Thankful for Growth in Real Love. - Colossians 1:3
May 18, 2022, 7:00 AM

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel.”   

Faith is essential for a Christian and another identifying characteristic His love. The Apostle Paul also heard that the church at Colossae loved the saints. God's love is enduring.                  

Circumstances around us do not endure. We will have good days and bad days. Life changes, but you will never be outside the love of God.  He calls us also to demonstrate that real love to the body of Christ and indeed beyond lol. The people who came together in Colossae had unity. They loved the Lord, but they were also committed to each other in fellowship. They needed each other due to the persecution they were experiencing. They were ostracized from families and homes. They were pagans in a pagan world and all was going well, but when they moved camp and became a follower of Jesus Christ, Satan did all he could to hurt them and discourage them.         

To say yes to Christ may mean not being accepted by family and friends, but it is also being welcomed into a whole new group of people who have received God's love in Jesus Christ and are being changed to demonstrate it to others.         

I have seen some in this church be so kind and forgiving to people who did not act loving. Your maturity helped me see others as needing extra patience and love. I have seen some of you take undeserved guff and accept it as one of those things you put up with, which helped me see forgiveness isn't standing up for all your rights, it is giving them over to the Lord, but consistently walking in truth even if people are going to be upset.  

There is a poem I have quoted from time to time. "Oh to live above, with the saints I love, that will be glory. But to live below, with the saints I know, Well that's another story.”         

There are unattractive saints, people whose actions, attitudes, and personalities, aren't the easiest to adjust to, but they are people who need and want love. Some people say, "How I rejoice in the love of God" but I wonder if their face knows it. I was told of a little girl who the first time she saw a mule said "I don't know what you are, but you must be a Christian; you look just like Grandpa".         

Paul was thankful that because of their faith their fruit was showing and demonstrated love. I thank God for your love for all the saints. It is a decision that someone makes to let the Lord's love take over.   

Application:  Look for ways today that you can demonstrate the love of God to the body of Christ and beyond.

Prayer: Lord God, I thank you that I will never be outside the love of God. Help me, Lord, to surrender my rights for the sake of the  Gospel. 

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