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Colossians Reading Plan

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Ways to Process the Word

Below are a few approaches to help guide your times alone with God. Experiment with these and find a way that is most meaningful to you. Remember, the goal is to commune with Him. “Lord, I’m listening. How would you grip my heart today from your Word?”

Approach 1:

Who, What, So What, Now What

Who are you addressing?

Always start your time in prayer with a reverent recognition that you are coming into the presence of your Eternal Father and Gracious Lord!

What is god saying?

Slowly read the passage 2X as if you were there. Feel the emotions; sense the relationships; smell the surroundings; hear the crowds. Record insights, phrases, commands & promises that stand out.

So what is god saying to you?

Stop to reflect and listen. What most grabbed your attention, stirred your mind or gripped your heart? Why?

Now what is God asking you to do?

What will you do with the truth God has revealed to you? Write out a short, heartfelt prayer to the Lord in response to this time with Him.

Approach 2:

God and Me

God

As I read your Word today, what is it that You want me to learn and appreciate about You? (i.e., your character, your works, your ways)

Me

And what is it that You want me to learn today about myself and living as Your disciple?

Approach 3:

Lectio Divina (sacred reading)

This method of processing God’s Word is especially useful when reading a very short passage of scripture.

Read

Gently read, listening with the ears of your heart.

meditate

Slowly reread the passage. Note any word or phrase that draws your attention…or that “sparkles”. Repeat the word or phrase that has chosen you, asking God, “What do you want me to learn from this today?” Ask your heart, “Why this word, why here, why now?"

Approach 4:

2 Timothy 3:16 Pattern

(c) Roger Dye: Adapted by Perry Bowers with permission

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

God teaches me?

[Are there any truths You want me to know, promises to believe, or commands to obey?]

God reproves me?

[What sinful words, motives, actions or attitudes do You want me to confess to experience Your grace yet again?]

God corrects me?

[Where are You asking me to change my heart, break a habit or develop a discipline?]

God trains me in righteousness?

[Where are You asking me to exercise my faith or to extend forgiveness and grace?]

God equips me for His work?

[What skills do You want me to learn, spiritual gifts You want me to develop or ways You want me to serve?]

Colossians

You’ll spend the first two weeks of this GRIP discipleship season reading through Paul’s letter to the Colossian church. This letter, like Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon is among the “prison epistles” which Paul wrote while in his first Roman imprisonment. Though he had not yet met these folks (Col 1:4; 2:1), Paul had heard all about their faith, love, and hope through mutual friends, Epaphras and Philemon (Col 1:7, 4:12-13). These believers in the Colossian church had grown up worshipping various Greek gods. So, one temptation they faced was to “add” Jesus to this long list of gods they already worshipped. Another pressure came from the Jewish Christians in their midst who were pressuring the church to observe the Jewish law in order to be fully right with God. These and other false teachings had the potential to weaken their walk with and impact for Christ. Paul wanted to prevent this from happening. That’s why he, awaiting his own trial in Rome, penned this letter.

In this letter, Paul sets forth the supremacy of Christ. He urges and warns the Colossians to recognize that neither Greek philosophy nor the Jewish Law lead to a right relationship with the One Creator God. In Christ, believers are no longer dominated by their old ways of thinking and behaving. Instead, they could experience walking in newness of life with Jesus living in them. Paul paints a picture of what this could practically look like in their homes, churches, work, and community.

As you spend these days slowly reading this letter, may the Holy Spirit correct any wrong thinking about Who Jesus is and about who you are in Him. May you see and savor the Gospel and experience His internal spiritual motivation to live for him in your context.

For more detailed background information on this, or any, Bible book, consult a study Bible. You can also view the short video from The Bible Project introducing this letter. Go to Focused Living’s YouTube channel to view this.

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Day 1

Colossians 1:1-14

Review the questions below, then open the Word and read the passage. Journal your insights below. (See above for some ways to process a scripture passage. Find a way that is meaningful to you.) Respond to the truth that most fueled your soul by writing a prayer to the Lord.

  • How has the Good News of the Gospel been changing my life since the first day I heard and understood it (v.6?)

  • According to Paul’s prayer in vs. 9-10, how do I live a life that is producing good fruit?

  • Thank God in prayer for rescuing me from the kingdom of darkness and enabling me to share in His inheritance.

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 2

Colossians 1:15-23

  • Christ is supreme and was chosen by God to reconcile everything to Himself. What was my disposition toward God like before He reconciled me to Himself? (vs. 21)

  • What is the result of my reconciliation with God through Jesus? (vs. 22)

  • Paul urges his readers to never drift away from the assurance of this Good News. Take some time to ponder the depth of this “Great Exchange:” my sin for Christ’s righteousness.

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 3

Colossians 1:24-2:5

  • God has chosen to reveal this great mystery of the Gospel to me. What does He want me to do with this Good News?

  • Paul expresses that he feels responsible, struggles hard for, and agonizes over his desire to proclaim this Gospel message to the Gentiles. Who has God placed on my heart that He wants me to share this message of hope with?

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 4

Colossians 2:6-23

  • I have been made complete in Christ, raised to new life, and the powers of this world were defeated by Jesus on the cross. What powers of this world (worldly thinking, empty philosophies, fleshly actions, religious activity) am I still allowing to have control over my heart/mind (vs. 20)?

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 5

Scripture Memory

Look up the following verses in your own Bible. Slowly read the words a few times. Scan the surrounding verses to understand the context. How does this truth apply to me? Try writing it out from memory. Finally, personalize this verse by praying it back to God.

Colossians 2:6-7

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Day 6

Colossians 3:1-11

  • What parts of my “old life” are still alive in me?

  • How am I to overcome these characteristics of my “old life” and live in the “new life” that Jesus has purchased for me? (vs.1-4, 10-11)

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 7

Colossians 3:12-17

  • Paul paints a picture of the qualities that characterize a man in Christ. Being around that kind of person would be absolutely refreshing! How have I experienced these qualities in other people?

  • What evidence is there that Christ is living His life out in me?

  • Bonus: To see what being on the other end of refreshing looks like, view the following video clip on the Focused Living YouTube channel: Cop gives no excuses for record # of complaints

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 8

Colossians 3:18-4:1

  • My ability to love my wife and children stems directly from my heart being in awe of God’s extreme love for me shown through Jesus. In what ways is God calling me to show love to my wife?

  • Children?

  • How can I reflect the attitude of verse 23 in my workplace?

  • Who am I actually serving when I serve at home or in the workplace?

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 9

Colossians 4:2-6

  • Where do I see the pattern of “prayer, care, share” in this passage?

  • Take some time to pray for your “pinky finger relationship.” Pray for God to open hearts and minds, and for boldness to open my mouth.

  • How can I show “attractive grace” to someone far from God today?

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

Day 10

Colossians 4:7-18

  • Who has God has placed in my life to help me pursue Jesus more closely?

  • Pray for them by name. Pray that God would make them strong and perfect, fully confident that they are following the whole will of God. (vs.12)

  • Send them a note of encouragement today.

  • What will I pass on? To whom?

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Word Highlights

Journal: Over these past weeks in God's Word, I especially want to remember and apply...

Pass On

Journal: I expressed the following truth(s) that God impressed on my heart to my family and/or GRIP partner...

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