Summary: A sermon focusing on what God wants in the lives of his children; a call to obedient growth.
What God Wants for His Children
I. God wants us to grow in knowledge him.
A. Paul’s prayer reflected two areas in which God wanted the Colossians to experience growth.
1. He wanted them to grow in the knowledge of his will—in the knowledge of truth
2. He wanted them to grow in their personal knowledge of him.
B. These same two areas of growth are much needed in the family of God today.
1. How do we know the difference between right and wrong: how can we tell which direction to take in life?
a. God gives his children the tools to find his will.
2. How we grow in our knowledge of God personally?
a. We rely upon his grace.
b. We spend time with him, listening to his voice, hearing his heart
C. There is too much spiritual illiteracy in the church across the world today: WE NEED TO PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER TO KNOW GOD BETTER!
II. God wants us to walk in his way.
A. Paul pointed out why he prayed for the Colossians: he wanted them to grow.
1. Their lives should reflect that they knew God, “walk worthily.”
2. Their lives should bring pleasure to the living God.
B. Religious faith without action is meaningless.
1. We were not saved to be useless.
2. We are not to be growing in our knowledge of God to simply be inactive.
a. A Christian scholar named Lightfoot once said, "The end of all knowledge is conduct" (cited ATR).
b. If our faith is ineffective in changing our lives, it is simply not a vital faith.
3. The chief desire in any believer’ heart should be to please the Father! Anything less is an unworthy motivation for life.
C. Friends, we need to be praying for each other that our lives would bring glory to God.
III. God wants our lives to be productive.
A. No arena of life was left out by Paul’s admonition to bear fruit.
1. He did not identify the fruit to be born.
2. The picture he was painting was a quite broad one.
3. God expected the Colossians to produce fruit in all of their lives.
B. Sometimes, I fear, we are guilty of separating our lives into nice and need compartments.
1. On the one hand, we have the spiritual side to our lives: church, grace at the table, an occasional foray into visitation—these are the things that belong to God.
2. On the other hand, we have he secular side to life: jobs, leisure, family issues, etc.—these are the things that belong to us.
3. The problem is—God does not recognize our categories—in his eyes, we cannot separate the sacred and secular.
4. God wants our entire lives to reflect that we are his children.
C. We should commit ourselves to praying for and helping one another to remain fruitful in all of life.
IV. God wants us to live by his strength.
A. Paul made it clear that the Colossians had an incredible resource available.
1. God was going to empower them with all power—anything necessary for their walk with God would be provided.
2. The power was coming to them from God’s own glorious might itself.
3. That strength would bring them to the place they needed to be— mature in the Lord.
4. That strength would give their life great meaning.
B. This world is just too hard to handle on our own.
1. It’s just too overwhelming.
a. So much hatred abounds that love seems hopeless.
b. People are trapped in their sin and cannot find a way out.
c. The world’s quiet desperation is more than the world an handle.
2. The great news is that the child of God doesn’t have to handle this world alone: God will give us strength.
a. That strength will give us endurance in the face of trials.
b. That strength will give us patience when we face the most ungodly of folks.
c. That strength will bring joy into the heart of those who trust the LORD to see them through.
C. We need to be deeply committed to praying that our brothers and sisters in the Lord will find strength for their lives.
Today, I ask you, are you living where God wants you to be? Are you growing in the knowledge of what he wants for you? Are you growing in your knowledge of him? Are you walking the path the Savior trod—or are you on your own, scouting something out to keep shelter over your head? Is your life productive? Do you know his strength?
This morning, through Paul’s inspired prayer, we an know what God want for us. But do we want these things for ourselves? If we don’t, then we might as well call it a day. If we do want God’s will fulfilled in our lives, then, praise God! We can become the people God created us to be. We can discover what God wants for his people. And will discover that what God has in mind is his loving, life-changing, presence to be real in our hearts. If that is what you want, then please—come home.