Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness (Colossians 2:7, NLT).
The believers at Colosse are new to the faith. Yet they are by no means lacking. Christ had already revealed the great mystery to them of God’s plan to make all believers one in Christ. He had already cancelled the record of the charges against them (v. 14), forgave their sin (v.13), disarmed the evil powers and authorities (v.15), and given them his new life (v.12). They have no need of religious ideas based on worldly philosophies of what would please God. God is already pleased to have the fullness of Christ dwell in them when they received this gift through faith in the Giver.
My challenge is not to lose sight of what I already have. I must not trade the invisible, incomparable treasures of Christ for the visible, false promises of the religious around me. Jesus remains the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other path. This path is not about doing, but rather about pursuing. All I need to do is set my sights on the reality of my life with Christ, and let heaven fill my thoughts.
Father, thank you for reminding of the great riches you have given me. Continually draw me back to thoughts of heaven and life with Christ. Change how I see myself—not as a trier and striver, but as a possessor of the great riches you have lovingly given me. Take away any fears of intimacy with him that would tempt me to pursue religion rather than Jesus himself. In whose name I pray, Amen.
I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. (Colossians 2:2, NLT).
Suffering takes on purpose in what it accomplishes in, for, and through us. Christ suffered to bring about God’s plan of salvation for all who believe, both Jew and Gentile. Paul suffered to proclaim that message. In his continued suffering through imprisonment, he penned 13 books of the New Testament, proclaimed the Good News to Caesar’s household, trained evangelists, and prayed for the maturity of a blended, unified church. Perfection in Christ (v.28) comes when we allow the painful pruning away of our prejudices toward others.
What most encourages me about the Good News, I also find the most challenging: Christ loves me; therefore, I love others. If I fail to love, I fail to comprehend God’s mysterious plan. I rob myself of his treasures of wisdom and knowledge (v.3). I am not capable of loving this way; I must depend on Christ’s mighty power (v.29). I must allow this hard work and struggle toward perfection in Christ to remake and transform me.
Father, I confess that I hold myself apart from others. Forgive me for not loving others as your Son has loved me. I ask that you bring about the painful work of transformation in me. Create in me the strong ties of love to other believers. Fill me with compassion for those who do not yet know your Son. In whose name I pray, Amen.