Esther brought us the Word from Colossians 1 1:14 on 14 July
Fix your focus is what Esther calls this passage. It’s our job to pray for people who are struggling. Colossi people were just like us. Paul never visited Colossi in modern day Turkey. He spent about 3 years in Ephesus. Epaphras was probably the one who brought the word to the Colossians, it wasn’t a massive place.
Colossi is a trading crossroads, a crossroads for ideas , a place for Jewish refugees from Jerusalem, and a lot of other nationalities and cultures, including the Greeks and Romans, lots of their gods. In Acts it tells us that Paul even found an altar to an unknown god. The Romans really covered their back. The Jews and the Christians were the party poopers the wierd ones, the atheists of their day because they only worshipped one god, they didn’t join in the local feasts for local gods. Imagine trying to share your faith there. It’s a bit like what we do today.
Standards and values today risk us losing our focus. David, Esther’s husband had physically had experience this week of problems with sight both with focus and with pain. Irisitis was the diagnosis, thanks to a doctor checking with a colleague. It was a tough experience with injections into the eye, but following the treatment things will start to heal.
God was really teaching Esther about the value of focus. Faith and love spring from hope stored in heaven. Our lives are in Christ and Christ is in us. Faith in Christ Jesus , love for the people. It’s possible to love without knowing God but it is not possible to know God without love. Who was your Epaphrus who introduced you to God’s grace in all its truth. jump forward to verse 27 and the mystery . Think on chapter 9 of Daniel and his prayer for salvation. Paul is here praying for the faithful ones in church. We don’t what’s around the corner for our country but we need to show people the way.
Daniel and all the prophets did not know what we know. They did not know the mystery that we know, that God’s intentions are to save all people and not just the Jews. Imagine Daniels reaction to Jesus coming amongst us , living in us and through us. Daniel was a man of incredible focus.
Esther asked how old Daniel was when he was thrown into the lions den. We often see bible story images of him as a young man. He was 80 when it happened! He’d been faithfully praying three times a day looking up to God! Esther was with her grand daughter Ava watching tv and found out dogs have gaze bias. Dogs always look right if you ask them something. Imagine if we always focussed on the right hand of god! Paul encourages us to be filled with the knowledge and understanding of God, when we know that we know that we know. When we joyfully give thanks, we ate brought from the dominion of darkness into the light.
Ann Graham Lotz wrote about Daniels prayer. Ann talks about prayer as life’s compass. If prayer is our compass in life then the needle needs focussing on God Focussing on God first rather than on our problems fixed our focus. Grow in knowledge, know the Word, know what God intends.
Think about the moon landing , the knowledge it took to go there. Neil Armstrong overcame the death of his three year old daughter prior to undertaking this mission. Imagining victory is what Simona Halet, focussed from the age of 10 on winning Wimbledon!
Where’s our focus, where do we want to be? Esther’s new glasses have sharpened her distance vision! Our vision should be similarly focussed and sharpened on God.