Weekly Update: Would Paul Rejoice In Us?

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

This time of year when I am on the go most days from about 6AM-10PM finds me enjoying God in different ways. I get to drive around a lot and almost every day I marvel at God’s beautiful creation. I get to meet people every day. Daily I pray that God would bring people across my path and that I would be a good witness and testimony to them.

Wednesday night I met with a couple in Buckingham (by the way they had DSL in the middle of nowhere). The wife is in her forties and receives disability income, which means she is on Medicare at least 20 years ahead of schedule. She has a lot of ailments and is on a lot of medications. Her husband lost his job as a correctional officer a couple of years ago, consequently they lost their home. When I finished my presentation with them, I ask the husband about the hat on his head. It said PUSH, it stood for Pray Until Something Happens. Well that opened up a door and I spent the next 30 minutes discussing Christ with them and encouraging them to find a place to fellowship with…they have been between churches for a year or more. I sought to exhort them in a number of ways and encouraged them to start doing Family Worship. I said “just start reading the bible together, discuss it and pray.” They were very much encouraged and I prayed for them before I left. It was a real blessing for me.

Then today, while at WalMart I saw older brother in the Lord that I had not seen in over three years. We embraced and I told him that we had been thinking about him and his wife and wanted to come to see them. This is a man that I dearly love (we love his wife too). He poured some time in me about 4-5 years ago teaching me Greek or trying to teach me Greek I should say. He gave me a couple of his prized Hebrew commentaries. So it was a real joy to see him. Then I asked how his wife was doing and he said “not good.” Needless to say, my joy went to sorrow.

On the flip side of all the blessings that come from driving around and meeting people, there’s the tug on my heart to spend time with my family. What I miss most is not sitting down daily and worshipping God together as a family. I love to read the scriptures with my family, discuss God’s Word, teach God’s Word and pray together. Other than a family actually ministering together, I don’t know that there could be a better thing to do than Family Worship. As a husband and a father it is duty to shepherd your family and teach them the Word of God, day in and day out, when you lie down, when you rise up and when you walk by the way…I MISS DOING THIS DAILY. And I miss gathering and fellowshipping with other believers during the week.

What makes me say all of this? I may be absent in the body with my family, old friends and one another, but I am with all in spirit. Isn’t that amazing? Paul said this to the Colossian saints and he also said something to them that should stop us and make us ponder if Paul would rejoice in us as he did in the Colossians. In Colossians 2:5 Paul says: “For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.” Do you see what Paul rejoices in when it comes to a body of believers? Two things, (1.) “good order” and (2.) “firmness of faith.” Here’s what Ray Ortland pointed out in a recent Gospel Coalition post about the two things that Paul rejoices in.
  1. Good order, as opposed to scatteredness and chaos. Good order means the people in the church are marching forward together as one, with clear intentionality.
  2. Firmness of faith, as opposed to uncertainty and hesitation. Firmness of faith means the people in the church cherish glad-hearted biblical convictions, without apology.
I pray that Paul would rejoice in us and that we would strive for and in time, achieve that “good order” and “firmness of faith.”

In Christ,

Chris