For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. – Col. 1:9-12 NIV
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The devotional today is a sequel to the one titled “Feed Them With The True Word” where the confirmation of the Apostle Paul, of the positive effect of feeding the brethren with the Word of Truth was discussed. It was revealed then that the twin attributes of increasing Faith in Jesus Christ and all that he stands for, and the expression of Agape love amongst the brethren could only be the product of true and effective indoctrination of the brethren with the true Word of God – Col. 1:4-6. Despite this foundation which Paul acknowledged was laid by Epaphras amongst the brethren in Colosse, he revealed other actions which he and his fellow workers were constantly involved with, aimed at ensuring that they remained firm in their Christian belief. The scripture for today’s devotional revealed how they never stopped praying to God on behalf of the brethren in Colosse that He fills them with the knowledge of his Will. This they are aware can only be acquired through all the wisdom and understanding that only the Holy Spirit gives. That was the only way that
- They could live a life worthy of the Lord as they will be able to successfully take actions that will be pleasing to Him. To live a life worthy of Jehovah will mean to have or show the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way by Him. It will be impossible for anyone to please Jehovah without knowing His personality, needs and desires. The general thoughts of Jehovah may be obtainable by regularly reading and meditating on the scriptures but because His ways are mysterious to accomplish His works, it will be important to have His current position on many issues especially those personal to the Christian. Not having the Holy Spirit is a true way of ensuring that one does not please Him as it is the Holy Spirit that can reveal the mind of Jehovah at all times. The one who is truly a Christian should have experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and will be expected to live according to His directives. Anything short of this standard is disaster waiting to happen as such will definitely displease Him at some point and so will not be able to live a life worthy of being associated with Him.
- They could bear fruit in every good work. The one who cannot please Jehovah cannot be in Him and by inference, be in Jesus Christ – Jn. 14:11. Just as Jesus said, it will be impossible for anyone to bear good fruit if such is outside him – Jn. 15:5. Christian leaders must regularly encourage their sheep to remain in the Word so that they can bear the kind of fruit that will be worthy of their association with Jehovah – Matt. 3:8.
- They could grow in the knowledge of God. With prayers from their leaders, the average Christian will be encouraged to make out time for acquiring the knowledge of God through the scriptures. Christian programs should be tailored towards improving the knowledge of the sheep about who Jehovah is and what He desires of his flock, instead of the jamboree that programs have become.
- They could be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might. The Christian leader must continue to pray for the spiritual empowerment of the flock. To have the sheep constantly have to revert to the leader will be a wrong direction to go as it will mean that they remain dependent on the leader for spiritual needs at all times. Though total independence may not be achievable, the spiritual leader must consciously lead the sheep in a direction that will make them spiritually independent as much as possible.
It is the cumulative of all these that;
- May grant them the great endurance and patience necessary to remain in the faith. The sheep mentored in this manner become very spiritually matured and thus will be able to withstand to a large extent the earthly pressures, physical or spiritual that has accounted for the bulk of the reasons why many have turned back from the faith.
- Will position them to be able to continually give joyful thanks to the Father in all situations since they will be able to constantly focus on the Grace that He granted them, by qualifying them to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. The constant feeding with the Word of truth and prayers by the leader will make them focus more on the heavenly reward that is eternal and is waiting for them if they persevere rather till the end, rather than the earthly comfort that is very ephemeral and will soon pass away.
The Christian leader today must always remember that his/her role does not end with introducing that soul to Christ. The journey along the Christian path is very tortuous and will require not just physical but spiritual support at every stage of the journey for all, especially the new convert. A substantial part of the role of the Christian leader should be devoted to providing this support for the sheep just as the sheep would also be expected to reciprocate such gesture in a similar manner. It is this symbiotic kind of relationship that will help to keep all in Faith and overcome all the challenges that threaten the resolve to remain standing until his return. Not doing this will continue to lead to the decreasing the population of those destined for the kingdom of God and that will be contrary to His desire. We are to go into the world, not only to preach the Word but to ensure that we bring more souls into His kingdom by retaining them in their converted state until Jesus returns. A soul that is won and lost is a clear waste of invested resources and that kind of account by the Christian will not be rewarded with the kind of welcome that is desired. May God continue to guide us on how to keep not just our souls, but that of all that He used us to win over to Himself, safe and preserved until the return of His son in Jesus name. Amen.