Words for the Wise
A Weekly Devotional
“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face…” (Colossians 2:1, ESV)
Paul, very frequently, would use words to describe his emotions and temperament from the things found in everyday life. As he writes to the church at Colossae, he tells them of his struggle, his αγων (ag-one) for them. This word comes from the games and contests of this period.
It means a place of assembly. It especially meant an assembly where people met to see games. It referred to the place of contest, the arena or stadium where the games were held. So, αγων (ag-one) came to refer to the contest for a prize at their games and then eventually it became known as any struggle or contest. Of course we get our word agony from this word.
Paul did not take his love, concern, and responsibility to the children of God lightly. This was not a hobby for Paul. He agonized over these believers in order to participate in their maturing process. How did he “agonize” over or for these believers?
Paul agonized in prayer for them in particular. He had not met them and was currently in prison and therefore wouldn’t be seeing them any time soon. He prayed for them with great fervency. He spent many sleepless nights and anxious filled days for them. He “fought” demonic forces with the spiritual battle of prayer. Paul expended great energy in his prayers for these believers.
Do you agonize in prayer over other believers? Even believers whom you have never met? Is your regular routine or practice to deal with the forces of darkness and evil to the point of losing sleep, refusing meals, and giving up comfort in order to pray for the spiritual welfare of believers? Let Paul be an example of true commitment to fellow believers.
Join us each Tuesday for Words for the Wise. I love good devotionals very much. For awhile I will try my hand, Lord willing and by His grace to write a short devotional each week designed to edify, exhort, and encourage you.