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1. Pray (verse 9a)
2. Pray for fullness (verse 9b)
3. Pray for a pleasing walk (verses 10-12)

A few weeks ago, I received a card in the mail. The card was addressed to me, from the Master’s Seminary, which is where I attended seminary. The card was obviously home-made by somebody. The outside of the card had an attractive design with a leaf and several different contours, with three simple words: "Praying For You." On the inside, Ephesians 6:18 was printed, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints." On the inside, there was a hand-written message that said, "Steven, During ASB prayer the morning, we prayed for you! May God’s grace be your encouragement -- today and always." And then, it was signed by 15 men, some of these names I can’t read very well. Felix Ballon, Frans Alberts, Mark Haston, Paul Straw, Bill Haney, Scott Basuro, Dan (?), Brent Whitman, Joey Newton, Matt Voltoen, (?), (?), Andy Woodfense, Ray Mohron, Brian Pugh (?). I suspect that these men are all students at the seminary, studying for the ministry. I don’t know these men. Since they address the letter to "Steven," it is apparent that they don’t know me. I’m not quite sure the context of this ASB prayer meeting. I suspect that it is something to do with the student body gathering for prayer. But, I don’t know whether or not this prayer was offered up during a gathering of the entire student body or whether it was during a special prayer meeting with the leaders of the student body. I don’t even know what they prayed for me. But, here is one thing that I do know: This card was a great encouragement to me. It arrived at a particularly difficult time for me. It lifted my spirits to know that others, whom I had never met had prayed for me. I believe that a similar effect was made upon the believers in Colossae, when Paul told them that he was praying for them.

Our text this morning will focus upon verses 9-12. Paul writes, ...

Colossians 1:9-12
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

What is striking to me is that Paul had never met these believers in Colossae. The only thing that he knew about these people was what he heard from Epaphras. And yet, he prayed for them. In so doing, he gave us a model of how to pray for those people whom we have never met. Are there believers whom you have never met, but have heard a request to pray for them? Perhaps you have prayed for Christians in foreign lands who you have never met. What do you pray for these people? When those men at the Master’s Seminary prayed for me, they must have prayed something for me. Our text this morning gives us great guidance for how we should pray for fellow believers in Christ, especially for those whom we have never met personally before.

My first point this morning is that you should ...

1. Pray (verse 9a)

This is a very simple point. We simply need to pray. When you hear of other believers, pray for them. If you hear that they just came to faith, pray for them (1:4). If you hear that they are growing in their faith, pray for them (1:6). If you hear that they are filled with love, pray for them (1:4, 8). If you hear that they are being led astray, pray for them (2:4). If you hear that they are being condemned by others, pray for them (2:16). If you hear that they are struggling with sin, pray for them (3:5-11). If you hear that they need instruction, pray for them (3:12-14).

This is what Paul did. Look at verse 9, "For this reason also, since the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you" (verse 9a). Last week, we saw how Paul had heard of their faith from Epaphras (1:7), and responded by giving thanks to the Lord in his prayers. We see the exact same thing here. Paul heard of the situation in Colossae. From that day, he began to pray for them. His prayers hadn’t stopped. They continued every day, all the time. He said, "We have not ceased to pray for you" (verse 9a). Continual prayer was Paul’s practice. He was a spiritual man who constantly prayed for other believers. To those in Corinth, he wrote, "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus" (1 Cor. 1:4). To the Philippians, he wrote, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all" (Phil. 1:3-4). To those in Thessalonica, he wrote, "We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers" (1 Thess. 1:2). To Philemon, he wrote, "I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers" (Philemon 4). This is our example. We are called to pray always.

In this card that I received from the Master’s Seminary, the verse at the bottom of the card reads, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints" (Eph. 6:18). In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to "pray without ceasing." Now, obviously, this doesn’t mean that we are on our knees all day every day. It doesn’t mean that our every thought is only prayer. But, it does mean that our lives are to be lived with the consciousness of God being ever before us.

Nehemiah, the king’s cupbearer, was a great example of this sort of prayer. When he heard about the devastation of Jerusalem and the current state of the city, he was saddened (Neh. 1:3-4). One day, he came into the presence of the king with a sad countenance. The king noticed it and asked him, "Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart" (Neh. 2:2). In fear, Nehemiah responded, "Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?" (Neh. 2:3). The king then asked him, "What would you request?" (Neh. 2:4). Nehemiah records for us that he "prayed to the God of heaven" and then asked the king if he could take leave from his job and return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city (Neh. 2:5). Here was Nehemiah, in conversation with the king, offering up a quick prayer in the midst of conversation. The prayer was short enough to last for the duration of a pause during conversation. It’s not too difficult to imagine the prayer that he offered up to God during this pause. It must have been something like the following: "God, help me now!" "God, give kindness and boldness!" "God, soften the king’s heart!" "God, grant my request!" or "Lord, It's for Your glory! It's your city!" This is the idea of how we are to live as followers of Christ. Our minds ought always to be in tune with the directions of God. We ought to be offering up prayers like this on regular occasion.

But, this isn’t fully what Paul was talking about in verse 9 (of Colossians 1). He wasn’t merely talking about praying to God constantly for your own personal need. Look closely. He said, "since the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you" (verse 9). It’s not merely that Paul didn’t cease to pray. But, he didn’t cease to pray for those in Colossae. In verse 3, he said that he prayed "always" for the Colossian believers. What an example this is to all of us. We are to live our lives in constant intercession for other people.

As I reflected upon the state of my constant, throughout-the-day prayers to God, I’m encouraged that I live in close communion with Him. Certainly, I have much room to grow in this area. But, I know what it is like to be in constant prayer to God, asking for wisdom as I walk through my day. I know what it is to find myself in a difficult situation and pray, almost subconsciously, for strength to make it through. I know how to go about my day with the thoughts of God on my heart, lifting up praise to Him. But, as I thought about verse 9, I was convicted this week of how few of my daily, constant prayers are for other people. My life is easily self-consumed with my own problems that I have rather than praying to God on behalf of others.

And yet, here was Paul, praying for believers whom he had never met. He had heard that they had come to the faith, so he prayed for them (1:4). They were growing in their faith, so he prayed for them (1:6). They were filled with love, so he prayed for them (1:4, 8). They were being led astray, so he prayed for them (2:4). They were being condemned by others, so he prayed for them (2:16). They were struggling with sin, so he prayed for them (3:5-11). They needed instruction, so he prayed for them (3:12-14). And so, I ask you, "How much of your day is filled with constant intercession to God on behalf of others?"

In a few moments, we are going to look further at some of the things that you ought to pray for others. But, most of all, I believe that our battle is right here with the need to simply pray. It’s not "what we pray" that needs help. It’s getting to the point where we pray that needs help. Much of it has to do with getting out of our self-centered world in which we are the kings. If you ever want to pray like Paul, with a constant intercession for others, you need to get your mind off of yourself and onto others. Plain and simple. But once you have undertaken the privilege of prayer, what should you pray for? That's the focus of my second point this morning, When you pray for others, ...

2. Pray for fullness (verse 9b)

Look again at verse 9, "... we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." The idea here is that they would be full of (1) knowledge, (2) wisdom, and (3) understanding. The prayer here is for their mind and heart to fully grasp what it means to be a follower of Christ. These Colossian believers had come to faith through the message of the gospel that Epaphras had preached to them (Col. 1:6-7). Their lives proved to be fruitful (Col. 1:6). But, Paul knew the reality of the difficulties that the Colossian believers would face in their following Christ. He knew that they would be confronted by the culture of the day that would attempt to persuade them away from their faith (Col. 2:4). He knew that other teachings would try to wedge their way into their minds (Col. 2:8). He knew that there would be temptations to fall into placing trust in traditions (Col. 2:8), rituals (2:16), self-discipline (2:18), spiritual experience (2:18), or legalistic laws and regulations (2:21). These things could easily pull them away from their faith. And so Paul prayed that they would fully understand the truth they believed.

In verse 9, Paul used three terms: (1) knowledge, (2) wisdom, and (3) understanding. It’s difficult to fully grasp the difference between these different terms. To be honest, I’m not sure that Paul had any great difference in mind between these terms. They all describe a cognitive understanding of spiritual realities. If we were to make distinctions between these terms, we might point out that the "knowledge of His will" focuses upon an applicational knowledge of how to conduct your life. We could point out that "spiritual wisdom" focuses upon knowledge that works itself out in the daily choices of life. And we could say that "spiritual understanding" focuses upon discerning the truth from error so that your life would be based upon truth, not error. But, I think the important thing is that each of these terms expresses the same idea of understanding the truth in Christ and its implications for your life.

Paul wanted them to stand firm in their faith, not simply because they had heard some teaching from Epaphras, but because they fully understood it for themselves. Notice that his prayer here isn’t so much that they would come to some special understanding as if what they already knew wasn't sufficient. Rather, his prayer is that their understanding would blossom and fill up. He prayed that they would be "filled" with these things. The Christian life is like a journey toward the cross on Calvary. When people first come to faith in Christ, it’s as if they see the cross from afar. Their faith is genuine. Their faith is real. Their faith is saving. But, being so far away, they can’t quite discern all of the details about it. As they continue to live their lives, as they continue to think about the cross of Christ, they find themselves walking closer and closer to the cross. Where once it was merely an object in the distance, placed upon a hill, it soon begins to take on more clarity. The color of the wooden beams come into focus. The shape of the beams begins to be discerned. How the wooden beams were connected to each other is understood. As you get closer, you can see how high above Calvary the cross was stationed. You can look back and see the scenery that Jesus witnessed as He died. You can read the sign above the cross. As you come closer still, you can look into the hole where the cross was placed. You can see the stakes that held Jesus upon the cross. You can see the blood that splattered upon the cross. As you look at the cross, you are amazed at the size of the cross. You never realized that it was so big! When you first came to faith, the cross was important, but now you understand how important it is! As you walk around the cross and view it from the back, you can see how the people mocked Him as He was dying. You can see how God viewed the cross. It was the most horrible thing that could be done to His Son. But, it was the most wonderful thing that could be done for us! You can see how great was the sacrifice.

This is what Paul was praying for. He was praying for those in Colossae to fully grasp the spiritual realities of the faith that had saved them. It’s not that they needed some extra special knowledge and understanding. It’s that they needed to fully grasp what they had already believed. His prayer was the same as his admonition in chapter 2, verse 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."

He told them to continue to walk in the same path that you began to walk down. In chapter 1, verse 9, Paul was praying that they would fully grasp the meaning of their faith in Christ. It’s not a special knowledge that they need. As we see in Paul's letter, that was part of the heresy that came along, seeking to entice the people with "special knowledge." Rather, it is a full knowledge of what they have already believed that they need to grasp. This was the greatest need that those in Colossae had. It is our greatest need as well. Now let me ask you, when you pray for others, what do you pray for? Typical prayer requests are often of these varieties:

Jane is sick and in the hospital, please pray for her.
Ted lost his job, please pray for him.
Little Jimmy broke his arm yesterday, pray for him.
Frank has been very busy and has been working many hours, pray for him.
George’s 87 year old aunt was just diagnosed with cancer, pray for her.
The Smiths are traveling to see relatives in Colorado, let’s pray for safety.

These are all good prayer requests. And we ought to pray for such things. I don’t want to discourage you from praying for any these things. But, may I suggest that such things are of secondary importance. Now, secondary importance is still important, especially if you are the one in the hospital! Or if you are the one losing your job! But, of primary importance in our lives is that we would grow in our spiritual lives. Or, to use Paul’s language, "that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Col. 1:9). It is as we are filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding that we will respond correctly to some of these difficulties we may face. So, when others come to mind, I would suggest that you get in the habit to pray this type of prayer. How great would this be if we all would continually pray this prayer for one another, as Paul did for those in Colossae? Could you imagine what sort of place Rock Valley Bible Church would be if we all did this? I believe God would bless the church tremendously!

3. Pray for a pleasing walk (verses 10-12)

This comes in verses 10-12. Paul writes, ...

"so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light." (Col 1:10-12)

The prayer in verse 9 for knowledge and understanding and wisdom wasn’t at all a prayer for a knowledge-only Christianity. It was all for a purpose. It’s purpose is for application. That’s the thrust of verse 10. Paul prayed that they might know these things. He prayed "so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects" (verse 10). The pattern of this prayer is the pattern of our lives. It's a pattern of knowledge and then action. To love God, you first need to know God. To serve God, you first need to know His ways. To obey God, you first need to know His commands. You may remember from Exodus 20, "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have any gods before me" (Ex. 20:2-3). This is why so many of the New Testament epistles begin with a theological foundation. All application must first come from a proper theological understanding. And theology is meant to be practical. But, to stop at knowledge only is hated by God. It short-circuits the entire process of why he instructs us in the first place. When Jesus walked upon the earth, His greatest condemnation came upon those who knew the most about God, but didn’t follow up their knowledge with action. Such people are hypocrites.

Jesus said, "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them" (Matt. 23:2-3). Jesus also said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness" (Matt. 23:23). And he said, "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!" (Matt. 23:24).

When people know much and don’t obey, the Lord will not look favorably upon them. James said, "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). Dead faith is a faith that only exists in the mind. It has failed to travel the 12 inches down to the heart. It has failed to connect to the neurons of the feet to do anything. Again, you need to hear it. Your works and your actions will never justify you. But, should you have faith, then there will be works and actions that are present and identifiable in your life. God has saved us by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), so that we cannot boast in anything that we have done. But, God has made us His workmanship, that we might walk in the good works that He has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10). Believers in Christ don’t obey to earn anything. They obey because it is the fitting thing to do.

And this is why Paul prays as he does. Look again at verse 10, "so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects." The idea here is like a weight balance. On one side of the balance you have the fact that God saved us. On the other side you have the fact that our lives ought to reflect His saving of our souls.

Think about the blessings that have come upon those who believe in Christ. We were once dead in our sins and on our way to suffer eternally. But Christ, through the shear mercy of His grace, came into time. He lived a perfect life for us. He died a sin-bearing death so that through faith we might be forgiven of our sins and receive more than mere forgiveness of sins. We actually inherit the kingdom of God. We are fellow heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). It is unbelievable what we will receive in glory. Any suffering and any pain and any hardship that you will endure as a believer in Christ is not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us (Rom. 8:18). This is exactly the situation which Paul describes in verses 12-14. Paul tells us that the Father, "has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. "

How is it that we ought to respond to such kindness from God? Ought we not to live in a manner consistent with His kindness to us? Ought we not to express our thankfulness to Him? Ought we not to treat Him with the utmost kindness and respect? Ought we not to do anything that He requests of us? Of course! Such was the prayer request of Paul: "so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects"(Col 1:10).

When such things don’t take place, we know how strange it is. We can easily detect it.. One day when Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, He encountered 10 lepers, who raised their voices together saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" (Luke 17:13). Jesus said, "Go and show yourselves to the priests" (Luke 17:14). "As they were going, they were cleansed" (Luke 17:14). When one of them "saw that he had been healed, [he] turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at [the] feet [of Jesus], giving thanks to Him" (Luke 17:15-16). Jesus, aware of the incongruity, said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine--where are they?" (Luke 17:17).

Jesus once told a parable of a man who was forgiven a debt that was absolutely impossible for him to ever repay, simply because he pleaded for mercy. And yet, this forgiven man went out and refused to show forth similar mercy to one who owed him a much smaller debt The absurdity of this man’s actions is clear for all to see. Jesus said that the man who refused to show mercy would be handed over to the torturers until he repay the impossible debt. This is how it is with the followers of Christ. Because God has done so much for us, there are certain ways that are appropriate for us to respond. We ought to walk worthy of the Lord (1:10). We ought to seek to please Him in every respect (1:10).

Paul then gives four ways in which a life of willing obedience that pleases the Lord will manifest itself. It will be ...

1. Bearing fruit in every good work (verse 10).
This simply means that the believers in Christ are to demonstrate fruit of their repentance. This fruit can take all different shapes and forms and sizes. It might be as simple as offering up genuine worship to God, as the leper did (Luke 17:15-16). The writer to the Hebrews speaks about the fruit of our lips that gives thanks to God (Heb. 13:15). It might be in forgiving others with the same type of forgiveness that you have experienced from the Lord (Col. 3:13). It might be in your general actions and attitudes. "The fruit Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23a). It might be in demonstrating your repentance through specific actions (Luke 3:8-14). When the Pharisees came to John the Baptist, wanting to be baptized by him, he refused them, saying "Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:7). People later came up to John, and they asked him "Then what shall we do?" (Luke 3:10). John replied, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise" (Luke 3:11). When some tax collectors asked John the same question, he told them to "Collect no more than what you have been ordered to do" (Luke 3:13). When some soldiers asked what they should do, John said, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages" (Luke 3:14). Bearing fruit might be in reproducing yourself through winning another convert to Christ. Jesus told us to go and make disciples of the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). This is reproduction.

But, the bottom line is this: bearing fruit is the byproduct of saving faith. Jesus said, "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples" (John 15:8). Fruit is the evidence of a transformed life. Is there visible fruit in your life? A pleasing walk will be a fruit-bearing walk. The second way that a life of obedience will work itself out will be in ...

2. Increasing in the knowledge of God (verse 10).
The Lord is pleased when we long to know more and more about Him. It’s a demonstration of love and affection. The man who loves his wife will delight in spending hours with her, seeking to know her more and more.The woman who loves her beauty will spend hours in front of the mirror, learning about ways in which to make herself more beautiful. The man who loves his sports will read the sports section every day, studying the box scores. The one who loves music will amass a large collection of CD’s (or files on an iPod) and spend much time listening to them and studying them.

So also, the one who loves God, will pursue after Him. The great saints have always done this. Jacob wrestled with God and longed to know His name (Gen. 32:29). Moses said, "Let me know your ways that I may know You" (Ex. 33:13). He had an insatiable desire to know God more and more intimately. Isaiah told the Lord, "My soul longs for You, indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently" (Is. 26:9). The Psalms are filled with a desire and a yearning to know the Lord more and more intimately. Let me list a few:

Psalm 63:1 - "O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly. My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You."
Psalm 63:8 - "My soul clings to You."
Psalm 73:25, "Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth."

But nobody has pursued God like the apostle Paul. I suspect that the apostle Paul knew more about God than many people who have ever lived. And yet, he cried out, "That I may know Him" (Phil. 3:10). This was his prayer for those in Colossae. He wants them to be ever-increasing in their knowledge of God. When people pursue the Lord with great diligence, God is well-pleased. Do you have a desire to know more and more about God? A life of obedience that is pleasing to God will also be, ...

3. Strengthened with all power (verse 11).
If you think that you have the power within yourself to live the Christian life, you are wrong. The Christian life isn't to be lived on our own strength. We are to live in dependence upon God at all times. Oh, how easy it is for us to trust in our own strength. "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." (Ps. 20:7) God ought to be the source of our strength. Jeremiah 9:23 says,

"Let not a wise man boast of His wisdom. Let know a might man boast of his might. Let not a rich man boast of his riches; But let him who boasts, boast of this, that He understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things."

When you trust in your own strength, your obstacles in life will appear to be insurmountable. You will only be able to do what you can do. But when you trust in the Lord, your ability to persevere, endure, conquer and live victoriously increases greatly.

Let's suppose that someone gave you a shovel and said, "I want you to dig a foundation and basement for house that will soon be built." After a day of digging, you are completely spent. Your muscles ache. Your hands hurt. You are tired. And, you have produced only a small hole in the ground. The next day, you return and begin digging again. Your hole gets a little bigger, but not that much. The prospect of completely digging out an entire basement is overwhelming and you could easily give up. But, suppose you look off in the distance and see a back-hoe coming to help. Suddenly, the prospects don't seem so overwhelming. You can driver's seat of the back hoe and simply move a few levers, which control the great power of the bucket diggers. And within a day, the entire job is finished!

This is what it is like to be strengthened by God. Isaiah spoke about how "young men grow tired and weary" (Is. 40:30). Yet, "those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary" (Is. 40:31). God says that those who wait on the LORD will fly! The point isn't to be take literally. However, it is an image of doing something impossible. Such is the reality of trusting in the strength of the LORD. Isaiah points out how even the strongest among us (i.e. young men) will grow tired and weary. They will stumble. However, for those who wait upon the LORD will gain such strength that they will not grow fatigued. It is God alone, who will strength us to be steadfast and patient.

4. Joyously giving thanks to the Father (verse 12).

A worth walk is a thankful walk. Everything we have is a gift from God. A verse in 2 Corinthians says it well: "What do you have that you did not receive" (2 Cor. 4:7). Last week, during the sermon, I mentioned how an assignment given to the ladies in our Women's Bible Study was to write down 100 things for which they are thankful. In the children's notes, I asked the children to list 10 things for which they were thankful. After the sermon, when we were reviewing the children's notes, I discovered that my son had successfully attempted to list 50 things he was thankful for. He later told me that he stopped at 50 because he ran out of room on his paper. I was encouraged, and I want to share the list with you (complete with misspellings and all). Some of these items are quite spiritual. Others are quite simple. However, in it all, it is a good demonstration of how many things in life that we have to be thankful for.

1. skate ramp
2. me
3. skateboard
4. friends
5. church
6. C.S. Lewis
7. life
8. paper
9. cars
10. RVBC
11. the ability to do a heal flip
12. hands
13. things to do
14. the churches in Nepal
15. Ryan
16. Legos
17. God
18. a brain
19. my bow
20. a voice box
21. books
22. computer
23. Jesus Christ
24. shoes
25. I woke up in America
26. I don’t live in Nepal
27. Air planes
28. k’nex roller coaster
29. muscles
30. I can go on and on about what I’m thankful for.
31. family
32. the sun
33. big car
34. lawn mower
35. hike for life
36. a big home
37. grandpa
38. my talent of skateboarding
39. my sisters
40. pincles
41. rich family
42. 20gonons
43. big yard
44. the Bible
45. Intelligence
46. Grace to You
47. Tulips
48. Plenty of food
49. Mom and dad
50. Movies

Perhaps the greatest thing for us to be thankful for is our salvation in Christ. Paul continues in verses 12-14 describing this salvation. He says, "giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Next week, Lord willing, we will examine these verses to unpack the riches of our salvation.

This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on May 7, 2006 by Steve Brandon.
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