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Doing Things Wrong for So Long

My friend loved to drink, smoke, gamble, party, use drugs and she wasn’t planning on it, but she had a child outside of marriage. She lived that way for so long that she thought what she was doing was right. She no longer felt any sense of shame or conviction. She didn’t know Christ.

But God was in hot pursuit.

She didn’t know it, but God was coming for her. He chose her. He wanted her. And He was about to rescue her.

She was on military reserve duty out of town and it had been a long week. On Friday evening, she headed to the “beer truck” to party and drink off the hard week when she turned to go a different direction and went to pick up some fast food instead. She took her food to her room and flipped on the television.

She wasn’t planning to watch Billy Graham. She would’ve switched channels, but she was busy getting her food unpacked. Before she could grab the remote, the preacher’s words caught her attention and she could do nothing but stare at the screen.

“You do things wrong for so long that you begin to think that they’re right!”

He was speaking directly to her. Somehow he seemed to know exactly where she was and what had gone on. He was describing the long digression from where she began. Living with two alcoholic parents, she swore she would never drink. She would never use drugs, she was a nurse. She wouldn’t mess around with sex. She wouldn’t have a child outside of marriage.

But . . . she had lived so long doing wrong that she began to think it was right.

God captured her heart that day and she’s never been the same. She is one of my dearest friends. God uses her testimony in a powerful way to validate His living reality to others who don’t know Him yet. That is the beauty and power of the gospel.

The beauty of the gospel is seen so clearly in this chapter we are studying. Worship our Savior as you read this description:

[box]He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13–14, 21–22)[/box]

Delivered, transferred, reconciled, redeemed, forgiven.

Are you grateful for His mercy?

I hope you’ve joined us in our study of Colossians. In Monday’s post I gave you some information that provides context for this letter. If you haven’t read the last several posts, I hope you’ll click back to check those out because they’ll provide you with some background. Click here to read about the approach we’ll be taking in studying this book.

If you’re ready to dig in with me, pull out your Bible and read through Colossians 1 before answering these questions. Spend some time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to teach you as you study. I hope you used a good commentary or Study Bible to answer the context questions, but put away your study helps for now as you dig in and read Colossians 1 and answer the questions just using your Bible.

We’ll pick up the commentaries to check our answers later, but for now—dig it out yourself from the Word!

Look up the references and answer the questions below.

  1. What is the description of who we “were” (before conversion to Christ) in Col. 1:21?
  1. What similarities do you find in Col. 1:21–23 and Eph. 2:1–10?

List words that are found in both passages that describe:

1) Who we were

2) Actions we committed

3) What Jesus did for us through the work of the cross

  1. Why is Paul “rejoicing” in Col. 1:24? What is significant about this statement? Where was Paul while he was writing this letter?
  1. Does v. 24 mean that something was “lacking” in the work Jesus did on the cross? Could it be referring to something “lacking” or “not yet fully accomplished” within the “body” of Christ (which is the Church)? See Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 4:7–11; 1 Thess. 3:2–4 (Especially consider 1 Thess. 3:3 in relation to God’s determination of suffering).
  1. What do we learn about Paul’s ministry in v. 25?
  1. What is the “mystery” that Paul refers to in vv. 26–27? (See Ephesians 3:1–13)
  1. What is Paul’s purpose in ministry as described in v. 28? What is required to accomplish that goal (v. 29)?

Paul’s purpose in ministry really should be our heart as well. I hope you are investing in others as you share truth with them and are focused on encouraging others to spiritual maturity in Christ.

Monday, we’ll sum up chapter one!

Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6 Comments

  • dori baxter

    2Corinthians 4:7-11 is so powerful! Nothing can destroy us or bring us down when we have Christ. It shows we are still human and do have trials and tribulations but with Christ we are not forsaken! What an encouragement!

  • Julie Musil

    What a wonderful testimony! Looking back on these past few months, I can see how God came after me–in a good way. I’m a work in progress, and appreciating the journey along the way.

  • Vivian Etherington

    Kim, I am forever grateful that you are giving your life to ministry for the gospel, sharing truth and encouraging others to maturity in Christ! I am thankful for the burden he has given me to do the same in the lives of young women: specifically two young women besides the four who live under my roof! Thank you for your example!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    It brings me so much joy to know you are pouring truth in young women who are following your example, Viv. So grateful for all God has done!

    All glory to Him ~