God’s Gracious Rescue Plan

Paul’s prayer for the church included a request for strength and gratitude for God’s gracious rescue.

Colossians 1.11-12 – May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, so that you may have all endurance and patience, joyfully

Giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

The church needs strength to endure. The Greek word for “endure” pictures someone who is able to remain under a load.

I have seen many incredible feats of strength in the many years I have gone to the gym. I saw one man lift 900 pounds, and he was just training to lift greater weights.

The man in question was a world champion powerlifter. He was able to lift a championship-level weight because he regularly put himself under increasingly heavy loads.

Followers of Jesus are able to endure trials with patience and joy because we have been trained by less intense difficulties. As we learn how to cooperate with Jesus in times of trouble, we are able to successfully overcome more difficult issues.

If we follow Paul’s example, we will pray for other Christians and ourselves to have the strength to endure.

Our Inheritance

As we successfully endure trials, we share an inheritance with the heroes of the faith. Hebrews 11 contains a list of God’s faithful people with whom we will share an inheritance.

Some of the anonymous heroes endured and remained under a load of persecution.

“Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging and even chains and imprisonment.

“They were stoned to death; they were sawn in two; they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented — of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11.35-38).

The next chapter of Hebrews returns to the theme of endurance.

“Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him ENDURED the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

“Consider him who ENDURED such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls or lose heart.

“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12.1-4).

The point of Paul’s message to the church is that both prayer and endurance are needed. We are to ask God for the power to endure and expect he will help us in every way.

Rescued and Transferred

Before Jesus set us free, we were under the control and power of the kingdom of darkness. By his grace, we are rescued from that kingdom and transferred into the kingdom that is ruled by Jesus.

Colossians 1.13-14 – He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

“Redemption” uses the language of the slave market. Humans are slaves to self, sin, and the evil powers of darkness.

The Beloved Son of God suffered on the cross to rescue us from this kind of slavery, so he can transfer us into his kingdom.

Rudy Ross and I talk in today’s video about how this event is both a single act and a process.

Similar to marriage. When the officiant pronounces the couple husband and wife, they have moved from the realm of “single” to the state of “marriage.”

As everyone who has been married knows, the marriage ceremony is only the beginning. The full experience of marriage is a daily and lifetime process.

The moment a person opens their life to Jesus, they are members of his kingdom. To know the reality of that experience, they must do what married couples do every day.

Talk to their loving Savior.

Listen to his words by reading the Bible.

Express their love to him by doing what is pleasing in his sight.

Let’s praise God today for the way he has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his Beloved.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. You will appreciate Rudy’s insights.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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