Prayer: A Language Everyone Should Learn

 

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”  Colossians 4:2

Prayer

It is a language known only by those who speak to the living God.

A Conversation

Prayer opens conversation between the created and his Creator.

An Avenue

It is the avenue through which petitions are made and answers received.

An Intercession

Prayers are also intercessory.  They stand between the guilt-ridden and the God who alone can forgive the guilty.

A Supplication

Prayers are supplications.  They recognize that God is the supplier of all our needs.

A Path to Healing

Prayer can bring healing. James 5:13 asks us, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.”

Apostle Paul reminds us to “Pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Prayer

A Cry for Help

It is a mighty weapon that can bring God to our assistance when we are right with Him.

A Gift of Comfort

Prayer can give us comfort, strength, and direction for the days ahead.

Prayer also gives protection. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Matthew 26:41

A Pathway to Joy

Finally, prayer can bring joy. “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name:  ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

If we can learn the language of prayer and communicate with our Heavenly Father, then as we abide in Him and His word, we can “ask what [we] will, and it shall be done unto [us].” John 15:7

©2017 Peggy Clark

For more research on Colossians, check out the commentary, So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome by Peggy Clark.

 

The Answer to the Search for Peace

True peace cannot come until man finds peace with God.

People are looking for answers to the world’s desire for peace and safety. It is natural for mankind to desire peace; however, true peace cannot come until mankind finds peace with God.

“For he [Christ] is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Having abolished in his flesh the enemity , even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enemity thereby:

And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” Ephesians 2: 14-17

Man is separated from God.

Man is separated from God by a wall of sin. Christ came to break down that wall by placing it on Himself and bearing it on the cross.

By breaking down the wall that separated us from God, Christ’s sacrifice provided the way that we could be reconciled back to God.

The Law was not removed. It remains to this day. However, no man can serve the Law perfectly. The breaking of God’s Law is called ‘sin’. Our sins built the wall that separates us from God.

For example:

If a man bears false witness against his neighbor, in other words, tells a lie about him, then that man has broken the Law of God.

If a man commits adultery, has sexual relations with someone other than his wife, then that man has broken the Law of God.

The Ten Commandments
Breaking God’s Laws brings separation.

There must be reconciliation.

Sin brings separation from God. The relationship between God and man has been damaged. Reconciliation must take place before the relationship can be restored.

Jesus Christ came to make that reconciliation possible for us. By accepting His sacrifice for our sin debt, asking for His forgiveness of our sin, and receiving Him into our hearts, we are reconciled to God.

Our lives then are in harmony with God; and, thus we have peace with God.

Text from Colossians 1:20-22, KJV

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

And you, that were sometime [in time past] alienated [separated] and enemies in your mind by wicked works [sin], yet now hath he reconciled

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” Colossians 1:20-22 (Insertions mine)

Reconciliation brings harmony to man’s relationship with God.

When man allows Christ to rule in his heart, he becomes a new creature – united as one with Christ. As a new creature in Christ, his old ways are past. He walks in a new way that desires to see others come to know the peace that he has experienced by receiving Christ as his Saviour.

By being in harmony with God, man desires to have harmony with mankind.

Reconciliation brings harmony to man’s relationship with mankind.

When mankind’s hearts find harmony with God, mankind will find harmony with each other. Until then, we will not find peace on earth.

May you find the peace that only Christ can give.

©2017 sowhatsthelatestnews.info

 

Faithfulness

Faithfulness Taught by Example

My father taught me about faithfulness. It wasn’t just the words he spoke or the result of any forceful action on his part. It was, however, a daily lesson.

My father taught me faithfulness by simply being faithful.

Faithful to Family

My father was faithful to my mother. No other woman entered his thoughts or entertained his attention.

The word divorce was never mentioned in our home. In fact, I probably didn’t even know the word until my later years in school. My mother never had to worry about where my father was. He always told her where he was going and usually how long he expected to be away.

Faithful to Employer

My father was faithful to his employer. He never laid out of work no matter how he felt. Unless he was in the hospital or deathly sick at home, he always rose early in the morning, did his chores, gave Mom a special kiss and told us goodbye. He gave his employer ‘an honest day’s work’ whether he received an honest day’s pay or not.

Faithful to Parents

My father was faithful to his parents. He always checked in on them, prepared and shared garden produce, and raised a beef for them each year.

Faithful to Children

My father was faithful to his children. We were secure in his love for us. He did without to provide our needs. There was always food on the table and clothes on our backs.

Money was hard to come by, but if he could afford it, he would do his best to provide what we needed.

As a child, I never had to go to bed hungry or worried that my father would never return home.

Faithfulness Brings Joy

Faithfulness is a Bible word. Paul speaks of faithfulness in Colossians 2:

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

 

Paul spoke highly of the faithfulness that was displayed by the Colossian brethren. They exhibited a steadfast walk of faith that brought joy to Paul’s heart.

The Colossians’ walk of faith was due to the faithfulness of the One they put their trust in, Jesus Christ.

Following Jesus’ example of how to live a fruitful life laid the foundation for a solid walk that led to an abundance of thanksgiving.

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”  Deuteronomy 7:9

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

The Colossians enjoyed the blessings of a true relationship with their Savior.

It brings joy to my heart to look back and remember my father’s steadfast faithfulness to his family.

His walk of life was a path that I could tread upon with thankfulness, but Christ’s faithfulness to me is the most important example of faithfulness I could ever discover.

©2017 by Peggy Clark

To further your studies in Colossians, check out Ms. Clark's Bible study, So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.

A Legacy Worthy of Respect

Our steps are a pathway for others to follow. Leave a clear path so others will not stumble.
Our steps are a pathway for others to follow. Leave a clear path so others will not stumble.

 A Legacy Worthy of Respect

My father-in-law was a pastor until his recent death. As such his family name is well-known and respected even though he has left this present world.

In honor of my father-in-law, Rev. Charles Keever.
In honor of my father-in-law, Rev. Charles Keever.

An Exhortation to the Family

Speaking to the family during the funeral, my brother-in-law exhorted family members to live in such a manner that the family’s name and his father’s legacy not be spoiled.

It was an important exhortation that challenged children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews alike to live circumspectly because their actions could damage a man’s memory and his lasting spiritual influence to his church and community.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9-10

Colossians 1:10 tells us that Paul’s desire for the Colossian brethren was for them to walk worthy of the Lord’s name.

Walking worthy means living appropriately.

My brother-in-law’s desire was that every family member walk worthy of the family name. In other words, they were to live and conduct their affairs in the way that would be appropriate of the teaching and training that they received of this man of God.

An Exhortation to the Colossian Brethren

The apostle Paul desired the same from the Colossian brethren.

He desired that they behave in a manner appropriate for those who are part of the family of God. Their lives were to reflect the gospel teaching and training that they received from the Lord and of which they were to preach and teach to others. Their actions would then bring glory to God instead of disgrace to His name.

An Exhortation to Walk Worthy of Christ

In like manner, our exhortation is to walk worthy of our Lord. Our behavior should portray the teaching and training that our Heavenly Father has given us.

If we are a child of God, then we are a member of God’s family and, as such, can do great harm to our Heavenly Father’s name if we do not behave appropriately.

We have a great responsibility to preserve our Heavenly Father’s reputation to this world which desperately needs to hear the gospel. Let us, therefore, decide that we will not do any damage to His precious name.

As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

Leave a legacy of faithfulness.
Leave a legacy of faithfulness.

 

Noticed Changes?

A Work in Progress!

 

A work in progress?
Yes, it definitely is!

 

If you’ve visited this website before, you will notice that huge changes have been taking place.

  • First, the color palette is changing. The background color has changed as well.

I hope you like the new gray. It seems to be better on my eyes, but I would like to know if it is effective on your device.  Please let me know.

  • Second, the banner graphic has changed.

I love taking pictures with my cell phone. I caught the background while walking up a street in Savannah, GA.

 

  • The tagline and site name have changed.  Previously, the tagline was Paul’s Message to you.    I am trying to be more specific.

 

  • Other changes are taking place also. Please bear with me as I tweak the site to make it more productive.

I am checking to make sure all links are working properly (notice the underlines). If you do notice a link not working correctly, PLEASE drop me a note in the comment box.

I’m not here to sell you on anything; although, I really do hope you decide to purchase the Bible study.  I know it will be of great benefit to you.

My desire is to see us grow in the Lord; to provide helps for those of us needing ideas or information for a study; and to further assist those of us wishing to do further research in God’s Word.

  • The study material may expand to other Scriptures in the future. But for now our focus will continue to be God’s Message to us from the epistle of Colossians.

I look forward to hearing your ideas, questions, or thoughts about the site.

May you have a blessed day in the Lord.


A precious letter holds the key to something you've been missing yet longing for. It's addressed to you, so pull back the covering and take a peek inside. Find the key to the gold tried in the fire, who the missing piece of the puzzle may be, where the search party should be focused, and who owns the amazing inheritance.

Greet Paul's helpers and join with them in spreading the good news of the gospel. Are you ready to receive God's message to you?

Writer, teacher, and former educator Peggy Clark makes the message of Colossians relevant to the present day reader.

Her Bible study published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan, is entitled So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome.

Get your copy today!

 

Reconciliation: The Message of the Cross (Colossians 1)

What is the message of the cross?

What was conveyed by the death of the Messiah?

Over 2000 years ago Christ was crucified on a cross in Jerusalem, Israel.

The land of Israel at that time was under the jurisdiction of the Roman Empire.

Although declared innocent, Christ died as the condemned on a Roman cross.

What significance did Christ’s death have?

Why does all of humanity look back to that moment on Golgotha?

And having made peace…  Colossians 1:20

God is the great peacemaker

When man ponders peace, his mind is invaded with thoughts of war, rumors of war, the loss of countless lives taken in war, and his own inner war.

When mankind speak peace

Mankind usually speaks of peace only in terms that concern relations between neighbors or that concern relations between various nations of the world.

The need for a greater peace

However, the need for a greater peace emerges.  That need is for peace between mankind and his Creator.

Mankind has broken God the Creator’s established law thus bringing the separation of mankind from his Creator. That separation could not be removed until the penalty the law demanded was paid.

The law required the death of a perfect sinless sacrifice (without spot or blemish). Mankind is not perfect or sinless; therefore, mankind could not and cannot pay this debt.

God is holy and just

Because God is holy and just, His demands for justice must be met.

What is justice?

Justice means that sin or the breaking of the law must be judged and condemned.

The law sets the standard. We cannot meet that standard because we are lawbreakers. We have broken the law. Therefore, the law condemns us.

Sin separated man from God

The condemnation of our sins separated us from God. To be reconciled back to God, the penalty for breaking God’s law had to be paid. That debt could not be paid by mankind.

God desired reconciliation

But God, in His wisdom and love for mankind, knew the one and only way that reconciliation could be accomplished. However, that pathway was costly. Costly not for mankind, but for God Himself.

That reconciliation was made (Col. 1:22) in the body of Christ’s flesh through His death, His sacrifice on the cross, so that it would be possible for us to be presented as holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight:

  •                As a reconciled people
  •                In a reconciled state
The pathway to reconciliation came at a great cost.

→ redemption → forgiveness → reconciliation

By him to reconcile all things unto himself… (Col. 1:20)

Man cannot solve the peace problem

Man could not and never would be able to solve the peace problem between himself and God.

However, God initiated the peace process by sending Christ to die for you and me.

The shedding of Christ’s blood at Calvary was for the reconciliation of all things unto Himself.

The reconciliation of all things (Col. 1:16, 20)

  •                That are created
  •                That are in heaven
  •                That are in earth

God Himself paid the price for redemption

Christ’s sacrifice satisfied the demands of the law. His death paid the redemption fee.  His substitutionary death on the cross satisfied the Law’s demand for justice.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14).

Because Christ paid the debt for the guilty and because justice was met, mercy can be bestowed.

Therefore, God has chosen to show mercy to those who will accept His sacrifice, believe on His Son, and ask for forgiveness of sin.

God Himself made a way for man to be reconciled to Him

The message of the cross is that God loves mankind. He so loved mankind that He was willing to step out of heaven, be manifested in the flesh, and place Himself on a cross to pay our sin debt.

His death and subsequent resurrection back to heaven show that He is Almighty God. Now that the price of redemption has been paid, He, as Almighty God, can show mercy and grace to His creation.

Those who reject His sacrifice, however, refuse to accept His substitutionary death for their sin.  Therefore, they refuse reconciliation, peace with God, and a future home in heaven.

Those who reject Jesus Christ, reject the peace that mankind can experience between man and his Creator.

If you have not received Christ and His substitutionary death for you, please accept Him today.

You can know the peace that only comes by allowing Him to be your Saviour.

Copyright ©2017 sowhatsthelatestnews.info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colossians: Mnemonic Outline for Teachers

The Use of Mnemonics

Teachers use a variety of methods when teaching their students. Those methods are intended to help students remember the important parts of any given lesson.

One such method is the use of mnemonics.

To Aid in Memorization

Mnemonics greatly helps many students memorize important points, events, rules, or formulas. They are also useful in teaching Scriptural passages.

Some Helpful Mnemonics

A helpful mnemonic for study in The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the  Colossians uses the word ‘body’.

See if it helps you as you teach or study through Colossians.

  • The body’s prayer
  • The body’s head
  • The body’s conversation
  • The body’s warfare
  • The body’s work
  • The body’s witness
Another helpful mnemonic might emphasize the letter ‘w’.
  • The body weeping (in prayer)
  • The body worshiping (the head which is Christ)
  • The body warring
  • The body walking
  • The body witnessing

Create Your Own

Search through the book of Colossians and create your own mnemonics to aid you in teaching your students.

Copyright ©2017 by Peggy Clark


Join in the conversation:
Do you have a helpful mnemonic that you would like to share with others?
What teaching methods do you enjoy using the most?
Does your pastor use mnemonics in his sermons?
For further helps in studying The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, you may purchase the study entitled So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. Available from WestBow Press and other online retailers.

 

Apostle Paul and His Ministry

Preacher and Missionary

Apostle Paul was a first century preacher of the Word of God. He was converted while traveling on the Damascus Road. Later, he was ordained a missionary by the church at Antioch.

The Apostle Paul conducted three missionary tours extending from Antioch through Asia Minor to modern-day Greece. After arriving in Jerusalem on his third tour, he was arrested and taken to Rome, Italy. After a period of imprisonment, he was beheaded for his faith.

Moved by the Holy Ghost

Being moved by the Holy Spirit, Paul also wrote the New Testament books of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. Six of his books or epistles were written while he was imprisoned at Rome, Italy.

 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Steward of the Gospel

Paul used every opportunity to present the teachings of Christ. He saw himself as a steward of the teachings he received from Christ.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1).

“[D]eclaring unto you the testimony of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1).

Three-fold Ministry

In his epistle to the Colossians (1:28), Paul’s preaching ministry is described as three-fold: warning, teaching, and presenting.

His messages warned believers and non-believers alike of the deceptive tactics of Satan. Believers were warned of the possibility that they could lose rewards for not following Christ’s commands. All were warned of the judgment to come.

Paul teachings revealed the mystery of Christ “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). He sought to clearly present the gospel message, establish believers in their faith, and ground each in Christ’s doctrine.

Christ tells us to seek that we may find, to knock and it shall be opened unto us. Our searching should be for eternal things because those things will last beyond this life.
Christ tells us to seek that we may find, to knock and it shall be opened unto us. Our searching should be for eternal things because those things will never see corruption.

Evangelist and Minister

Paul’s goal was to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28). Not only was Paul an evangelist who preached the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but Paul was also a minister who instructed his converts to continue in the faith and grow to maturity in Christ.

Product of His Ministry

Paul took the responsibility of his ministry seriously. He labored in preparation for the day that he would present to Christ every person to whom he had preached as a product of his ministry. His desire was that that product would be acceptable to Christ.

Every preacher, evangelist, and missionary today should take that same mindset: that the products of their ministry will be those to whom they have presented the gospel of Christ.  May those products be mature Christians who also share in Christ’s ministry.

Copyright©2017 by Peggy Clark


Join in the Conversation:

What do you find intriguing about Paul’s ministry?

Have you ever thought about being a missionary?

Paul continued his ministry while imprisoned in Rome. Should we allow obstacles to prevent us from fulfilling our calling?

How can we “remember” those who are imprisoned for their faith?

Colossians 2:6-8 Walking in Christ

Paul’s Exhortation to “Walk in Christ”

Paul exhorts those who have received Christ to walk in Him (Christ Jesus).

This exhortation by Paul presents several ways that walking in Christ is displayed. See if you can find them in the following verses:

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.   Colossians 2:6-8

  • As we are taught

When children are very young, they must learn to walk. That skill is taught and encouraged by the parents and/or other caregivers.

As newborn babes in Christ, we also are taught and encouraged by those in spiritual authority over us.

  • We first must be rooted.

Having our salvation planted firmly in Christ, our doctrines taken directly from the Word of God, and maintaining an ongoing personal relationship with Christ as Lord, we will be built upon a firm foundation.

  • Then we must be built up.

As a tree begins to grow, it must have nutrients, water, and sunlight to continue the process or it will soon wither and die.

The Word of God will strengthen us. It is the water of life that sustains our spiritual growth. Jesus Christ will guide us as we seek His guidance. His Holy Spirit will teach us all things that we need to know in order to walk in a pleasing manner.

  • This process will establish us in the faith.

However, added to that process will be life’s experiences. The situations and trials of life will teach us to lean on Christ and reveal to us that we can trust Christ to be all He has promised.

  • As we abound in thanksgiving

We can then abound in thanksgiving, knowing that Christ has and always will meet our needs. He is our loving Creator who has prepared the way for us to receive salvation by giving His own life as a sacrifice.  His sacrifice paid the debt for our sin. That debt is a debt no mortal man can pay.

  • We must be teachable

A man or woman who is walking in Christ is also teachable.

The more we study God’s Word the more we find ourselves desiring to know more about our Lord. We also find ourselves desiring to please Him in every area of our lives.

The more we study God’s Word and confirm to the image of Christ, the more we recognize the depths of deception and are able to prevent its attack from deceiving us.

  • We must learn to detect deception in all its forms

We must learn to sift philosophies and opinions through the filter of God’s Word.  The more of God’s Word that we know, the more capable we are to detect the deception of evil when it is presented to us as truth.

God’s Word is truth. A real relationship with Christ is a presentation of truth. A person who walks with Christ is a person who walks in truth.

If you have received Christ as Lord, then I hope you are walking with Him today.  May your conversations with Him be enlightening and enjoyable.

Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark

 

Teaching Scripture: Know the Destination of the Passage

The Importance of Knowing to Whom a Scripture Passage Is Written

Many times we miss out on a fuller understanding of the Word of God because we do not stop to consider to whom a passage of Scripture is written.

  • When preparing to teach a letter or a book or a chapter of the Bible, it is very important to know to whom the letter, the book, or the chapter is being written.

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians was obviously written to the church body located in Colossae. However, after careful reading, we also find that the letter was written to the church body at Laodicea.

Why is this type of information important?

  • The destination of a letter directs us in seeking information about the culture of a particular group of people living during the time frame in which the letter was written.

Information contained within the letter may give clues as to the culture.

Secular history may also give additional needed information that can help us in understanding the mindset of the people who lived in the area.

Where did these people live?

In a large metropolitan area or in the wilderness? By the seaside or in the mountains?

What was the main occupation?

Fishing or farming, shepherding or trading in goods?

Was the location of political or religious or economic importance?
What major events may have happened there?
Were they a city-state governing themselves or were they part of a large empire?
How did they bury their dead?

These and many other questions may pop into one’s mind. Seeking the answers to these types of questions will contribute to the understanding of the Bible passages we choose to study.


What questions pop into your mind?

Add to the list by leaving a comment below.

Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark