Loving Those We've Never Met

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"From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you from God our Father! We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. Your faith and love have arisen from the hope laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. You learned the gospel from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave - a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf - who also told us of your love in the Spirit." Colossian 1:1-8


When Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Colossae he had never met any of them. Well, none of them except Philemon. It was thru Philemon and Epaphrus that Paul became familiar with the Colossians. Philemon hosted gatherings in his home for the Christians in Colossae. Epaphrus had gone to Colossae to share the gospel after he had learned and grown in his faith thru the witness of Paul.

While I don't know for sure, I can picture Philemon and Epaphrus sharing with Paul about the Christians of Colossae. Their faith in God, their lives, their struggles, their challenges, and their love for each other. As Paul learned more and more about these people he grew to love them, as well. As he shares in these first few scriptures of this letter, he prays for them without ceasing. He wishes them grace and peace -- not just any kind of grace, but grace that refers to God's unmerited favor upon them.

Have you ever loved someone you never met? I have on a few occasions -- persons I knew thru my parents, my sisters, my friends. Over time, they have become special to me and I think of them and pray for them. Because they are important to my loved ones, they are important to me.

But, lets expand that a bit. How about fellows brothers and sisters in Christ that we've never met, and maybe we don't even have any type of connection to them. EXCEPT -- how about the connection we share as believers? I think Paul shares some words and thoughts here that we can all apply to our lives. Love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We may never meet many of them his side of heaven, but we share a common bond that is stronger than anything here on earth. We have the same love for God, we share similar struggles, similar desires and so much more.

Let us consider today keeping all our brothers and sisters in Christ in our prayers and in our hearts -- whether we know them or not. Let us consider praying for them and loving them and looking forward to the day we can all meet in our heavenly home.


7 Thoughts Shared:

e-Mom said...

Great thoughts! Isn't it neat that we can have fellowship online too--with bloggers--people we've never met. Blessings!

Meredith said...

Funny how you can read something and never pick up on the details. I guess I never realized he had never met them. That certainly adds to my thoughts about Paul and who he was. Cool...
Praying...
Meredith

Melanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth E. said...

Amen! And just so you know...I'm praying for YOU! :o)

Kristi said...

Melanie, this is a wonderful post! I have had this happen several times and it always feels like home when we meet someone that we love instantly because we share the common bond of Jesus. Great, great post!

Pilar Stark said...

Great post!

LisaShaw said...

Amen!! You hit the nail on the head! Thank you for great encouragement. God bless you!