Week 3/Day 1
Paul’s Work for the Church
24 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church.
25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you.
vs. 24- The Amplified Bible puts it this way: "And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed on our part of Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church."
This verse has a two-fold purpose: first, Paul says that he will rejoice in his suffering as long as it is because he is fulfilling his mission in Christ. Second, he states that whatever the situation, he is taking in the task of finishing the ministry here on earth that Christ had begun.
vs. 25- He confirms that it is his responsibility (by God) to proclaim the gospel. Even though he is in his darkest hour (facing martyrdom), he is diligent in fulfilling his God-given mission in life, which is to ensure God's word gets out to all.
Week 3/Day 2
26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people.
27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
vs. 26- You know, there is just something great about being "in" on a secret. For hundreds of years, the people went on just a prophesy of a savior, having to hope for, pray for, and believe in what the word said was truth- without tangible evidence of it being so. I am so glad that I can be a part of a generation that He has come already for us, and that proof of all that was hoped for has come.
vs. 27- This says that not only God's chosen people, the Jews, but even the Gentiles can share in salvation through Christ. It goes on further to reveal the great secret- that since Christ lives in us, we share in His glory. Glory is defines in this form, "doxa", as renown, honor, and distinction. This to me says that we are distinct from others because of the presence of Christ.
Week 3/Day 3
28 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect (or "mature") in their relationship to Christ.
29 That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
vs. 28- We share our faith with others because we know that we rob them of their chance to share in the glory of God. Also, we are judged for each person that we lead or don't lead to Christ.
vs. 29- Paul knows how important it is to be honest about the gospel- so he says that he works and struggles to do what he was called to do- and he goes through life depending on the power of Christ in him, not in his own deeds.
Week 3/Day 4
2:1 I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally.
2 I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.
3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
vs. 1- It impresses me that Paul says he "agonizes" over people he has never even met- his desire for their righteousness is so strong that it has him obsessing over it!
vs. 2- His desire is that they become so close as to be "knit together" by their love for one another. Also he wanted them to have complete confidence that they know and understood their salvation in Christ.
vs. 3- This verse feels so much bigger than it seems. In Christ all wisdom - all knowledge - the secrets of the universe are in him. This just leaves me so speechless... there is so much weight, and I wish I could just get what all this really means!! I mean... there is so much more than just the simple words mean, but I can't crack it open in order to truly explain.
Week 3/Day 5
4 I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments.
5 For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.
vs. 4- He says that Jesus is the secret, the knowledge and wisdom are in him, that way no matter what arguments are thrown at us, we know that ALL secrets are revealed in Him, no question is left unanswered.
vs. 5- Paul says that even though he is not near, he is rejoicing over their faith (for they "lean their entire human personality" on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.