Friday, November 15, 2013

It starts with a goal

Paul's letter to the Colossian church gives tremendous insight into the fullness of life we find in Christ Jesus.  Chapter 2 of the letter begins:

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

Did you read closely enough to remember Paul's goal for these Christians?  Encouraged in heart and united in love.  That is a goal worth all the effort in the world.  The Colossian Christians are our example, along with Paul, in knowing these attributes and making sure they are our goal for the entire church body today.  Paul goes on to say when we have an encouraged heart and the unity that only love can bring, it leads us to the "full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God" where we will find "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

That's quite a goal, and it accomplishes so much in the life of every believer.  According to Paul's complementary words about the Christians in Colosse, the goal further leads us to live disciplined lives and grow firm in our faith. 

All of chapter 2 up to this point is centered around Paul's goal and its effect on us.  Then there are these words of encouragement and teaching:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Do you remember how excited you were when you received Jesus?  Paul indicates that's the same excitement that should become a way of life for us.  When that happens we remain rooted in Christ and continue to be built up in him.  There is a second reference to the strength of our faith, and we will always have an abundance of thankfulness. 

I am leading you to read just a little more in Colossians 2 for a real blessing.  Look at verses 9 &10:

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

Every follower of Jesus needs these verses underlined in their Bibles.   Jesus has all the fullness of God living in bodily form.  And in Jesus, you have been brought to fullness. 
 Let that sink in, think about it often, and then thank God he loves you so much. 


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