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Worthy lives: wisdom, bearing fruit, giving thanks

March 21, 2024

Daily Scripture

Colossians 1:9-12

9 Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. 10 We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; 11 by being strengthened through his glorious might so that you endure everything and have patience; 12 and by giving thanks with joy to the Father. He made it so you could take part in the inheritance, in light granted to God’s holy people.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Paul devoted his life to tirelessly starting Christian churches from scratch. There was no playbook, no example to follow. The Jewish and Roman authorities didn’t like what he was doing and put him in prison (Colossians 4:18). Imagine starting a new business, organization, or small group. Imagine trying to do that from prison. How did Paul lead the fledging church startups from prison? He did two things: he wrote letters and prayed. What we wrote and how he prayed are good examples to follow.

  • Paul prayed for wisdom for his readers. He clearly believed this was one of the most important things the Colossians should have. How do you get wisdom? Wisdom comes from experience. Experience comes from time. There are no shortcuts. How much time are you spending with God through prayer, Bible reading and community? What steps might you take to prioritize time with God in your everyday life, so that you might grow in wisdom?
  • Paul also prayed for his readers to “give thanks with joy” to God. Giving thanks, or gratitude, is a powerful force for good that can quite literally transform your mind. “Paul would say to us, as he said to the young Christians in Colossae, that a life lived in the presence of this God will be a life full of thanksgiving. Or have we forgotten who our God really is?” * What are you grateful for in your life? Take a minute to list of things you’re grateful for, then offer God a prayer of gratitude.

Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. I want to live a worthy life pleasing to you. Help me grow in wisdom and gratitude, so that I can “produce fruit in every good work” and shine your light to others. Amen.

GPS Insights

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

Worth is such a difficult concept to wrestle with. For the past 6 or so years I have had a greeting card that sits on my desk. On the front, it simply says, “You are enough.” I didn’t receive that card from a friend or family member—I bought it for myself. It’s a reminder I need more often than not. 

The idea of being enough, of being worthy of love and good things, can feel like such a bold claim in a world that seems to always claim the opposite. 

I remember watching the 2017 film The Greatest Showman, where a crew of misfits and outcasts embraces who they are and learns their worth is not determined by onlookers or even the people closest to them. They learn that they are enough just as they are, that they are worthy just because they are. At one point they sing about this realization in what instantly became one of my favorite songs, “This is Me.” One of the lyrics the lead vocalist shares says: 

“And I know that I deserve your love, 
there’s nothing I’m not worthy of “

Again, it feels like such a bold claim… but it is true. And the evidence of this truth, is Jesus. 

As Easter approaches, we remember that God so loved the world… God so loved US that He sent Jesus, His only Son, so that we could have a life of eternity spent with God. Jesus, God in Jesus, saw us as worthy of His sacrifice, worthy of His love and worthy of life everlasting. If that’s not a beautiful depiction of worth, I don’t know what is! 

And yet, it can still be a struggle to accept. 

When the vocalists and actors from The Greatest Showman were preparing to film the movie, they had a music session where they presented the film’s music to those who had the power to give it the green light or not. The soloist was understandably nervous and shy, a little bit terrified to sing “the” movie’s key song. 

You can watch the clip of this session—it’s like watching a person discover their own worth right before your eyes in a complete parallel to the story they would portray on screen. Slowly but surely her confidence grows with each word that she sings until finally all her walls come down and she is truly living out every single word of the song. 

There are many places in Scripture that the Apostle Paul writes about us as Christians living “worthy” lives. In Ephesians we are to live lives worthy of God’s calling. In Colossians we are to be “worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him.” This worthy life produces the fruit of goodness and knowledge and understanding of God. 

But it’s really difficult to live a worthy life when struggling with self-worth. It can be really hard to live out that calling when you feel uncertain and unstable. But it’s when we truly grasp that God sees us as worthy that we are able to move forward and truly live out that worthiness. 

When you can stand in that confidence, then the people around you will see the strength, endurance, patience, and gratitude in your life, and they’ll get to experience what it feels like to be worthy and live worthy lives themselves! 

As I think back to that soloist in that practice session, by the time she believed what she was singing and sang like she believed it, her face beamed with joy and gratitude. My prayer for us today is that we would feel worthy so we can live worthy. May you be filled with gratitude to our great God because God loves you and sees you as worthy of that love. 

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Wright, N. T., The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 147). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.