“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:9-11 NIV).
One of the Apostle Paul’s objectives for the members of the Colossian church was that they would live lives worthy of the Lord. We can illustrate this idea by considering the predicament of an individual who seeks to buy a gift for someone who seemingly has everything he or she could ever want or need. To phrase this dilemma in the form of a question, we might ask, “What do you give someone who has everything?”
In a sense, God is not unlike the person who has everything in this illustration. Since God already possesses all there is, what could we possibly give Him? Well, the answer is this: the only thing we can offer God is the gift of ourselves. Romans 12:1 expresses this idea by saying, “…I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (NIV).
With this in mind, Colossians 1:10 encourages us to prayerfully focus upon living the kind of life that is “…worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in every good work (and) growing in the knowledge of God.” However, this passage does not only provide us with wise counsel; it also supplies us with a pattern we can use to make good, God-honoring choices. You see, we can use Colossians 1:10 as the basis for good decision-making by asking the following questions:
- Is this choice worthy of the Lord?
- Is it likely to bear fruit (or produce a result) that honors God?
- Does it facilitate growth in the knowledge of God?
These questions can lead us to answers that will help us “…conduct (ourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord” (NTE). As one source has observed, “The saints are to see to it that their manner of life, their conduct, weighs as much as the character of their Lord. That is, He is to be their example in life, and the copy must be like the example.” (1)
(1) Kenneth S. Wuest, Word Studies in the Greek New Testament (Colossians 1:9-10) Copyright © 1942-55 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.