Today we want to begin our study of the book of Colossians. I love the way Paul begins his letters to the churches. Even his introduction expresses his role as God’s servant. When he introduces himself in the first verse he says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” It’s Paul’s way of saying that whatever he is, he is because that’s what God made him to be. I like to think it’s like Paul’s “I gotta be me” song. He accepts himself and God’s role for his life.

This is an important concept for us all. We might not be what we once thought we would be. We might not be all that someone else is. We might not be what others might want us to be. But, like Paul, we are what we are, “by the will of God.”

Elizabeth Elliot, in her book Let Me Be a Woman, records the story of Gladys Aylward unable to accept the looks God had given her. Ms. Aylward told how when she was a child she had two great sorrows. One, that while all her friends had beautiful golden hair, hers was black. The other, that while her friends were still growing, she had stopped. She was about four feet ten inches tall. But when at last she reached the country to which God had called her to be a missionary, she stood on the wharf in Shanghai and looked around at the people to whom He had called her. “Every single one of them” she said, “had black hair. And every one of them had stopped growing when I did.” She was able to look to God and exclaim, “Lord God, You know what you’re doing!”

He knows what He’s doing with you and me also!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am…” 1 Corinthians 15:10