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

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?

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

 

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.

 

 

©2017 by Peggy Clark

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Prayer Words from Colossians 1

Prayer is an important part of a Christian’s life.  We can learn much about prayer as we read the prayers recorded in Scripture.

Prayer is an important part of a Christian’s life.  We can learn much about prayer as we read the prayers recorded in Scripture.

One such prayer is recorded in Colossians 1.  This special prayer given by the apostle Paul and his disciple Timothy contains some interesting words that begin with the letter ‘p’.

These words are as follows:  pleasing, power, patience, partakers.

If you are doing a study on prayer, I suggest you consider these ‘p’ words and discover their importance in your walk with Christ.

 Copyright 2020 by Peggy Clark


Have you discovered some special prayer words in your study of Scripture?  Please bless others by sharing in the comments below.

Hope Laid up in Heaven, Colossians 1

A Hope for Which to Be Thankful:  Colossians 1

Paul and Timothy expressed their thankfulness for hope laid up in heaven for those in Colosse and Laodicea.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.  Colossians 1:3

For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.  Colossians 1:5

Hope which is laid up in heaven…

What was this hope that Paul and Timothy spoke of?

  • Hope is believing the truth of God’s Word by faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

  • Hope is believing that there will be a future resurrection.

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.  Acts 24:15

  • Hope is knowing that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3

  • Hope is also believing in the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Titus 2:13

  • Hope is trusting God’s Word will be performed even though we can’t see the accomplishment of it at the present.

Abraham showed this hope by placing his trust in God’s proclamation that he would be the father of many nations even though he was childless at the moment that this promise was made.

(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  Romans 4:17-18

  • Hope is also believing the truth of the gospel unto eternal life.

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.  Titus 1:2

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.  Hebrews 6:19

  • Hope is confidence, confirmation, affirmation, expectation, and acknowledgement.

Hope is not wishful thinking. It is placing our confidence in the One who is able to redeem our souls and resurrect us from the dead.

It is the confirmation shown by a changed life.

It is the affirmation of the Holy Spirit which indwells those who receive Christ. It is the expectation of Christ’s second coming for His own.

Hope is the acknowledgement that a place has been reserved for us in heaven. We await Christ’s coming to take us to our heavenly home to be with Him forever.

For this hope we also give thanks to God our Father.


Join in the conversation.

Are you thankful for hope?
 Are you walking in that hope daily?
How are you expressing your hope?
Are you ready to give an answer to others who ask about the hope that you have in Christ?

©2016 by Peggy Clark


Culture: Responsibility of Mankind

Cultural Responsibility of Man

The cultural responsibilities of man have been dictated by God.

In Genesis 1, God blessed mankind and gave commandments concerning His creation.

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Mankind was given the garden “to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2).

Man was given the responsibility of dressing and keeping the garden in which he was placed. The same word dress is also found in Deuteronomy 28:39.

“Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them.”

  • Dress has to do with tilling or preparing the earth to be fruitful. Mankind was given the responsibility to care for the earth in which he was placed.

After man sinned, his responsibility to till the earth was suddenly met with the corruption of sin that confronted him daily.

“Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat bread, till thou return unto the ground” (Genesis 3:18).

“Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken” (Genesis 3:23).

Man’s responsibility of tilling the earth remained. He still faced the responsibility of making the earth fruitful even though he would be confronted with the thorns and thistles that the earth brought forth.

  • Dress also has to do with service. The ground that the man was to dress belongs to God. As a steward of God’s property, mankind is to “[b]e fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion.”

Man was given a “helpmeet” to help him fulfill his responsibility.

In order for man (Adam) to be fruitful and multiply, God gave him a helpmeet, a woman.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Thus marriage and the fruitfulness thereof was instituted by God. Soon after this first marriage, however, man rebelled against God’s authority and thus began the conflict that continues unto this day.

Man within himself continues to struggle against the forces of darkness that wish to lead him in rebellion against God’s authority and in rebellion against the responsibility that God has placed upon mankind.

Man in his natural state wishes to be his own authority. He does not wish to submit to the governing ruler of this universe.

God set the rules for man’s stewardship.

However, as Creator, God has the power and authority to dictate the rules concerning the universe and all that dwell therein.

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).

God set in motion the rules of nature and mankind’s stewardship of the same at the moment of creation.

“[W]hatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

As man continued in his rebellion against God, the sowing brought forth fruit that led to destruction by a great flood. Only Noah and his family remained to once again “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”

As the great conflict continued, God Himself came in flesh to this earth to break the stronghold of sin that held men captive.

“And, having made peace through the blood of [Jesus’] 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 alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, 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).

Man’s obedience brings prosperity.

As man submits to God’s authority, accepts His redemptive plan for his life, and follows in obedience to God’s commands, mankind will prosper in his stewardship of that which God has given him.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season” (Psalm 1:3).

Mankind’s obedience dictates the culture.

Man’s submission to God or lack thereof is the basis for the culture in which he lives.

The culture in which man disobeys God’s authority is filled with “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).

This culture is in stark contrast to the one in which man obeys God’s directives. The culture that submits to God’s authority lacks anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, cursing, swearing, and racism. (See Colossians 3:8, 11.)

It is filled with mercy, kindness, humility, self-control, longsuffering, forgiveness, and love toward others. (See Colossians 3:12-14.)

In other words, the culture that dresses and serves the Lord is a culture that is filled with righteousness and peace and is exalted by God.

However, the culture that rebels and turns from following God is one that is filled with chaos and reproach.

As mankind submits or rejects God’s authority, he is in effect setting the standards for the culture.

  • Will those standards be built upon the unchanging “rock” of God’s Word, or will they be set on the “shifting sands” of man’s opinions?
  • What will be the basis upon which law and order is established?
  • How will man determine what is truth and justice?
  • What provision will be made for the “orphan and the widows” of society?

Man’s obedience will be judged.

The outcome of these two differing cultures is fully explained in Deuteronomy 28. It is a must-read for those who wish to understand why societies rise and fall.

However a man decides to follow or reject the responsibility that God has placed upon him, he will be called into question at the Day of Judgment.

  • How has man stewarded the gifts that God has given him?
  • Has he sown those gifts in God’s fields and brought forth a harvest for the Lord?
  • Or has he hidden those gifts in the earth and remained idle with no harvest?

“And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you, And they went their way.

And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?” (Matthew 20:3-4,6)

Man’s obedience will better society or bring its downfall.

Culture is developed by what mankind sows into it. That culture affects all mankind for his betterment or for his curse.

Every man must accept his own responsibility in the course of that culture. After all, that culture is what he and others around him have sown into it.

©2016 by Peggy Clark


Join the discussion:

Can you define stewardship?

How would you describe the characteristics of your culture?

What kind of dresser have you been for the Lord?

Are you planting the right seed for your society to prosper?

What bad seeds do you see sprouting around you?

What are you doing to choke out those bad seeds and change the harvest to a good one?


So, What's the Latest News? Excerpt
Excerpt from So, What’s the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome

Peace with God

Peace with God

Do you have peace with God?
What is peace with God?
Can you have the peace of God and not have peace with God?

Peace: a settled mind, an untroubled heart toward another, not being anxious in the presence of another, safety, feeling secure, to be at one

 

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 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 alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister. Colossians 1:19-23

Peace of God

God the Father sent Jesus Christ His Son in the flesh to die on an old rugged cross so that you and I might be reconciled to Him. That reconciliation is possible only because of Christ’s death at Calvary. When we received His gift of reconciliation, we were given the peace of God.

Peace with God

But to maintain peace with God after salvation, we must continue in the faith grounded and settled. We have been given the peace of God, but we must remain in a right relationship with God to have peace with Him.

When a man and woman join themselves in holy matrimony (a covenantal relationship), they are given the blessing of the law in that they are married and are considered as one. They have the peace of that legal relationship as they build a house, make purchases, and enter into business contracts, etc.

However, just because they are married does not mean that they will always be at peace with one another. They must maintain the relationship.

They must work at keeping a right relationship with each other. They must walk together, talk together, dream together, and share in each other’s wishes and desires.

When one spouse grows cold in the relationship, it unsettles the other. Insecure feelings creep into the relationship. Hearts become troubled. They are still married, but they are not at peace.

However, when the two renew the relationship with each other, peace ensues. Insecurity leaves and their hearts are at peace.

It is the same in our relationship with God, our hearts grow cold at times. We move away from our relationship with Him. Our hearts soon become insecure and weary.

God woos us back into a right relationship with Him.

When we allow Him to draw ourselves back to Him, our relationship is renewed. We are at peace once again with Him.

Our conscience does not bother us when we feel His presence. We enjoy hearing His voice. We long to feel Him tug at our hearts. We have communion with Him daily. That is when we have peace with God.

Is your heart troubled?

Do you have the peace of God in a covenantal relationship (salvation)? If He came for you today, would you be ready to go with Him to heaven?

Do you have peace with God?

Is it okay if He interrupts your day with His presence?

Does the preaching of the Word of God bother you about any area in your life?

Is there anything that is hindering your relationship with Him? Confess those areas to Him and allow Him to cleanse you and to renew your fellowship with Him.

Yes, you can have the peace of God and not have peace with God.

But wouldn’t you rather have the peace of God and enjoy peace with God?

©2016 by Peggy Clark

Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not, you can experience the peace of God when you call upon His name and receive Him into your heart. 

Seek Him while He may be found.

Call upon Him while He is near.

Receive Him and be forgiven of all your sin.

Enjoy your relationship with Him.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.