the Greek literally translates, 'walking.' And I like that image better because it does seem that I live this life one small step at a time, but that over time those small steps form a path taken and point into the future of a direction intended. OOOHHHHHHH, and Paul just LOVES to
'peripateo' (walk) all over the place!!! He uses this verb 33 times in his letters!!! I got to keep on….walking!!! I got to walk on!….Let me tell
you now…..annh, annh,….annh, annh, I'm so tired…..but
I just can't lose my stride, I got 5 more miles to go now, over the hill, just around the bend…….(a little soul music for those 50 years and older!! not entirely helpful or insightful, but hey! It's late tonight!!)
'The knowledge of God' here for the 'walking one' (no, I am not going to begin the lyrics for James Taylor's 'Walking Man'!) seems like a grand, divine, guidance system with Triune satelliting that finds me and leads me through dark, foggy, wilderness times or that allows some grand panoramic views from mountain high times of gratitude and even celebration.
"To walk worthy of the Lord, desiring to please God in everything!"
Isn't that beautiful!!?? And Paul is praying that this is the RESULT of spiritual wisdom and understanding filling me. It reminds me of our Sunday morning confession, "that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways!!"
I would love to be able to live with every waking minute filled in the desire to please God and to walk worthy of God. I'm afraid, most minutes of mine are lived desiring to please some need of mine!! Lots of them are hardly worthy either!! RATS!
Is it possible for us in our different callings to desire to please God through them? How shall I please God in my calling as father, husband, bishop, neighbor this day? I'll have to take it a step at a time, a moment at a time, an
opportunity at a time……but then, this is probably how an ambassador does it!
Hmmm……ponder, ponder, ponder……
I also think again about the explanation to the second article of the Apostle's Creed, the Small Catechism……..yes, I still love that small
writing!!!!……..'he has rescued us from the powers of sin, evil, and death, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood, his innocent suffering and
death, IN ORDER THAT I MAY BE HIS AND LIVE UNDER HIM
AND SERVE HIM IN INNOCENCE, BLESSEDNESS, AND
RIGHTEOUSNESS, even as he is raised from the dead and reigns eternally!'
The life of Christ is filling me and enabling me now to walk worthily, step by step in my calling as one deeply rescued and loved by Jesus Christ, as one desiring to please the one who rescued me and loves me and walks with me"as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of
Now here are the serendipitous results of the result we just looked at!!
Walking worthy of the Lord, desiring to please God in everything may truly result in bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God!!!
And this 'bearing fruit' thing is more like the pop of popcorn than the long planned out affair of the farmer! In the parable of the separating of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25, the sheep are surprised to hear that what they have been doing has been popping out in good fruit!! The compassionate, loving sheep have just been doing 'fruitful things' in clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry! Just like Oscar's and Hammerstein's
June, their fruit is just busting out all over, all over the meadows and the
Secondly, the knowledge of God seems to be serendipitous as well because the Greek word has the sense of growing up sudden like a greatly expanding,
bursting forth expression!
And this is what Paul is praying for those in Colossae!!!!
And I am excited to tell you that this is only the FIRST part of the long Greek sentence which means the prayer isn't over yet!!!! But that will have to wait till Tuesday!!
Blessings to you this day! I pray that you may indeed be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all assured wisdom and spiritual understanding, to walk worthy of the Lord, desiring to pleasing God in everything you are about, that you may indeed discover along with others around you the bountiful fruit of the Spirit and grow even more joyfully in the knowledge of God!