Summary: Focuses on the gifts God gives us, rather than the gifts of the world.
I’ve got a question for you: Have you made your wish list yet? It’s that wonderful time of year, when retailers are bombarding us with ads and messages that are more than happy to point out what we’re missing in our sad little lives and just how happy we can be if we get that new gadget or toy. It’s always kind of amusing to me to think about how toys have changed and progressed through the years. Some of you grew up in the days of Barbie, Mr. Potato Head, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. Others of you might have played with the Spirograph, G.I. Joe, Lite-Brite and Hot Wheels race cars. My generation grew up with video games – first it was the Atari, then the Nintendo and Game Boy systems. But there was also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pokémon and Beanie Babies. In the new millennium, the Wii, Xbox and PlayStation video-game systems took over the market. But Dora the Explorer, Harry Potter and Elmo-Doing-Anything-Depending-on-the-Year made nondigital splashes.
But it’s kind of sad the lengths some people will go to in order to get that perfect gift. It seems as though every year a parent brawl at Toys “R” Us makes headlines. Remember the reports of parents trampling each other or offering $1,000 bribes to get a Cabbage Patch Kid? The Tickle Me Elmo rage created mob scenes reminiscent of Depression-era bank runs. Can you begin to imagine a world where parents showed equal passion to secure emotional well-being and spiritual development for their kids? I suppose that’s too much to ask for.
Instead of merely developing our Christmas wish-lists, what about focusing on a Christ-wish list? In our passage today, Paul gives us a couple of ideas that we could ask for from the giver of all good things, who is God Himself. He also talks about the greatest gift ever given. As we enter this season that our society marks with commercialism and greed, we would do well to focus on the gifts that God desires to give us.
The Gift of Knowledge (vv. 9-10)
Every believer needs to have “the knowledge of His will.” There is always more to learn about God and His will for our lives. No Christian would ever dare to say that he had “arrived” and needed to learn nothing more. The will of God is an important part of a successful Christian life. God wants us to know His will. God is not a distant dictator who issues orders and never explains. Because we are His friends, we can know what He is doing and why He is doing it. As we study His Word and pray, we discover new and exciting truths about God’s will for His people.
The word filled is a key word in Colossians. In the language of the New Testament, to be filled means to be “controlled by.” When we are filled with anger, we are controlled by anger. To be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) means to be “controlled by the Spirit.” Paul’s prayer, then, is that we might be controlled by the full knowledge of God’s will.