BDBD is Ephesians 6:1-9

   The principle of submission stated in 5:31 is the theme of these verses. Children submit to their parents by obeying and honoring them. God made a promise if we do. Children submitting does not mean all parents are always worthy of honor and obedience, nor does it mean long lived life comes from them. It means that rebellion complaining attitude shortens a person life.  God is the one who ultimately blesses and extends life in this world. This takes faith and hope in God.
  Fathers submit to their children by maintaining control and a clear head. Exasperated children have parents who are over bearing, controlling, and micromanage. A emotional stable parent is one who is rooted every day in the Spirit through prayer and meditation.  This takes faith in the Lord.
   Supervisor and supervised also submit. Doing so is possible when remembering that God is ultimately our Supervisor if we have faith.
   Submission is not natural in the fallen world. Our fallen nature tends to succumb to selfish faithless life styles. Walking in the Spirit is the key to living and applying the principle of submission.

BDBD is Ephesians 5:21-33

The interaction and relationship between a man and a woman, between husband and wife, need to have guiding principles to succeed. Without guiding principles all relationships will be like driving a car without a steering wheel, eventually, they crash and may even cause death.

The relationship between God the Father and Son, between the Son and the Spirit, the relationship within the Trinity, is the basis by which God established the relationship between a man and a woman, between husband and wife.

The relationship between Christ and the church is the basis by which the Christian relationship between husband and wife is to be bassed. Submission is the guiding principle, but each part in its own way.

Jesus submitted to the Father through enduring a humiliating and painful crucifixion and death. So a wife is to submit to her husband even though she is equal to him in position and abilities in many things. Submitting is not easy, but it can also be liberating. Submitting to a husband is an expression of faith in God.

Jesus sacrificed himself for the church, his bride thus saving her. A husband is to sacrifice completely for his wife. His model is Christ becoming shame and disfiguration so that the church may be without stain, wrinkle, and blemish. A husband is to ensure that his wife looks her best and is living in the best environment. Unconditional sacrifice is an expression of faith in God.

BDBD is Ephesians 5:15-20

“Be careful how you live” (15) and “making the most out of every opportunity” (16) is similar to “living in the moment” with the understanding that a Christian’s heart “understands what the Lord’s will is” (17). I can worship God by celebrating what he is lovingly doing in my life every moment. I know that all things work out for the good of those who believe. I know that his will is best. I will look to see the good he is going to do at the moment to come.

Some struggle with making decisions and living in the Spirit (18). We are afraid that we will make a poor choice that will lead to bad things happening in life. So we get stuck in a rut of mind fear. Some will even lay in bed all day rather than seek to fulfill God’s wonderful destinies in living. The fear of decision-making is egotistic and lacks faith in Jesus’ love for us. No matter how unsure I am of myself I am to make my plans known to God and ask his will be done not mine. Then seek to ensure the plan will happen fully trusting in God’s control.

Others of us sadly escape to the wine bottle and pill bottle (18). Rather than knowing God can turn anything around (which is his will), we escape into numb existence. Numb existence robs me of singing and making emotional and moving music in my heart to the Lord. Some of them aren’t joyful, but they are emotional movements that tend to be the sweetest when he touches me (19).

BDBD is Ephesians 5:1-14

To walk in the way of love (1,2) and live as children of the light (8,9) are similar. The chapter before spoke of changing my heart, mind, and will. These verses are what my heart, mind, and will are to be set on and not set on. These verses deal with practically loving sacrificially as Jesus did on the cross and the fruit of living in light.
   Christianity is not a set of do’s and don’ts. However, there are things that are good to do and things that are not good to do. These things have to do with morality and ethics.
   For example, as a toddler my parents told me not to touch the hot stove. Most of the time they did not tell me the dier consequences if I did. Their word wasn’t a rule as much as a compassionate warning and sound advice.
  The black coils turning glowing red was fascinating and mystical. I was compelled to investigate beyond vision. When I sheepishly moved my hand closer to they mystical device the heat increased. “No!” was the alarm from my mother. She saved me from self inflicted pain.
   Exposing fruitless deeds of darkness (11,13) is not instructions to meddle in other people’s lives as some moral police such as the Pharisees were. Rather, it has to do with examining my words and actions throughout each day. It is getting to the reason and motivation of why I do and say. Rather, I am the one to wake up and rise from the dead (14).

BDBD is Ephesians 4:25-32

   The main subject in these verses is anger (26, 27, 29-31). Anger is an emotion that in itself is not evil nor godly. Anger in itself is not good nor bad. Anger is a natural emotional expression from the heart. Anger is a result. Anger is the plant springing from a seed. Many heart conditions can produce anger, and anger usually produces a reaction.
   If the heart condition is impure, then the reason for and expression of anger will be impure and destructive. If a heart is pure, then the reason for and expression of anger will be pure and constructive. Therefore, all these facts about anger refers back to the previous verses concerning the need for a new attitude (23), a new heart (17), and a new way of thinking (18). Not meaning riding oneself of anger. Rather, what to do about and with anger.
   The Lord driving Adam and Eve from the garden in anger was a pure reaction. Jesus cleaning the temple of a market in anger was a pure reaction. Jesus’ anger to the stubborn disbelief of the religious leaders was pure. Jesus’ reaction to the apostles often had a hint of constructive anger and compassion.
  To a certain degree anger can be bottled up. However, often only bottling up anger creates a time bomb that often results in sin. Rather than containing anger, be sure to control the reason and reaction to anger. “In your anger do not sin.” (26)
   If the motive and reaction to anger is impure,  then quickly correct and amend the result of your anger (26). “Get rid of bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (31). Ask the Spirit to help transform and replace these with kindness, compassion, forgiveness (32).

BDBD is Ephesians 4:17-24

A common desire and question Christians have is, “What does a daily life in Christ look like?” New and growing believers especially are interested in knowing what they should cease doing and what they should start doing.
A personal relationship with Jesus must start with changing thought patterns (17) and heart attitudes (18). Before accepting Jesus as lover and master human minds are set on bad thinking patters and heart attitudes and desires. Christians are to substitute those with new thought patterns and heart desires.
A person who does not know Jesus has hardened their heart, having lost all sensitivity to God (18). Jesus taught the parable of the sower where God’s seeds penetrates our being and begins a new life in us. These seeds are the Holy Spirit transforming our heart, out thoughts, our will when we allow him to do so.
A daily life in Christ is to change and renew thoughts and heart attitude. It consist in setting my will on Christ. A sensitive heart towards Jesus is a relationship of faith, hope, love, respect, and submission. Christians daily are to “be made new in the attitude of our minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (23,24).”

BDBD is Ephesians 4:7-16

  Jesus rose from the dead amd ascended into the highest heavens (9,10). He brought with him all those who had died while believing in him and loving him (8). Jesus also gave gifts to those still on the earth who also believe him and love (11).
   Jesus gave many types of gifts because there are many positions to fill (11). Jesus through the Spirit enables each of his believers as is required for each needed place. This doesn’t mean that at times the position will be easy and without problems. It just means he insures that his people are able to do that which they need to do.
  Jesus made Paul an apostle. Jesus make Luke a physician.  He made Mark an assistant.
  Jesus has some things for me to do too. I don’t have to be concerned that his will for me won’t be accomplished nor that I will fall short. By faith I know that God has and will enable me to accomplish his specific will for me. I have a place in Jesus’ home.

BDBD is Ephesians 4:1-6

  God’s love is greater than I can comprehend. His love maintains, connects, and supports all creation and all people. I can stay connected to him and his love. This was yesterday’s devotional theme.
  Today’s verses concern my love towards others. Verse 2 contains the 3 “be”s. Be patient, Be humble, Be gentle. These are how Jesus’ followers engage with everyone, especially other believers.
   Professionally I have been in the bearing business for much of my career. So the phrase, “bearing with one another in love” (2) stood out. Bearings support a moving load. Many types of bearings exist. Each type have special features that best handle specific types of moving loads.
   One bearing type is totally anchored so that it does not move with the supported moving load. A Slip-n-Slide is an example, though technically that fun summer toy is not a bearing.
  Another bearing type moves with the supported moving load. A door hinge is a good example. That type of bearing is called a sleeve bearing.
   Another type of bearing is called a roller bearing. A roller bearing has a part that rolls between the load and at least one ring. A ball bearing in a roller skate is a good example.
  All of these bearing types not only support a moving load, they do it much more efficiently and smoothly that if they were not present. Added to this, they extend the life of the moving load, keeping it from wearing down. They do this at their own expense. The moving load will exist eternally because the bearing sacrifices itself as the load moves.
   Jesus took my moving load with him on the cross so that I may live a much more effective and smooth life. He extended my life to eternity. Like Jesus, I am to be a “bearing with one another in love”.
  There is one body connected to Jesus (4). I am to be a bearing joint in Jesus’ body; like a hip, an elbow, a neck, and a knee. I am to make every effort to keep the unity of the body with the power of the Spirit and peace (3). I am to “Be patient, Be humble, Be gentle.”

BDBD is Ephesians 3:14-20

  Paul prayed that the Ephesian believers may come to know God’s love (14,15) He prayed this even though God’s love can never be fully known (19). Perhaps the fact that God’s love can never be fully known is because it is so vast (18), explains the reason why love is so hard to define and comprehend. The old saying is true, “Love is a many splendor thing.”
   How do I define my relationship with God? Can and do I define it as love? Does his power through the Spirit make me strong in his love? Do I passionately seek to know his love? Is my roots and foundation in Jesus’ love (17)?
   Knowing God’s love is to be completely filled with the very nature of God (19). And God’s love feels so good.. This is why I make time for one-on-one personal encounters with God, to experience his good and pleasing love.
   Be concerned not that at times I am not at rest with his love. For God is at work in me (20). Out of his glorious riches he strengthens me with power through his Spirit (16). He sustains me.

BDBD is Ephesians 3:1-12

The NIV in verse 10 states, “the manifild wisdom of God.” The GNT states, “God’s wisdom in all its different forms.”  God wisdom has many facets that constantly pour out different flavors like the modern day soda dispensers in movie theaters. God’s intent for the church is to reveal, display, and make known the many aspects of his wisdom (10).
  God is rich in many ways. God who owns everything has riches that are not tangible (9). Jesus riches is mainly in the Spirit and dispelled by the Spirit. His riches is boundless grace.  He is rich in mercy and compassion. He is the prince of peace and serenity. He is rich in love. His wealth is displayed and dispenses from the cross.
   Christ Jesus’ riches were a mystery in ages past, but revealed now through the church (2, 5, 9). This mystery is that through the gospel his people are heirs and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus that we have, are, and always will receive his riches (6).
   Right now I can receive his riches of peace, passion, power, serenity,  and healing. This is a promise of God. Right now I can allow the Spirit to reveal and dispence his love to others through me.  This is “the manifild wisdom of God.”

BDBD is Ephesians 2:11-22

   Jesus “set aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two (Jew and Gentile), thus making peace.” (15) Jesus accomplished this by allowing himself to be crucified on the cross and by raising himself from the dead. Jesus’ work on the cross is not limited to reconciliation and salvation (16).
   Israel separated themselves from God by not keeping the covenant that they made with him, unless they put their faith in God like Jacob did. Gentiles remained separated from God unless they put their faith in God as Abraham did (11). Jesus made the way for both Jew and Gentile to have a sincere relationship with God (19).
  Now God dwells in his people (20-22). The Spirit in me is God. He is a reminder that I qm a child of God set to inherit the kingdom, the world (1:13-14). At times when I focus my heart and thoughts towards Christ, the Spirit reminds me that I am his and he is mine.
   At times the Holy Spirit reveals in me that I need to let go and trust God. He shows me I have fears and reservations that I need to trust him. This happened yesterday during the times at church. Lord, I trust you. I give my all to you. You own me.

BDBD is Ephesians 2:1-10

   The good news, the gospel, is presentedl in  these 10 verses. Accepting the truth laid out here is not hard, complicated, nor undesirable. Believing them personally does not require going to a special group, congregation, nor denomination.
  The gift of God as spelled out here does not require getting ones life right before God dispels his grace. The only prerequisite is to be a living human.
  No one is excluded from everything stated here, not because of race, age, gender, social position, occupation, gender affiliation, location, health, occupation, nor any thing that now divides and separates us. Everything stated here is for anyone who breaths. The only thing that stops anyone from accepting this good news is themself.
   Once accepted I must never forget the grace of God for I, like all believers in Jesus, was dead in my sins and lived according to the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air. I thank God for his grace to me.

BDBD is Ephesians 1:15-23

  God has so much to offer his people. He gives the Spirit of wisdom, revelation (17), and power (19). And he will give the riches of his glorious inheritance.
   Yet at times I do not believe nor feel these. I do not feel wise. I am not sure what his will is for me because revelation has not come. I feel weak. I lack hope. Apparently Paul saw that the believers in Ephesus needed his prayer because they too were in need of these.
   I pray throughout the day and I have set times of prayer. The set times of prayer can become habitual. Other times I have little to say. In those times I can simply ask for his power so that I may know him better (17) and have hope for what lies ahead (18).

BDBD is Ephesians 1:11-14

   God has predestined every one who has been, is now, and will ever be chosen in Christ (11). This truth usually brings up objections and confusion. No wonder. For God’s wisdom and knowledge is far beyond the collective wisdom and knowledge of all who has been, is, and will ever be. “Who can fantom the mind of God?” so said the psalmist
  Can a gear in a watch comprehend the watchmaker? Can the ant carrying a leaf comprehend the maker of the hive in the root of the tree? Yet, just because I can not fully comprehend the Creator God, which is Christ, I can understand some of the mind of the Lord God.
   I am told why God chose me, “for the praise of his glory.” (12) The Holy Spirit, who is my seal of predestined presence in Christ (13) excites and enables me to praise him in mind, heart, words, and action (14).
   Even when I have a bad moment, day, week or year the Holy Spirit has the power and will to enable me to praise him. I have found that when I am feeling lower than dirt, if I praise God in spirit and truth the Spirit flows into me like warm coffee on a chilly foggy fall morning, warmth entering my mouth, going down my throat, and into my belly, and lighting a fire in my chest.

BDBD is Ephesians 1:1-10

   Paul is in a Roman prison as is recorded at the end of Acts. He first wrote to the congregation in Colossai. Then he wrote this letter to the congregation in Ephesus.
   God predestined his people, of which I am one, as laid out in these 10 verses. In Jesus I have every spiritual blessing in Christ (3). I am forever holy (4), adaption as a son of God (5), redemption from sin, the law, and hell (7), forgiveness of sins (8), and knowledge of the mysteries of his will (9).
   I will experience the complete unity of all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (10). Heaven is living and experiencing God’s calming and empowering peace and God’s satisfying and fulfilling love.
  The Spirit of Christ enables me to experience the unity in part in this world when I worship in spirit and truth. In fact, I experience all these now if I so chose to. It is up to me. God is willing and able.

BDBD is Colossians 4:7-18

  Paul ends his letter to the congregation in Colossea with greetings to individuals and from individuals who were with him.
   Tychicus and Onesimus were to give an update on Paul’s ministry. Paul was under house arrest awaiting trial before Ceasar’s court (18). I see that there is nothing wrong with giving personal updates as long as it doesn’t include boasting.
   Mark was with Paul again (10). Paul had objected to bringing Mark on his previous mission because he had deserted Paul and Barnabas on their second mission trip. Paul had forgiven and accepted him. Mark was a squeamish young man. Paul made accommodations for him because of this and out of love for him.
   Epaphras is a good example of praying for others (12-13). Paul wrote he wrestled in prayer. What does it mean to wrestle in prayer? Struggle till the request is pinned down?
   Nympha was a woman with means (15). Her house was large enough to host the congregation. The wealthy should be generous to others. I am far from being wealthy by American society. Yet at times I will host others in my loft. It is right and good.

BDBD is Colossians 4:2-6

  Jesus gave his disciples and brothers a mission to share the good news, the mysteries of Christ. Thus, Paul speaks of the need for prayer, communication with my maker and commisioner.
   Everyday I engage in conversations with others. Do I seek to always be conscious of opportunities to be kind, pay attention to their being, and share the good news? Do I make the most of every opportunity?
   I admit the words “make the most of every opportunity” and “always full of grace” are daunting. Sometimes I want to create a cocoon and hibernate in it. Other times I judge others unworthy of the good news. And often I am afraid.
   And so here-in lies the wise advice to “devote myself to prayer, being watchful and thankful (2).” The gene I inherited (or whatever it is) that is always there compelling me inward is overwhelmed by the power of God, the same power that rose Jesus from the grave. God enables me to overcome all that hinders good from being shared.

BDBD is Colossians 3:18-4:1

   The majority of everyone’s life throughout human history involves being a spouse, a child, a parent, and an employee. The majority of life’s happy and joyful times involve being a spouse, a child, a parent, and an employee. The majority of life’s sad and hurting times involve being a spouse, a child, a parent, and an employee.
   God lays out simple instructions on how to have less sad and hurtful times and how to have more happy and joyful times. They do not involve waiting for others to act the way I want them to act. Rather, God teaches that I should initiate and maintain proper actions. God’s instructions do not have contingencies. They are absolute. Happy and joyful times are dependent first and primarily on how I treat others.
   Husbands respond best to respect; submission is the greatest expression of respect (18). Wives respond best to love; kind expressions in action and words are the greatest expression of love (19).
   Parents respond best to obedience (20). Children respond well to encouragement and positive attention (21). Supervisors respond best to loyalty and dedication (22).
None of these come easily and naturally since original sin and our inherited worldly fallen nature, especially if the recipient does not respond accord to what we want and expect. Going against habitual improper and harmful past ways takes time and effort.
   Proper and good human interaction skills must be learned. Just like learning to read, write, and math took practice and time before they became new habits; so love, respect, obedience, encouragement, positive attention, loyalty, and dedication needs to be learned until they are habits. Practicing these will not bring back immediate responses. Yet eventually, they will reap a harvest of happy and joyful times.

BDBD is Colossians 3:15-17

   Peace of heart is one of the most desirable and sought-after states of being, along with love and respect. Peace of heart is something that can be obtained. I can seek peace. I can “let peace rule my heart” (15), just like love and respect.
    Peace of heart, however, is different from love and respect. Peace of heart is obtained only through a proper relationship with God. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In Christ is true peace of heart. He is satisfaction. When I draw close to Jesus his peace invades my being. This is the secret of heaven.
   Jesus can calm the wildest of hearts. Once Jesus landed onshore and a Gerasene man who was possessed with 1,000 demons approached him. Jesus freed him. He found peace, or rather peace found him.
   Being thankful is linked to the peace Jesus gives (15,17). If I do not have gratitude, then peace is diminished. Submission is also linked to the peace of Jesus. If I do not submit and do all for the glory of God, whether in word or deed, then peace is diminished (17).
   Every morning I take time to quiet my mind, dwell in his word, meditate, and sing spiritual songs (16). When I do so the peace of Christ satisfies my being. I get a small taste of heaven. I find peace, or rather peace finds me.

BDBD is Colossians 3:12-14

  Love should be the premiere emotion guiding my actions. Much of modern media counters this. The media heroes today often act out at least one of these attributes; rudeness, disdain, meanness, harshness, and impatience.
   One of the reasons the heroes of today draw in the money is because we also act out with these and have some guilt because of that. So we idolize an imaginary person who displays these dark emotions and yet does good. They make us feel good about ourselves. They justify dark feelings and actions we know we have and believe we cannot control and sometimes don’t want to stop.
  Rather than looking for reinforcements to make me feel better I should trust in Jesus’ power, love, and forgiveness and seek to express love towards others, especially if they don’t deserve it. I can learn from Jesus. He sent the Spirit to enable me to do what otherwise I cannot or don’t want to do.

BDBD is Colossians 3:1-11

  The Christian life consists of setting my heart and mind on Christ (1,2) rather than things that belong to the earthly nature (4,8,9). My battle starts and consists first and foremost in my mind. The battle in my mind is solely fought against me, that is my thoughts.
   I can control my thoughts. All the thoughts I engage in are mine and under my control. The Spirit protects my mind from the Devil. That is Satan cannot telepathically plant thoughts in my head as some misinformed Christians believe. Since my mind is mine to control, as Paul wrote, I am to “set my mind on things above” (2).
   But how do I stop thinking about the things that belong to my earthly nature? The key is in verse 9, “old self practices”. Practice makes perfect. I need to start new practices and start new mental habits. This takes effort over time, little by little advances. Memorizing encouraging verses, prayer, singing, and mentally forcing myself to get out of bad mental thought patterns and get into new ones.

BDBD is Colossians 2:16-23

   The congregation in the city of Colossae had people that demanded that everyone observe Sabbath and abstain from eating certain foods (15]. They also had rules in regards to touching, handling, and restraining sensual indulgence. (21, 23). They were not only in error but had also lost connection with Jesus (19).
   Christianity is not about following rules about these things (20). Rules, whether written or unwritten are not from God. Rules in Christianity are from humans (22). Christians are free from such rules for we follow Christ. We live by the Spirit.
  I have experienced strong words from such people. They were judgemental (16) and proud (18). I have to watch myself.  I can easily become like them.

BDBD is Colossians 2:9-15

  Jesus is God (9). Thus, he has power and authority over the entire universe (10). What did he do with this power? He forgave me all my sins (13). He took it away and nailed it to the cross (14).
  Sin was a part of my being. It was a part of me that brought pleasure, but also brought shame, guilt, condemnation, and all sorts of problems. The part of me that was sin was always there when I chose to see it. Jesus circumcised sin from me and hung it on the cross. This was all spiritual works.
   Physical circumcision is cutting off the foreskin of the male organ.  The skin increases stimulation and pleasure during physical interactions with a woman. Circumcision is painful.
   The Lord gave the commandment of circumcision to Abraham after he accepted Sarah’s advice to sleep with her servant Haggar to have his first son. Abraham’s and Sarah’s sin was a lack of faith in God keeping his promise of a son through beautiful and old barren Sarah.
   Circumcision is a real-world illustration of the real spiritual world act. When I believed Jesus circumcised my sinful unbelief and doubts and nailed them to the cross. He canceled the charge of my legal indebtedness (14). The debt I owned was death. Jesus took that away. I am without sin, guilt, and shame.

BDBD is Colossians 2:6-8

  Life is Jesus.
   Jesus is life.
   Living is Jesus.
   Jesus is living.
   Love is Jesus. 
   Jesus is love.
   Loving is Jesus.
   Jesus is loving.
   Live my life in loving Jesus.
   Jesus is living my life in love.
   Faith in my Jesus.
   Jesus is my faith.
   Thanking Jesus’ love.
   Jesus is thanking love.
   Jesus is strength.
   Strengthening is Jesus.
   Beware of hollow deceptive human philosophy that pulls me away from faith in loving Jesus and life.

BDBD is Colossians 2:1-5

  Everyone’s desire is to be encouraged in heart and united in love with others for themselves. We want to experiemce these and so we wait for others to bestow them onto us. However, Paul desired these for others (2). He worked hard for their good. He had a genuine interest in their well being.
   A common held assumption is that being encouraged and feeling love is a thought and a feeling obtained because of the way others treated us and nothing more. However, love and encouragement are verbs as much as nowns. To be encouraged I can encourage others first. To be loved I can love first.
   My thought today is to look to love others and encourage others despite my life circumstances.

BDBD is Colossians 1

  Paul is writing to all with the words, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your mind.” (21) Jesus taught that sin starts in the heart. The human heart is the mind and will. From these comes actions, whether good or evil. I was so alienated too.
   Thanks be to God. Jesus made it possible to be reconnected with him (22). Without Jesus being in me and with me I would have given up many times. Jesus gives me hope (23).
   Jesus gives me hope when sometimes there seems to be no hope. He helps me focus on the present. He helps me not regret the past nor worry about the future. He shows me wonders in the moment. He helps me to be thankful. Jesus is the one I proclaim (28).

BDBD is Colossians 1:15-20

  Jesus is God (15, 19). He created everything (16,).  He created light. He created the sun, the stars, and the planets. He created the earth. He created trees and flowers. He created birds, reptiles, bugs, and mammals. He created me. Jesus sustains all these, including me to this very day (17).
   Jesus created his church, his congregation which is his body (18). The church includes all those who call on his name. We are each  unique and connected. We function as he, the head wills and coordinates every day and every moment throughout the centuries. He made me a member of his body. He made a place for me within his church.
   Jesus died and rose from the dead (18). Through these I was reconciled to God (20). I will rise from the dead as he did. I will live eternally with God and in God through Jesus. Now this is something to live for.

BDBD is Colossians 1:1-14

BDBD has been chronologically following Paul’s life. Paul was in his first Roman imprisonment as recorded in Acts 28 when he wrote at least 4 letters. The letter to the congregation in Colossal is his first.
   Verses 9b thru 12 is one long sentence full of great knowledge and encouragement. Being long makes this hard to grasp in one reading. Here, Paul lays out how to be truly happy and joyful. I, like all want to be truly happy and joyful. Thus, I seek to know what Paul is trying to say.
  First, Paul wanted them to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. The Holy Spirit gives wisdom and understanding to know God’s will. This is why I try to take time for meditation with God via Examin Meditation’s 5 steps. However, lately I have not taken time to stop and do this.
  Paul knew that once they knew God’s will they would live it. Living God’s will means pleasing him (10). In general, God’s will for his children is doing good works and growing in the knowledge of him. “Knowledge” here is not just head knowledge. It is experiencing God. This is the difference between knowing of a famous actor and knowing my children. So I understand meditation to know God’s will includes personal communion with God.
   Living in God and his will guarantees I experience his character. This includes his power (11). God’s power is the source of endurance and patience (11). These are refreshing because at times living in God’s will is not externally pleasant and not personally desired, like Paul’s imprisonment wasn’t.
   Paul thus tells me that to be truly happy and joyful is not dependant on my external situation and circumstance. To be truly happy and joyful is internal communion with God, knowing his personal will for me and living it.

BDBD is Acts 28:17-31

   Paul used this opportunity to tell the Jews in Jerusalem that Jesus is the Messiah. He used many Old Testament verses. Some believed. Others did not. Such is the case with anyone who hears the truth. We either accept or reject.
   How is a callous heart softened? Is there any hope for someone who hears the truth and rejects it? As long as a person breathes there is hope that they will accept God’s word. God slowly works on all callous hearts, and all have callous hearts before they accept.
   A raw lump of clay is hard. The potter kneads the lump to soften it. When it is soft enough the potter can form it into a beautiful vase. Every lump of clay has a beautiful vase in it. If it will not soften, he throws it away.