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    Colossians 1 - Image of the Father 

    During this fast season we are exploring - through what we read in a chapter a day of the Bible - who God is and what He is like.

    1. Pray and read - preferably together

    2. Pray and share

    Paul’s prayer in verses 9 to 14 is a great model for us in praying for the church.  It includes asking that the church in Colossae would grow in the knowledge of God’s will (verse 9) and of Him (verse 10).  That is our aim in these 21 days of prayer and fasting and reading a chapter a day together.

    Knowledge that stays in our heads and mouths makes us proud of ourselves (1 Corinthians 8:1) but knowledge put into practice means we live in a way that pleases God (verse 10).  We bear fruit that will last and get to know Him. 

    He ends the summary of his prayers for them with the wonderful truth of being delivered from darkness to the kingdom of the Son.

    The section from verse 15 might be an early hymn of praise to Jesus.  It certainly leads us to worship Him, the visible image of the invisible God.  God cannot be known by our senses - He is spirit as we saw in John 4.  So Jesus has made God known.  That word “image” is used of a portrait.  It signifies an exact likeness.  We saw the same idea in Hebrews 1:3 and John 14:7.  If we want to know God, we must look at Jesus.

    He is more than an example and we do not just look to the gospel records.  He Himself is the Way.  So we come to Him and follow Him, enabled to do so by the power of the Spirit.

    Proclaiming the gospel is about revealing a mystery - we are not keeping secrets but bringing secrets out into the open. 

    The ultimate mystery is “Christ in you.”  He is not remote but in us.  “Remain in Me and I in you,” we read in John 15:4.

    Note the “you” in both places is plural.  No one person can contain all the fulness of God, except Jesus Himself, and He has chosen to share his glory with us.  In Eph 3:19 Paul, carried away by the glory that is to come, describes it as “you” - the whole church - being filled “with all the fulness of God.”  We have an amazing future.

    No wonder Paul was carried away with passion to proclaim the gospel and make mature disciples (verse 28) who would make disciples, carrying the message and the hope of this glory to come.

    3. Pray and act

    Father, thank you for your amazing plans and for revealing the mystery to us.  Fill us with your Spirit so we can know You more, live more like Jesus and make disciples who, together, will be filled with your presence.