A Trustworthy Source - Your Daily Forward Devotional

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A Trustworthy Source

 

August 2

 

Read Colossians 1:1-2 (ESV)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

 

Reflect

In today’s verses, how does Paul demonstrate his authority? How can we trust the rest of what Paul writes in his letter to the Colossians?

 

We do not live in an age that is experiencing a shortage of information about religion. We can pull up a Bible on our phones from a variety of sources in seconds. But we can also scroll social media and read dozens of philosophical snapshots in meme form posted up by our friends citing pastors, experts, and gurus. How do we know which ones to believe? We can search for videos explaining doctrines and spiritual beliefs. But how do we know which teachers are trustworthy? With all of this information at our fingertips, how do we know what we should chew and digest vs what we should chew and spit out?

 

In the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians, Paul addressed this issue. The believers in Colossae didn’t have internet access but they were still dealing with a wide variety of conflicting spiritual ideas. Just as we are encountering heretical teachings and false doctrines today, the Colossian church was being infiltrated with false teachings that were confusing believers. Turns out there’s nothing new under the sun.

 

In 62 AD, there were a few different heretical ideas at play that could have been the culprit that Paul was addressing with the Colossians. At this time, many people were combining ideas from pagan worship, folk beliefs, Jewish mysticism, angel worship, Gnosticism, and elements of Greek philosophy with Christian truth. As we continue to study Colossians, we will see Paul combat these heretical ideas with the truth of the Gospel. His focus? Christ alone.

 

In today’s verses, Paul points out that he is not some random traveling preacher with unsubstantiated truth claims. He is an apostle of Christ by the will of God. He is an ambassador and a representative of Jesus Christ who was appointed for this job by God Himself.

 

How do we know that we can trust his claims? Because of his miraculous conversion! When we first meet Paul (Saul) in Acts 7:58, he was overseeing the stoning of Stephen, a newly appointed minister to the Greek widows in the church. In Acts 8, we read of him dragging Christians from their homes and sending them to prison. Later in Acts and in his letters to the churches, Paul repeatedly admits that he was one of the greatest persecutors of the early church. “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.” (Acts 26:9-11).

 

But in Acts 9, we read of his conversion. He was on his way to synagogues in Damascus to hunt for Christians to arrest when the risen Christ appeared to him. The men that were with him testified that this encounter truly happened. They saw the brilliant light and heard a voice. They could testify to the fact that Paul was left blinded by this encounter. After 3 days, Ananias, who had been told by God to go to Saul, came to him to heal him. Paul had also received a vision that a man named Ananias would be coming to restore his sight. From that moment on, Paul changed. He went from persecuting followers of Jesus to preaching Jesus!

 

Paul had nothing to gain by converting to Christianity but he had a lot to lose. He went from being the hunter to being the hunted and began to experience the very suffering and persecution he had previously inflicted on others. And yet, he never recanted.

 

Friends, we can trust the testimony of Paul as reliable and trustworthy because he was appointed to his role of apostle by Christ Himself. Paul was not seeking to become an apostle of Jesus. He had no earthly motive and nothing worldly to gain by preaching the Gospel of the Risen Christ. And yet, he did. He sacrificed everything, even his own life, to preach the truth of Christ. If you are wondering who you can trust to tell you the truth of the Gospel, open your Bibles with us for the next several weeks as we study the book of Colossians.

 

Pray

Lord, there are so many voices who claim to proclaim the truth. I don’t want to be led astray. Open my heart and my mind to the truth of Your Word. Remind me to go directly to the trustworthy sources that you have provided to get my information about You. Amen.

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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a month ago
You state that Paul had nothing to gain by converting to Christianity but he had a lot to lose. He went from being the hunter to being the hunted and began to experience the very suffering and persecution he had previously inflicted on others. And yet, he never recanted. Yes, while he went from being the hunter to being the hunted in an earthly perspective, he, in fact, had everything to gain by converting to Christianity! And he spent the rest of his life convincing others that they too had everything to gain by converting to Christianity! I pray that I will not give in to avoid the pain of earthly suffering. May we be strong and faithful as Paul was in proclaiming our Christian faith no matter what we may face.
1 reply
a month ago
You are right. He had a lot to gain spiritually speaking. But from a worldly perspective, he had no earthly reason to convert to Christianity. The Gospel must be true or else he wouldn’t have given up all he had to preach it. 😊
a month ago
Having been elected into Your family by Your Spirit, Lord continue to teach me just who You are and help me to work for the benefit of Your church and the furtherance of Your name. Amen.
a month ago
Lord Jesus, like Paul, I too persecuted Your church family with taunts and unpleasant language when I didn't know who You are. Having been elected into Your family
a month ago
Yes, amen Pastor Nat! And as the bible teaches us, and if we continue in God's Word, we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free! Free from the lies and deceptions in this world.
a month ago
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” (Deut. 4:2.) ... “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” (Deut. 12:32.)

“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. ... 22:18–19.)

Interpreting is 'explaining' what a verse is saying, making it clearer to understand it. To add or subtract would be to actually taking a verse, and changing the words so as to add their own words; taking words out and deleting them; and changing and twisting the context of the true meaning or their translation.

God's Word is our True food bounty that feeds our Spirit, Souls, Heart's. No matter how man tries to translate God's Word I'll stand on God's Word as He wrote it and through His disciples; not man. Then we truly can Win The Day!

Father I Praise and Thank You for"Your" Word Truth not the translations of man's, Father I Thank You for the Blessings of the loving brother's and sister's I have met on BTTB as they have truly lifted me up in You Lord, Father I'm so Thankful that no matter what man tries to say I know we who accept Jesus Christ Our Savior, belong to You and nothing can separate us from The Love of God, Father I pray You Bless everyone here and worldwide who Love You with Your True Peace Mercy and Grace to know they are Loved by The only Love that matters, that come what may You dwell within we Your children in Jesus Mighty name Amen





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