The Gospel: Fruitful and Increasing

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 1:3-8 Indeed in the whole world [the gospel] is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you. (v. 6) Yesterday we noted how our Christian lives are rooted in the gospel. Paul continued to reflect on that gospel in today’s reading. First, he noted with wonder how this message was making an impact on the entire world. It kept bearing fruit! It kept increasing! I wonder if we can appreciate how amazing that was. After all, the …

The Gospel: The Word of Truth

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 1:3-7 Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel. (v. 5) Paul usually began his letters with a word of thanks for the people to whom he was writing, and Colossians is no exception. But he always had a specific reason to be thankful, and in this case it was because of their faith and their love. These were, of course, lovely reasons for which to give thanks to God and to …

Dear You

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 1:1-2 To the saints . . . in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. (v. 2) Preachers and teachers often remind us of this when we delve into an epistle, but it bears repeating. What we have in Colossians is a letter, a piece of correspondence. But it was not written to you or me or anyone we have ever met. This has lots of implications. One obvious implication is that you …

Worthy Is the Lamb

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Revelation 7:9-17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd. (v. 17) The central figure in God’s story of salvation is a lamb. In Exodus, when God caused death to pass over Israel, the sign of salvation was the blood of a lamb. In Leviticus, when God’s people sinned unintentionally, the atoning sacrifice was a lamb. In Isaiah, when God promised one who would save humanity from sin, this one was portrayed as an …

Under-shepherds

Ben Van Arragon

Read: 1 Peter 5:1-10 Shepherd the flock of God that is among you. (v. 2) During Jesus’ earthly ministry, he led a group of disciples he called his “little flock” (Luke 12:32). The disciples did indeed behave like sheep: they wandered into trouble, questioned his leadership and in Gethsemane abandoned him completely. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to Peter, the disciple who denied him three times. After asking three times if Peter loved him, Jesus said, “Tend my sheep” (John …

The Good Shepherd

Ben Van Arragon

Read: John 10:11-18 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (v. 11) I used to work for a farmer. I worked long hours—often from sunrise to sunset. The work demanded my time, sweat, and (sometimes) blood. However, at the end of the day I left the work behind and went home. I gave little thought to the cost of breakdowns or bad crops. My boss, on the other hand, was already working …