I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Paul is always one who has discipled people by his example. He told the Corinthian church that they should follow his example, literally to imitate him. 1 Cor. 4:16. And in the passage we read we see one of the ways as Christians we should check out and learn from Paul's example.
In verse 1 he says something that I am challenged by as a husband, father, friend and Christ-follower…Paul tells them that he is contending hard for the people he cares about. In other words he is saying that he puts strenuous effort, even to the point of agony, in order to ensure the success of those people.
And what is his definition of success? Spiritual maturity. He says that he is contending so that the people he loves can be…
- encouraged in heart - to stay the course and not give up the fight that is the life of a believer
- United in love - seeking to bring God's love and grace to situations and not simply putting fuel on the fire of disagreements and offenses.
- Complete understanding of what it means to be a child of God
- And that they have a ever increasing revelation of who Christ is.
As people of God we must follow Paul's example and contend for those we love.
We should be striving, fighting, putting strenuous effort in to seeing them come to Christ and stay rooted in Him. We must be live a life that shows them what it means to be united in love. We should be contending daily to grow in the knowledge and understanding of who Christ is and what it means to be His child.
Are you contending?