Col. 4 – Supported By Prayer

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.
Colossians 4:12-13

I’m struck that prayer here is equated with “struggling” and “working hard”. I really wonder as a nation how much it has been prayerlessness that has plunged us into rejecting Christ so much…

We have work to do along these lines, family.

1 Thes. 2 – Our Boast

For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?
1 Thessalonians 2:19

I find this profound. Out of so much Paul, Sylvanus, and Timothy could potentially boast of before the Lord, the MAIN thing is those they discipled and raised in the faith. Like a father with his children (spiritual children in this case). If that is the barometer of what we have to boast of, what does our boasting look like? That is, what is the spiritual condition of those we’ve raised in the faith? Takes a lot of time and energy to raise kids. Same with children in the Lord. But our children (spiritual and physical) will be a main thing we point to for Jesus (and He points to for us) to determine how well we’ve been faithful to our mission before Him.

The Untried Sword

A poem inspired by 2 Sam. 23:10; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 19:15; and similar Scriptures

It glistens silver--
Unrelentingly sharp,
Forged in God's fire
(Fire prepared for victory--
Every single time),
Never losing its edge
Battle after battle.

Some soldiers talk of its power;
But few take it to combat,
Excusing why it's not ready,
"It doesn't apply here."
They claim.

And all the while
The church keeps losing,
While the sword made to win
Is memorialized and discussed,
But left in its sheath--
Largely untried,
Though it'd win every time.

Lord help us
For reticence to pick up
And use
The sword of Your Spirit--
God's very word--
While we defeatedly watch
The enemy continue
To Taunt and rage on. 

Job 3-42: The Dialogue

Job 3-42 is a dialogue between:

  1. Job – rebuked at the end by God
  2. Eliphaz (Job’s older friend) – rebuked at the end by God
  3. Bildad (Job’s older friend) – rebuked at the end by God
  4. Zophar (Job’s older friend) – rebuked at the end by God
  5. Elihu (Job’s younger friend) – NEVER rebuked at the end by God
  6. God

Here is my overly simplistic paraphrase of that dialogue:

Job: I wish I was never born. (ch. 3)

Eliphaz: Repent and be restored (ch. 4-5)

Job: My sin didn’t cause this (ch. 6-7)

Bildad: Repent and be restored (ch. 8)

Job: God hurts the innocent, like me (ch. 9-10)

Zophar: Repent and be restored (ch. 11)

Job: God caused this, not me (ch. 12-14)

Eliphaz: God judges the wicked (ch. 15)

Job: God caused this, not me (ch. 16-17)

Bildad: God judges the wicked (ch. 18)

Job: God did this, not me (ch. 19)

Zophar: God judges the wicked (ch. 20)

Job: God deals with people the same regardless of their righteousness (ch. 21)

Eliphaz: Repent and be restored (ch. 22)

Job: If I could get a hearing with God, he’d say I’m not guilty. My sin didn’t cause this. (ch. 23-24)

Bildad: Compared to God, all people are sinful (ch. 25)

Job: Man is clueless about God’s ways; fearing Him is the wisest thing to do. I wish He would respond when I called to Him (ch. 26-31)

Elihu, “burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.” (32:2-3)

Elihu: Job, why do you claim God doesn’t speak to you? God speaks all the time–especially to save souls. God has done no wrong here, despite what Job sinfully claims. God is not changed by man’s righteousness or wickedness. Look at God’s ways and be in awe. He is far above us, to make him understandable to us is foolish. (ch. 32-37)

God: Look around you, Job. Who holds all things together? Do you really claim I’m at fault here? (ch. 38-40:2)

Job: I’m small compared to you; I won’t answer anymore. (40:3-5)

God: Doesn’t it seem foolish to condemn Me when I am the one who overthrows the proud and strong in the world? (40:6-41)

Job: Seeing and hearing you directly makes me realize my foolishness. I repent. (42:1-6)

God: And Eliphaz, I’m upset with you and your friends for speaking wrongly of me in ways Job didn’t. Offer sacrifices and have Job pray for you that your sins would be forgiven.

“So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.” (42:9)