(#016) Colossians 1 - Be Gratefull for ALL of God's Gifts

No better time than the present to get busy living the zoe life.








Welcome To


a Christian Church


Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  Welcome to this Bible lesson!


Who is Jesus Christ?  At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God.  Titus, Chapter 2, Verses 13 and 14 say…


TITUS 2:13

…(we believers in Christ are) looking for the blessed hope (with absolute confidence)…looking for the appearing of the glory of our great God who is our Savior…Christ Jesus…


TITUS 2:14

…who gave Himself (as a sin substitute) for us…to redeem us from (sovereignty to) every lawless deed (sin)…and to purify for Himself a people for His very own possession…a people who are eager to do good deeds.


As believers in Christ, we know that God cleanses us and we gladly and voluntarily bring our conduct into conformity with His will.


Why does Barah Ministries exist?


At Barah Ministries, we introduce people to the Lord.  We make a difference by teaching the Word of God verse-by-verse from the Lord’s perspective and not from man’s perspective.  God Himself commands that we study the Word, and He offers a reward when we do.  He exhorts us in Proverbs, Chapter 3, Verses 1 and 2…


My sons…do not forget My teaching…but let your heart keep my mandates.



For My words will add length to your days and years to your life and the peace of God (to your soul).


Barah Ministries is provided by God for the benefit of unbelievers, to give them the gospel message, which introduces them to the good news concerning Jesus Christ’s salvation offer.  The Lord’s arms are wide open to unbelieving ones!  Romans, Chapter 6, Verse 23 says…



For the compensation paid for your sin is the second death in the Lake of Fire…but the free and gracious gift of God the Father is the resurrection life (eternal life) in union with Christ Jesus our Lord (for whosoever believes in Him).


When we are unbelievers, God says, “I WANT YOU!”


Barah Ministries is provided by God for the benefit of Christians as well, for those who want a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with the Lord through the study of His Word.  The Lord offers an analogy to believers in Christ in Revelation, Chapter 3, Verse 20…



Behold…I (the Lord Jesus Christ) stand at the door of your soul and I keep on and knocking…if (3) anyone hears My voice (through the Word of God) and opens the door…I will rush in to dine with him…and he will dine with Me.


To believers in Christ, God says, “I GOT YOU!”  That’s why we study the Word of God…to allow God’s truth to shape our reality instead of the world’s lies shaping our reality.  God warns us in First John, Chapter 2, Verse 15…



Do not love the world…nor the things in the world. If (3) anyone loves the world…the love of the Father is ABSOLUTELY NOT (ouk) in him.

Believers in Christ, are incapable of loving the world.


God has an enemy…Satan…whom God made ‘the ruler of this world.’  In

John, Chapter 12, Verse 31, the Lord says…


JOHN 12:31

“Now judgment is upon this world…now the ruler of this world (Satan) will be cast out (he will be dethroned at a future time).”


Satan is a perfect, gorgeous, well-dressed, former officer angel, and he is a brilliant genius.  He blinds the minds of unbelievers so they don’t get to know God and so they don’t see the power of the gospel message…and he interferes with the believer’s chance to become intimate with God through the study of the Word of God by distracting us to meaningless pursuits.  If not for God’s protective power, everyone would be defenseless against him.


The spiritual life is warfare, and your soul is the battleground.  In Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 12, believers in Christ are reminded that…



…our struggle is not against flesh and blood (against human beings…a physical struggle)…our struggle is (spiritual)…against the rulers…against the powers of this dark world…against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (the spiritual mafia).


Many believers in Christ, through Satan’s encouragement, have abandoned their spiritual lives in favor of a superficial and counterfeit spiritual life.  They glory in the pain and the failures of other believers…in fact, they enjoy inflicting pain on people who are children of the living God…fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  These pseudo-victories are ALWAYS short-lived.


As believers in Christ, we are not fighting FOR the victory in this spiritual warfare…we are operating FROM victorious ground!  WE CAN’T BE DEFEATED.  Those of us in union with Christ have the victory over Satan through our Lord, who has overcome the world.  James, Chapter 4, Verse 7 says…




(Believers in Christ)…Submit yourselves to God (by obeying Him). Resist the devil (by standing fast on your victorious ground) and he will flee from you.


Satan is powerless against our God, thus he is powerless against us when we use divine power to overcome him.  Believers in Christ are divinely powerful because we are in union with the indwelling Trinity, and this divine power enables us to tear down fortresses raised up against God and the knowledge of God because we take every thought captive to Christ….we rest in Him.



Be Grateful for ALL of God’s Gifts




We love crafting a Do-It Yourself lifestyle.  Inevitably this ends in destruction because we are not good enough to sustain such a lifestyle.  James, Chapter 1, Verse 17 says…


JAMES 1:17

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above…coming down from the God and Father of the heavenly lights…with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.


God never changes…He is immutable.  God has a lifestyle for all of us if we are willing to accept perfection.  Most of us aren’t willing to accept perfection, so we settle for impefection.  In today’s lesson we’ll take a look at the lifestyle God wants for us, and we’ll contrast it to the lifestyle we want for ourselves.




In Second Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 16, believers in Christ are encouraged…



…from now on to recognize no one by the flesh…


We don’t evaluate others because of their flaws.  Instead, we remember, as MercyMe reminds us, that God makes ALL of His believers FLAWLESS.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises







Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises






Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for changing our lives…one time…for all time…by giving us Your Son as our Savior…thank you for always being on our side even when the people around us choose to abandon us…thank you for Your Word which comforts us in every situation…during times when things are going well and especially in times when they are not…thank you for giving us a way to talk to You…prayer…and thank you for letting us slam our burdens on Your Almighty back so that we don’t have to carry them…


…help us to relax in the sphere of Your unconditional love…Your grace… and Your forgiveness…and show us how to love our enemies the same way You do…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ's




Be Grateful for ALL of God’s Gifts


God has us parked in Colossians, Chapter 1, and specifically in this section…Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 9 to 12.  As we reflect on these verses, we ask ourselves, “How can I do the things God wants me to do?”  Let’s think about it…





For this reason, also, since the day we heard the report of your faith, we have not stopped PRAYING (in intercession) for all of you Colossian believers (and all believers)…



…and we have not stopped ASKING (in intercession) that all of you may be FILLED BY GOD WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE FATHER’S WILL…with all the spiritual wisdom and understanding (that God the Holy Spirit gives)…



…SO THAT all of you will (have a lifestyle filled with purpose…the Christian Way of Living)…to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord so as to please Him in all respects…to bear fruit in every good work…and to increase in the knowledge of God the Father…


Does that describe your life?



…being strengthened by God the Father with a (divine) power (the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit which is a power that is absolute and total and complete…so much so as to be almost unimaginable)…



…according to the Holy Spirit’s glorious might (divine omnipotence…God

Powers this lifestyle)…SO THAT you might have the greatest possible endurance…and the greatest possible patience…



…giving thanks with joy to God the Father…who has qualified us believers

in Christ to have a share…(our own personal portion)…of the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy ones who are) in (union with the) Light (our amazing Lord and Savior Jesus Christ).


The great thing about this Christian Way of Living Paul is describing is that God gives us this life, and He leaves none of the things Paul is ASKING and PRAYING for up to us!  What are the components of the lifestyle God wants us to have, and what are the things that God gives freely to us?  God…


Fills us with the Knowledge of His Will


Gives Us All Spiritual Understanding


Allows Experiences so We Develop Spiritual Wisdom


Manufactures a Lifestyle Pleasing to the Lord in ALL Respects


Allows Us to Bear Fruit for EVERY Good Work


Increases Our Knowledge of the Lord


Shows Us How to Use His Power…Divine Omnipotence


Gives Us a Steadfastness


Gives Us Endurance


Produces Patience (not intolerance)


Asks Us to Give Thanks in Everything


Guarantees an Inheritance Because We are Heirs of the Promise


Allows Our Enemies to Hurt Us to Inspire Us


Our human parents sell a lifestyle to us.  For my Mom, the life she proposed had three elements…Be Determined (Break My Stride)…Treat People Well (Carnegie Win Friends)…Get an Education (Resulting in Worldly Beatings).

How did that work out?  I asked a friend what lifestyle his parents were selling.  He said the lifestyle of You Can’t…You Won’t…You Shouldn’t…a lifestyle of fear.  What three words describe the lifestyle your parents were selling.  If I could say it to my Mom without hurting her feeling, I’d say, “Sorry Mom your human wisdom was not quite good enough!”  Why?  Romans, Chapter 7, Verse 21…



I (Paul) find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.


The flesh in me.  The flesh in me can ruin any goodness our parents intended.  What’s up with that God?  Well at the moment of salvation, God could have removed the flesh from us, but He didn’t.  This part of us, the flesh resident in the body, is antagonistic to God…it hates us…and it wants to ruin everything God and our parents want to do through us.


To make a long story short, we can’t do anything without God’s power.  John, Chapter 15, Verse 5…


JOHN 15:5

I (the Lord Jesus Christ) am the vine…you believers in Christ are the branches…he who abides in Me and I indwelling him…he bears much fruit…for APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.


Are you constructing the NOTHING life?


God gives us ALL we need for EVERY…even when we were His enemy.

God equips us with the ALL and the EVERYTHING we need to live the life He wants us to live.  He doesn’t expect us to work to please Him.  He doesn’t want us to use our own power.


When we construct a DO IT YOURSELF lifestyle…when we operate in our lives according to the guidance of the flesh…that part of us God left in us at the moment of salvation that hates us, hates God, and is out to destroy us…we reject all these gifts from God in favor of a life we think we are choosing…actually, it is a counterfeit lifestyle inspired by Satan and the kingdom of darkness.  Unfortunately, there are many Christians who adopt this lifestyle even after God has made them a new creation.


When we return from the break, we’ll take the offering, and then we’ll see what lessons this passage has to teach us.




Casting Crowns



Be Grateful for ALL of God’s Gifts


As you give today, let your attitude reflect the Lord’s attitude as communicated in Acts, Chapter 20, Verse 35…


ACTS 20:35b

“…remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


In the coming year, we are going to need your generosity more than we ever have.  Your giving is always admired and blessed by our generous God.


Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with one of His always insightful and always powerful and always inspiring offering messages.



Deacon Denny Goodall





Therefore, put aside falsehood…speak truth (be in touch with reality)…each one of you…with his neighbor…for we are members of one another.





Donna Summer and the Musical Youth



Be Grateful for ALL of God’s Gifts


Those of you who are in the non-resident congregation always seem to know when something is going on here in Barah Ministries, but I seldom mention what’s going on directly (which is out of character for me)…and I seldom name names.  The apostle Paul had no trouble naming names or citing problems.  In fact, First Corinthians which we have studied recently is all about ministry problems in the first century Corinthians church.  We have these problems as well.


I have heard several of you mention that you know something is going on at Barah Ministries right now but you don’t know what it is.  You just know that I seem agitated, and tired, and irritated, and angry, and disgusted, and inclined to quit…but you don’t know what is causing the angst.


I think you do know the cause.  Here’s the source…First Peter, Chapter 5, Verses 8 and 9…



Be of sober spirit (live a lifestyle of self-control)…be on the alert. Your adversary (the enemy)…the devil (the slanderer)…prowls around like a roaring lion…seeking someone to devour (he is always looking for opportunities for vicious and devastating attacks).



But resist him…firm in your faith (depending on the Lord’s power ONLY)…knowing that THE SAME EXPERIENCES OF SUFFERING are being experienced by your brethren who are in the world.


You know what’s going on in Barah Ministries because you are or you are about to experience the same things in your own lives.  Here at Barah Ministries, three people whom I consider friends first…people whom I have considered close friends for years, have left the congregation.  I’ll spare you the details, but I will tell you this…it hurt me…and it hurt me badly.  It’s personal.  It may have been surprising to me, but God was not caught off

guard by this at all.  In fact, He prepared me for it through the Word of God by letting me know that Satan, the enemy of God is an expert at using believers in Christ against each other.  We learned that in First Corinthians as well.


For most of my life, people have treated me like a thing…like an object… rather than like a person.  Of course, if I mention that I have feelings from the pulpit, if I mention that I’m hurt from the pulpit, the people who have hurt me will assure you I am playing the victim.  There are three roles you can play in this life in any situation…the role of the hero, the role of the villain, or the role of the victim.


I assure you, there are two things I am not and will never be willing to be…I am not a villain and I am not a victim.  And it doesn’t make me a villain or a victim if I choose to defend myself when I am under attack….nor are you.  We are not villains or victims if we give to others and wonder why they choose to abandon us, point out our flaws and ignore our gifts to them, which includes overlooking their flaws.  There are people in this life who think that their flaws don’t hurt or affect anyone else….people who are emotionally ignorant.


In the twenty-two years of using my spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher, I’ve accumulated many scars.  Unless you are a Pastor-Teacher yourself, you can’t imagine, even if when tell you, the depth of and the absurdity of the hurts and the pain they inflict.  Why?  Because you’re not me.  You can’t know how I feel even when I tell you.  But you can definitely know how you feel, because you have had the same things happen to you.


Betrayal is emotionally devastating.  If you don’t know what that word means, look it up in the dictionary.  Devastating.  It’s a category five, hurricane-force trauma.  The only ones who know how those hurts feel to me are God and me.


You have your own hurts to deal with, and they are equally painful.  Just know this…God does NOT want that kind of life for you.  God is always kind enough to expose people whose heart is not with you.


When we sin, God dismisses it.  People don’t dismiss it.  They never let you forget it.  What they are good at forgetting is their own flaws.  We don’t get to be ourselves with people like these.  They want phonies for friends.  They want human perfection in others when they are not perfect for others.


When we experience these hurts, we are lucky.  These hurts accumulate as if they are in a bowl.  God gives us a cup.  He fills our cup with His divine power through the Word of God to put out the fire in the bowl.  When we go through these hurts, we ask ourselves three questions:


Does God know the situation?


Is God powerful enough to handle the situation?


Has God included in His plan for our life an answer to the situation?


Yes.  Yes.  And Yes.  In addition, God has surrounded us with friends who are faithful…friends who understand who they are and who they are not… friends who understand who you are and who you are not.  Friends who like both sides of you.  So when we experience attacks and adversity sponsored by the kingdom of darkness…we fix our eyes on the Lord…and we notice the people the Lord has surrounded us with to help us weather the storms.


The group may be small, but they are powerful.  I, for one, am grateful for the job of Pastor-Teacher…I am grateful for the hurts…and I appreciate those of you who prove yourselves to be true friends.


You make life worth living.  I will never give up.  I will never get down.  I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how deep the hurt…just like other members of the body experience all throughout the world, including those members of the family…those members of the unity who inflict the hurt of the moment.  There will be more.  And they will be worse.


I choose to live as a new creation in Christ.  I choose to die to the self-life. I choose to enjoy this journey that God has me on…because I know the lifestyle Paul is praying for in Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 9 to 12 is possible.  How?  This lifestyle is possible because it is powered by divine omnipotence.  In fact, this lifestyle isn’t just possible…it’s inevitable.

I look forward to the next steps in the journey.  Do you?



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, WANTS YOU in heaven, living with Him for all eternity when you close your eyes in this life.  The Lord says there are only two possible destinations for your eternal future…either heaven (the small gate and the narrow way) or the Lake of Fire (the wide gate and the broad way) … described in Matthew, Chapter 7, Verses 13 and 14…



“Enter through the narrow gate…for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction…and there are many who enter through the wide gate.”



“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to the resurrection life…and there are few who find the small gate.”


Those who are on the broad way that leads to destruction may think there is strength in numbers, yet it is not true.  Believing what everyone else believes does not save you.  Placing your confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ saves you.


The Lord Jesus Christ is the author of your salvation.  He is 100% God… that’s why we call Him the Lord…and He is 100% Man…true humanity just like you and me…that’s why we call Him by His Jesus…and He is the Jewish Messiah…that’s why we call Him the Christ.  Jesus says HE is the small gate.  Jesus says He is the ONLY way to get to heaven…John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation)… and I am the truth (through the Word of God)…and I am the resurrection life (eternal life)…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


The Lord’s plan to get you to heaven is detailed in Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


Those on the broad way that leads to destruction place their confidence in Satan’s plan for them.  God’s enemy is a liar who sponsors false teachers.  The Lord Jesus Christ warns you about them in Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 15…



“Beware of the false prophets…false teachers who come to you in sheep’s clothing (appearing harmless)…who inwardly are ravenous wolves (out to destroy your eternal future).”


As ravenous wolves, false teachers threaten your chance for an eternity in heaven by deceiving you with a false gospel message and a counterfeit lifestyle.  Proverbs, Chapter 14, Verse 12 illuminates the issue…



There is a way that seems right to a man (saving yourself by thinking your good deeds will earn your salvation)…but its end is the way of death (the second death in the Lake of Fire).


Get yourself on the narrow way that leads to eternal life in heaven right this minute.  Tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.


Which road will you choose for your eternal life?  Don’t wait until it’s too late to consider what road you are on!  Mark, Chapter 1, Verse 15 says…


MARK 1:15

“The time is fulfilled…and the kingdom of God is at hand…so repent

(change your mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ) and believe in His gospel message.”


So heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…

JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


Another warning for those who choose the broad way is offered in Matthew, Chapter 7, Verses 21 to 23…



“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven (by obeying the gospel message) will enter heaven.”



“Many will say to Me on that day of judgment, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name…and in Your name did we not cast out demons…and in Your name did we not perform many miracles?’”



“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you…depart from Me…you who practice (a lifestyle of) lawlessness.’”


Who is this God that offers to save you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of primary importance the gospel message…the good news I also received from God…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Old Testament Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Old Testament Scriptures…


The Lord Jesus Christ has a true gospel message.  It is the will of God the Father that you believe in His Son, and that you have a personal relationship with Him.  Those who choose the narrow way have decided that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone is the ONLY ticket to heaven.  If you choose the narrow way, I’ll see you in heaven!




The Lord always gives His believers what is good for them…and He never gives His believers things that will harm them.  NOT EVER!  The beloved physician reminds us in Luke, Chapter 11, Verses 10 and 11…


LUKE 11:10

…everyone who asks (God the Father in prayer) receives…and everyone who seeks finds…and to everyone who knocks…it will be opened (by God).


LUKE 11:11

Now which one of you human fathers will…when his son asks for a fish… instead of a fish, will give his son a snake?


Luke, Chapter 11, Verse 13…


LUKE 11:13

So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children… how much more (is it true that) your heavenly Father will give gifts (through the enabling power of God) the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”


In song, June Murphy reminds us what she does regularly in her song I PRAY!




June Murphy





June Murphy






Words of Praise to Our God


Let’s acknowledge the magnificence of our Almighty God.



Worthy of praise is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us believers in Christ in eternity past with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (a place of permanence)…through our union with Christ…


God wants us to enjoy His gracious provisions…



In Jesus…we have redemption (deliverance from slavery to sin) through His blood…the forgiveness of our trespasses…according to the glorious wealth provided by His grace…which He lavished on us…including as a gift, wisdom and insight…



Now to God the Father…who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we could ask or imagine (more than is humanly possible) …according to the divine power (omnipotence) that works within us…



…to Him be the glory…through the church age believers in union with Christ Jesus…and to all generations forever and ever. Amen.



Let us pray...


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