Colossians – Christ in us!
Are we merely impressed with Jesus? Do we know of Him but don’t really know Him? Do we consider Him a great teacher, even read what He said, but don’t talk with Him, get to know Him, or invite Him into our very being as we do life? Do we lump Jesus into a “woohoo” category of greatness with other well known humans of world? If we do, we are like many others in the world. We can believe Jesus as Savior without developing an intimate Christ-centered life of following Him as Lord. If we do that, we are missing out on the most important, intimate relationship we can possibly have.
The Christians in the town of Colosse, or at least some of them, seem to have been taking this line. For them cosmic forces of one sort or another were getting equal billing with Jesus. Paul writes to them in an attempt to restore Jesus, the Messiah, to the center of their lives.
The way he makes his argument is as significant as the argument he makes. Claim for the uniqueness fo Jesus are common enough. But such claims about Jesus are frequently made with an arrogance that is completely incompatible with Jesus himself. Sometimes the claims are enforced with violence.
But Paul, although unswervingly confident in the conviction that Christ occupies the center of creation and salvation without peers, is not arrogant. And he is certainly not violent. He argues from a position of rooted humility. He writes with the energies of most considerate love. He exhibits again what Christians have come to appreciate so much in Paul–the wedding of a brilliant and uncompromising intellect with a heart that is warmly and wonderfully kind. Oh, that all of us, would speak as Paul with a Christ centered heart, mind and soul!
As we read this letter to the church in Colosse, let us learn how to communicate as “clearly as we should” to others seeking to know Christ intimately. May our hearts be open and our minds ready to realize and live the “secret” of Christ IN us!
Colossians 1, The Message
1-2 I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God’s master plan. Together with my friend Timothy, I greet the Christians and stalwart followers of Christ who live in Colosse. May everything good from God our Father be yours!
Working in His Orchard
3-5 Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can’t quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you! We keep getting reports on your steady faith in Christ, our Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians. The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.
5-8 The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. It’s the same all over the world. The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you. From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of what God is doing, you’ve been hungry for more. It’s as vigorous in you now as when you learned it from our friend and close associate Epaphras. He is one reliable worker for Christ! I could always depend on him. He’s the one who told us how thoroughly love had been worked into your lives by the Spirit.
9-12 Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.
13-14 God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.
What do we learn?
–The Message, Jesus, does not change over time. He is the same then, now and forever will be Savior and Lord.
–Hang on tightly to the Hope of The Message, Jesus.
–As we learn how God works, we will learn how to do our work that He invites us to do.
–God gives us strength for the work of telling others about Him.
–God’s strength endures forever and produces joy and thanksgiving in our hearts.
–God saved us. Jesus, His Son, redeemed us from our own sins, “got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating”. Praise God!
Dear Heavenly Father,
What a great opening to the people of Colosse and to us! Thank You for Your Word that helps to know You more. Thank you for inviting us to Your work and will. Thank you for saving us and making us fit for Your Kingdom. Thank you for paying our debt to sin. Thank you for teaching us to live with You in the center of all of life. Thank you for wanting to have an intimate relationship with us. We are humbled. Continue to transform me. Transform Your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen