Who Cares for You?
Our spiritual life is personal and intimate. There is nothing on earth or in heaven that so touches the very core of our being.
Yet while spiritual life is personal, it is not private. We are spiritually born again into the body of Christ, into the fellowship of believers. God intends for us to know him together with other believers who also share his life and love.
We live in an age of individualism, and it can blind us to this personal connection we have with fellow believers. We may say, "Our Father in heaven" as we say the Lord's Prayer, but in our minds we think "My Father..." The tragic result is that we feel isolated and alone when in fact we are surrounded with riches of care and love.
When we try to grow spiritually by ourselves, we are making a serious mistake. God nourishes us through others. For every David who stands out as a leader there is a Samuel who calls him or her and a Jonathan who makes sacrifices to open the way for growth. For every Paul there is a Barnabas who sees spiritual potential and calls it forth.
While you and I are not great leaders like David or Paul, God also has people who are his servants for us. Before you were born again into the family of God there were people who cared for you. And as you continue in your spiritual journey, there are people who care for you as well. Perhaps you know about them. Perhaps you don't. But God knows, God hears, and God is blessing you because of them.
You are important to God, and he wants you to know how much he cares for you. However, you will have a hard time believing this until you can be inwardly quiet enough to receive his attention. To do this sit quietly in his presence until you have a sense of being drawn by him and received into his care. You will need to unpack your heart. Write down any thing that comes to mind as you begin to approach the Lord. Once you have written out your list, in your heart lift it up to the Lord, and ask him to take these concerns as his.
1. Read Colossians 1:1-2:5. This is an overview of what you will be looking at in detail for the next week and a half. The apostle Paul had never been to Colossae. But he wants the Colossians to know that they are important. How does Paul let them know that he cares for them?
2. How does Paul let them know that God cares for them?
3. Summarize the apostle's attitude toward the Colossians.
1. How do you think the Colossians would have felt receiving this letter from the apostle Paul, the founder and leader of the churches in the gentile world?
2. There are Christians who are concerned for you. Who are they? Write down their names.
3. In what ways do they show God's care for you?
4. Paul thanked God for the Colossians. What do you think people thank God for about you? (This may be hard to reflect on, but there is probably more than you think.)
Tell a couple of the people who pray for you that you are going through these guided quiet times, and ask them to pray for you. Or, if you don't have people who regularly pray for you, ask a couple friends to begin to pray for you as you work through these exercises. If you want a format for keeping track of prayer requests, you can use the following chart:
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