Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Colossians Words Challenge Intoduction

Welcome to the Colossians Words Challenge! Together, over the next 20 days, we will journey through the book of Colossians by using 20 significant and key words. You are then encouraged, if you choose, to respond creatively. 

Words help us interpret life. They give meaning to everything from our emotions to relationships to theology. At my church we began a series back in January called Revealing God. We allowed the words of the Bible to take us on a journey showing us what Scripture reveals about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. As a starting point we used the first line from A. W. Tozer's book "The Knowledge of the Holy" which says,
"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."
We used that statement for each of the persons of the Trinity. That statement is also a good place to start as we journey into the book of Colossians. You see, what comes into our minds when we think about Jesus, our view of Him and who He is, will impact every area of our lives. It is the lens by which we see faith, life, people, marriage, church, creation, and on and on. If the lens is off-kilter, then so is our perspective on everything else.

The book of Colossians was written by the apostle Paul to a church whose lens was in danger of getting out of focus. Paul wrote this letter to help them remember who they are and Whose they are. The Colossian church was struggling with their identity due to teaching that allowed the cultural influences of the day to detract from the person and work of Jesus Christ and the grace of the gospel. You will often hear the issues influencing the Colossian church referred to as the "Colossian Heresy" Any teaching or philosophy that takes away from Christ's supremacy or tries to add anything to the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, is heresy. It is false doctrine or teaching. One commentary describes the issue in the Colossian church this way:  "Jewish legalism, Greek philosophy, and Oriental mysticism existed in Colosse and the combining of various ideas, beliefs, and practices (syncretism) prevailed." Syncretism is the practice of combining little bits from a variety of religions or beliefs. The book of Colossians is Paul's reminder that Jesus Christ is Lord, and He is to be the Lord of our lives. That is our identity as Christ followers, and thus, we are called to view everything in life as those who have placed Christ first in their lives. So, we will see Paul use words such as fullness, knowledge, complete, and mystery (just to name a few) to re-focus the church back on Christ, and Christ alone. He will lift up the lordship of Christ throughout the book and remind them, and us, that "Christ is all, and is in all." ~ Colossians 3:11

We also live in a day and a culture that seeks to combine the practices of the day, the influences of the culture, and various religious views with the teachings of God's Word. We face similar struggles as the Colossian church did, with different undertones. Will we find ourselves in the pages of Colossians as we read Paul's words? Do we also need reminders of Christ's supremacy and a call to live out our identity as Christ's followers? Do we find issues of syncretism threatening churches today? Do we lose our focus in the midst of busyness and fast paced lives? Do we need a lens adjustment to re-focus on Christ alone, on Christ as Lord of our lives?

Let's explore the book of Colossians together and listen for God's voice - to each of us and to the church.

May Psalm 119:18 guide us as a prayer as we journey together through this book.
"Open my eyes that I may see

    wonderful things in your law."

You can download the list of  words for the challenge here: Colossians Words List
It is also posted in the Words Facebook group.

Beginning tomorrow, August 1, there will be a devotional Bible study posted here on the blog each day through August 20. Use that post and the Bible verses to inspire your creativity. You can then share your creative practice in the Words Facebook group or in the Everyday Journals Facebook group. Both groups are participating in the Colossians Words challenge. Share using #colossianswords.


  1. I was wondering if you would have scriptures from Colossians to connect with each word. I would like to attempt to Bible journal as we go along.

  2. Great idea Lindsey. I would like to do that too.