Why we are doing this. This is a new things for us to offer followup questions, but we'd like to help encourage you to stay in the study of Colossians with us each week as you begin learning to study and apply the Word yourself. The following instructions and exercises are meant to help you carve out space and time to be with God. This will require you figuring out a time as well as a place. My personal experience has taught me that failing to plan is planning to fail in my time with God each day. We've set aside three exercises this week, but encourage you to try and build this into a daily routine if possible. Sort of like morning coffee!
A few tools for the journey. Bible (preferably one with cross references), journal or notebook, pen, and bonus points for a highlighter.
Getting Started. Have you thought of a time and place you will use this week? It may change day to day, but our body likes rhythms, so try to stay consistent if possible. Make that appointment with yourself and God!
Instruction for each day…(Budget a minimum of 15-20 minutes each day)
- Start by spending 2 minute in silence. This is meant to help quiet your mind, heart, and surroundings in order to "be still" in every way you can. Try to let your mind think on Christ and how He wants to speak through His Word, and you are about to meet with Him there. Two minutes may not seem like a long time, but I think you will find it serves its purpose.
- Read the chapter in Colossians for yourself each day before answering the discussion questions. Reading the chapter will help to familiarize yourself with the context so that you don't "miss the forest for the trees."
- Complete your time with a short prayer of thanks to God and 2 more minutes of silence.
1. Its clear in the Colossian’s text that God’s process of maturing us will involve struggle and hardship, but ultimately this is how God will grow us. Consider your story for a moment. What is something in your life you struggled to learn or master. Maybe it was learning to catch a baseball or ride a bike. Perhaps it was skill or trade. Maybe it was something that took place on the inside that most did not see. Did you ever consider giving up? How did the struggle change you for the better? Share below.
Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-8
After reading, consider the following quote from David Garland’s commentary on Colossians. Discuss what you think He’s saying about the “secret wisdom” of God. Share below.
“This image captures what Paul calls the secret wisdom of the crucifixion (1 Cor. 2:6–8). Jesus’ captors dragged him through the city, stripped him naked, held him up to contempt, and nailed the charges against him to his cross; but all along God was doing it to them. God made them a public example by showing how utterly impotent they were before this divine demonstration of love and forgiveness and how utterly helpless they were to deter the divine power that raises the dead.”
David E. Garland, Colossians and Philemon, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 153.
After reading the text this week, how has your understanding of God’s use of suffering changed?
How do you think you will approach hardship for yourself or as you come alongside others differently based on this understanding?