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Summary: What every pastor prays for.

A PASTOR’S CONCERN FOR THE CHURCH

COLOSSIANS 1:9-11

I. INTRODUCTION

THE ARTICULATE APOSTLE PAUL WROTE THIS EPISTLE DURING HIS INCARCERATION AT ROME, TO ADDRESS VARIOUS MATTERS THAT WERE OF GRAVE IMPORTANCE. THERE WAS THE DANGER OF THE JEWISH ZEALOTS, WHO UPHELD THE BELIEF THAT THE CEREMONIAL LAW SUPERCEDED THE LAWS OF GRACE. HE WROTE THIS EPISTLE TO STRENGTHEN THE COLOSSIAN CHURCH BY WARNING THEM OF THE DETRIMENT OF MIXING GENTILE PHILOSOPHY WITH THEIR CHRISTIAN CONCEPTS. THE DOCTRINE OF GNOSTICISM, WHICH ARGUES AS PART OF ITS DOCTRINE, THAT JESUS WAS A SUPERHUMAN, BUT NOT TRULY GOD; WAS PREVELANT IN THE LAND.

ALTHOUGH PAUL DID NOT PLANT THIS CHURCH, OR PASTOR THIS CHURCH, HE WAS THE PASTOR OF THE PASTOR THAT PASTORED THAT CHURCH. PAUL EXERCISED APOSTOLIC AND PASTORAL AUTHORITY BECAUSE HE HAD A PASSIONATE HEART FOR THE SAINTS. PRAISE GOD FOR A PASTOR THAT HAS CONCERNS FOR THE CHURCH.

II. THE TEXT

PAUL ACKNOWLEDGES THE FAITHFULNESS AND THE FRUITFUL PROSPERITY OF THE CHURCH BY BESTOWING ON THEM A VERBAL BOUQUET OF PRAISE. MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, OUR WORDS ARE TO BE TEMPERED WITH THE SWEET FRAGRANCE OF COMPASSION TOWARDS THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL TO GOD. HE IS THANKFUL FOR THEM. MY BROTHERS AND MY SISTERS, LET ME PAUSE NOW AND SAY THAT I AM THANKFUL TO GOD FOR YOU.

THIS CHURCH HAD A GOOD REPUTATION, WHICH IS INDICATIVE THAT SOMEBODY IN THE CHURCH WAS TESTIFYING OF THE THINGS GOING ON IN THE CHURCH. AND MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IT’S GOOD WHEN OTHER FOLK KNOW OF YOUR GOOD REPUTATION. PAUL WAS PLEASED WITH WHAT HE HEARD ABOUT THE CHURCH SO MUCH SO, THAT HIS JOY WAS MAGNIFIED, AMPLIFIED, JUSTIFIED, AND CERTIFIED.

BUT THE CHURCH’S REPUTATION IS BASED ON THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP THE CHURCH. IN OTHER WORDS, IF THE PEOPLE ARE LOVING, THE CHURCH WILL BE LOVING. IF THE PEOPLE ARE WICKED, THE REPUTATION OF THE CHURCH WILL BE WICKED. AS A CHURCH, WE OUGHT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR REPUTATION.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS NARRATIVE IS THAT IT DEMONSTRATES PAUL’S WILLINGNESS TO PRAY FOR THE SAINTS. MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS BE THANKFUL FOR A PASTOR WHO TAKES TIME TO PRAY FOR YOU. HIS PRAYER IS NOT TO ENHANCE HIS STATUS, BUT FOR THE PEOPLE. HIS PRAYER IS NOT FOR SELF-POPULARITY BUT FOR THE SAINTS.

III. HIS PRAYER/CONCERNS

NOTICE HIS PRAYER AND HIS CONCERNS: FIRST, THAT THEY MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL. MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IT IS MY DESIRE THAT YOU BECOME FAMILIAR AND FILLED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL. AND THE ONLY WAY TO BECOME FAMILIAR AND FILLED WITH HIS WILL, IS TO BECOME FAMILIAR AND FILLED WITH HIS WORD. KNOWLEDGE MUST BE REGULATED BY WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING, PROVERBS 4:7, "WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING; THEREFORE GET WISDOM: AND WITH ALL THY GETTING GET UNDERSTANDING." PROVERBS 8:11 TEACHES THAT WISDOM IS BETTER THAN RUBIES. THEREFORE, JUST LIKE PAUL, I AM ALWAYS CONCERNED ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL GROWTH OF ZION BAPTIST CHURCH.

SECOND, THAT THEIR DAILY WALK WITH GOD IS PLEASING UNTO TO GOD. MY BROTHERS AND SISTER, GOD OUGHT TO BE PLEASED WITH THE WAY WE LIVE FOR HIM. PROVERBS 16:7, "WHEN A MAN’S WAYS PLEASE THE LORD, HE MAKETH EVEN HIS ENEMIES TO BE AT PEACE WITH HIM."

THREE, THAT THEY CONTINUE TO BE FRUITFUL IN THEIR LABOR FOR THE LORD. CHRISTIANS, AS I HAVE STATED NUMEROUS TIMES ARE TO PRODUCE FRUIT. IT IS ABNORMAL FOR CHRISTIANS TO BE BARREN. WE ARE TO BE FRUITFUL IN MISSIONS, EVANGELISM, LOVE, HOSPITALITY, AND ALL THAT WE PUT OUR HANDS TO FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM.

YOU WONDER WHY I’M SO EMPHATIC ABOUT COMMITMENT? BECAUSE GOD BLESSES THE COMMITMENT OF HIS SAINTS. IF WE ARE NOT BEARING FRUIT THE LORD IS JUSTIFIED IN CUTTING US DOWN. LUKE 13:6-9, "HE SPAKE ALSO THIS PARABLE; A CERTAIN MAN HAD A FIG TREE PLANTED IN HIS VINEYARD; AND HE CAME AND SOUGHT FRUIT THEREON, AND FOUND NONE. THEN SAID HE UNTO THE DRESSER OF HIS VINEYARD, BEHOLD, THESE THREE YEARS I COME SEEKING FRUIT ON THIS FIG TREE, AND FIND NONE: CUT IT DOWN; WHY CUMBERETH IT THE GROUND? AND HE ANSWERING SAID UNTO HIM, LORD, LET IT ALONE THIS YEAR ALSO, TILL I SHALL DIG ABOUT IT, AND DUNG IT: AND IF IT BEAR FRUIT, WELL: AND IF NOT, THEN AFTER THAT THOU SHALT CUT IT DOWN."

FOURTH, THAT THEY MAY KNOW GOD BETTER AND INTIMATELY. IT IS ONLY BY KNOWING GOD INTIMATELY THAT WE ARE ABLE TO WITHSTAND THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED. IT IS THIS INCREASED KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THAT SUSTAINS US IN THE MIDST OF TURMOIL. IF YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE RICH BLESSINGS OF GOD, YOU MUST GET TO KNOW HIM BETTER.

FIFTH, HE PRAYS FOR THAT THE POWER OF GOD WILL STRENGTHEN THEM IN THE AREAS OF PATIENCE, FOR A HEALTHY CHURCH IS A PATIENT CHURCH; LONGSUFFERING, WHICH IS ENDURANCE; AND JOY ON THEIR JOURNEY.

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