The Apostle Paul said, "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ" (Col. 2:8). What would be worse than losing your country is losing Christ! See that no one takes you captive and leads you away from Christ!
In our previous lesson, Col. 1:20 asserted that Christ would "reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven." As we move further into chapter 1, the next three verses start to expand on the idea of reconciliation. Paul tells the story of Christ, you and reconciliation through four movements in time that take us to the past, present, future and back to the present!
Sometimes nothing speaks to our hearts like a song. The beautiful words of Colossians 1:15-20 are thought to be an ancient song about Christ that Paul included in his message to the Colossians. With the Holy Spirit's stamp of approval, what we find in these verses is an eternal reminder for believers that Christ is first, most important and everything! Christ is all to us!
This lesson begins a new series focused on the book of Colossians. While written to a local church, the focus of Paul seems to be on the Christ of the church. If you take Christ out of the church you are no longer the church! In this lesson, we examine Paul's greeting which reads like a prayer of thanksgiving for them (1:3-12). But in these words, Paul really documents how Christ changed them.
If one were to search in the Bible for the concept of hope, the book of Job would probably seem like the most unlikely place to find it. However, other than the book of Psalms, there is more said about "hope" in Job than any other book in the Bible. The story of Job is a reminder that even during incredible loss and suffering, hope is not only possible but actually the only way to really deal with it. In this lesson, we notice one of the most amazing passages in Job (19:23-27) which shows us there is hope in suffering.
The church at Corinth had many problems. Much of the first epistle addresses those problems and offers solutions. But in the context of correcting some issues about using spiritual gifts, Paul breaks out in 1 Cor. 13 with one of the greatest chapters in the Bible. Love is what makes Christianity different and Paul explains how it keeps us grounded, helps us live out who God is and how it will continue on, eternally.
The only constant in our world today is change! Not all change is bad, but at times it leads to uncertainty, doubt and hopelessness. Yet, this is not how God wants his people to live. If you are drifting the thing you need most is an anchor! That's what God offers - a hope that is a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. In this lesson, we explore this hope in Heb. 6:17-20.
Have you ever been a part of something that you felt was bigger than you? I can only imagine that is exactly how Joseph must have felt when an angel appeared to him in a dream and explained his life was about to change (Matt. 1:18-25). Ironically, the angel challenged him to be a part of a story that would change the world! In this story, Joseph serves as a great example of how God will challenge us too.
Angels are fascinating! They play a significant role in God's story of redemption. One of those times is during the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. In this lesson, we consider the fascinating account of Zechariah's encounter with Gabriel.
In this season of Thanksgiving, as we explore our great blessings, nothing is more deserving of our thanks than "the God of all grace" (1 Pet. 5:10). God's grace really is amazing, as John Newton described it in his famous song. In this lesson, we'll explore what's amazing about grace and why we are thankful for it!