Colosse: A City Whose History We Should Not Forget

Successful Economic Center

Other than the biblical reference to its name, little is known about this faraway place. However, we do know it was a bustling city: caravans traveled through laden with goods, merchants bought and sold, and banks prospered with the exchanging of monies.

Sheep grazed the hillsides, shearers did their duties harvesting the prized black wool, and shop owners beckoned for tourists to stop and purchase their wares.

Sheep following shepherd
A common site was sheep following their shepherd on the hillsides.

Crossroad of Trade

Colosse was part of a tri-city area. Two important trade routes crossed its streets. With such important commerce, it seems this city would have remained prosperous.

But what happened to Colosse?

Where is it today?

Why should we remember it?

Traveler’s Destination

Let’s grab our backpacks and hike to Colosse. Hopefully, we can see some of those black sheep grazing on the hillsides and, possibly, get a glimpse of the shepherds as they tend their flocks.

As we explore let’s bring along a special letter that was written to these people of the past. We can find it in the New Testament entitled The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.

It’s a long dusty road through modern Turkey, but we can’t wait to see famous Colosse.

Since it was a successful economic center, it must have one of those nice high-rise hotels so we can rest our feet for a day and view the city from an upper balcony.

Yes, and let’s go shopping and get some souvenirs to take home with us.

But something’s the matter. What is it?

The maps says Colosse was right here, but where is it? I don’t see any city.

Maybe it’s just over that rise and we can’t see it. Let’s climb that mound and then we’ll find it.

Look at the map again. Did we take a wrong turn?

No, we’re at the right place. My calculations show that we are standing right on top of it.

What? Standing on top of it? You mean it’s under our feet?

Yes, this mound is all that is left of Colosse. No big city, no high-rise hotels, no large banks, no merchants’ stalls.

What happened? It was such a prosperous city. Are you telling me that all that is left of Colosse is this mound of dirt? We must find out what happened to the city.

Yes, we must; and what happened to the people who lived there, especially the church.

A Mystery Letter

Remember that Colosse was part of a tri-city area. The other two cities were Hierapolis and Laodicea.

Did you know that Paul’s epistle to the Colossians was also written to the Laodiceans? In fact, Paul wrote another letter to the Laodiceans that was to be shared with the Colossians.

Oh, a mystery letter!

Yes, it may be a mystery to us; but what is paramount is the messages we do have.

Revelation 3 gives us insight as to the condition of the churches in this area at the end of the first century.

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Revelation 3:14-17

Do you see any similarities to the church today?

Mentioned in The Annals

The Roman senator and historian, Tacitus, kept a journal of events that happened in the Roman Empire during his time.

This journal called The Annals has been translated by Alfred Church and William Bradribb and gives us insight and a valuable timeline as to the condition of and the happenings in the empire during the reign of several emperors.

Of particular interest to us, Book XIV of The Annals has an important statement concerning the area surrounding Colosse and Laodicea.

“One of the famous cities of Asia, Laodicea, was that year overthrown by a earthquake, and, without any relief from us, recovered itself by its own resources.”

The Annals, Book XIV

Major Event

A great earthquake happened sometime between AD 60 and AD 62 during the reign of Nero. The tri-city area of Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis was devastated. Laodicea and Hierapolis managed to recover from the ruins.

However, Colosse lay in ruins and was never able to restore itself. Today, those ruins lie somewhere beneath the sod. Only a mound remains to remind us of its existence.

An Important Lesson

Colosse and its demise reminds us that prosperity does not guarantee a grand future. In a moment of time everything we thought was of great importance can change.

Studying the past can help us learn lessons that can prevent us from falling into the same complacency as Colosse did.

If such an earthquake happened today, would you be prepared for whatever fate awaited you?

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Revelation 3:18-19

Final Preparation

The Colossians were challenged to change their ways and repent. They did not see that doom was just beyond the horizon.

Were they prepared for the disaster that lay ahead? We can only hope that many repented and were prepared to meet God.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20

We should also be prepared for any future disaster by preparing our hearts now to meet God.

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to make a way for us to be saved from the greatest disaster, eternity without God.

The Lord Jesus stands at our heart’s door waiting to hear our heart’s cry.

If you are not prepared for eternity cry out to Jesus today. Ask Him to make you prepared by coming into your heart and saving you from your complacency and wrongdoings.

God loves you and will respond to your plea. He will not turn anyone away to comes to Him honestly and sincerely.

Asking Jesus into your heart will be the greatest decision you will ever make. Then you will be prepared for eternity.

Copyright 2020

Directives for Troubled Times

Do you find yourself frustrated by your to-do lists?
Fear can cause us to make costly mistakes. Don’t be afraid to seek wise counsel. (Photo courtesy of energepic on Pexels.)

A moment of time can bring drastic change to any of life’s journeys. Recent events remind us that life is fragile, ever-changing, and uncertain.

In these troubled times, it behooves us to turn to the Word of God and discover the comfort and guidance that God alone can give.

Paul’s words to the Philippians are such words.

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Philippians 2:1-4


The first instruction to glean from these verses is that if there is going to be any comfort, fellowship, compassion, or mercies then we must be likeminded.

Paul defines likemindedness as having the same love, being in one accord or agreement, and being of one mind. This means that we must be able to reason together as to the proper mode or position we are to take on any occasion.

Even the Lord Himself speaking through Isaiah said to “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Paul warns against finalizing any decisions when there is strife or arguments still to be discussed and settled. God does not mind a good debate. In fact, Proverbs tells us there is safety in the multitude of counselors.

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.

Proverbs 15:22


By considering the pros and cons of each position, we are more informed and able to make better decisions. Thus we avoid many of the complications that may regarding our choices.

Also, through debate many times a person’s purpose becomes evident. Is their counsel derived from the desire to glorify God or to get self glory.

The desire to do what is best for oneself is not always what is best for everyone involved. It also opposes Biblical instruction of “doing all to the glory of God.”

Appreciating others’ input and respecting their views as to their perspectives demonstrates a willingness to come to a decision that is Biblical and God-honoring.


As to the body of Christ, we are exhorted to care not only about our own needs but to care about the needs of others also.

Those needs include physical as well as spiritual things.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Philippians 2:14-16

Light Awareness

The body of Christ is to make decisions based on the Word of God. When those decisions are arrived appropriately, the body of Christ will be without rebuke.

We need to remember that we are in the middle of a wicked and perverse nation of peoples that are simply lost and desperately in need of comfort and guidance.

As the world looks to God’s people for guidance and direction, let’s be the light that leads them through the darkness.

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.

Copyright 2020 by Peggy Clark

The Apostle Paul: Living in Good Conscience

Paul’s example of living in good conscience is a worthy example for us to follow. May we be able to say the same before any of our accusers.

(Photo by Ben White on Unsplash)
(Photo by Ben White on Unsplash)

Living in Good Conscience

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Acts 23:1

God has gifted us with a valuable inward sensibility that warns, and when properly adhered to, restrains us from doing wrong.  That inward sensibility or emotion is our conscience. 

A Strong Inward Guide

Our conscience is a strong inward guide when we are young and sensitive.  Yet, as we grow older, our tendency is to grieve or smother our conscience by avoiding its warning to restrain from doing wrong.  As Scripture says, we can vex our righteous souls by listening to and adhering to the evil ways of society. 

Consequences of Ignoring

In the Old Testament we learn about a man named Lot.  He vexed his soul and eventually lost his entire family with the exception of two daughters.  Yet, those two daughters were heavily influenced by their father’s decision to expose them to the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah.  That exposure led to serious consequences.

Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked cities.   The citizens ignored their consciences and gave themselves “over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”  (See Jude 7.) 

Due to their rejection of God and their gross immorality these cities were judged and completely destroyed.  At some point, the citizens obviously chose to ignore their consciences and follow their fleshly desires. 

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and their citizens gives a strong warning of what can happen if we choose to ignore our consciences and live ungodly.  As we continue to smother that inward perception of what is right and what is wrong, our lives begin a downward path toward destruction.

Our Conscience Is a Gift

Our consciences are a gift from God that will help to steer us in a right path until we find salvation in Jesus Christ.  Then the Holy Spirit will guide us in truth and wisdom. 

Paul’s Conscience

Paul was able to say that he had lived “in all good conscience” as he stood before the chief priests and their council members. The Roman centurion commented that he found nothing “worthy of death or of bonds” for which to hold Paul. Even the chief priests were not able to prove any offense that Paul may have committed.

When standing before the governor Paul remarked:

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.

Acts 24:16

Paul’s example of living in good conscience is a worthy example for us to follow. May we be able to say the same before any of our accusers.


Lord, make my conscience sensitive toward You this day.  May I listen and take heed to your small nudges.  

Forgive me when I neglect Your guidance and fail to respond properly.  Your path is always the right path that leads me to the proper outcome.

Keep me tender hearted and make me more like Christ each day.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2019 by Peggy Clark

Epaphras: Servant of Christ

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.  Colossians 4:12

In The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians we read of a man named Epaphras. This man had traveled by unknown means to the city of Rome from the city of Colosse.

By stating unknown we realize that people in those days either walked or traveled long distances by caravan. However, we do not specifically know why Epaphras came to Rome. He could have come on business, been brought by Roman request, or have come particularly to seek out the apostle Paul for wisdom and direction.

Whatever his reason for coming to the capital of the Roman empire, he did wind up face to face with the apostle during the time of Paul’s confinement.

We learn several things about Epaphras during this particular period as stated in the epistle.

As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ.  Colossians 1:7

A Saved Man

In Colossians 1:7 and 4:12-13 we learn that Epaphras was a saved man who served Christ.

His position in Colosse and the surrounding cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis was as a minister. Whether that was as the pastor of a church body or as a traveling evangelist or circuit preacher is of little consequence. He was definitely ministering and evangelizing the area.

A Faithful Man

The above verses also tell us that Epaphras was faithful.

Not only was he faithful to Christ, but he was faithful to those to whom he ministered. He spoke highly of the positive traits of the church.

By reading the account in Colossians we can also infer that he spoke of conditions concerning the church. Those were spoken of only because of Epaphras’ desire for help in his ministering to and the establishing of the saints in their personal walk with the Lord.

A Positive Man

Epaphras’s conversation was as any minister’s should be.

He spoke of the love shown by the Colossians toward each other, their faithfulness to Jesus Christ, their reception of the gospel, and the fruit that was being displayed by the church. He also spoke highly of their love of spiritual things (See Col. 1:4-8; 2:5). In no way was he negative of the members of the body of Christ where he served.

A Praying Man

We also see that Epaphras was a prayer warrior (Col. 4:12-13).

Scripture tells us that he was “always labouring fervently” in prayers. His prayers were not general; they were specific requests to God.  Those requests manifest to us his desire to see the church “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

His burden is further shown by his great zeal.

It is refreshing to hear a minister speak excitedly about his congregants and the growth that is being experienced by the individual members of the body of Christ where he serves.

Epaphras’s focus was on what was right about the church.

His concerns focused on what would help the church go further in their walk with Christ. He wasted no time in gleaning instruction from Paul that would help him further his ministry to these people.

There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus. Philemon 23

A Standing Man

Epaphras is also mentioned in Philemon 23.  Here he is described as being a “fellowprisoner.”

Was he arrested while visiting the city, arrested while ministering in Colosse and then brought forcefully to Rome, or arrested later and brought back to Rome, we do not know. We only know his stand for Christ led to his imprisonment of some sort.

The mention of his name in Paul’s letter to Philemon lets us know that Epaphras remained faithful in spite of difficult circumstances.

Faithfulness is a characteristic that each of us should covet especially in these times of uncertainty. Faithfulness, service, zeal, and prayerfulness should be the description of every saint’s character.

What characteristics show Epaphras to be a man of God?
What other characteristics should men of God display?
Are you faithfully serving the body of Christ? In what way?
How can others serve faithfully?

Saul’s To-Do List

Is Your To-Do List Missing Something?

Acquainted with the to-do list?

A to-do list is a check sheet of tasks that we are compelled to do within a day or a week or a month. As each proposed task is accomplished, a checkmark  is placed beside that task to show that it has been completed.

We like the satisfaction of checking things off our list, but sometimes our to-do list contains more than we can accomplish.  That’s when frustration sets in and we can become discouraged.

Do you find yourself frustrated by your to-do lists?
Do you find yourself frustrated by your to-do lists? (Photo courtesy of energepic on Pexels.)

Saul’s To-Do-List

The Jews, Pharisees and Sadducees had a to-do list for a man named Saul.  That to-do list was one that Saul had performed religiously.

  • Hebrew
  • Israelite
  • seed of Abraham
  • tribe of Benjamin
  • righteousness which is of the law of Moses
  • a member of the Pharisees
  • attend Gamaliel’s school
  • follow traditions and procedural protocol of the fathers
  • zealous toward God

Wow! What a to-do list, and yet Saul was certified to check off each of the above by the Sanhedrin.  In fact, the chief priests entrusted Saul with letters giving instruction and permission to persecute those who did not follow their religious to-do list.

Saul’s Revised To-Do List

Saul soon found out that something important was missing from his to-do list.  In fact, he discovered his to-do list was worthless.

Don't let your to-do lists keep you from discovering the important things in life.
Don’t let your to-do lists keep you from discovering the important things in life. (Photo courtesy of Pexels by Skitterphoto.)

While traveling to Damascus on one of his commissioned trips, Saul saw a great light from heaven shining around him. He fell to the earth and heard a voice speaking unto him in the Hebrew language.

That voice said, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

Saul immediately asked, “Who art thou, Lord?”         

The response, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.”

Saul’s to-do list quickly changed. His new checklist contained the following:

  • repent
  • turn to God
  • do works meet for repentance

Saul immediately obeyed the heavenly vision. His life dramatically changed including his name which became Paul.

Paul became the great apostle to the Gentiles. His new commission was to preach the gospel of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God: that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in [Christ].”  Acts 26:18

Paul’s past frustration turned to joy as he completed his newly revised to-do list.

 At life’s end Paul confidently recorded in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

©2018 by Peggy Clark

Do you have a to-do list?

Is your to-do list a daily, weekly, or monthly list?

Are you frustrated when you are not able to complete all the tasks on your list?

If so, how can your list be adjusted so that the most important tasks are completed first?

Please share any frustrations or victories concerning your to-do lists that will help others (including me) in the comments below.


A Strait Betwixt Two: Heaven and Earth

Devotional from Philippians 1

Heaven must smell like vanilla, he thought.

Grandfather lay in his hospital bed thinking of family and friends.  He knew they would miss him if he left for Heaven; but, oh, how he wanted to go.

Grandfather missed his dear wife of sixty years. Every time he caught the scent of vanilla he thought of her placing it behind her ears.  He wondered why she always smelled so when she passed through a room until he caught her doing it one morning.  Heaven must smell like vanilla, he thought.

“Grandpa, are you awake?”  It was one of his grandchildren come to visit.

“Yes, Jeremy.  I’m awake.  Just lying here thinking about your grandmother.  I sure do miss her.”

“I know, Grandpa. It must be hard without her around after so many years.  But you’ve got us to keep you busy.  Your breakfast is cold.  Did you not know it was here?  Let me get you something hot from the cafeteria.”

“No, Jeremy. I knew it was here.  I just didn’t feel like eating.”

“But you’ve got to eat so you can keep up your energy.  Please, Grandpa.  You’ve got to eat.”

“I know, Son. But I’ve got other things on my mind.”

“Grandpa, we love you.  Please get better.   We need you.  Dad is going crazy trying to keep up the business. Sarah and Joe need you to help with their first garden.  And I, well, I need you too.”

“I know, Jeremy.  I know.”

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Philippians 1:23-26

During a time of imprisonment in Rome, the apostle Paul revealed his desire to depart this earth and be with Jesus in Heaven.  His longing is often interpreted as his desire to no longer endure the sufferings that he bore.

However, I believe Paul had a deeper longing than merely escape.  His personal relationship with the Lord was only made stronger by the sufferings which he endured.

The Christ that Paul met on the road to Damascus had become his sole purpose for living.  Every breathing moment was lived intently to bring honor to Christ’s name.

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21

Knowing that others needed the same grace, mercy, and forgiveness that he had received kept Paul busily sharing the gospel.  The thought that anyone would die without the knowledge of Christ was unacceptable.  The world must know Jesus Christ and His resurrection power.

Just like Grandfather in our story, Apostle Paul lay in his cell desiring to go to Heaven.  He knew his family and friends would miss him.  But, more importantly, there were many whom he had never met who needed to hear of Christ.

Paul thought of the Philippians who had ministered to him in his time of need although they were experiencing poverty.  Suddenly he realized that his bondage in Rome might be a discouragement to them.

Epaphroditus was in Rome.  Whether he was in the same cell with Paul or just visiting, I do not know.  But I do know Paul dictated an important letter for Epaphroditus to pen down.

That letter sent to the Philippians expressed that Paul’s current imprisonment was only a display of Paul’s bond to Christ.  His bondage served as an encouragement to the brethren to speak boldly of Christ.

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Philippians 1:12-14

Was it Paul’s time to leave for Heaven?  Not yet.

Paul realized his purpose on this earth was not yet met.  Heaven would come, but now was not the time.  Souls needed to hear the gospel.

Cell doors were not a deterrent to the gospel message.  Being behind cell doors gave Paul time to pen letters which we can read today.  These letters are now part of the New Testament that you and I can read for ourselves.

Don't let what you perceive to be cell doors hinder your missionary efforts. (Photo from Pexels.)
Don’t let what you perceive to be cell doors hinder your missionary efforts.  (Photo from Pexels.)

Grandfather knew that his family needed him.  It gave him comfort to know that one day he would be in Heaven and see his lovely wife again.

But today, well, today was not his day to go.  Today was his day to get better.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

Questions to Consider:

Are you torn between two paths that loom in front of you?

Which path seems to more fully support God’s direction for your life?

What Scriptures support your decision to take one path over the other?

Discipleship and Training: Principles for Parents

Principles of Discipleship and Training That Parents Can Glean from 2 Timothy 2

Parents seek to train their children in what they deem as necessary life skills. These skills include reading, writing, communication, social, history, and math among others.

The methods of teaching vary from parent to parent. No matter which direction a parent may take, each parent can learn important principles from Scripture that will guide them in their endeavors.

Photo by Lela Johnson from Pexels
Parents desire the best for their children. (Photo by Lela Johnson from Pexels.)

There are some important principles found in 2 Timothy 2 that Apostle Paul utilized to train his young student, Timothy.  Parents can apply those same principles  in training their children.  Let’s look at several verses to find a few.

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 

2 Timothy 2:1-7

Parenting Is Discipleship

Paul was a spiritual parent to Timothy.  Calling Timothy his “own son in the faith,” Paul discipled Timothy as a father would disciple his own son.  (See 1 Timothy 1:2.)

Parenting Is Instructional

Paul directed Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Paul knew that the strength Timothy would need to fulfill his destiny would be found only in Christ.  He would need Christ’s grace and mercy so that he could minister the same to others.

Parents are the best teachers when it comes to doing the difficult.
Parents are the best teachers when it comes to doing the difficult. Children naturally trust their parents to teach them correctly. (Photo by Lgh_9 from Pexels.)

Parenting Is by Example

As a spiritual father, Paul’s life testified of Christ’s influence.  His testimony was esteemed highly by those who knew his daily walk, business principles, and communications.  

As a tentmaker, Paul labored to provide the best workmanship that a purchaser of tents could receive.  As an evangelist, he sought God’s direction as to his travels and ministry practices.  As a teacher, he taught truth despite the contradictions of others.

Timothy modeled his life accordingly.  The methods that Paul used to teach Timothy, Timothy then used to disciple others.  His was a self-disciplined life marked with determination to avoid worldly lusts and pleasures which would lead him from his pursuit to fulfill God’s will.

Many people depend upon tents for shelter today just as in Bible times. (Photo by Oziel Gomez from Pexels.)
Many people depend upon tents for shelter today just as in Bible times. (Photo by Oziel Gomez from Pexels. )

Parenting Is Being a Child’s Hero

Paul was Timothy’s hero and rightly so.  Paul’s life was not contradictory.  No matter how he was tried or persecuted, he remained true to the principles of the gospel.  Paul’s boldness in preaching the gospel was an encouragement to Timothy to be bold as well.

Parenting Is Being Respectful

Paul always showed respect to the authorities.  Even though he was a Roman citizen, many times Paul was jailed or beaten against the law.  In those cases, he still showed respect.

In every situation, Paul displayed the fruit of the Spirit working in and through his life.  He remained temperate in all things.

Parenting Is Being Mindful of What Is Being Taught

Paul taught daily in the temples, synagogues, street corners, houses, or roadsides.  Sometimes he had a classroom in which to teach; sometimes it was just a courtyard. 

The location was not important.  What was important was the doctrine and principles of the Word of God he conveyed.

Timothy was taught well.  His later life as a pastor was a result of Paul’s teaching.  Many men were taught under his ministry who were enabled to teach others also.

Every young child sees their father as their hero.  Sadly, many fathers do not live according to godly standards.  But when fathers do, what a difference it makes in the lives of their children.

Fathers teach daily.  Although it may not be hand in hand with a textbook, life is still being taught.  The location is not important; but the relationship and principles taught by one’s life is.

No parent is perfect, but moral character is evident to every child.  If we desire mastery for our children, then we must strive lawfully also.  If we require honesty of our children, then we ourselves must be honest. If we want our children to love God and submit to His desires, then we must love God and walk in submission.

Man and children fishing from pier. (photo by Olle from Pexels.)
Children enjoy fishing and other recreational activities with their parents. (Photo by Olle from Pexels.)

Parenting Never Ends

Discipleship is not an 8 to 3 endeavor.  It is an around the clock endeavor.  Consider what Apostle Paul is teaching Timothy, and may the Lord give thee understanding also.

©2018 by Uncovering God’s Word

Something to Consider

The disciples of Jesus walked, talked, ate, and slept 3 ½ years with their Master.  Jesus taught them the principles they would need to live their lives according to the gospel.

The disciples lived well, and they died well.  Their legacy of spreading the gospel remains to this day.

What legacy do you wish to leave your children?

Do you believe that lessons are only taught from 8:00 to 3:00 Monday through Friday?

Do you consider your children as your disciples?

In what ways might you need to change your discipleship methods for your children’s sake?
Discipleship is not limited by time. (Photo by Jess Watters from Pexel.)
Discipleship is not limited by time. Neither is parenting. (Photo by Jess Watters from Pexel.)

Uncovering Paul’s Secret to Strength

The Horse:  A Picture of Strength

I love to see horses galloping across a mountain ridge, muscles bulging, nostrils exhaling steam in the crisp air. What a picture of strength and power to anyone who views such a sight.

The horse is a symbol of strength and beauty.
The horse is a symbol of strength and beauty.

The Strengths We Lean Upon

Mankind has depended upon the strength of the horse to defeat his enemy in battle, but it is a strength upon which we are commanded not to depend.

The strength that we must depend upon can only come from the Source of All Strength who desires to bestow us with power that confounds the unbelieving onlooker and draws their attention to Almighty God.

We each have leaned upon our horses of money, family, friends, and societal status. Our experiences have taught us, however, that these horses will not sustain us.

The Horse of Religious Pride

The Bible tells us about a man named Paul who leaned upon his horse of religious pride. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and considered himself blameless concerning the law. Some might say he was a bully who used the law to hide his own weaknesses.

Paul’s intention was to destroy the followers of Jesus. Yet he was brought to his face in the dirt on a road to Damascus. The brilliance of God’s presence stripped him to the foundation of his religious beliefs. The walls of his resistance were broken down by a voice from heaven, “[I]t is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 9:5). Left blinded, Paul’s companions led him by the hand into Damascus where he was left on Straight Street. When the dust settled, three days had passed before he finally regained any sight.

“[I]t is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  Acts 9:5

The Horse of Self-Sufficiency

It was there on Straight Street where the Master Architect in Heaven began to reveal His plans for Paul’s life. Through the disciple, Ananias, God began laying a new foundation that would enable Paul to truly know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

Following God’s instructions, Ananias lay his hands upon Paul speaking words that opened the windows of Paul’s understanding. His life’s calling was revealed to him. He would be God’s witness to all men, experiencing great things “for Christ’s sake” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Sometimes our view is obstructed by our lack of understanding.
Sometimes our view is obstructed by our lack of understanding.

Paul’s experiences “for Christ’s sake” soon revealed a path that would take him through mental, physical, and emotional suffering. Having a weak body and contemptible speech, his horse of self-sufficiency toppled.

Seeking deliverance from his weaknesses, God’s words of wisdom came to him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The True Source of Strength Revealed

Humbled to submission, Paul realized that he could do nothing without the indwelling power of Christ. He became thankful for his weaknesses because those weaknesses revealed Christ’s strength at work through him.  In fact, his weaknesses became the tools that God used to make his ministry powerful.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

The Transformation That Must Take Place

What transformation must take place before we can truly become strong? With Paul, this transformation began with prayer, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).

God gave Paul a simple instruction, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”  Paul obeyed and was led to the city of Damascus, and there the cracks in his foundation were replaced with the solid foundation that enabled him to truly stand for Christ.

As Paul yielded to God’s plan, his life was transformed. He found that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. The horses that he had previously depended upon were laid aside.

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:35).

The Weakness That Drives Us to the True Source

Many are the stories that one could tell of those who “out of weakness were made strong” (Hebrews 11:34).  Weakness is the catapult that drives us to God’s presence. It is the horse that bucks us into the arms of God’s abounding grace that is given to us as we submit to its transforming power to conform us to the image of Christ. We learn to embrace this misunderstood friend as we lay ourselves prostrate before a holy God and wait for His enduement of power from on high.

Circumstances of life may have left us in difficult places. Yet as we yield to God’s transforming power, we will discover that He can make our lives fruitful regardless of any handicaps or weaknesses that hinder us.

Emptied of our own strength, we must acknowledge that the horses of this world cannot empower us. We must then choose to embrace the Source of All Strength, our Almighty God, who enables us to do all things through Christ.

My prayer for you today is that you will focus not upon your weaknesses but upon the One who can accomplish great feats through you that will confound unbelievers and draw them into the arms of the true Source of All Strength.

When you feel weak and defeated may the following verse be an encouragement to you. It has helped me tremendously when my weaknesses have tried to overwhelm me.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward [me]; that [I], always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).


Dear Father in Heaven, I realize I have no strength of my own. I confess that I have depended upon the horses of this world and they have failed me.

I now lay them aside and embrace You as the Source of All Strength. I yield to Your transforming power. Enable me to fulfill Your purpose and follow Your plan for my life.

Thank you for Your indwelling presence that will make my life fruitful and will empower me to do Your will through Christ my Saviour. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

  • In what ways do we allow our weaknesses/handicaps to hinder us from doing God’s will?
  • How is God’s strength perfected in us?
  • What horses have I personally leaned upon to strengthen me instead of leaning upon the strength that only God can give me?

All Scripture quotations above are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Our Purpose on This Earth

“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”  Ephesians 1:12

When I consider the men and women who lived during the early days of the Church Age, I am amazed at their determination to live for Christ.

Despite turmoil, persecution, loss of livelihood, and family ties, men like Apostle Paul, Stephen,Silas, and John remained faithful to their dying days.

Women like Lydia, Mary, Priscilla, and Dorcas used their abilities and belongings to minister to the men of God.

Can it be said that their lives brought praise to the glory of God?

I would say a resounding, ‘Yes’.

Can the same be said about our lives today?

Our purpose on this earth is to bring glory to God.

Am I using my God-given abilities and resources to accomplish the purpose for which God has placed me here on this earth?

Am I making decisions based on the desire to please God?

Will others who come after me say ‘She brought glory to God’?

Living to the praise of His glory is a responsibility we all must take seriously.

What changes do each of us need to make in our lives to bring glory to Him, the Almighty God, who grants us life beyond the grave?

May your life today be lived for Jesus Christ.

©2018 by Peggy Clark


Prayer: A Language Everyone Should Learn


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


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.


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.