A Pastoral Heart

1 For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2:1-3

The reader sees a glimpse of Paul’s pastoral heart in Colossians 2. Though it is believed that the Apostle had never visited the church of Laodicea, He we deeply concerned for their well-being and for the spiritual maturity of all the churches in this area. Paul offers three of blessing for these churches. Oh that churches in the present day would receive these benefits from the Lord.

First, Paul desired to see these churches encouraged in Christ. The word “encouraged” (V. 2) was used in military contexts in the ancient world. Military officers would strengthen their troops for battle and would “encourage” them to stay in the fight. The Apostle’s wish for these churches and for all churches is that they would persevere, remain steadfast in the faith, and continue until they see Jesus. Stay in the battle, child of God.

Also, Paul aspired to help these churches be entwined in love. He writes so this letter to implore them to have hearts that are knit together in love. The difficulties of the first century threatened to pull these churches apart into factions. Such is the case in the present day as well. Christians need one another to remain faithful and steadfast in the truth in evil that surrounds. May the bond of love and peace be firmly fixed in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Ultimately, the Apostle longed to aid these congregations as they were being established in God. He desired that they would grow in understanding and knowledge as the people of God learned more and more through the process of sanctification. Paul pointed them to Jesus, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Let us pray that Christians will learn more and more about Jesus.

We are thankful for Paul’s concern for the churches of his day. And we pray that encouragement, Christian love, and spiritual growth would be key components of our churches in the twenty-first century. The time is short and the need is great.

Tony French

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  1. Pingback: A Pastoral Heart – Tonya LaLonde

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