“A Great Struggle”

Christian parents have a challenge.  They are charged with bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Dads and moms who follow Christ do everything they can to ensure that their children grow up and also follow Christ.  The effort to raise Christian kids becomes a struggle involving discouragement and heartache when one of the children rebels and shows little or no desire to follow the Lord.

The responsibility of Christian parents to raise godly children is very similar to the responsibility Paul assumed for the fledgling church in his day.  In fact, his purpose as an apostle of Jesus Christ was to present to the Lord everyone who responded in faith to the gospel as perfect before on the Day of Judgment (Col.1:28-29).  He told the Colossian believers that he was in a great conflict for them (2:1-5).  Though he had never seen them, let alone met them, he fought for them.  Two of his weapons were his pen and his prayers (1:9-12; cp.4:12).  Paul prayed that they might live lives worthy of the Lord – lives that pleased God fully.  He also wrote this epistle in part to caution them concerning the things that might keep them from leading God-honoring lives.  They must constantly put off sinful ways of thinking and living from their pre-conversion days, and put on the godly character and behavior of their new life in Christ (3:1-17).  Paul also warned them not to be deceived by false teachers who might cheat them of their reward (2:1-23), and even keep them from continuing in the faith (1:23).

We are not apostles, but like Paul, we should love the church, the people God has redeemed.  And we should pray for them, including our brothers and sisters in Christ here at Hillside, that we all might stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (4:12).