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Archive for May, 2014

Verse 12: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

I remember watching Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, and the scene toward the end of the movie where Master Yoda confronts the villainous Count Dooku. Up until now, we had seen Yoda use the force, but in this case, we see him launch into a lightsaber duel with Dooku. Thanks to the cinematic magic of CGI, we see Yoda leaping, rolling, jumping, zipping all around, dueling Dooku, a foe who physically is almost 2-3 times as tall as he is. It’s in this scene that the Star Wars fan is reminded what an incredible Jedi warrior Yoda was and still is; you wouldn’t think that watching him walk slowly with his cane in the preceding movies.

I made a comparison, when my wife and I were singing a duet, about what a prayer warrior this elderly lady in our church is who had just given a testimony (I don’t like to use real people’s names ordinarily in my posts, but family in our church know who she is.) Folks started to chuckle when I compared her to Yoda; I had to correct them over “obvious similarities”. I wasn’t comparing them because they are both old, or that they are short, or that they walk with a cane. I was comparing them…because they are both warriors. This lady is a prayer warrior, and when she says she is praying for you, you better believe it!

Epaphras was just such a prayer warrior in the days of Paul’s ministry. There is significance that Paul mentions him in his closing chapter here. Prayer is an effective tool in our faith, and we all can pray. God hears our prayers, when they are offered sincerely, and that has been seen in many documented cases of miracles in people’s lives.

Today was our departing pastor’s last service, and appropriately enough, after all the singing, worship, and sermon was done, we closed in prayer for our pastor and for our church. If you don’t already do so, make sure to end and begin your day…with prayer to God.

This concludes our study on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. After a short hiatus, we’ll return for a new study in the New Testament.
That study is tentatively titled the Information study…the 4-1-1.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

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Verse 2: “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;”

As they lift the large, heavy coffin from the freshly dug grave, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced FRONCK-in-steen) comments disgustedly to his assistant Igor (pronounced EYE-gore), “What a filthy job”. “Could be worse.” Igor replies cheerfully. “How?” retorts Dr. Frankenstein. “Could be raining.” Igor says, at which point, a torrential downpour starts, heralded by lightning and thunder. Dr. Frankenstein just slowly looks at Igor with that “you-just-had-to-say-it” look, as Igor just smiles weakly.

I thought of this scene from Mel Brooks’ movie, Young Frankenstein. Some people always look on the bright side of things, no matter how grim their current circumstances. Some people always praise God in addition to their requests; this is in stark reality to many Christians who open their prayers with requests and hopefully even remember to thank God for His many blessings.

Paul urges the Colossians in this closing chapter to continue earnestly praying but also with thanksgiving. Hard to do, especially when times are rough? Sure it can be…but here’s an example to think about: I just found out after being out of town for the weekend that our church’s pastor of near 17 years is leaving us. He is following God’s call to another church in South Carolina; part of the decision that was a factor was also that he is moving closer to aging family members. Now while our congregation will be crying tears of sadness on that last Sunday he’ll be with us (I’ll probably be leading the crying procession :-)), I know he is being faithful to God’s will in this…he wouldn’t leave otherwise unless God was leading him. So, I am thankful to God for all he had given us through the blessing of our pastor, just as I’m thankful that God is taking him into the next season of his life…and taking our church into its next season. Times and people may change…but God doesn’t. And…I’m thankful to him for that, too!

Something to think about.

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