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July 9 – Paul’s shepherd’s heart

“Though I am absent in the flesh, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.” – Colossians 2:5 

Scripture reading: Colossians 2:1-5

It was a struggle for Paul because the desire was deep to lead, guide and pastor the flock in Colosse. Though he had not been there, the news of Christ’s work had reached him, and in prayer from the heart of thanksgiving, Paul diligently interceded for this young church. Paul is also a protector and desires that they will not be deceived. We know his reason for the thanksgiving and prayers and his desire for the Colossian church, which would be for their unity and maturity.

Knowledge is such an essential part of the Christian walk. The more we learn about God and His Son, the cross, and our forgiveness, the more we can mature to become forgiving individuals and a community of love, faith, and grace. Grace and mercy are known in a community like that. The city of Colosse needed a community like that. And so does your community. God has blessed our cities and towns with churches. Our prayer ought to be for our churches’ growth, maturity and doctrinal unity as places of growth, love and forgiveness and for those who live in the full assurance of grace in a graceless world.

As Peter would write about, Paul’s prayer and desire were for growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we head further into the letter, we will see Paul’s instruction and guidance to maturity and wisdom. We hope that this will be beneficial for us, too.

Suggestions for prayer

Please pray for your church community’s growth, unity and maturity. Pray that you and your church will bless your community, and pray for your local community that the Gospel will be preached and blessed.

Pastor Al Bezuyen is married to Sanya and has been blessed with six children and two grandchildren. He is a Mid-America Reformed Seminary graduate serving at the Zion United Reformed Church of Sheffield, Ontario. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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