Starting next week, we will begin a 10-week study of the book of Colossians. Through this study, we will be exploring the preeminence of Jesus Christ and how that preeminence (supremacy in all things) impacts both how we live our lives and our hope for the future.
The church in Colossae was facing difficulties not unlike those we face today. Paul’s epistle to this church was written at a time when it was difficult to be a follower of Christ. The infamous Nero was emperor of Rome. Different religious groups attacked this small group of believers from without, and other heretical groups attacked it from within. Unlike us, these Colossian believers didn’t have the full canon of Scripture to guide them through this time. Thus, it was easy for them to become misled and distracted from the source of their hope and faith, Jesus.
Though we do have the benefit of the full revelation of God’s Word to us, we tend to struggle just as they did. We may struggle with feeling insecure, angry, scared, or even depressed when see all the turmoil in our world today. When we face such emotions, it is easy for us to turn to things that in the past brought us comfort or unhealthy coping mechanisms. It is also easy for us to take those things that bring us comfort (even good things) and turn them into ultimate thing, and that’s idolatry.
God has so much more for us. Jesus said that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus wasn’t simply promising health and wealth with that statement. He was promising us a confident joy that would transcend our circumstances. Jesus was promising us that if we made Him preeminent in our lives, we could have life as it was meant to be—a life that was sure, secure, and rewarding, no matter what chaos we faced in our world.
So, as we journey through Colossians together over the next 10 weeks, embrace both the challenge and the promise of this short epistle. Embrace everything that God has for you when you make Jesus preeminent in your life.
- We know from archaeological discoveries that the Colossians often turned to talismans, religious rites, and even prayers to angelic beings to get them difficult circumstances. What about us? What are the things we turn when we are afraid or insecure?
- What are the things that tend to unsettle you and your emotions? What are the things that “keep you up at night”? Take some time to pray over those things with the members of your group.
- Discuss the goals for your group this semester, both as a group and individually.
- Discuss some ways your group can be a blessing to others outside your group. Consider scheduling a group service project or evangelistic activity.