Day 91: April 1, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Colossians 1:9-14
9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. 14 We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Transferred from the Dominion of Darkness to God's Kingdom of Light
by Susan Hill, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

Paul opens his letter to the Colossians stating he’s been praying for the spiritual well being of his readers. Specifically, in verses 9-10, he asks that they would be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”

As a result of understanding God’s will they were (and we are) able to “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.” Paul illustrates that a great rescue has taken place on behalf of every Christian. Prior to our salvation, we resided in the “domain of darkness,” but because of Christ’s work on our behalf, we have been rescued and have been “transferred into the kingdom of the Son he loves.”

Imagine moving to a new city. You would acquaint yourself with new surroundings, map out a commute to work, and locate areas to shop and eat. You’d meet new friends and build relationships. In other words, you’d develop a new routine. Likewise, but on a much deeper level, when we’re transferred “from the domain of darkness” into “the kingdom of God” through the process of discipleship we learn a new way of living that influences every aspect of our life.

In the book, The Kingdom Life, Dallas Willard says, “To enter into the fullness of human life as God intended it—and thus become the kind of persons we would expect from looking at Jesus and His teachings—requires us to live our lives in the kingdom of God.”[1]

Willard goes on to say, “We are called to well informed action in the process of our own spiritual growth. The agencies of the kingdom—especially of the Word and of the Holy Spirit—are also essential. But we can trust them to do their part. What we must attend to is our part.”

As Christians, it’s our responsibility to intentionally pursue routines that produce spiritual growth. We’ll increase our understanding of God’s will and how to live as citizens of God’s kingdom by engaging in Bible study and prayer. This might include a daily Bible reading plan, devotions, becoming a member of a Life Group, or attending a Focus Study.

Cultivating our spiritual growth is a process that we must be intentional about. We can be confident that the Holy Spirit will be faithful to guide, teach, and mature us. However, our participation will be required in our journey towards Christlikeness and we must engage in spiritual disciplines that will facilitate spiritual maturity.


[1] Alan Andrews, The Kingdom Life. (Colorado Springs:NavPress, 2010), 30-31. 

Praxis

Notice how Paul made it a routine practice to pray for spiritual transformation. Do your prayer requests include petitions for spiritual growth and development? How could you use Paul’s prayers as a model in your own prayer life?

Are you actively engaged in both a personal devotion/Bible study and a group study? What resources do you need to get started? How might you get involved in a Life Group of Focus Study?


About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.