Today we start reading several letters of Paul beginning with his message to the Colossians. They are letters of encouragement for them to remain fully committed to following Christ in the face of various difficulties. He tells them, “I have not ceased to pray for you” (verse 8). In his prayer he is “asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord fully pleasing to him” (verses 9,10).

There can be no half measures when we commit our lives to serving Christ – we must aim to be “fully pleasing” to the unseen presence of our Lord sensing the reality that “in him we live and move and have our being” as we read in Acts 17:28. Our Lord is now seated “at the right hand of God” as we will read in Colossians 3:1.

In today’s chapter Paul reminds the Colossians that they “once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (verse 21) as Paul himself had been. Very few of us can look back on that kind of life – and we suspect that those who can are wonderfully motivated to make sure they are “fully pleasing” to their Saviour. But how motivated do the rest of us feel? Does it not depend on a clear perception of that which is “unseen”?

Paul told the Corinthians, “the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Coming back to today’s chapter – Paul’s words in verse 23 apply just as much to us as to them, that we will be “fully pleasing … if you indeed continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel”. Our daily reading of God’s word is a vital part of making sure we do that.