12/09/22 Wrestling

READING: Colossians 1:24-4:18   

Today I am thinking about the pastors at our church. I know from my own experiences as a long-term pastor that their work is not always easy. Always there is someone else to reach, another sermon to prepare, another meeting to lead, another visit to make. The work just continues . . . .

Then, I put on top of those responsibilities the very real burden pastors feel for their people. Paul described this burden in his own ministry with the Colossians in terms of “working” and “wrestling” on their behalf: 

  • He “labored” (a word that implies heavy toil and weariness) that the Colossians might be mature in Christ (Col 1:29) 
  • He was “striving” for them—a stronger term suggesting an athletic effort pursuing a goal (Col 1:29)
  • He “greatly struggled” on behalf of the believers, exerting himself for them that they might follow the true gospel (Col 2:1)

Even from a distance, Paul physically and emotionally poured himself into these believers. Moreover, his co-worker Epaphras, who had been instrumental in the Colossians’ believing (Col 1:7), was also wrestling with Paul in prayer on behalf of the believers. They knew the reality of the spiritual battle for believers, and they chose to walk with them from their knees. That’s just what spiritual leaders do. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Have you expressed thanks to your church’s leaders lately?         

DAILY PRAYER: “God, thank You for those leaders who guide our church. Protect them, and use them.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

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